• A diverse and intricate signalling network regulates stem cell fate in the shoot apical meristem

      Dodsworth, Steven; University of Cambridge (Academic Press Inc., 2009-09-25)
      At the shoot apex of plants is a small region known as the shoot apical meristem (SAM) that maintains a population of undifferentiated (stem) cells whilst providing cells for developing lateral organs and the stem. All aerial structures of the plant develop from the SAM post-embryogenesis, enabling plants to grow in a characteristic modular fashion with great phenotypic and developmental plasticity throughout their lifetime. The maintenance of the stem cell population is intimately balanced with cell recruitment into differentiating tissues through intercellular communication involving a complex signalling network. Recent studies have shown that diverse regulators function in SAM maintenance, many of which converge on the WUSCHEL (WUS) gene. In this review the diverse regulatory modules that function in SAM maintenance are discussed: transcriptional and epigenetic control, hormonal regulation, and the balance with organogenesis. The central role of WUS as an integrator of multiple signals is highlighted; in addition, accessory feedback loops emerge as a feature enabling dynamic regulation of the stem cell niche.
    • Patient empowerment for cancer patients through a novel ICT infrastructure

      Kondylakis, Haridimos; Bucur, Anca; Crico, Chiara; Dong, Feng; Graf, Norbert; Hoffman, Stefan; Koumakis, Lefteris; Manenti, Alice; Marias, Kostas; Mazzocco, Ketti; et al. (Academic Press Inc., 2019-12-06)
      As a result of recent advances in cancer research and “precision medicine” approaches, i.e. the idea of treating each patient with the right drug at the right time, more and more cancer patients are being cured, or might have to cope with a life with cancer. For many people, cancer survival today means living with a complex and chronic condition. Surviving and living with or beyond cancer requires the long-term management of the disease, leading to a significant need for active rehabilitation of the patients. In this paper, we present a novel methodology employed in the iManageCancer project for cancer patient empowerment in which personal health systems, serious games, psychoemotional monitoring and other novel decision-support tools are combined into an integrated patient empowerment platform. We present in detail the ICT infrastructure developed and our evaluation with the involvement of cancer patients on two sites, a large-scale pilot for adults and a small-scale test for children. The evaluation showed mixed evidences on the improvement of patient empowerment, while ability to cope with cancer, including improvement in mood and resilience to cancer, increased for the participants of the adults′ pilot.