A Japanese research team said Wednesday it has reproduced the pathological condition of muscular dystrophy by using induced pluripotent stem, or iPS, cells.
The team, which includes Hidetoshi Sakurai of Kyoto Universitys Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, reproduced ailing skeletal muscle cells seen in sufferers of Miyoshi myopathy, a type of muscular dystrophy, from iPS cells, the team said.
It is the first such achievement in the world and was reported in an article in U.S. journal PLOS One.
One of the symptoms of Miyoshi myopathy is destruction of cell membranes of the skeletal muscle cells. But the team succeeded in restoring membrane repair functions by activating special proteins usually lacking in those with the disease.
Scientists in Japan have created an alloy that is similar to a precious metal used in many high-tech products, according to a news report on Thursday, calling the breakthrough “present-day alchemy.”
Kyoto University professor Hiroshi Kitagawa and colleagues used nanotechnology to combine rhodium and silver, elements that usually do not mix, to produce the new composite, which is very similar to palladium, the Yomiuri daily said.
Palladium is used in emission-reducing catalytic converters and in computers, mobile phones, flat panel TVs, and dentistry instruments. Palladium is an expensive material, with its deposits mostly limited to South Africa and Russia.
Palladium also has applications in the production of fuels cells used for clean and renewable energy.
To make the new alloy, Kitagawa and colleagues used nanotechnology to “nebulize” the rhodium and silver and gradually mix them with heated alcohol. They were able to mix the two metals stably at the atomic level, the report said.