20.109(F11): Cara Brown & Emily Brown

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Stem cells

Infectious diseases

Research Ideas

How can stem cells better aid in the process of fighting/curing an infectious disease?

~creating patient specific stem cells in vitro for stem cell therapy

~taking research from stem cell therapy, for example, when the HIV patient was cured by transplantation of stem cells resistant to the HIV virus to develop stronger therapeutics

~~knockout of CCR5 in HIV using RNAi and virus induced gene silencing

~~knockout of gene to treat or prevent malaria (Duffy antigen/sickle hemoglobin/elliptocytosis)

Using vampire bacterial predator Micavibrio aeruginosavorus to create a living antibiotic

~Look at efficiency and specificity of using the unmutated vampire bacteria to kill other bacteria (in bacteria, in mice, in vitro human cells)

~Modify the target bacteria for these vampire bacteria

~Program vampire bacteria for apoptosis after a certain length of time or in response to a particular stimuli in order to flush the vampire bacteria out of the body after use. Potentially, these vampire bacteria could use a 2 component signaling system pathway like in E. coli . Work needs to be done to determine if these bacteria have these two component signaling systems and what apoptotic pathways the bacteria already have, so these pathways could be exploited

~Using these vampire bacteria as antibiotics might be especially helpful for patients with severe bacterial infections, like sepsis, gangrene, flesh eating bacteria, or patients with resistance to other antibiotics


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Klessing, Ann A. "Curing HIV Disease with Stem Cell Therapy". Bedford Stem Cell Research Foundation, June 2010. Date accessed: 25 Nov 2011. http://www.bedfordresearch.org/article/hiv-aids-stem-cell-therapy-hiv-treatment-25644

Lin, R.Z. et al. "Induction of erythropoiesis using human vascular networks genetically engineered for controlled erythropoietin release" Blood. 118:20, 5420-5428 (2011) http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/content/118/20/5420

Noggle, Scott et al. "Human oocytes reprogram somatic cells to a pluripotent state". Nature, Oct 2011. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v478/n7367/full/nature10397.html

Suga, Hidetaka et al. "Self-formation of functional adenohypophysis in three-dimensional culture". Nature, Nov 2011. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature10637.html#/in-vitro-functionality-as-endocrine-tissue

Wang, et al. "Genomic insights into an obligate epibiotic bacterial predator: Micavibrio aeruginosavorus ARL-13". BMC Genomics 12:453 (2011) http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2164/12/453