The water is nibbling away the beaches of Fiji. Not even the dead are allowed peace of mind. The graveyard of Togoru — a village on the largest island of Fiji — has been submerged. The waves are sloshing softly against the tilted tombstones covered with barnacles. The names have become illegible, erased by the sea.
A new study from the Forsyth Institute is helping to shed light on latent tuberculosis and the bacteria's ability to hide in stem cells. Some bone marrow stem cells reside in low oxygen (hypoxia) zones. These specialized zones are secured as immune cells and toxic chemicals cannot reach this zone. Hypoxia- activated cell signaling pathways may also protect the stem cells from dying or aging. A new study led by Forsyth Scientist Dr. Bikul Das has found that Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) hijack this protective hypoxic zone to hide intracellular to a special stem cell type.