Here are the top medical news for the day:
Transplanted hair follicles mend scars: Study
Scar tissue in the skin lacks hair, sweat glands, blood vessels and nerves, which are vital for regulating body temperature and detecting pain and other sensations. Scarring can also impair movement as well as potentially causing discomfort and emotional distress.
In a new study involving three volunteers, skin scars began to behave more like uninjured skin after they were treated with hair follicle transplants. The scarred skin harboured new cells and blood vessels, remodelled collagen to restore healthy patterns, and even expressed genes found in healthy unscarred skin.
The findings could lead to better treatments for scarring both on the skin and inside the body, leading to hope for patients with extensive scarring, which can impair organ function and cause disability.
Dr Claire Higgins et al,npj Regenerative Medicine,doi 10.1038/s41536-022-00270-3
Mechanism behind liver cancer hijacking circadian clock machinery inside cells uncovered in recent study
The most common type of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), is already the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths globally-and cases are on the rise, both in the U.S. and worldwide. While chemotherapy, surgery and liver transplants can help some patients, targeted treatments for HCC could save millions more lives.
“Earlier studies didn’t give us a real handle on how we could use a specific treatment to target processes within liver cancer cells. In this paper, we’re making the first steps toward that,” said the study’s senior author, Steve A. Kay, PhD, University and Provost Professor of Neurology, Biomedical Engineering and Quantitative Computational Biology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and director of the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience.
Steve A. Kay et al,Circadian regulator BMAL1::CLOCK promotes cell proliferation in hepatocellular carcinoma by controlling apoptosis and cell cycle,Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,doi 10.1073/pnas.2214829120
Study finds vaccine and prior SARS-CoV-2 infection to confer long-lasting protection against omicron BA.5
A new study led by Luís Graça, group leader at the Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (iMM, Lisbon) and full professor at the Medical School of the University of Lisbon, and Manuel Carmo Gomes, associate professor with aggregation at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon (Ciências ULisboa), both members of the Direção Geral de Saúde (DGS) Technical Committee for Vaccination against COVID-19 (CTVC), and published today in the scientific journal Lancet Infectious Diseases*, shows that the protection conferred by hybrid immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 subvariant omicron BA.5, obtained by the infection of vaccinated people, lasts for at least eight months after the first infection.
João Malato, Ruy M Ribeiro, Pedro P Leite, Pedro Casaca, Eugénia Fernandes, Carlos Antunes, Válter R Fonseca, Manuel C Gomes, Luís Graça. (2022) Risk of BA.5 Infection among Persons Exposed to Previous SARS-CoV-2 Variants. New England Journal of Medicine.387(10):953-954. Doi: 10.1056/NEJMc2209479.