Weighing a little less than two cubes of sugar when he was born at the Duke Lemur Center in June, male mouse lemur Filbert is one of more than 40 grey mouse lemurs living at Duke. If all goes well, Filbert could live to be 10-15 years old in captivity. Grey mouse lemurs are nocturnal animals that develop dementia-like symptoms similar to human Alzheimer’s as they age.
Researchers at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore captured this image of astrocytes (star-shaped glial cells of the brain) that were developed from neural stem cells of mice in a lab dish. The nuclei of the cells are stained pink and the green dye is specific to a protein that marks them as astrocytes. Astrocytes are helpers and supporters of the brain's neurons and they perform repairs after a brain injury.
A montage of fluorescent microscopy images depicts pluripotent mouse stem cells that have been encouraged to develop into various kinds of specialized tissues by a mix of chemical signals. Researchers in the Biomedical Engineering lab of Charles Gersbach are developing new methods for controlling cell behavior so that stem cells might be used to repair damaged tissues or treat genetic diseases.
(A longer version of this story originally appeared in DukeMedicine Magazine )
Nico Katsanis, PhD, says the new model of doing science should be to abandon the model.
“A lot of the problems we are now facing are experimentally intractable through a single approach,” he says. At the same time, research is becoming so specialized that the journals of one researcher’s discipline read almost like gibberish to a researcher in another field.