News Medical's "Thought Leaders" series is a selection of articles written by national and
international experts and trusted advisers in the life sciences industry. All the articles are
written by experts who have been invited as recognised leaders in their fields to provide
a "state of the art" contribution.
I'm an MR imaging scientist in the preclinical field. I'm a team leader of the functional and molecular imaging team at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) in QST.
It is important to keep in mind that nontuberculous mycobacteria are environmental, and so unlike mycobacterial tuberculosis, generally this is not a person to person transmitted disease. The organisms are found universally in water and soil and so most people are exposed on a daily basis.
Aging is the continuing process of such stress exposures, and with advancing age (normal aging), we must carry lots of senescent cells within our bodies. Senescent cells also often provide some ‘bad influences’ to surrounding healthy cells; such as chronic inflammation and tumorigenesis
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic relapsing inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract with abdominal pain and diarrhea being the most common symptoms. It can be challenging to diagnose as gastrointestinal complaints mimicking IBD are common.
The mTOR pathway is probably the main pathway in humans and other animals that drives growth. That is, the accumulation of mass and adding mass to make an organism bigger by both making more cells, and making cells grow and become bigger.
Traditionally, we use biopsies to try to predict how cancer spreads. There are a number of molecular markers that are used, but biopsy is a limited approach. Now, the current trend is to use liquid biopsy, which is basically a blood sample.
Proteins are an important component of our diet and help to build muscles; they take part in the structure of hormones and they are vital to the whole body’s metabolism. The most important consequence is that the liver loses its capacity to produce proteins (such as albumin) and to metabolise (inactivate or activate in some cases) medicaments for instance.
RNA sequencing is basically the isolation of RNA from cells and the use of reverse transcriptase to turn the RNA into DNA. You can then use your standard DNA sequencing technologies to quantify the cDNA that you obtained from the reverse transcription reaction.
Many of the most fundamental, life governing biological processes take place at size and time scales that remain invisible with current imaging technologies. Understanding how the molecules that underlie these processes move, interact and change could pave the way for new treatments, cures and the development of novel drug therapies.
The kind of research I'm interested in is a technique called diffusion MRI and this technique is sensitive to the microstructure of the tissue. Particular clinical applications that it is used for are cancer and looking at neurodegenerative diseases.
Optogenetics is a way of introducing information into the brain using light, it targets specific cells or connections across the brain. It is fast, like brain signaling, and helps you communicate with neural circuitry in a language more similar to what is normally used within the brain.
Spherical nucleic acids are structures that are made by taking a nanoparticle template and using chemistry to arrange short strands of DNA or RNA on the surface of those particles. The spherical core of the nanoparticle creates a spherical arrangement of DNA or RNA, similar to tiny little balls of nucleic acids.
The human exposome is probably best defined as “everything that is not the genome.” This is a bit tongue in cheek, but basically, the exposome is comprised of all of the chemicals in your body from the environment, food, consumer products, their metabolites, the endogenous “housekeeping” chemicals, the cellular wastes from energy production, as well as all of the messenger compounds and life supporting chemicals.
I’m an Assistant Professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Complutense University, Madrid. Until five years ago I had been working here at the university, part time with a private clinic, where I worked in MRI and MR spectroscopy for clinical applications.
RNA repeats are stretches of code in the body that incrementally repeat. For example, in the most common cause of adult-on-set muscular dystrophy a RNA has a repeat of r(CUG) and this three letter code can repeat thousands of times.
I was interested in a whole range of subjects, but the one that really grasped me from a young age was biology and, in particular, human biology. I was really fascinated with how the human body worked and I still am; that's something that has stayed with me.
In the outpatient clinic and in the laboratory our current research studies aim at understanding the mechanisms of release and clearance and the biological functions of exosomes and membrane particles in the plasma of individuals who develop emphysema, a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease characterized by enlargement of airspaces and loss of alveoli.
We developed this technology almost 10 years ago. It was developed after a key experiment was carried out by David Rissin, who was a PhD candidate in my laboratory at the time.
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is a powerful analytical tool widely used in chemical research to investigate the structure and dynamics of molecules.
My group develops approaches to study cell-to-cell signaling in the brain – how the cells of the brain talk to each other. The brain is heterogeneous, probably more so than any other organ in our body, and many of its functions depend on the unique characteristics of these cells.