Article: Cells Carry ‘Memory’ of Injury, Which Could Reveal Why Chronic Pain Persists [Medical Xpress]

“In the study, published today in Cell Reports, they found that nerve damage changes epigenetic marks on some of the genes in these immune cells. Epigenetics is the process that determines which gene is expressed and where. Some epigenetic signals have direct functional consequences, while others are just primers: flags that indicate a potential to act or be modified.

“The cells examined in this King’s study still behaved as normal, but the existence of these novel epigenetic marks may mean that they carry a ‘memory’ of the initial injury.”


“Dr Giovanna Lalli, Neuroscience & Mental Health Senior Portfolio Developer at the Wellcome Trust, which part-funded the study, said: ‘People develop chronic pain for a huge variety of reasons. We therefore need an equally diverse range of treatments to tackle the different root causes.

‘The clues from this study, suggesting epigenetic changes may be involved in pain persisting, will hopefully lead us to better understand the mechanisms underlying chronic pain.'”

Read the full article from Kings College London on Medical Xpress: Cells Carry ‘Memory’ of injury, Which Could Reveal Why Chronic Pain Persists


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Article: A Totally New Type of Blood Vessel Has Been Discovered Hidden in Human Bones [Nexus Newsfeed]

“These tiny canals, called ‘trans-cortical vessels’ (TCVs), may be new to science, but they help explain how emergency drug infusions first pioneered on the battlefield were able to rapidly revive injured soldiers.

“In such emergencies, medics don’t always have the time or ability to find or access veins, resorting to injecting drugs directly into bone marrow.

“Despite accumulating evidence for the presence of a complex blood supply in bone, the molecular mechanisms and anatomy underlying these rapid shifts of cells and fluid from bone marrow to the circulation have remained elusive,” a commentary on the new research explains.

“Now, the basis of that mechanism is laid bare, having first been spotted by accident several years ago. Gunzer was studying fluorescent-dyed blood cells in mice, and observed them under the microscope appearing to pass through what should have been solid bone.

“Unable to discover anything in medical literature that could explain the phenomenon, he devised a new research project to explore what was going on.

“In the new study, Gunzer’s team used a chemical called ethyl cinnamate on mice tibiae (leg bones) to ‘clear’ the bones, making them transparent.

“Then, using a combination of light-sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) and X-ray microscopy, they were able to detect for the first time several hundreds of these tiny TCVs passing through the cortical layer of the leg bones.”

Read Peter Dockrill’s full article on Nexus Newsfeed: A Totally New Type of Blood Vessel Has Been Discovered Hidden in Human Bones

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Article: Everywhere in Your Body is Tissue Called Fascia. Scientists are Unlocking Its Secrets [Washington Post]

“Although some people who are kneaded, stretched, or cracked may have a vague notion that fascia exists, they probably don’t know much about their fascia — or understand why it even matters.

“Some in the scientific and medical communities think the same way.

“They cannot agree on what fascia is. They don’t know what fascia does. They may not even know it when they see it. (One scientist, when asked about fascia, had to look it up to try to define it. And a scientific group, the Fascia Nomenclature Committee, has devoted itself to resolving this language confusion.)

“But this is what they suspect: As the only tissue that modifies its consistency when under stress (it’s your body’s shape-shifter, of sorts), fascia is a part of the body that inspires equal parts confusion and optimism in research circles.

“It’s everywhere in the body, so it could affect just about everything. That leaves researchers wrestling with an intriguing dilemma: If fascia is everywhere, then how do you isolate its impact on the body?

“Early research suggests it may have relevance in areas one wouldn’t normally think of fascia playing a role, such as digestive conditions and cancer.

“Fascia is what holds us together. There are very few diseases that don’t have a fascia component,” said Frederick Grinnell, a professor of cell biology at the UT Southwestern Medical School.”

Read Rachel Damiani and Ted Spiker’s full article at the Washington Post: Everywhere in Your Body is Tissue Called Fascia. Scientists are Unlocking Its Secrets.

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