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ScienceBrew - February 2024: Regenerating blood and limb

We kicked off the first ScienceBrew of 2024 with two great talks, covering the expansion of blood with nanotechnology and the possible role of immune system in limb regeneration. Stay tuned more amazing speakers throughout the second season of ScienceBrew!

Thanks to Tyra and Marlene for opening the second season of Sciencebrew at Café Ariman!

First Tyra explained the limited supply of blood stem cells for transplantations which are vital after some cancer treatments, for example. One source are umbilical cords which would otherwise be discarded after birth. However, babies are small and umbilical cords even smaller, so it is very hard to get enough stem cells to treat adults with. Modern medical science has tools to guide cells towards expansion, but getting them into cord blood stem cells has proven difficult. Tyra is working on solving this problem using nanostraws! These are just as they sound like, microscopic straws which are allow researchers to gently introduce various molecular tools into hard-to-work-with cells. Hopefully, one day nanostraws will enable us to expand cord blood cells and from medical "waste" to a life-saving treatment.

Marlene talked about the role immune system plays in the abilities of salamanders to regenerate limbs. This ability has been studied extensively, but exactly how they do it and why they are some of the only land animals that can, is still poorly understood. Some hypothesize that land animals (including humans) have had to make a tradeoff between a strong and complex immune system and regeneration. On a related note - did you know that babies whose immune system is still developing can regenerate lost fingertips? Do NOT try this at home. Marlene's salamander lab is exploring to what extent the immune system helps or hinders salamander's extroardinary ability to regenerate in the hopes that their discoveries could one help people heal wounds or even lost tissue.

Join us next time on March 18th at 19h at Cafe Ariman for more fascinating research across Lund University!

ScienceBrew presenter pointing at whiteboard during talk. Picture.
Tyra outlining the use of biotechnology to expand blood stem cells.
Petra explaining the legal perspective on the use of AI in medicine. Photo.
Petra explaining the legal perspective on the use of AI in medicine.

Want to share your research?

Are you a researcher at Lund University and would like present your work or field at ScienceBrew? Contact us with a short description of your talk at: WCMMnews [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (WCMMnews[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)

Speaking slots are still available!

Upcoming dates

  • May 20th
  • June 17th

At 19:00, Café Ariman, Kungsgatan 2C, Lund | Café Ariman's website