JUN 26, 2016 8:31 AM PDT

"Gut Reaction" - Another Winner From Koch Awards 2016

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Jatin Roper is a gastroenterologist who works in the laboratory of Omer Yilmaz, an Assistant Professor of Biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). An image Roper submitted to the Koch Awards at MIT is described here in the latest video highlighting the winners.

This lab studies how factors like obesity and aging influence tumor growth in colorectal cancer, the third most common cause of cancer death. While there are mouse models they can use for their work, there are limitations to using them; they don't accurately represent disease in humans patients and they are time consuming to work with.

As a solution to these problems, the researchers created organoids - cells in 3D culture. These cells also aren't perfect representations of disease; they lack the surrounding intestinal environment. The scientists found a way to combine these two models. The result is shown in the winning microscopy image; a mouse colon is seen containing transplanted organoids - in pink - that have grown into the colon. These cells are fully functional in the new mouse colon.

This new methodology enables previously impossible experiments. The team plans to use CRISPR gene editing both in the colon and organoids to investigate the role various genes play in tumor development, to analyze how obesity affects normal tissue and causes cancer, and to understand the pathways involved. Hopefully this knowledge translates into improvements for patient therapy.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
APR 12, 2020
Plants & Animals
APR 12, 2020
It's Jellyfish Eat Jellyfish Out There...
These Aurelia jellyfish roam the void of the ocean in massive groups, an occurrence that doesn’t happen by acciden ...
APR 16, 2020
Earth & The Environment
APR 16, 2020
NASA Illustrates the Complexities of Atmospheric Chemistry
What do scientists see when looking at Earth’s atmosphere? Well, it’s complicated, especially the chemistry ...
MAY 14, 2020
Earth & The Environment
MAY 14, 2020
NASA's ICESat-2 Mission Reports Changes in Arctic Ice Thickness
Arctic sea ice is vital to Earth's climate system, and recent decades have seen troubling declines in sea ice due to ...
MAY 24, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAY 24, 2020
The Pistol Shrimp's Secret Weapon...
Pistol shrimp have a unique reputation as one of the ocean’s most intriguing crustaceans. Most are only about the ...
JUN 08, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JUN 08, 2020
Space Agencies Are Developing Novel Space Junk Cleanup Tools
There are thousands of satellites orbiting the Earth today, with some residing in Low-Earth Orbit and others following a ...
JUN 25, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JUN 25, 2020
Did Scientists Just Discover the Smallest Black Hole Known to Man?
An array of antennas in the US and Italy, known as the International LIGO-Virgo Collaboration, received some unusual rea ...
Loading Comments...