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[10 Jan 2007 | No Comment | 0 views]

Science Daily � Cincinnati burn researchers have created genetically modified skin cells that, when added to cultured skin substitutes, may help fight off potentially lethal infections in patients with severe burns.

Dorothy Supp, PhD, has developed a modified skin cell that may help protect cultured skin substitutes from infection. Here, cells that were genetically modified to produce higher levels of a protein known as human beta defensin 4 are shown in green. (Credit: University of Cincinnati and Shriners Hospitals for Children)

Dorothy Supp, PhD, and her team found that skin cells that were genetically altered to produce higher levels of a protein known as human beta defensin 4 (HBD4) killed more bacteria than normal skin cells.

HBD4 is one in a class of proteins that exist throughout the body as part of its natural defense system. Researchers have only recently begun targeting these tiny molecules as a way to combat infections.

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