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Amanda Seyfried | by Lee Kyu Han for ELLE Korea, August 2014

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Language of Life : Mycoplasma
Mycoplasma refers to a genus of bacteria that lack a cell wall. Without a cell wall, they are unaffected by many common antibiotics, such as penicillin, that target cell wall synthesis. 
The first strains of mycoplasma were isolated at the Pasteur Institute in 1898. Mycoplasmas are the smallest free-living organisms and considered the simplest of bacteria. Owing to their extremely basic genomes, they are like parasites exploiting host cells to fulfill their energy requirements and biosynthesis of their components.
Several species are pathogenic in humans, including M. pneumoniae, which is an important cause of atypical pneumonia and other respiratory disorders, and M. genitalium, which is believed to be involved in pelvic inflammatory diseases. Mycoplasma are the smallest living cells yet discovered,can survive without oxygen, and are usually about 0.1 µm in diameter.


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Engineered cartilage regenerates joints
Human articular cartilage defects can be treated with nasal septum cells. Researchers at the University and the University Hospital of Basel report that cells taken from the nasal septum are able to adapt to the environment of the knee joint and can thus repair articular cartilage defects. The nasal cartilage cells’ ability to self-renew and adapt to the joint environment is associated with the expression of so-called HOX genes. The scientific journal Science Translational Medicine has published the research results together with the report of the first treated patients.
K. Pelttari, B. Pippenger, M. Mumme, S. Feliciano, C. Scotti, P. Mainil-Varlet, A. Procino, B. von Rechenberg, T. Schwamborn, M. Jakob, C. Cillo, A. Barbero, I. Martin. Adult human neural crest-derived cells for articular cartilage repair. Science Translational Medicine, 2014; 6 (251): 251ra119 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3009688
Articular cartilage replaced: MRI of defect tissue site before (left) and four months after (right) transplantation. Credit: University of Basel, Department of Biomedicine


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