Stem Cell Research

Category: Stem Cell Research

Stem cells offer great potential in biomedical engineering due to their pluripotency, which is the ability to multiply indefinitely and also to differentiate and develop into any kind of the hundreds of different cells and bodily tissues. But the precise complexity of how stem cell development is regulated throughout states of cellular change has been difficult to pinpoint until now.

When embryonic cells get the signal to specialize the call can come quickly. Or it can arrive slowly. Now, new research from Rockefeller University suggests the speed at which a cell in an embryo receives that signal has an unexpected influence on that cell's fate. Until now, only concentration of the chemical signals was thought to matter in determining if the cell would become, for example, muscle, skin, brain or bone.


Two transcription factors are all that is required to make blood from pluripotent stem cells.
The ability to reliably and safely make in the laboratory all of the different types of cells in human blood is one key step closer to reality.


Zebrafish is published bimonthly in print and online.
Zebrafish, a model organism that plays an important role in biological research and the discovery and development of new drugs and cell-based therapies, can form embryonic stem cells (ESCs). For the first time, researchers report the ability to maintain zebrafish-derived ESCs for more than 2 years without the need to grow them on a feeder cell layer, in a study published in Zebrafish, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Zebrafish website.

UCLA researchers led by Dr. Brigitte Gomperts have discovered the inner workings of the process thought to be the first stage in the development of lung cancer. Their study explains how factors that regulate the growth of adult stem cells that repair tissue in the lungs can lead to the formation of precancerous lesions.

Scientists in the University of Connecticut's Technology Incubation Program have identified a novel approach to treating multiple sclerosis (MS) using human embryonic stem cells, offering a promising new therapy for more than 2.3 million people suffering from the debilitating disease.


These are rod photoreceptors (in green) within a "mini retina " derived from human iPS cells in the lab.
Using a type of human stem cell, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have created a three-dimensional complement of human retinal tissue in the laboratory, which notably includes functioning photoreceptor cells capable of responding to light, the first step in the process of converting it into visual images.

The gene mutations driving cancer have been tracked for the first time in patients back to a distinct set of cells at the root of cancer – cancer stem cells.


This is the distinct neuronal-like appearance of a mouse-derived dental pulp stem cell following the induction process.
University of Adelaide researchers have discovered that stem cells taken from teeth can grow to resemble brain cells, suggesting they could one day be used in the brain as a therapy for stroke.

Scientists at The University of Nottingham have developed a new substance which could simplify the manufacture of cell therapy in the pioneering world of regenerative medicine.

Researchers at UCLA's Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research have discovered a mechanism by which certain adult stem cells suppress their ability to initiate skin cancer during their dormant phase — an understanding that could be exploited for better cancer-prevention strategies.

Donated umbilical cord blood contains stem cells that can save the lives of patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers.

Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers have a new model for how the kidney repairs itself, a model that adds to a growing body of evidence that mature cells are far more plastic than had previously been imagined.


This image shows how human naive iPS derived cells (yellow/green cells) integrate in different tissues of developing host mouse embryo (red cells).
One of the obstacles to employing human embryonic stem cells for medical use lies in their very promise: They are born to rapidly differentiate into other cell types. Until now, scientists have not been able to efficiently keep embryonic stem cells in their pristine stem state. The alternative that has been proposed to embryonic stem cells – reprogrammed adult cells called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) – have similar limitations. Though these can differentiate into many different cell types, they retain signs of "priming," – commitment to specific cell lineages. A team at the Weizmann Institute of Science has now taken a large step toward removing that obstacle: They have created iPS cells that are completely "reset" to the earliest possible state and maintained them in that state. Among other things, this research may, in the future, pave the way toward the ability to grow transplant organs to order.

A source of gut stem cells that can repair a type of inflammatory bowel disease when transplanted into mice has been identified by researchers at the Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council Cambridge Stem Cell Institute at the University of Cambridge and at BRIC, the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


Foregut stem cells (green) differentiated into pancreatic cells expressing insulin.
A new method for creating stem cells for the human liver and pancreas, which could enable both cell types to be grown in sufficient quantities for clinical use, has been developed by scientists.

A group of Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers and collaborators at MIT and MGH have found a way to use stem cells as drug delivery vehicles.

University of South Florida researchers have suggested a new view of how stem cells may help repair the brain following trauma. In a series of preclinical experiments, they report that transplanted cells appear to build a "biobridge" that links an uninjured brain site where new neural stem cells are born with the damaged region of the brain.

Scientists have used a brand new technique for examining individual stem cells to uncover dramatic differences in the gene expression levels – which genes are turned 'up' or 'down'– between apparently identical 'sister' pairs.

Stem cell scientists have moved one step closer to producing blood-forming stem cells in a Petri dish by identifying a key regulator controlling their formation in the early embryo, shows research published online today in Cell.

We often think of human cells as tiny computers that perform assigned tasks, where disease is a result of a malfunction. But in the current issue of Science, researchers at The Mount Sinai Medical Center offer a radical view of health — seeing it more as a cooperative state among cells, while they see disease as result of cells at war that fight with each other for domination.

Could harvesting stem cells for therapy one day be as simple as asking patients for a urine sample? Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center's Institute for Regenerative Medicine and colleagues have identified stem cells in urine that can be directed to become multiple cell types.

When infections occur in the body, stem cells in the blood often jump into action by multiplying and differentiating into mature immune cells that can fight off illness. But repeated infections and inflammation can deplete these cell populations, potentially leading to the development of serious blood conditions such as cancer. Now, a team of researchers led by biologists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has found that, in mouse models, the molecule microRNA-146a (miR-146a) acts as a critical regulator and protector of blood-forming stem cells (called hematopoietic stem cells, or HSCs) during chronic inflammation, suggesting that a deficiency of miR-146a may be one important cause of blood cancers and bone marrow failure.


This image shows Matthias Hebrok, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco.
Raising hopes for cell-based therapies, UC San Francisco researchers have created the first functioning human thymus tissue from embryonic stem cells in the laboratory. The researchers showed that, in mice, the tissue can be used to foster the development of white blood cells the body needs to mount healthy immune responses and to prevent harmful autoimmune reactions.

May 9, 2013, New York, NY and San Diego, CA – A large, multi-institutional research team involved in the NIH Epigenome Roadmap Project has published a sweeping analysis in the current issue of the journal Cell of how genes are turned on and off to direct early human development. Led by Bing Ren of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Joseph Ecker of The Salk Institute for Biological Studies and James Thomson of the Morgridge Institute for Research, the scientists also describe novel genetic phenomena likely to play a pivotal role not only in the genesis of the embryo, but that of cancer as well. Their publicly available data, the result of more than four years of experimentation and analysis, will contribute significantly to virtually every subfield of the biomedical sciences.

Mammalian females ovulate periodically over their reproductive lifetimes, placing significant demands on their ovaries for egg production. Whether mammals generate new eggs in adulthood using stem cells has been a source of scientific controversy. If true, these "germ-line stem cells" might allow novel treatments for infertility and other diseases. However, new research from Carnegie's Lei Lei and Allan Spradling demonstrates that adult mice do not use stem cells to produce new eggs. Their work is published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of April 29.

Preparations are underway for the first known human trial to use embryonic-like stem cells collected from adult cells to grow bone.

Scientists at the University of Southampton have created a new method to generate bone cells which could lead to revolutionary bone repair therapies for people with bone fractures or those who need hip replacement surgery due to osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.


University of Illinois comparative biosciences professor Suzanne Berry-Miller, veterinary clinical medicine professor Robert O’Brien.
Researchers have shown that transplanting stem cells derived from normal mouse blood vessels into the hearts of mice that model the pathology associated with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) prevents the decrease in heart function associated with DMD.

Scientists at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute have for the first time demonstrated that baboon embryonic stem cells can be programmed to completely restore a severely damaged artery. These early results show promise for eventually developing stem cell therapies to restore human tissues or organs damaged by age or disease.

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