Research on “exosomes” is the subject of the cover story of the June 15, 2013 issue of Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN) (http://www.genengnews.com/). Exosomes are tiny subcellular membrane-bound vesicles (30-150 nm in diameter) that are released by a wide variety of normal cell types and cancer cells, and that can carry membrane and cellular proteins, as well as microRNA (miRNA), and various other types of RNA, including mRNA fragments, representative of the cell of origin. It is thought that exosomes may serve the purpose of shuttling information from one cell to another. For instance, it has been shown that exosomes can carry material from cancer cells that acts to suppress the immune system and stimulate angiogenesis, thus encouraging cancer growth. The GEN article covers some of the exciting research presented at the 2013 International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) annual conference held in Boston, April 17-20. The article includes a discussion of Novartis’s Maja M.
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