A new study from the research group of Dr. John Lewis at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB) and the Lawson Health Research Institute (London, ON) has confirmed that “invadopodia" play a key role in the spread of cancer. The study, published in Cell Reports, shows preventing these tentacle-like structures from forming can stop the spread of cancer entirely.
To spread, or “metastasize,” cancer cells must enter the blood stream or lymph system, travel through its channels, and then exit to another area or organ in the body. This final exit is the least understood part of the metastatic process. Previous research has shown cancer cells are capable of producing “invadopodia,” a type of extension that cells use to probe and change their environment. However, their significance in the escape of cancer cells from the bloodstream has been unclear.
In the study, the scientists injected fluorescent cancer cells into the bloodstream of test models, and then captured the fate of these cells using high-resolution time-lapse imaging. Results confirmed the cancer cells formed invadopodia to reach out of the bloodstream and into the tissue of the surrounding organs – they essentially formed “tentacles” that enabled the tumor cell to enter the organ. However, through genetic modification or drug treatment, the scientists were able to block the factors needed for invadopodia to form. This effectively stopped all attempts for the cancer to spread.
"The spread of cancer works a lot like plane travel," says lead author Dr. Hon Leong, now a Scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University. "Just as a person boards an airplane and travels to their destination, tumor cells enter the bloodstream and travel to distant organs like the liver, lungs, or brain. The hard part is getting past border control and airport security, or the vessels, when they arrive. We knew that cancer cells were somehow able to get past these barriers and spread into the organs. Now, for the first time, we know how."
Killer T cells attack a cancer cell. Notice the tentacles of the cancer cell.
Paleontology: Oldest representative of a weird arthropod group
via: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Summary: Biologists have assigned a number of 435-million-year-old fossils to a new genus of predatory arthropods. These animals lived in shallow marine habitats and were far less eye-catching than related forms found in Jurassic strata.
Before they sank to the bottom of their shallow marine habitat and were fossilized some 435 million years ago, these arthropods preyed on other denizens of the Silurian seas — although they were not exactly inconspicuous, possessing a bivalved carapace and multiple abdominal limbs.
A group of researchers including LMU biologist Carolin Haug recently recognized these fossils as the oldest representatives yet discovered of an enigmatic and now extinct class of arthropods known as Thylacocephala, and assigned them to the new species Thylacares brandonensis.
"Where exactly the thylacocephalans belong among the arthropods is still a matter of intense debate," Haug says, but the new specimens shed light on the phylogenetic affinities of this problematic group of animals…
(read more: Science Daily)
images: Joachim Haug - LMU
Haematococcus pluvialis, a microscopic freshwater chlorophyte, goes into a resting state if light is too bright, water is too salty, or nutrients are too scarce. The photographer met this individual in an ephemeral freshwater pool near Boise, Idaho.
More H. pluvialis: Encyclopedia of Life
Photo: William Bourland via micro*scope
Sailing stones, sliding rocks, and moving rocks all refer to a geological phenomenon where rocks move in long tracks along a smooth valley floor without human or animal intervention. The Racetrack Playa a barren lakebed in Death Valley National Park is home to one of the worlds natural wonders: ‘sailing stones’ that mysteriously meander across the dried mud, leaving tracks in their wake. Since the 1940s, these rocks have fueled wonder and speculation because no one had seen them in action until now.
Newly Discovered Protein Inhibits Cancer Growth
A previously unknown variant of an extensively studied protein has been found to inhibit the growth of tumors and slow the development of new blood vessels necessary for cancers to metastasize, according to Cleveland Clinic research published in Cell.
The creation of new blood vessels, or angiogenesis, is a vital part of cancer growth and metastasis. Blood vessels carry nutrients and oxygen, which tumors need to survive, expand, and migrate to other parts of the body. A family of proteins called vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs) are behind the process of angiogenesis, and one particular protein, VEGF-A, is the principal driver in the process.
Ctenophores, commonly called Comb Jellies or Sea Gooseberries, were previously considered to be Cnidarians, because like jelly fish and sea anemones, ctenophores also have nematocysts. Today they are considered to represent a separate Phylum, the Ctenophora. Most are pelagic animals, spherical in shape, which swim by bands of large beating cilia, arranged in vertical rows, each band being likened to comb, hence the name “Comb Jelly”. The ‘jelly’ is a reference to Jelly Fish. Ctenophores catch their prey by everting two groups of stinging and sticky tentacles.
There are however a small group of ctenophores [Platyctenida] which have evolved into benthic ‘slugs’. At first glance they are usually considered to be flatworms, but if you look at them carefully you will find a pair of pores or swellings which indicate the chambers in which are stored the stinging tentacles. Quite often found on soft corals, like acoel flatworms, there are only a few described species, but probably many yet to be recognised. Most are less than 10-15mm long.
Quantum physics enables revolutionary imaging method
Date: August 28, 2014
Source: University of Vienna
Summary: Researchers have developed a fundamentally new quantum imaging technique with strikingly counter-intuitive features. For the first time, an image has been obtained without ever detecting the light that was used to illuminate the imaged object, while the light revealing the image never touches the imaged object.
Pic: A new quantum imaging technique generates images with photons that have never touched to object — in this case a sketch of a cat. This alludes to the famous Schrödinger cat paradox, in which a cat inside a closed box is said to be simultaneously dead and alive as long there is no information outside the box to rule out one option over the other. Similarly, the new imaging technique relies on a lack of information regarding where the photons are created and which path they take. Credit: Copyright: Patricia Enigl, IQOQI
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI), the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology (VCQ), and the University of Vienna have developed a fundamentally new quantum imaging technique with strikingly counterintuitive features. For the first time, an image has been obtained without ever detecting the light that was used to illuminate the imaged object, while the light revealing the image never touches the imaged object.
In general, to obtain an image of an object one has to illuminate it with a light beam and use a camera to sense the light that is either scattered or transmitted through that object. The type of light used to shine onto the object depends on the properties that one would like to image. Unfortunately, in many practical situations the ideal type of light for the illumination of the object is one for which cameras do not exist.
The experiment published in Nature this week for the first time breaks this seemingly self-evident limitation. The object (e.g. the contour of a cat) is illuminated with light that remains undetected. Moreover, the light that forms an image of the cat on the camera never interacts with it. In order to realise their experiment, the scientists use so-called “entangled” pairs of photons. These pairs of photons — which are like interlinked twins — are created when a laser interacts with a non-linear crystal. In the experiment, the laser illuminates two separate crystals, creating one pair of twin photons (consisting of one infrared photon and a “sister” red photon) in either crystal. The object is placed in between the two crystals. The arrangement is such that if a photon pair is created in the first crystal, only the infrared photon passes through the imaged object. Its path then goes through the second crystal where it fully combines with any infrared photons that would be created there.
With this crucial step, there is now, in principle, no possibility to find out which crystal actually created the photon pair. Moreover, there is now no information in the infrared photon about the object. However, due to the quantum correlations of the entangled pairs the information about the object is now contained in the red photons — although they never touched the object. Bringing together both paths of the red photons (from the first and the second crystal) creates bright and dark patterns, which form the exact image of the object.
Stunningly, all of the infrared photons (the only light that illuminated the object) are discarded; the picture is obtained by only detecting the red photons that never interacted with the object. The camera used in the experiment is even blind to the infrared photons that have interacted with the object. In fact, very low light infrared cameras are essentially unavailable on the commercial market. The researchers are confident that their new imaging concept is very versatile and could even enable imaging in the important mid-infrared region. It could find applications where low light imaging is crucial, in fields such as biological or medical imaging.
Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by University of Vienna. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
Journal Reference: Gabriela Barreto Lemos, Victoria Borish, Garrett D. Cole, Sven Ramelow, Radek Lapkiewicz, Anton Zeilinger. Quantum imaging with undetected photons. Nature, 2014; 512 (7515): 409 DOI: 10.1038/nature13586
Cite This Page: MLA APA Chicago: University of Vienna. “Quantum physics enables revolutionary imaging method.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 August 2014.
universal-abyss: Crikey, so the light never actually touches the object being imaged, yet can create an exact image - this is utterly extraordinary! This takes quantum imaging to a whole new level - and, wow is it cool! This should truly twist and bend your mind at the awesomeness of quantum physics. The potentials it may bring to medical and biological imaging are simply astounding to consider. Just, wow!
Arthur E Smith focuses images on his early apparatus for photomicrography.
Simply obtained by photographing images upon the microscope’s eyepiece, the images produced became the focal point (pun not intended) of the 1909 book Nature through Microscope & Camera by Richard Kerr.