Research news

Researchers perform thousands of mutations to understand amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Researchers from IBEC and CRG in Barcelona use a technique called high-throughput mutagenesis to study Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), with unexpected results.

Results showed that aggregation of TDP-43 is not harmful but actually protects cells, changing our understanding of ALS and opening the door to radically new therapeutic approaches.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating and incurable nervous system disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of muscle control and normally death within a few years of diagnosis. In ALS, like in other neurodegenerative diseases, specific protein aggregates have long been recognized as the pathological hallmarks, but it is not clear whether they represent the actual cause of the disease. Indeed, alleviating aggregation has repeatedly failed as a therapeutic strategy when trying to treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

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Other news

Josep Samitier and Núria Montserrat at the “Engineering and Manufacture of Living Systems” workshop in China

Last 9-11th of October took place in Beijing the workshop on “Engineering and Manufacture of Living Systems”. The aim of the workshop was to bring together multi-disciplinary researchers to review the latest advances and discuss the future directions in the design and manufacture of engineered living systems, and their integration amongst the researchers gathered at this international workshop.

The major topics discussed during the workshop were: to consider issues related to translation of engineered living systems from the laboratory to the clinic and to industry, review enabling and emerging techniques for using pluripotent cells from various sources such as cell spheroids, organoids and organs-on-a-chip, discuss the ethical, societal and regulatory issues associated with the development and manufacture of engineered living systems and envision future research, development and synergies at the integration and interface of biomanufacturing and engineering living systems amongst others. The meeting was organised by Tsinghua University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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