How do the trillions of cells that make up your body stay in touch? Apparently The same way we used to:
sending notes through the post.
Learning how to read and write “letters” and post them through our intra-body postal system running through our blood, could give us early warning about cancer and Alzheimer’s and potentially finding a cure!!
What we need to do is to work out how to read the mail, says University of Sydney associate professor Wojciech Chrzanowski, and understand our bodies at a cellular level.
This is how the Prof says it works :-
All the cells in our body are constantly producing tiny bubbles which the body (or something) fills with a cocktail of DNA and other molecules and are sent into the bloodstream.
These cells are called extracellular vesicles
These Cells have special receptors to read the data in the bubbles. The data lets cells send messages to each other.
Those messages can tell our body what to do.
Professor Chrzanowski is particularly interested in the Stem cells that heal damaged tissue – without physically touching the damage.
He theorises they are sending out tiny bubbles filled with DNA. When the damaged cell receives the bubble, it follows the DNA instructions and heals itself.
Professor Chrzanowski and teams at the CSIRO are trying to decipher and potentially write or code those messages.
Imagining being able to inject these regenerating cells into patients with cancer or autoimmune conditions.
It’s like force-feeding the body a message that says: heal thyself.
Want to win a Nobel prize?
All we need to do is work out how to read the mail.
HOw we are trying to solve the puzzle
This is how Professor Chrzanowski and doctoral candidate Sally Yunsun Kimthey have been learning to read these letters .....
The pair warmed a group of extracellular vesicles with a laser, and then measured their vibrations using a tiny needle about 100,000 times thinner than a human hair.
Hot molecules vibrate at different rates depending on what they are made of. By measuring the vibration, the team could tell exactly what was in each bubble.
It was like reading someone else’s mail without ever opening it.
“This is going to be a pretty important development,” says Professor Andrew Hill, president of the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles.