Monday, October 19, 2009

physical pressure changes gene expression!

Here we have a BIG discovery in the embryology/cell biology business.

Cell softness is an intrinsic property of embryonic stem cells and dictates how a cell responds to forces in its physical microenvironment. Those responses include how strongly the cell attaches to a surface, how far the cell spreads on a surface, and, most surprisingly, whether specific genes are expressed.

To study cellular sensitivity to force, Wang and his collaborators first attached a magnetic bead, 4 microns in diameter, to the surface of a living embryonic stem cell. Then they applied a tiny oscillating magnetic field, which moved the bead up and down. By precisely measuring the magnetic field and the distance the bead traveled, the effect of the mechanical force and how soft the cells are could be determined.

The cyclic nature of the mechanical force is very important, Wang said, as it simulates natural forces within a living cell, such as the cyclic movement of the motor protein myosin.

The researchers found that mouse embryonic stem cells were softer and much more sensitive to localized cyclic forces than their more advanced, differentiated counterparts.

This is the first demonstration that -proves- physical strain changes the action of cellular machinery, and can even change what genes are expressed in a given cell.  This is big news for people like moi who practice manual therapy and have been screaming for years that this takes place.

So all you myofascial release, active release, shiatsu, cranio-sacral types, SHAZAM!  You are right.  The doubters are wrong.  Proven at the cellular level.  Hot damn!

The "No, I'm not bitter!" Phantom Therapist

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