Researchers recently created a novel virtual resource called Recon3D to provide biologists with 3-D perspectives of spatially linked genes, proteins, and metabolites for analyzing molecular processes affecting human metabolism.
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Using a new technique called “in-air microfluidics,” scientists succeeded in printing 3-D structures with live cells.
Researchers used a brain modeling platform called The Virtual Brain to incorporate individual patient brain measurements to produce personalized models simulating six features of patient brain activity.
By advancing techniques for revealing genetic information in single cells, researchers were able to distinguish > 60,000 cells in the human brain based on their gene expression patterns and categorize them into 35 different cell types.
Researchers optimized tissue culturing conditions to efficiently and reliably make miniature brain models called brain organoids from stem cells with minimal variability. Compared to previous methods, the authors controlled the cell number, used a specialized culture dish, and added a critical human brain growth factor called LIF.
By using stem cells to make astrocytes (a key support cell in the brain), scientists were able to develop a new cell culturing system using astrocytes to support the production of prions, the causative agent of the fatal neurodegenerative disorder Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (similar to mad cow disease).
Using data from 66 patients followed for up to 20 years, researchers developed a mathematical model to simulate the biological processes involved in the disease of multiple sclerosis, a chronic autoimmune disease leading to damage to nerve fibers in the brain with variable clinical presentation rates and symptoms and leading to blurred vision, memory problems, weakness, and more.
By sequencing all the genes of affected and unaffected members of a three-generation family with Tourette or Tic Disorder, scientists linked the disease to a loss-of-function mutation in the gene PNKD, a protein that plays a role in the connections between brain cells and has been associated with other movement disorders.