Researchers define for the first time the mechanisms responsible for the mammary gland development — ScienceDaily

Publication in Nature Cell Biology: researchers at the Université libre de Bruxelles, ULB define for the first time the mechanisms responsible for the mammary gland development.

The mammary gland is the tissue that produces the milk during lactation, allowing the survival of young mammalian offspring. The mammary gland is composed of two main lineages: the basal cells, which surround the inner luminal cells. The luminal cells can be subdivided into ductal cells, and alveolar cells that produce the milk. The basal cells allow the circulation of the milk from the alveoli to the nipple region through their contractile properties. During pubertal mammary gland expansion and adult life, distinct pools of unipotent stem cells replenish the basal and luminal lineages independently of each other’s. However, it remains unclear how mammary gland initially develops. Are embryonic mammary gland progenitors multipotent, meaning that their progenitors are capable of giving rise to both basal and luminal cells? If so, when does the switch from multipotency to unipotency occur? And what are the molecular mechanisms that regulate multipotency and basal and luminal lineage segregation?

In a new study published in Nature Cell Biology, research team led by Prof. Cédric Blanpain, MD/PhD, WELBIO investigator and Professor at the Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, identified the mechanisms that regulate mammary gland development. Using a combination of lineage tracing, molecular profiling, single cell sequencing and functional experiments, Aline Wuidart and colleagues demonstrated that mammary gland initially develops from multipotent progenitors during the early steps of embryonic mammary gland morphogenesis whereas postnatal mammary gland development is mediated by lineage-restricted stem cells.

To understand the molecular mechanisms regulating multipotency during embryonic development, the researchers developed a novel strategy to isolate embryonic mammary gland stem cells, and assessed for the first time their molecular features using single cell sequencing in collaboration with Thierry Voet group, KUL/Sanger Institute. Interestingly, only embryonic mammary gland progenitors and not adult cells, expressed a hybrid transcriptional signature comprising markers for both luminal and basal lineages, explaining their multipotent fate at this stage of embryonic development.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. By analyzing the early steps of breast cancer formation, Alexandra Van Keymeulen and Cédric Blanpain previously demonstrated that the expression of one of the most frequently mutated genes in patients with breast cancers reactivates a multipotent program in adult unipotent stem cells. In this new study, the researchers show that embryonic mammary gland progenitors express the same genes than during the reactivation of multipotency associated with breast cancer development. “It was really interesting to see that many genes found to be specifically expressed by embryonic mammary gland progenitors are expressed in aggressive human breast cancers with poor prognosis, further suggesting that the reactivation of a gene expression program characteristic of embryonic mammary gland during tumorigenesis is essential for cancer growth and invasion.” Comments Cédric Blanpain, the senior author of this study.

In conclusion, this new study identifies multipotent embryonic stem cells of the mammary gland, uncovers the molecular features associated with embryonic multipotency and identifies the molecular mechanisms regulating the switch from multipotency to unipotency during mammary gland development. The paradigm uncovered in this study has important implications for the understanding of the development of other glandular organs and tissues such as the prostate that present similar developmental switch. Finally, the mechanisms uncovered here have also implications for cancer development and progression.

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Materials provided by Université libre de Bruxelles. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

New tech may make prosthetic hands easier for patients to use — ScienceDaily

Researchers have developed new technology for decoding neuromuscular signals to control powered, prosthetic wrists and hands. The work relies on computer models that closely mimic the behavior of the natural structures in the forearm, wrist and hand. The technology could also be used to develop new computer interface devices for applications such as gaming and computer-aided design (CAD).

The technology has worked well in early testing but has not yet entered clinical trials — making it years away from commercial availability. The work was led by researchers in the joint biomedical engineering program at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Current state-of-the-art prosthetics rely on machine learning to create a “pattern recognition” approach to prosthesis control. This approach requires users to “teach” the device to recognize specific patterns of muscle activity and translate them into commands — such as opening or closing a prosthetic hand.

“Pattern recognition control requires patients to go through a lengthy process of training their prosthesis,” says He (Helen) Huang, a professor in the joint biomedical engineering program at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “This process can be both tedious and time-consuming.

“We wanted to focus on what we already know about the human body,” says Huang, who is senior author of a paper on the work. “This is not only more intuitive for users, it is also more reliable and practical.

“That’s because every time you change your posture, your neuromuscular signals for generating the same hand/wrist motion change. So relying solely on machine learning means teaching the device to do the same thing multiple times; once for each different posture, once for when you are sweaty versus when you are not, and so on. Our approach bypasses most of that.”

Instead, the researchers developed a user-generic, musculoskeletal model. The researchers placed electromyography sensors on the forearms of six able-bodied volunteers, tracking exactly which neuromuscular signals were sent when they performed various actions with their wrists and hands. This data was then used to create the generic model, which translated those neuromuscular signals into commands that manipulate a powered prosthetic.

“When someone loses a hand, their brain is networked as if the hand is still there,” Huang says. “So, if someone wants to pick up a glass of water, the brain still sends those signals to the forearm. We use sensors to pick up those signals and then convey that data to a computer, where it is fed into a virtual musculoskeletal model. The model takes the place of the muscles, joints and bones, calculating the movements that would take place if the hand and wrist were still whole. It then conveys that data to the prosthetic wrist and hand, which perform the relevant movements in a coordinated way and in real time — more closely resembling fluid, natural motion.

“By incorporating our knowledge of the biological processes behind generating movement, we were able to produce a novel neural interface for prosthetics that is generic to multiple users, including an amputee in this study, and is reliable across different arm postures,” Huang says.

And the researchers think the potential applications are not limited to prosthetic devices.

“This could be used to develop computer-interface devices for able-bodied people as well,” Huang says. “Such as devices for gameplay or for manipulating objects in CAD programs.”

In preliminary testing, both able-bodied and amputee volunteers were able to use the model-controlled interface to perform all of the required hand and wrist motions — despite having very little training.

“We’re currently seeking volunteers who have transradial amputations to help us with further testing of the model to perform activities of daily living,” Huang says. “We want to get additional feedback from users before moving ahead with clinical trials.

“To be clear, we are still years away from having this become commercially available for clinical use,” Huang stresses. “And it is difficult to predict potential cost, since our work is focused on the software, and the bulk of cost for amputees would be in the hardware that actually runs the program. However, the model is compatible with available prosthetic devices.”

The researchers are also exploring the idea of incorporating machine learning into the generic musculoskeletal model.

“Our model makes prosthetic use more intuitive and reliable, but machine learning could allow users to gain more nuanced control by allowing the program to learn each person’s daily needs and preferences and better adapt to a specific user in the long term,” Huang says.

What you need to know about TruVision Health Supplements

You definitely know that the search for the best health supplement never ends. This search can be compared to looking for Holy Grail. In the course of this search, one may end up with a lot of disappointments. There is also the risk of opting for a harmful health supplement.

Some consumers had complained about TruVision. However, instead of relying entirely on the reviews of these products, we did a thorough investigation to find out if these health supplements have any scientific backing.

These are the facts that you need to know about TruVision health supplements:

Do you really know TruVision?

TruVision is a company that produces different health products. These products include TruHealth, TruEssentials among others. Our investigations were mainly motivated and centered around the various side effects that people had been talking about. All these have been discussed below.

The supplements from TruVision were availed in the market from 2014. They were meant to help people lose weight. The company marketed the product with the promise that you could begin using them immediately. Moreover, the supplements could be bought by the consumers from several places
such as the wholesalers, those retailing the products as well as from the online website of the company.


The main ingredients include:

Vitamins- Important nutrients that are meant to increase the intake of the body if the nutrients are not naturally available in the body.

Minerals- Organic compounds/substances that occur naturally. They help in making the body healthier.

Extract of Green Tea- Has Polyphenols, which has strong antioxidant qualities. In addition, it also contains amino acids which improve how the brain functions and brings anti-anxiety effects.

Dendrobium- Has important characteristics that enable it to assist in digestion.

Bitter Orange- Contains synephrine, that can help in weight loss.

Caffeine- This substance stimulates the Central nervous system that is important in weight loss as well as motor coordination.

Are there any side-effects of these supplements?

This was the main concern that we had. Just as we have said before, the supplements used for weight-loss should leave you feeling better, lighter and brighter. However, there is a need for concern if the product makes you interact with people differently or makes you see yourself in a different way. For instance, there was one reviewer who reported feeling an increased level of agitation and a lower mood. However, when this is compared to the available positive reviews, it makes up the opinion of very few people. It is also important to know that the feeling of agitation can also be felt if one is not used to taking caffeine. Given that the product is a stimulant, you can be left with more energy that you may not know where to direct.

There were also positive side effects that were reported by the users. There was one user who said that the supplement ended the stomach troubles they previously had and did not feel any negative side-effects. There was another user who reported an increase in mental capacity to focus as well as an increase in the level of energy in the body.

TruVision and scam claims.

With the concern that TruVision included 4-amino-2-methylpentane citrate (DMBA) and synephrine in the products, FDA (Food and Drug Administration) started investigating the company in 2015 (April). The concern was that the compounds were not ‘dietary ingredients’ as claimed by the company. Consequently, the company was prevented from distributing its products such as TruEnergy and TruWeight until this issue was sorted.

What people have to say about the result of these products.

From a wholesome point of view, the TruVision health products have several positive side-effects. The users said they felt they had more energy, and felt happier. Some simply said they lost weight. More people reported that they did not know they would have a lot of energy to enable them to work out. This is a huge part of this process.


Realistically speaking, we do not have the expectation that there is a health supplement that can perform miracles. TruVision health supplements contain ingredients that are all natural. Your body, therefore, needs these supplements to increase the rate of weight-loss, enhance positive self-image, and reduce appetite. However, it is important to note that your mindset plays an important role in any adjustments in weight and health. As soon as you decide to make changes in your lifestyle, these products will be very useful to you.