Scientists create new method for studying human muscle diseases in worms

Researchers from Bar-Ilan University and Sheba Medical Center have made a groundbreaking development in modeling human muscle diseases using the C. elegans worm. This innovative platform allows for a versatile and scalable approach to studying diseases, paving the way for more personalized disease modeling.

Led by Prof. Chaya Brodie and Prof. Sivan Korenblit, the research team harvested extracellular vesicles from patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and transferred them to the C. elegans worms. The results were astonishing, as the worms exhibited muscle atrophy similar to human symptoms.

This novel approach utilizes extracellular vesicles derived from patient blood samples, rather than relying on genetic modifications in model organisms. This technique, as explained by doctoral student Rewayd Shalash, allows for the transfer of information across different species, enabling the study of human diseases in worm models.

The study, published in the journal Disease Models & Mechanisms, focused on Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy, genetic diseases that impact skeletal muscles and other muscle groups, leading to disability and premature death. The new platform is expected to facilitate reliable disease modeling and enhance drug screening efficiency, with the potential for application in diseases beyond genetic disorders.

Overall, this research signifies a significant advancement in the field of disease modeling and offers hope for more effective treatments and therapies in the future. The collaboration between Bar-Ilan University and Sheba Medical Center has opened up new possibilities for studying and understanding complex muscle diseases using innovative techniques.

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