Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biggest family tree of human cells created

Date:
April 21, 2013
Source:
University of Luxembourg
Summary:
Biologists have created the biggest family tree of human cell types.

Cells are the basic unit of a living organism. The human body consists of a vast array of highly specialized cells, such as blood cells, skin cells and neurons. In total more than 250 different cell types exist. How are the different types related to each other? Which factors are unique for each cell type? And what in the end determines the development of a certain cell?

To answer these questions, the research team designed a computer-based method that uses already existing biological data from research groups all over the world and analyses them in an entirely new way. This led to the identifications of unique factors for 166 different human cell types. These factors, or master regulators, determine the development and distinguish different cell types from each other. With this information they could map the relationship between the cell types in a family tree. These outcomes may serve as basis for the development of cell replacement therapies.

"Many diseases, such as Parkinson's disease and diabetes, or extensive burns result in the loss or altered functionality of cells," explains Dr. Merja Heinäniemi, who previously worked at the Life Sciences Research Unit and the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) at the University of Luxembourg. "Ideally one would like to replace those sick or lost cells again by healthy ones to cure the patients. This study forms an important step towards the development of such therapies."

Prof. Rudi Balling, Director of the LCSB, adds: "This study illustrates the increasing importance of computer science for biology and medicine. Only with the help of computers it was possible to analyze these large amounts of biological data to create the first large-scale analysis of cell-type specific master regulators."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Luxembourg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Merja Heinäniemi, Matti Nykter, Roger Kramer, Anke Wienecke-Baldacchino, Lasse Sinkkonen, Joseph Xu Zhou, Richard Kreisberg, Stuart A Kauffman, Sui Huang, Ilya Shmulevich. Gene-pair expression signatures reveal lineage control. Nature Methods, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.2445

Cite This Page:

University of Luxembourg. "Biggest family tree of human cells created." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130421153453.htm>.
University of Luxembourg. (2013, April 21). Biggest family tree of human cells created. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130421153453.htm
University of Luxembourg. "Biggest family tree of human cells created." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130421153453.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins