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Stem Cell Research

Category: Stem Cell Research

An oversized bone marrow cell, typical of chronic myeloid leukemia, is shown.
An international team of scientists, headed by researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine and UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, report that decreases in a specific group of proteins trigger changes in the cancer microenvironment that accelerate growth and development of therapy-resistant cancer stem cells (CSCs).

Stem cells that have been specifically developed for use as clinical therapies are fit for use in patients, an independent study of their genetic make-up suggests.

Researchers from the Morgridge Institute for Research and the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) in Australia have devised a way to dramatically cut the time involved in reprogramming and genetically correcting stem cells, an important step to making future therapies possible.

In this micrograph, embryonic rat kidney cell aggregates are colored red. Differentiated human cells incorporated into these aggregates are colored green. Blue marks DNA in all cells.
Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC) can become any type of cell in the adult body, offering great potential in disease modeling, drug discovery and creating replacement cells for conditions ranging from cardiovascular to Alzheimer's disease.

Blastocysts in this study were immunostained to show pluripotency factor NANOG localised to the inner cell mass, primitive endoderm specifier GATA6, outer trophectoderm marker CDX2 and nuclei.
Researchers at EMBL's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the Wellcome Trust- Medical Research Council Cambridge Stem Cell Institute at the University of Cambridge have identified factors that spark the formation of pluripotent cells. Their findings, published in Developmental Cell, shed light on human embryonic development and help research into cell reprogramming and assisted conception.

Stem cells have two important capabilities: they can develop into a wide range of cell types and simultaneously renew themselves, creating fresh stem cells. Using a model of the blood forming (hematopoietic) system, researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now been able to precisely determine, which signaling pathways play an essential role in the self-renewal of blood stem cells. A particularly decisive role in this process is the interactive communication with surrounding tissue cells in the bone marrow.

HSCI researchers made artificial stem cells, or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), from embryonic stem cells, then turned them into the neural cells pictured here.
Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School have found new evidence suggesting some human induced pluripotent stem cells are the 'functional equivalent' of human embryonic stem cells, a finding that may begin to settle a long running argument.

Age-related macular degeneration could be treated by transplanting photoreceptors produced by the directed differentiation of stem cells
Age-related macular degeneration (AMRD) could be treated by transplanting photoreceptors produced by the directed differentiation of stem cells, thanks to findings published today by Professor Gilbert Bernier of the University of Montreal and its affiliated Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital. ARMD is a common eye problem caused by the loss of cones. Bernier's team has developed a highly effective in vitro technique for producing light sensitive retina cells from human embryonic stem cells. "Our method has the capacity to differentiate 80% of the stem cells into pure cones," Professor Gilbert explained. "Within 45 days, the cones that we allowed to grow towards confluence spontaneously formed organised retinal tissue that was 150 microns thick. This has never been achieved before."

An international team of scientists led from Sweden's Karolinska Institutet has for the first time mapped all the genes that are activated in the first few days of a fertilized human egg. The study, which is being published in the journal Nature Communications, provides an in-depth understanding of early embryonic development in human - and scientists now hope that the results will help finding for example new therapies against infertility.

This image shows stem cell-derived hepatocytes emerging.
The liver plays a critical role in human metabolism. As the gatekeeper of the digestive track, this massive organ is responsible for drug breakdown and is therefore the first to be injured due to overdose or misuse. Evaluating this drug-induced liver injury is a critical part of pharmaceutical drug discovery and must be carried out on human liver cells. Regretfully, human liver cells, called hepatocytes, are in scarce supply as they can only be isolated from donated organs.

New lung cells are continuously created to replace the damaged ones: Lung tissue six weeks after stem cell transplantation (left) and 16 weeks after transplantation (right).
Collectively, such diseases of the airways as emphysema, bronchitis, asthma and cystic fibrosis are the second leading cause of death worldwide. More than 35 million Americans alone suffer from chronic respiratory disease. Weizmann Institute scientists have now proposed a new direction that could, in the future, lead to the development of a method for alleviating some of their suffering. The study's findings, which appeared today in Nature Medicine, show how it might be possible to use embryonic stem cells to repair damaged lung tissue.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, in collaboration with scientists at the Gladstone Institutes, have developed a template for growing beating cardiac tissue from stem cells, creating a system that could serve as a model for early heart development and a drug-screening tool to make pregnancies safer.

Stem cells, which have the potential to turn into any kind of cell, offer the tantalizing possibility of generating new tissues for organ replacements, stroke victims and patients of many other diseases. Now, scientists at the Salk Institute have uncovered details about stem cell growth that could help improve regenerative therapies.

This is the root of the plant Arabidopsois thaliana with the telomeres highlighted in pink and the stem cell niche in green.
The role played by telomeres in mammalian cells has been known for several years. It is also known that these non-coding DNA sequences, which are found at the ends of the chromosomes, protect them and are necessary to ensure correct cell division. What is more, the "youngest" cells have longer telomeres, and as these cells divide, the telomeres get shorter until they no longer permit new cell divisions. This telomere shortening process has also been associated with cancer, which emphasises the important implications of these structures, not only in the ageing process, but also in the oncology field or other age-associated illnesses.

A microscope image shows mature blood vessels that formed in a hydrogel after two weeks of growth in a mouse model
Rice University and Texas Children's Hospital scientists are using stem cells from amniotic fluid to promote the growth of robust, functional blood vessels in healing hydrogels.

A new device that can rapidly concentrate and extract young cells from irrigation fluid used during orthopaedic surgery holds promise for improving the delivery of stem cell therapy in cases of non-healing fractures. UC Davis surgeons plan to launch a "proof-of-concept" clinical trial to test the safety and efficacy of the device in the coming months.

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.

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