A (cow's) milk allergy is one of the most common allergies in the United States, but for individuals with this allergy, it can be tricky to know what type of alternative would make for an acceptable, non-allergenic substitute. A new study, recently published in the Journal of Dairy Research, investigates the general allergenicity and antigenicity of different mammalian milks and plant-based milk substitutes in an effort to identify which option(s) would likely be the safest alternative for otherwise healthy individuals who are allergic to proteins found in cow's milk.

A cow's milk allergy is not uncommon. In fact, it is ranked among the "Big 8" - a set of foods that account for more than 90% of food-related allergic reactions in the United States. The other top allergenic foods, if you're curious, include peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish. All of these foods contain unique proteins that can trigger a strong, IgE-mediated allergenic response by the body's immune system in allergic individuals. Between 2% and 5% of children are estimated to be affected by an allergy to cow's milk. While many children outgrow this allergy, for some individuals it can persist into older childhood, adolescence, and even adulthood.

A new report, "Immune reactivity against a variety of mammalian milks and plant-based milk substitutes," was recently published in the Journal of Dairy Research and looks to identify the least-reactive milks among a population of 500 unique, healthy individuals. The milks analyzed include variations of cow, goat, sheep, camel, and human varieties as well as soy, almond, and coconut plant-based milk substitutes.

500 different single donor human serum samples were obtained from Innovative Research for this study.

Lactose Intolerance vs. Cow's Milk Protein Allergy

"Lactose intolerance" and "milk allergy" are often confused, as they are commonly used colloquially in much the same way. An allergy to milk, however, is quite different from lactose intolerance even though the two can sometimes result in similar symptoms.

Lactose is a sugar present in cow's milk, and lactose intolerance happens when an individual's body cannot digest this sugar appropriately. This typically occurs due to a lost or reduced ability to produce the enzyme lactase, which is the primary enzyme responsible for breaking down lactose. Unlike an allergy, this intolerance is not an immune response.

A milk allergy, on the other hand, occurs when the immune system responds to various components that are found in milk as though they were harmful. There are two main types of allergies to cow's milk: the first is an IgE-mediated response, where the immune system sees the proteins in milk as pathogens and responds by releasing chemicals like histamine; the second is a non-IgE-mediated, or delayed, response.

With an IgE-mediated reaction, symptoms frequently begin within minutes of consuming milk. These symptoms look similar to other common allergic reactions and can range from a stuffy nose to anaphylaxis. With a non-IgE-mediated reaction, however, symptoms are more likely to mirror those of lactose intolerance and present with cutaneous (hives, rashes, itching...) and/or gastrointestinal (nausea, abdominal pain...) symptoms.

Allergenicity and Antigenicity of Mammalian Milks

To determine the general rate of allergic response to the different kinds of milk being tested, the research team used a selection of 500 unique single donor human serum samples from Innovative Research. These donors were from a cross-spectrum population from age 18 to age 65. The team tested these samples for immunoglobulin response, looking at IgA, IgE, and IgG as measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

The team found human milk to be the least reactive, followed by camel, sheep, goat, and cow (in that order). For individuals identified to have an allergenic response to cow's milk, the researchers measured the response to several different forms, including organic, non-organic, A1, and A2. They did not see a difference in reactivity among the different types of cow's milk - if an individual was allergic to one form, they were observed to be reactive to all forms. This cross-reactivity was not unexpected, though, as the varied types of cow's milk still contain many of the same major proteins.

Cow, goat, and sheep milk have many similarities when it comes to their respective caseins and alpha-lactalbumin. The researchers note that for 92% of individuals with an allergenic response to cow's milk, there is an allergenic response to goat and sheep milks, as well. Camel milk has a different casein and smaller immunoglobulins as compared to cow, goat, and sheep milks. This difference seems to make camel milk less allergenic in general. An individual with an allergenic response to cow's milk has a 50% chance of reacting to both camel and human milks, as well.

Allergenicity and Antigenicity of Plant-Based Milk Substitutes

Someone who is allergic to one type of mammalian milk is likely to react to other types of mammalian milks (with the possible exception of camel and/or human milks). Many individuals with an allergy to cow's milk will look to plant-based milk substitutes as an alternative. But are these any less likely to result in an allergenic response?

To find out, the researchers looked at reactivity to soy, almond, and coconut milk substitutes to determine the general allergenicity and antigenicity of these common alternatives.

In general, the overall allergenicity of the plant-based milks was lower than that of the mammalian milks. However, for some reactive individuals, there is still a very strong allergenic response. While coconut milk looks to be the least allergenic/antigenic, in some individuals, the reaction to coconut milk could be as strong as that to almond, soy, sheep, goat, or cow's milk.

There were some individuals who demonstrated reactivity to both mammalian milks as well as plant-based milks, but this immune response is not because of any similarity in antigens. Instead, this is due to the allergenicity of the plant-based products overall.

How to Avoid Allergenic Response

From this research, it's not possible to say that one type of milk is best, or that for an individual with an allergy to cow's milk, plant-based alternative milks are a safe alternative when it comes to avoiding allergic reaction. While there are some favorable results seen with the plant-based milk substitutes (mainly a lower instance of reactivity across the entire population studied), it seems that there still exists a percentage of individuals who demonstrate a strong allergenic response to these milks.

In general, blood tests for IgA, IgE, and IgG antibodies is the most accurate way to determine which milks should be avoided.

Further Reading & References:

Immune reactivity against a variety of mammalian milks and plant-based milk substitutes. Aristo Vojdani, Chris Turnpaugh, and Elroy Vojdani. Journal of Dairy Research, August 2018


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

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We've heard it our whole lives - sleep is a remedy that is frequently recommended among family and friends without even really thinking about it. Have a problem? "Sleep on it!" Feeling discouraged? Well, "everything looks better in the morning." Even the Dalai Lama has weighed in, stating that "Sleep is the best meditation." New research suggests that there may be more wisdom than we even knew in all this sleep-related advice, and that getting enough sleep may be tied to lowering the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

It's present in age-old wisdom - phrases like "sleep on it" or "everything looks better in the morning" feel so routine that we don't even notice them anymore. But getting a good night of sleep, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, could be a way to help prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Poor sleep and beta-amyloid plaques

The new study, "Excessive daytime sleepiness and napping in cognitively normal adults: associations with subsequent amyloid deposition measured by PiB PET," published recently in the journal SLEEP, is the most recent in a long line of research that illustrates a common thread between poor sleep and brain deposits of beta-amyloid, a common characteristic of Alzheimer's disease.

Not only that, but the data suggests that - along with factors like diet and exercise - getting high-quality sleep at night could actually help to prevent the disease, and treating patients with sleep issues could help to avoid negative outcomes like Alzheimer's.

How and why?

At the moment, it is not known why, exactly, daytime sleepiness seems to be correlated with the presence of beta-amyloid plaques. The researchers note that they cannot rule out the possibility that the amyloid plaques themselves may have caused the sleepiness, and others are curious as to whether the sleepiness itself could cause the protein to form in the brain. Previous research seems to indicate that disturbed or insufficient sleep causes these plaques to form via a mechanism that is not yet known or defined, and that these issues could also cause someone to report excessive daytime sleepiness.

What we know so far

Previous studies in Alzheimer's disease animal models have found an increase in beta-amyloid protein in the brain and spinal fluid when nighttime sleep is restricted, and some human studies have linked poor sleep to more beta-amyloid in neuronal tissue. Researchers have known for quite some time that Alzheimer's patients commonly experience sleep disturbances, and sleep is negatively impacted by the brain changes that come from growing beta-amyloid plaques.

As there is not yet any known cure for Alzheimer's disease, prevention is key. Making a good night of quality sleep a priority, along with other lifestyle changes related to diet, exercise, and cognitive activity, could help to prevent or slow the condition.

Further Reading & References:

Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News: Excessive Daytime Sleepiness Could Be Linked to Alzheimer's. 07 Sept 2018. https://www.genengnews.com/gen-news-highlights/excessive-daytime-sleepiness-could-be-linked-to-alzheimers/81256211

Adam P Spira, Yang An, Mark N Wu, Jocelynn T Owusu, Eleanor M Simonsick, Murat Bilgel, Luigi Ferrucci, Dean F Wong, Susan M Resnick; Excessive daytime sleepiness and napping in cognitively normal adults: associations with subsequent amyloid deposition measured by PiB PET, Sleep, , zsy152, https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsy152


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

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Treating Cancer with Immunotherapy

Written by InnovativeResearch on September 11, 2018. Posted in Blog

The good news keeps on coming! Immunotherapies are continuing to show promising results in treating a wide range of cancers - from melanoma to lung cancer, even lymphoma and leukemia! New research shows that immunotherapy may even be helpful in extending the lives of people who have been diagnosed with advanced melanoma which has spread to the brain.

Immunotherapy - targeting tumors using the body's immune system - has been showing increasing promise as new research continues to emerge. A recent study, "Improved Risk-Adjusted Survival for Melanoma Brain Metastases in the Era of Checkpoint Blockade Immunotherapies: Results from a National Cohort," published recently in Cancer Immunology Research, found that an immune-based approach helps to extend the life of people diagnosed with advanced stage 4 melanoma that has metastasized to the brain. Immunotherapies have been approved since 2011 for treating advanced melanoma, and have proven so effective that chemotherapy is no longer the first-line treatment for these patients.

These types of medications work in various ways, but with the same essential philosophy - they use the body's immune response to target the cancer by recognizing cancer cells and destroying them. Normally, the immune system leaves tumors alone since they are derived from normal tissue cells. With the addition of immunotherapy, the body's immune defenses are able to recognize and destroy cancer cells as they would a foreign invader.

The first immune-based therapies, called checkpoint inhibitors, have become increasingly popular for treating melanoma that has spread to the brain. In 2015, 34% of these patients were given immunotherapy treatment as compared to 11% of patients in 2011. Over this same time period, median survival has increased from 5 months to more than a year. These benefits were even more pronounced in MBM patients without extracranial metastases, where survivability increased to more than 4 years.

This study in particular is especially notable, as it is one of the first studies that demonstrates the increase in survival rate seen in early melanoma patients also is observed in late-stage melanoma patients with brain metastases.

The researchers did not note whether the patients had also been treated concurrently with steroid therapy (a common metastatic cancer treatment). Some doctors have expressed concern about whether immunotherapy would be effective in cases where steroids were also being administered, but the researchers are encouraged that the checkpoint inhibitors appear beneficial across the entire population studied - some of whom may have been also receiving steroid therapies.

The use of checkpoint inhibitors and immunotherapy have proven to be an effective treatment for melanoma, and it seems that the same benefits are being seen in advanced melanoma patients, as well. This is hopefully just the start in conducting additional trials and studies, with the goal of seeing better treatments for advanced stages of disease.

Further Reading & References:

Improved Risk-Adjusted Survival for Melanoma Brain Metastases in the Era of Checkpoint Blockade Immunotherapies: Results from a National Cohort. J. Bryan Iorgulescu, Maya Harary, Cheryl K. Zogg, Keith L. Ligon, David A. Reardon, F. Stephen Hodi, Ayal A. Aizer and Timothy R. Smith. Cancer Immunol Res July 12 2018 DOI: 10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-18-0067


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

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Slowing aging with... cancer drugs?

Written by InnovativeResearch on September 5, 2018. Posted in Blog

Aging is natural and happens to everyone, eventually. But that doesn't stop scientists from trying to find ways to either slow the process or mitigate the symptoms related to aging. New research looks at how a class of cancer drugs may play a role in allowing the body to rid itself of older cells, thereby easing the physical effects of growing older.

Scientists have long wondered if it would be possible to find interventions that would allow for a well-rounded "aging treatment" that would not only prolong lifespan, but would also allow for better health and enjoyment at older ages.

Age-Related Physical Symptoms & Disease

As we age, physical dysfunction and a hampered ability to respond to stresses become amplified, with just under half of people over the age of 85 being classified as "frail." This is associated with many different issues, like decreases in mobility and increases in age-related disease, and often translates into a loss of independence, nursing home and hospital admissions, and mortality.

The cellular development of age-related physical decline is not yet fully known, which means that we don't have any current treatments that would target the root of the problem and help to improve physical function in old age. Researchers wanted to look at a way to address this need by reducing the senescent cell burden.

A Look At Cellular Aging (Senescence)

Cellular senescence, or cellular aging, involves changes in gene expression and can be induced by things like DNA damage, the shortening of telomeres, and inflammation, among others. One of the hallmarks of senescent cells is that they secrete proinflammatory cytokines, chemokines, proteases, and other factors. This is known as "senescence-associated secretory phenotype" (or SASP), and is a contributing factor in local and systemic age-related dysfunction (as well as in a number of diseases). The research team wanted to see whether senescent cells play a part in age-related physical dysfunction and if they could improve both length of life and quality of health by targeting them in a therapeutic way.

In the course of their research, the scientists found that the proportion of aging cells in mice is related to aging-related symptoms like frailty, lower endurance, and slower walking speeds.

Senescent Cells in a Mouse Model

By taking differing amounts of senescent cells from older mice (tagged for tracking purposes) and transplanting them into younger mice, the team was able to analyze the function of these young mice with older cells compared to young mice who received placebo cells. The scientists noticed that the mice who received the senescent cells started to walk more slowly, and they exhibited impaired grip strength and endurance.

When looking at where in the body the senescent cells had taken hold, the researchers found that the cells had spread to tissues throughout the body, well beyond where the original transplant was located. They also observed that age-related physical issues seemed to appear when the senescent cells accounted for one in 7,000-15,000 cells overall. It also was observed that the senescent cells passed their accelerated aging to healthy cells through SASP.

Treating Senescent Cells with Cancer Drugs

Once the researchers understood that senescent cells played a role in age-related physical decline, they wanted to test whether it would be possible to eliminate these cells using a cancer drug (dasatinib) in combination with quercetin (a flavonoid known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties). Both of these strip senescent cells of their cellular protection against SASP.

Aging cells are similar to cancer cells (although they don't divide) in that they are protected from immune system attacks. The cancer drugs "expose" these cells, making them vulnerable. The scientists found that by targeting senescent cells in this way, they were able to trigger the process of apoptosis (cellular death) by disabling the defenses of these cells for only an hour or two.

In the group of mice who received the senescent cells along with the drug combination, lifespan was increased by 36% compared to the group who received the senescent cells alone. Not only did they observe an increase in lifespan, but the mice who also received the drug combination were also observed to be healthier and less frail until time of death.

Where the Research is Headed

This is only one study, and done in a mouse model, so the researchers caution against considering this a fountain of youth just yet. More studies are needed to better understand these results before clinical trials can be considered.

Still, many senolytics (drugs targeting senescent cells) have been described in an emerging range of studies, and early human trials are on the horizon. Scientists hope that this will be the start of discovering whether or not these types of drugs can help to rid the body of aging cells, whether they are safe, and if they can actually improve physical function in people.

Further Reading & References:

TIME: How Scientists Are Testing Cancer Drugs to Slow Down Aging. 09 July 2018. http://time.com/5333752/aging-drugs

Senolytics improve physical function and increase lifespan in old age. Nature Medicine, Volume 24, pages 1246-1256 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-018-0092-9


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

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The next big thing: it's what you do. The biological research materials you need to discover it? That's what we do! We love seeing how our products are being used in real-life applications and contributing to scientific achievements every day.

 

It's hard to keep up with everything that's going on - we get it! The scientific landscape feels like it's growing and evolving every day.

 

Here is a round-up of some recent journal articles that used our products for - you guessed it - Innovative Research! (See what we did there?) Get inspired for your next big breakthrough!

 

All great discoveries start somewhere... yours starts with us!


 

 

  • USE OF CYCLODEXTRIN AS A NOVEL AGENT IN THE SEC-HPLC MOBILE PHASE TO MITIGATE THE INTERACTIONS OF PROTEINS OR PEPTIDE OR THEIR IMPURITIES WITH THE RESIDUAL SILANOLS OF COMMERCIAL SEC-HPLC COLUMNS WITH IMPROVED SEPARATION AND RESOLUTION
      Product Used: Rat IgG (Fractionated Purified)
     
  • A NOVEL DIAGNOSTIC IN SITU DERIVATIZATION KIT FOR THE SIMULTANEOUS DETERMINATION OF 14 BIOMARKERS OF EXPOSURE TO BENZENE, TOLUENE, ETHYL BENZENE AND XYLENES IN HUMAN URINE BY ISOTOPE DILUTION LIQUID CHROMATOGRAPHY TANDEM MASS SPECTROMETRY AND KIT OPTIMIZATION USING RESPONSE SURFACE METHODOLOGY
      Product Used: Pooled Normal Human Urine
     
  • HYDROLYTICALLY DEGRADABLE PEGYLATED POLYELECTROLYTE NANOCOMPLEXES FOR PROTEIN DELIVERY
      Product Used: Porcine Red Blood Cells, Packed 10%
     
  • URINARY PLASMIN(OGEN) AS A PROGNOSTIC FACTOR FOR HYPERTENSION
      Product Used: Human Plasminogen Total ELISA Kit
     

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Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

Discover the Innovative Advantage for Yourself!

It's never been easier to get started! If you have questions about our products, we have scientists on staff so that we can get you the information you need, quickly and easily. Prefer email? No problem! Is phone easier for you? Give us a ring at 248-896-0145! We are easy to get in touch with, and can often get you immediate answers to even the most technical questions. We're here to make your job easier, and we're good at what we do.

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It's never been easier to source the high-quality biological research materials you depend on. Take advantage of our secure, online ordering through our website, email a purchase order to our Sales team, fax your order to us, call us at 248-896-0145 - whatever method is the easiest to fit into your internal ordering process will work for us. Get in touch with our team today!

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One of the most deadly and difficult-to-treat cancers, pancreatic cancer often results in tumors that are either filled with T-cells (making them "hot"), or containing few T-cells (making them "cold"). This variance can impact the effectiveness of immunotherapy, and researchers are looking at ways to control a pancreatic tumor's "temperature" to increase the cancer's responsiveness to immunotherapy.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death and is notoriously hard to treat. One of the reasons that treatment is so difficult is that pancreatic tumors can vary in heterogeneity, running "hot" (meaning they are filled with T cells) or "cold" (containing fewer T cells, making them less sensitive to immunotherapy). New research looks at how pancreatic tumors become hot or cold, and whether the tumor's "temperature" can be controlled to make immunotherapy more effective.

The research team experimented with a range of pancreatic cancer cell clones, implanting them into immunocompetent mice. The scientists found that tumor-cell-intrinsic factors not only shape the immune microenvironment in the tumor, but also impact the outcome of immunotherapy treatments.

The team implanted different pancreatic cancer cell lines into mice, growing tumors that became either hot or cold. The tumor's temperature (T cell concentration), the researchers found, played a role in whether the cancer would respond to immunotherapy.

The mice were treated with a checkpoint blockade drug, or a checkpoint blockade drug along with either an anti-DC40 agonist, chemotherapy, or both. The mice with hot tumors who underwent treatment saw tumor regressions, and the mice with hot tumors who were treated with chemo- and immunotherapy saw a durable response to the treatment. The mice with cold tumors, however, did not clear their cancer with any of the therapies.

Once they had determined that tumor temperature was tied to treatment success, the team wanted to look closely at the cold tumors to determine whether there was a molecular basis for these results. The cold tumor cells, they found, made a compound called CXCL1.

CXCL1 signals myeloid cells to enter the tumor, while simultaneously signaling T cells to stay away. The researchers found that this response is what kept the tumor cold, and therefore unresponsive to immunotherapy.

When the scientists targeted the CXCL1 in the cold tumors, they found that eliminating the tumor's CXCL1 would promote T cell infiltration. Once this happened, the tumors became responsive to immunotherapy.

Other studies have shown that T cell "attraction" in a tumor is regulated by the tumor's genetic makeup. Every tumor is unique, so future research is expected to look at finding ways to use a tumor's biological makeup to help increase the success of treatment.

Further Reading & References:

GEN: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. Pancreatic Tumors Run Hot, Cold Depending on Tumor-Cell-Intrinsic Factors. June 29 2018.


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

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The next big thing: it's what you do. The biological research materials you need to discover it? That's what we do! We love seeing how our products are being used in real-life applications and contributing to scientific achievements every day.

 

It's hard to keep up with everything that's going on - we get it! The scientific landscape feels like it's growing and evolving every day.

 

Here is a round-up of some recent journal articles that used our products for - you guessed it - Innovative Research! (See what we did there?) Get inspired for your next big breakthrough!

 

All great discoveries start somewhere... yours starts with us!


 

 

  • ALISKIREN REDUCES THE RELEASE OF SOLUBLE (PRO)RENIN RECEPTOR FROM HUMAN UMBILICAL VEIN ENDOTHELIAL CELLS
      Product Used: Human Prorenin ELISA Kit for Non Plasma Samples
     
  • THE ROLE OF MACROPHAGES IN THE SEQUESTRATION OF DRUG AND FORMATION OF INSOLUBLE DRUG AGGREGATES
      Product Used: Mouse Albumin ELISA Kit
     
  • QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENT OF NANOPARTICLE BIODISTRIBUTION BY FLUORESCENCE IMAGING, REVISITED
      Product Used: Balb C Mouse Serum
     
  • A SENSITIVE LIQUID CHROMATOGRAPHY-TANDEM MASS SPECTROMETRY METHOD FOR THE QUANTIFICATION OF VALACYCLOVIR AND ITS METABOLITE ACYCLOVIR IN MOUSE AND HUMAN PLASMA
      Product Used: Normal Single Donor Human Serum
     
  • THE INHIBITION, REACTIVATION AND MECHANISM OF VX-, SARIN-, FLUORO-VX AND FLUORO-SARIN SURROGATES FOLLOWING THEIR INTERACTION WITH HUACHE AND HUBUCHE
      Product Used: Sprague Dawley Rat Serum
     

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Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

Discover the Innovative Advantage for Yourself!

It's never been easier to get started! If you have questions about our products, we have scientists on staff so that we can get you the information you need, quickly and easily. Prefer email? No problem! Is phone easier for you? Give us a ring at 248-896-0145! We are easy to get in touch with, and can often get you immediate answers to even the most technical questions. We're here to make your job easier, and we're good at what we do.

Ordering Made Easy!

It's never been easier to source the high-quality biological research materials you depend on. Take advantage of our secure, online ordering through our website, email a purchase order to our Sales team, fax your order to us, call us at 248-896-0145 - whatever method is the easiest to fit into your internal ordering process will work for us. Get in touch with our team today!

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Did you know? This study used the Human Prorenin ELISA Kit for Non-Plasma Samples from Innovative Research. (We also offer a Human Prorenin ELISA Kit for Plasma & Serum Samples.) We love seeing how our products are being used in real-life applications and contributing to scientific achievements!

(Pro)renin receptor is thought to play a role in a wide range of biological processes, and recent studies have reported that (Pro)renin may have a function in pathophysiological conditions like retinopathy and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. It is thought that the soluble form of (Pro)renin may be a useful biomarker for disease.

A new study (Aliskiren reduces the release of soluble (pro)renin receptor from human umbilical vein endothelial cells: Biomedical Reports) looks at the effect of aliskiren, which is the first orally active direct renin inhibitor, on the protein levels of (Pro)renin.

Aliskiren and Renin Inhibition

Aliskiren is a prescription medication used to treat hypertension. It is an orally-active (nonpeptide) renin inhibitor that works by binding to the active site of human renin and inhibiting its activity. Studies have suggested that aliskiren reduces (Pro)renin expression in specific cases (the renal compartments of certain diabetic rats and cultured human aortic smooth muscle cells), but there is not much currently known about how aliskiren could impact the measurable concentration of soluble (Pro)renin in bodily fluids.

In Vitro Modeling

In this newest study, the team used cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) as an in vitro model for looking at how aliskiren would affect protein levels of both (Pro)renin and soluble (Pro)renin. In the course of their research, the scientists observed that exogenous prorenin was able to bind to the HUVEC membranes, and that this generated renin activity with full-length (Pro)renin expressed on the HUVEC cell surface.

When treated with aliskiren, the HUVECs showed decreased renin activity, confirming previous research indicating reduced cell-surface expression of full-length (Pro)renin with aliskiren treatment. The scientists note that an observed plateau in the level of per-cell renin activity could mean that there is a given level of full-length Pro(renin) on the cell membrane. The team also observed a reduction in the quantity of soluble (Pro)renin as a result of aliskiren treatment, which - to all appearances - seems to be the first report of aliskiren reducing the soluble form of (Pro)renin.

Note: This study used the Human Prorenin ELISA Kit for Non-Plasma Samples from Innovative Research. We also offer a Human Prorenin ELISA Kit for Plasma & Serum.

Using (Pro)renin Levels for Disease Diagnosis

These results suggest that, when using aliskiren to treat hypertension, the protein levels of soluble (Pro)renin could noticeably decline. Because of this, (Pro)renin and soluble (Pro)renin levels alone may not be sufficient for disease-monitoring purposes if aliskiren is also present.

Further research is needed to examine the effect of aliskiren on soluble (Pro)renin levels. It seems as though the quantity of soluble (Pro)renin depends on the extent that (Pro)renin is being produced and/or processed by the HUVECs used in this study, and additional clinical investigations could provide insight into the underlying mechanisms to clarify how aliskiren changes the quantity of soluble (Pro)renin. In the meantime, using soluble (Pro)renin as a potential disease biomarker may not be as effective during anti-hypertensive treatment with aliskiren.

Further Reading & References:

Yamashita, S., Biswas, K.B., Nabi, A.N., Nakagawa, T., Suzuki, F., & Ebihara, A. (1899). Aliskiren reduces the release of soluble (pro)renin receptor from human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Biomedical Reports, 0, 0-0. https://doi.org/10.3892/br.2018.1124


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

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Did you know? For this study, Single Donor Human Plasma was obtained commercially from Innovative Research Inc. We love seeing how our products are being used in real-life applications and contributing to scientific achievements!

Pharmacokinetic (PK) studies can be challenging at times, especially when performed on mice where biological sample volumes are limited by things like the size of the animal. New research, recently published in the Journal of Chromatography B, looks at finding a way to create a highly-sensitive assay to measure the prodrug valacyclovir (VACV) as well as its metabolite, acyclovir (ACV) in both mouse and human plasma samples of limited volume.

Working with Limited Volumes

When it comes to drug discovery and development, pre-clinical pharmacokinetic studies use mouse models most frequently (among animal models). Because a mouse is physically small with a limited volume of biological fluid available, many studies will use composite blood sampling. With this method, a data point is collected from multiple mice, which allows for a sufficient aggregate volume to be collected but can sometimes create complications (like inter-animal variabilities), and requires more animal and material usage in general.

Developing a Highly-Sensitive Assay

To overcome these challenges, the researchers wanted to create a highly-sensitive assay for the target compound that would require a much smaller sample. Not only would this allow for a PK profile from one unique mouse, but would also allow the same strategy to be applied to other studies where the available volume of a blood sample may be limited.

Prior to this study, existing LC-MS/MS methods to quantify VACV and ACV in plasma needed a rather large sample volume (in one such study, the sample volume measured 250ul).

Smaller Sample Volumes Confirmed

The researchers were able to develop and validate a method by which they were able to accurately analyze VACV and ACV in small volumes of mouse plasma, requiring a plasma sample size of only 10ul. This method was applicable to a mouse PK study, and would also make a promising method for human PK studies - especially in circumstances where the sample volume may be a limiting factor - for example, in pediatrics and/or neonatal applications.

Further Reading & References:

A sensitive liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for the quantification of valacyclovir and its metabolite acyclovir in mouse and human plasma. Jian Shi, Yongjun Hu, David E. Smith, Hao-Jie Zhu. Journal of Chromatogrpahy B (2018). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jchromb.2018.06.040


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

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The next big thing: it's what you do. The biological research materials you need to discover it? That's what we do! We love seeing how our products are being used in real-life applications and contributing to scientific achievements every day.

 

It's hard to keep up with everything that's going on - we get it! The scientific landscape feels like it's growing and evolving every day.

 

Here is a round-up of some recent journal articles that used our products for - you guessed it - Innovative Research! (See what we did there?) Get inspired for your next big breakthrough!

 

All great discoveries start somewhere... yours starts with us!


 

 

Check out all of our recent product references >>



Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

Discover the Innovative Advantage for Yourself!

It's never been easier to get started! If you have questions about our products, we have scientists on staff so that we can get you the information you need, quickly and easily. Prefer email? No problem! Is phone easier for you? Give us a ring at 248-896-0145! We are easy to get in touch with, and can often get you immediate answers to even the most technical questions. We're here to make your job easier, and we're good at what we do.

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It's never been easier to source the high-quality biological research materials you depend on. Take advantage of our secure, online ordering through our website, email a purchase order to our Sales team, fax your order to us, call us at 248-896-0145 - whatever method is the easiest to fit into your internal ordering process will work for us. Get in touch with our team today!

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Did you know? For this study, Single Donor Human Whole Blood was obtained commercially from Innovative Research Inc. We love seeing how our products are being used in real-life applications and contributing to scientific achievements!

New research published in AAPS PharmSciTech looks at creating a nanodelivery system containing a mucoadhesive polymer hyaluronic acid for oral delivery, using Metformin as the model drug.

Diabetes & Metformin

The instances of diabetes diagnoses are on the rise around the world, with an estimated 422M adults affected by the disease in 2014 (up from 180M in 1980). In the US alone, more than 9% of the population were living with a diabetes diagnosis in 2014, with an estimated 8M people going undiagnosed. Diabetes is a chronic condition resulting from the body's ineffective use of insulin, which creates issues in how the body processes glucose.

Traditionally, diabetes is treated with oral drug therapy - and if this method is ineffective by itself, the condition may require insulin therapy. One of the common first treatments tried is metformin, which works on liver, muscle, and adipose tissues to lower glucose levels (but this medication does not stimulate insulin secretion - so it requires insulin for its action, acting as an anti-hyperglycemic agent).

Enhancing Absorption Across the Intestinal Membrane

Metformin's oral bioavailability is limited. Although it has a high solubility, it has poor intestinal absorption. The scientists wanted to develop an oral formulation of metformin, with the goal of enhancing its absorption rate across the intestinal membrane which could, in theory, reduce the minimum effective dose and as a result, also potentially reduce the associated side effects of the medication.

For use in this study, Single Donor Human Whole Blood was obtained commercially from Innovative Research Inc.

The researchers dealt with the development and characterization of mucoadhesive hyaluronic acid nanostructures containing metformin for oral delivery. The nanostructures being studied maintained a uniform size distribution and high drug content, remaining stable over the studied period of 2 months, and the researchers found them to be non-toxic at therapeutic concentrations to Caco-2 cells and compatible with RBCs (without causing cell lysis). Future studies will look at sustaining the release of metformin.

Further Reading & References:

Metformin-Loaded Hyaluronic Acid Nanostructure for Oral Delivery. Bhujbal, S. & Dash, A.K. AAPS PharmSciTech (2018). https://doi.org/10.1208/s12249-018-1085-1


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

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The next big thing: it's what you do. The biological research materials you need to discover it? That's what we do! We love seeing how our products are being used in real-life applications and contributing to scientific achievements every day.

 

It's hard to keep up with everything that's going on - we get it! The scientific landscape feels like it's growing and evolving every day.

 

Here is a round-up of some recent journal articles that used our products for - you guessed it - Innovative Research! (See what we did there?) Get inspired for your next big breakthrough!

 

All great discoveries start somewhere... yours starts with us!


 

 

  • EVALUATION OF A SMALL MOLECULE AGONIST OF EPHA2 RECEPTOR TYROSINE KINASE AND COPALIC ACID ANALOGS AS PROSTATE CANCER THERAPEUTICS
      Product Used: Non-Swiss Albino Mouse Plasma
     
  • BIOAVAILABILITY OF WILFORLIDE A IN MICE AND ITS CONCENTRATION DETERMINATION USING AN HPLC-APCI-MS/MS METHOD
      Product Used: Innovative Grade US Origin Mouse Plasma (CD-1)
     
  • IN VITRO ESTROGENIC AND BREAST CANCER INHIBITORY ACTIVITIES OF CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS ISOLATED FROM RHEUM UNDULATUM L.
      Product Used: Charcoal Dextran Stripped Human Serum
     
  • SIMULTANEOUS DETERMINATION OF DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE AND ITS METABOLITES IN MOUSE SERA BY LC-MS/MS WITH CHEMICAL DERIVATIZATION
      Product Used: Mouse Serum
     
  • ANTIOXIDANT CAPACITY OF RIGENASE, A SPECIFIC AQUEOUS EXTRACT OF TRITICUM VULGARE
      Product Used: Sheep Red Blood Cells (RBCs), Packed 100%
     
  • ANALYSIS OF NEW GROWTH PROMOTING BLACK MARKET PRODUCTS
      Product Used: Human Serum
     
  • NICOTINE‐MEDIATED NEUROPROTECTION OF RAT SPINAL NETWORKS AGAINST EXCITOTOXICITY
      Product Used: Innovative Grade US Origin Chicken Plasma
     
  • ANALYSIS OF LIPID ADSORPTION ON NANOPARTICLES BY NANOFLOW LIQUID CHROMATOGRAPHY-TANDEM MASS SPECTROMETRY
      Product Used: Human Serum
     
  • A RAPID IMMUNOCHROMATOGRAPHY TEST BASED ON HCP1 IS A POTENTIAL POINT-OF-CARE TEST FOR SEROLOGICAL DIAGNOSIS OF MELIOIDOSIS
      Product Used: Single Donor Human Serum
     

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Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

Discover the Innovative Advantage for Yourself!

It's never been easier to get started! If you have questions about our products, we have scientists on staff so that we can get you the information you need, quickly and easily. Prefer email? No problem! Is phone easier for you? Give us a ring at 248-896-0145! We are easy to get in touch with, and can often get you immediate answers to even the most technical questions. We're here to make your job easier, and we're good at what we do.

Ordering Made Easy!

It's never been easier to source the high-quality biological research materials you depend on. Take advantage of our secure, online ordering through our website, email a purchase order to our Sales team, fax your order to us, call us at 248-896-0145 - whatever method is the easiest to fit into your internal ordering process will work for us. Get in touch with our team today!

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Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health have recently published findings from their groundbreaking study that began in 2007, looking at the rate of cancer and disease among flight attendants as compared to the general population.

In general, flight attendants are exposed to a range of job-related risk factors that are known carcinogens, but this tends to be an occupational group for which there is little overall research. The Harvard Flight Attendant Health Study is changing this, with a study that began in 2007 - their latest report looking at the prevalence of cancer diagnoses among flight attendants as compared to the general population has been published in the journal Environmental Health.

High Flyers have Higher Cancer Rates

The research included the voluntary participation of thousands of flight attendants. The participants reported on their schedules, cancer diagnoses, and other lifestyle and illness questions. These responses were then compared to a matched group of people (who did not work in the airline profession) from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

The researchers found that flight attendants as a group show higher rates of many different types of cancer as compared to the general population. These include breast cancer, melanoma, uterine cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, thyroid cancer, and cervical cancer, as well as non-melanoma skin cancers like basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas.

The difference in cancer rates between flight attendants and the general population were especially notable for breast, melanoma, and non-melanoma cancers, with flight attendants demonstrating a 51% higher rate of breast cancer, 2x higher rate of melanoma, and 4x higher rate of non-melanoma skin cancers when compared to people in other (non-airline) professions.

Potential Risk Factors

There hasn't been a significant amount of research up to now on flight attendants as a group, so there isn't a lot known about their health. In general, flight attendants tend to show more positive, traditionally-healthy benchmarks like lower rates of smoking, obesity, and heart disease. This makes the findings especially concerning, and researchers hope to continue their studies to identify problematic exposures and how to better protect airline professionals.

Flight crews are known to be exposed to the highest annual dose of radiation among US radiation workers (according to the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements). They are also likely to have disrupted sleep schedules due to the crossing of time zones and shift work, which is known to disrupt the circadian wake-sleep cycle - a risk factor that previous studies have lined to higher risk of breast and prostate cancers.

The European Union already regulates both flight attendant schedules and the amount of time pregnant flight attendants spend flying to limit potentially dangerous exposure. More research is needed to confirm how much of the increased risk can be directly tied to work conditions and how to best minimize the adverse exposures and cancers common among cabin crew.

Further Reading & References:

Cancer prevalence among flight attendants compared to the general population. Eileen McNeely, Irina Mordukhovich, Steven Staffa, Samuel Tideman, Sara Gale and Brent Coull. Environmental Health. Published 26 June 2018. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12940-018-0396-8

Flight Attendant Health Study. Harvard School of Public Health. https://www.fahealth.org


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

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Known for its antioxidant properties, the EGCG found in green tea is a popular ingredient in many dietary supplements. New research looks at how this compound is able to potentially dissolve plaque buildup in blood vessels, and the implications of these properties in preventing serious health problems like heart attacks and strokes.

New research suggests that a natural polyphenol commonly found in green tea could help to prevent the occurrence of heart attack and stroke. Known to have antioxidant properties, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is a common ingredient in many supplements. EGCG is now being looked at for its plaque-busting abilities, with a new study suggesting that it can break up and even dissolve potentially dangerous plaques found in blood vessels that can lead to health issues like heart attacks and strokes.

EGCG and AopA-1

Researchers suggest that EGCG may work in tandem with heparin to remodel apolipoprotein A-1 (ApoA-1), a protein that can form the characteristic amyloid deposits, allowing it to more easily dissolve. The polyphenol, in the presence of heparin, bind to the amyloid fibers of ApoA-1, making them into smaller, soluble molecules that move more easily through blood vessels without causing buildup or damage.

From here, the team is looking to find ways to introduce EGCG into the blood stream in new and effective ways that do not require drinking large (and possibly harmful) quantities of green tea.

Health Benefits & Treatment Options

One approach scientists are investigating is to modify the chemical structure of the polyphenol so that it would be more easily absorbed from the digestive system and more resistant to metabolizing. Another is to look at a way to deliver the molecule directly to the plaques themselves, via injection or similar method.

Green tea has long been promoted as having health benefits, and scientists were already aware that EGCG is able to alter the structures of amyloid plaques in the brain - a classic hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. The new research demonstrates that it could also be effective against the types of plaques that lead to other issues, like heart attack and stroke.

More research is needed to create a form of EGCG that is usable as a treatment option. Consumed normally, the compound is quickly broken down by the body - so simply drinking green tea is unlikely to have a significant impact in improving heart health.

Further Reading & References:

Green Tea Compound Dissolves Plaques in Blood Vessels, May Boost Heart Health. GEN: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. 04 June 2018.

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate remodels apolipoprotein A-I amyloid fibrils into soluble oligomers in the presence of heparin. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 31 May 2018.


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

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New research shows a new method for overcoming drug-resistance in cancer cells. Cells with acquired (de novo) resistance to kinase inhibitors characteristically show increased numbers of and/or longer cilia. Blocking cilia growth, the study illustrates, resensitizes the cells to anticancer drugs.

Scientists in the UK have shown that targeting the cilia of cancer cells could be a universal way to make resistant cancer cells sensitive to anticancer drugs. The recent study looks at the characteristics of resistant cancer cells, noting that cells with either acquired or de novo resistance to traditional kinase inhibitors have either increased quantities of and/or notably longer cilia. By blocking cilia growth or signaling, the cancer cells become receptive to anticancer drugs. On the flip side, increasing the length of cilia made previously drug-receptive cells become resistant to kinase inhibitors. Researchers hope that targeting cilia could be a way to universally strip cancer cells of their innate defenses, making treatments more effective.

Cilia and Drug Resistance

Many anticancer drugs inhibit proteins like epidermal growth factor receptor, platelet-derived growth factor receptor, and KRAS. While treatment with kinase inhibitors (like erlotinib) can be effective for some tumor types, it seems as though drug resistance eventually emerges.

With the link association between oncogenic proteins and cilia, the researchers wanted to discover whether changes in ciliogenesis could play a permissive role of sorts in the development of drug resistance, and wanted to test whether the characteristics of cilia (like number and length) would affect resistance to kinase inhibitors in different cell lines (including lung cancer and sarcoma cells).

Relationship between de novo drug resistance and ciliogenisis confirmed

Initial studies found that drug-resistant cancer cells showed greater numbers of and/or longer length of cilia. Downregulating the protein Kif7 (known to be involved in controlling cilia length) led to developing resistance to dasatinib, an anticancer drug, in cells that were previously sensitive to the drug. Blocking ciliogenesis by knocking down a structural protein or chemically inhibiting the Hedgehog pathway resensitized cancer cells to kinase inhibitor therapy.

The team was able to confirm an association between de novo drug resistance and ciliogenesis, and demonstrated that using a chemical FGFR inhibitor lead to increased cancer cell death when the cells were then exposed to a kinase inhibitor.

Further research will explore cilia changes in greater detail, with the goal of gaining more understanding of how they impact resistance to cancer drug therapies, and how they could be targeted to increase the effectiveness of treatment.

Further Reading & References:

Targeting Cilia Could Offer Universal Approach to Combat Anticancer Drug Resistance. GEN: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. 06 June 2018.

Primary Cilia Mediate Diverse Kinase Inhibitor Resistance Mechanisms in Cancer. Cell Reports: Volume 23, Issue 10, p3042-3055, 5 June 2018.


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

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Scientists have developed a new laboratory technique that allows them to create engineered human pancreatic islets that are vascularized and secrete hormones like insulin. When transplanted into mice, these pancreatic islets develop a circulatory system and successfully treat sudden-onset type 1 diabetes.

Researchers from Japan and the US have created a new method for creating tissue-engineered human pancreatic islets, according to a new study. Not only are they able to grow this tissue in a laboratory setting, but when transplanted into mice, these engineered pancreatic islets develop a mature vascular/circulatory system and are able to secrete insulin. This transplant proved to be a successful treatment for mice with type 1 diabetes, effectively controlling blood sugar levels.

Self-Condensation Cell Culture

The scientists used a new process for bioengineering, which they are calling "self-condensation cell culture." This, researchers hope, brings us a step closer to one day finding a way to grow human organ tissues using an individual's own cells.

To test their processing system, the researchers used a combination of cells. They started with donated human organ cells, mouse organ cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS). They then added two forms of embryonic-stage progenitor cells, the purpose of which are to support the formation of the body and specific organs. In this case, the researchers used mesenchymal stem cells (MSNs) and human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs).

Forming Pancreatic Islets

Together, the various biological "ingredients" condensed and formed pancreatic islets. When transplanted into humanized mouse models of type 1 diabetes, these islets appeared to resolve and control the disease.

It is already possible to transplant pancreatic islets into diabetic human patients for treatment, but until this point, the success rate has been relatively low because it has been difficult to develop pancreatic islets that have sufficient blood supply to nourish the transplanted tissue.

Functional, Effective Transplantation

Pancreatic islets engineered in this new way not only develop a mature vascular network after transplantation into animal models, but the transplanted tissue also functions effectively as part of the endocrine system. The transplanted tissue secretes hormones like insulin and stabilizes the animals' glycemic control. This marks the first time the team has been able to engineer tissue fragments from organ cells that are able to vascularize in the body.

This method is hoped to be a promising treatment for type 1 diabetes in humans, a disease that is currently seeing nearly 80k new diagnoses annually. There is currently no cure for type 1 diabetes, and the condition can be life-threatening. Finding a curative or permanent therapy would benefit millions of people worldwide.

Further Reading & References:

Tissue-engineered human pancreatic cells successfully treat diabetic mice. Science Daily. 08 May 2018.

Transplanted Human Islets Grow Blood Vessels and Secrete Insulin to Treat Diabetic Mice. GEN: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. 08 May 2018.

Self-Condensation Culture Enables Vascularization of Tissue Fragments for Efficient Therapeutic Transplantation. Cell Reports. doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2018.03.123


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

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Much research has emerged recently when it comes to understanding and treating breast cancer. From better detection methods to better treatment options, our understanding of the cause, detection, and treatment of breast cancer is rapidly growing.

Approximately one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her life, and one in thirty women will receive a fatal breast cancer diagnosis. Understanding the ways in which breast cancer metastasizes, how to better detect breast cancer in more treatable stages, and how to effectively treat the cancer while minimizing side effects is an area of research that is seeing significant progress.

A Protein found in Breast Cancer could be Essential to Metastasis

Investigators at the Montreal Clinical Research Institute and University of Montreal have uncovered an essential protein that, upon deactivation, could prevent aggressive HER2-positive breast cancer from metastasizing. Cancerous tumors develop when cells multiply at an abnormally high rate, clustering in otherwise healthy tissue.

Some of these cancerous cells are especially sneaky - leaving the tumor to move elsewhere in the body, spreading the disease to other healthy tissues and organs. Metastatic cells move throughout the body more easily by detaching from the tumor, entering the bloodstream, and making their way other organs. They are the most difficult cells to destroy, as they are not localized and tend to be more resistant to current treatments.

The researchers demonstrated that the protein AXL influences the occurrence of metastasis in HER2-positive breast cancer. When administering an AXL-inhibiting drug therapy to mice with HER2-positive tumors, metastases were less likely to develop. Further study is needed, but if the studies are successful, this could potentially become a treatment option in breast cancer patients, working as a complement to therapies targeting HER2-positive tumors.

Targeting the Mitochondria of Breast Cancer Cells

A small-molecule drug, called ONC201, is traditionally used to induce transcription of TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and destroy cancer cells by activating TRAIL death receptors. In breast cancer, however, ONC201 seems to have a different effect.

Independent of TRAIL transcription, investigators report that ONC201 induces cell death via cell stress mechanisms. In human breast cancer lines, researchers found that ONC201 inhibits mitochondrial respiration and induces mitochondrial structural damage. It also reduces the number of mitochondrial DNA copies.

The study also suggests that cancer cells dependent on glycolysis will be resistant to ONC201.

Treating otherwise unresponsive breast cancer with immunotherapy

Modified from adoptive cell transfer (ACT), experimental research uses a high-throughput method to identify mutations in a cancer that are recognized by the immune system. Scientists hope this will lead to the development of a "blueprint" of sorts that can be used for treating many types of cancer.

ACT has been traditionally effective in treating melanoma, which tends to have high levels of acquired mutations. It has been less effective in common epithelial cancers with lower levels of mutations, like breast cancer. Researchers are developing a form of ACT that uses tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) that target mutations to try and shrink tumors in patients with these common epithelial cancers. This process involves growing the selected TILs to large numbers in a laboratory setting, and then infusing them back into the patient (who - in the meantime - has been treated to deplete remaining lymphocytes). This creates a stronger immune response against the tumor.

All cancers have mutations, and the scientific research team hopes that their research will create a "big picture" treatment that is not cancer-type specific. The mutations that cause the cancer could, in fact, become the best targets to treat the cancer.

Using Genetic Testing to Determine Breast Cancer Treatment

A commercially-available 21-gene test could help two of every three women with the most common type of early breast cancer avoid chemotherapy altogether. The new study shows that for women with tumors that are hormone-receptor-positive, HER2-negative, axillary node-negative, and that generate intermediate scores on the 21-gene Oncotype DX recurrence-score assay, hormone therapy is just as effective at preventing disease recurrence as hormone therapy that is coupled with chemotherapy.

While the ongoing trend of prescribing hormone therapy alongside chemotherapy has contributed to the declining rates of mortality for breast cancer, the majority of these patients may be undergoing chemotherapy unnecessarily.

Using the 21-gene assay could identify as many as 85% of women with early breast cancer who could safely skip the immediate chemotherapy, especially women over the age of 50 and with a recurrence score of 25 or lower, and women under the age of 50 with a recurrence score of 15 or lower.

This research is expected to have a big impact on doctors and patients, with the findings greatly expanding the number of patients who are able to safely forego chemotherapy without compromising their outcomes.

Further Reading & References:

Protein in Breast Cancer Found to Be Essential for Metastasis. GEN: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. 07 May 2018.

For Breast Cancer, Targeting Mitochondria Could Be Key. GEN: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. 09 May 2018.

Breast Cancer Genetic Test May Help Women Forgo Chemotherapy. GEN: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. 04 June 2018.

New approach to immunotherapy leads to complete response in breast cancer patient unresponsive to other treatments. Science Daily. 04 June 2018.


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

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In a medical advance that could lead to the development of more effective antimalarial drugs and vaccines, new research uncovers the full genome of Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that makes malaria so deadly.

Each year, malaria infects some 220 million people across the globe, resulting in the death of about 500,000 people. 9 in 10 people who are killed by malaria are infected with the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. For the first time, a new research technique gives insight into what is essential in the parasite's genetic makeup, which could lead to the development of better treatments and vaccines.

Mutating the Genome

The research team created a technique that mutated most of P. falciparum's thousands of genes, leading to a better understanding of how each gene functions.

They were able to successfully target adenine and thymine (two of the four chemical "building blocks" of DNA), a significant accomplishment since P. falciparum has a high percentage of adenine and thymine, which has proven to be a limiting factor in previous efforts to manipulate its genome.

From Hundreds to Thousands

Until this point, the P. falciparum parasite has remained resistant to many of the modern genetics-modifying methods, and as a result, it has only been possible to identify the function of a few hundred of the more than 6,000 genes. Using the new genetics tool - dubbed "piggyBac mutagenesis" - the researchers were able to characterize the function of nearly all of the parasite's genes.

Advanced Analysis

With some advanced computational analysis, researchers were able to narrow in on the approximately 2,600 genes that are considered the most essential to growth and resistance to existing antimalarial drugs.

Knowing the parasite's vital genes and pathways, the team hopes, will help to guide and speed up the development of more effective drugs and vaccines.

Further Reading & References:

Min Zhang, Chengqi Wang, Thomas D. Otto, Jenna Oberstaller, Xiangyun Liao, Swamy R. Adapa, Kenneth Udenze, Iraad F. Bronner, Deborah Casandra, Matthew Mayho, Jacqueline Brown, Suzanne Li, Justin Swanson, Julian C. Rayner, Rays H. Y. Jiang, John H. Adams. Uncovering the essential genes of the human malaria parasitePlasmodium falciparumby saturation mutagenesis. Science, 2018; 360 (6388): eaap7847 DOI: 10.1126/science.aap7847

University of South Florida (USF Health). "Unlocking the genome of the world's deadliest parasite." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 May 2018. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180503142722.htm.


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

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