We knew spinach was good for you, but researchers partly funded by NHLBI have taken the power vegetable up a couple of notches. Organ regeneration has faced a major obstacle: establishing a vascular system that delivers blood to the developing tissue. In a study published in Biomaterials, scientists described how they solved that problem using spinach leaves to build functioning heart tissue.
NHLBI In The News
Filter News Mentions
Researchers funded by NHLBI have discovered a new role for the lungs: making blood. The study, published in Nature, describes how cells in the lungs of mice produce most blood platelets and can replenish blood-making cells in bone marrow. The research team “disrupted some traditional ideas about the pulmonary role in platelet-related hematopoiesis, paving the way for further scientific exploration of this integrated biology,” said Traci Mondoro, NHLBI project officer.
Scientists partly funded by NHLBI identified two proteins in cancer cells that make them resistant to chemotherapy. They discovered that blocking those proteins during therapy eliminated human leukemia in mice. According to the authors of the study, published in Nature Medicine, this molecular mechanism is present in almost all cancers driven by enzymes known as tyrosine kinases, such as lung, breast, colon and brain tumors. “We anticipate that this study opens a new avenue to develop curative therapy not only for leukemia but solid tumors, as well,” said lead investigator Mohammad Azam, Ph.D.
Researchers funded by the NHLBI have found that personalizing the doses of warfarin, a commonly used blood thinner, through genetic testing lowers the risk of adverse effects. The findings of the Genetic InFormatics Trial (GIFT) of Warfarin Therapy to Prevent DVT were presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66thAnnual Scientific Session. Warfarin dosing is currently a matter of trial and error, according to the researchers. This is dicey, since too much can cause dangerous bleeding and too little leave patients at risk of blood clots.
Researchers funded by NHLBI found that noninvasive CT and stress tests can help predict heart attacks without the complications associated with more invasive procedures. "The traditional approach with invasive catheterization requires that patients go to the hospital, get a catheter inserted into their leg and go in for the nuclear SPECT study on a different day," said NHLBI researcher and coauthor Marcus Chen, M.D. The findings appear in Radiology.
A group of NHLBI-funded researchers have found that the corticosteroids that people with severe asthma are prescribed might be harming them. Ten to 15 percent of people with asthma have a severe form of the condition that doctors try to control unsuccessfully by increasing the dosage of the medications. In a study published in Science Immunology, the researchers found that these patients’ immune systems present differences that explain why the higher doses don’t help and could be harming the patients by worsening the inflammation.
Researchers funded by NHLBI have discovered that mutations in ABL1, a well-known gene involved in the Philadelphia chromosome of leukemia cells, cause congenital heart defects and skeletal malformations. The findings, published in Nature Genetics, suggest that ABL1 has an important role during organism development.
In an important advance in the stem cell field, researchers are reporting that they were able to use a patients’ own cells to create cells similar to those in the bone marrow and then use them to identify potential treatments for a rare blood disorder. The researchers obtained the so-called blood progenitor cells from the skin of two patients with Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA), a rare blood disorder in which the bone marrow cannot make enough oxygen-carrying red blood cells. They converted the skin cells into blood progenitor cells, which they then processed through a drug screening system. The researchers identified one chemical in particular, called SMER28, during this screening process that showed promise in animal studies for producing red blood cells. The finding could lead to new treatments for DBA, they say. The study, which appeared in Science Translational Medicine, was partly funded by NHLBI.
In a clinical trial partly funded by NHLBI, researchers are reporting early success in treatment of sickle cell disease with gene therapy. The findings of the report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, come from a single patient who has been free of symptoms for over a year. Researchers caution, however, that much more research is needed before gene therapy can become an option for treatment or cure of this condition.
Research partly funded by NHLBI links heart disease risks such as diabetes, heart blood pressure or smoking in middle age with higher dementia risk later in life. Researchers presented their findings at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.