Rando Cell Reports podcast

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How sleeping muscle stem cells might be awakened to fight aging, with Thomas Rando  (9:42)  (Cell Reports).

Plus, sample a selection of the hottest new papers from Cell Press (19:30).

 

 

 

Scientists discern signatures of old versus young stem cells

BY BRUCE GOLDMAN

A chemical code scrawled on histones — the protein husks that coat DNA in every animal or plant cell — determines which genes in that cell are turned on and which are turned off. Now, Stanford University School of Medicine researchers have taken a new step in the deciphering of that histone code.

In a study published June 27 in Cell Reports, a team led by Thomas Rando, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and neurological sciences and chief of the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System’s neurology service, has identified characteristic differences in “histone signatures” between stem cells from the muscles of young mice and old mice. The team also distinguished histone-signature differences between quiescent and active stem cells in the muscles of young mice.

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Rando Video: Telethon’s Scientific Committee: The Focus on Patient’s Needs

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Fondazione Telethon invests in research in Italy to find cures for rare genetic diseases. Dr. Rando has been a member of the Telethon Scientific Committee since 2009.

The 30 members of the Telethon Scientific Committee met on June 20-21 to give their final assessment of 160 projects that have passed all previous stages of the 2013 selection process.

 
 

Cure Duchenne Scientist of the Month – Thomas Rando, M.D., Ph.D.

Thomas Rando, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology and neurological sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine and director of Stanford’s Glenn Laboratories for the Biology of Aging, has focused his entire career researching muscular dystrophy.

The main areas of interest of the Rando Laboratory are muscle stem cell biology, muscle stem cell aging, muscular dystrophies, tissue engineering and basic muscle cell biology. Dr. Rando’s research focuses on the restorative and repair mechanism of stem cells. The lab has a long-standing interest in understanding the mechanisms of cell injury and cell death in muscular dystrophies and the development of novel therapeutics. The long term goal is to develop stem cell therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

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Firefly protein lights up degenerating muscles, aiding muscular-dystrophy research, scientists show

BY BRUCE GOLDMAN

Stanford University School of Medicine scientists have created a mouse model of muscular dystrophy in which degenerating muscle tissue gives off visible light.

The observed luminescence occurs only in damaged muscle tissue and in direct proportion to cumulative damage sustained in that tissue, permitting precise monitoring of the disease’s progress in the mice, the researchers say.

While this technique cannot be used in humans, it paves the way to quicker, cheaper and more accurate assessment of the efficacy of therapeutic drugs. The new mouse strain is already being employed to test stem cell and gene therapy approaches for muscular dystrophies, as well as drug candidates now in clinical trials, said Thomas Rando, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and neurological sciences and director of Stanford’s Glenn Laboratories for the Biology of Aging.

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