Sunday, May 13, 2018

A cartoon to explain a cell's life, and the science behind

A Cell’s Life is the title of the cartoon about a skin cell called Jojo whose highest ambition has always been to become a neuron. On his first day at work, he gets discouraging news – he is told a skin cell can never be anything other than a skin cell. But a dedicated researcher, working to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease, might be able to alter Jojo’s fate...

Malin Parmar is truly dedicated to her research, which deals with finding different methods for repairing damage to the brain, above all in cases of Parkinson’s disease. In 2011, Malin Parmar and her research team were the first in the world to succeed in reprogramming human skin cells directly into dopamine-producing neurons.
The research team is also pursuing other research paths:
  • Getting stem cells to develop into dopamine-producing neurons, which can be TRANSPLANTED  into the brain of Parkinson’s patients who have lost their own dopamine cells, and therefore suffer from low levels of dopamine.”
  • Introducing genes into the brain that are able to execute reprogramming on site, thereby getting glial cells (a kind of support cell in the brain) to transform into dopamine cells.