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Stem Cell Research

Category: Stem Cell Research

In a very severe, genetic form of microcephaly, stem cells in the brain fail to divide, according to a new Columbia University Medical Center study that may provide important clues to understanding how the Zika virus affects the developing brain.


The images above show, from left to right, functioning stem cells, stem cells no longer functioning due to Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria syndrome (HGPS), and stem cells previously not functioning
The fountain of youth may reside in an embryonic stem cell gene named Nanog.

A key gene enables the repair of injured muscle throughout life. This is the finding of a study in mice led by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and the University of Colorado at Boulder, and published online July 21 in Cell Reports.

Scientists have discovered a new method of creating human stem cells which could solve the big problem of the large-scale production needed to fully realise the potential of these remarkable cells for understanding and treating disease.

A new procedure developed at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) may revolutionize the culturing of adult stem cells. In their report that has been published online prior to its appearance in the August 6 issue of Cell Stem Cell, the team describes generating and expanding airway stem cells from the sorts of tissue samples collected during routine treatment of lung disorders. The overall approach appears applicable to several other tissue types, including skin and the linings of the gastrointestinal and reproductive tracts.

Bethesda, MD (June 16, 2016) -- Basic and translational research paves the way for breakthroughs that can ultimately change patient care. Three new studies from Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology (CMGH) -- AGA's basic and translational open-access journal -- provide a glimpse into future treatment strategies for stomach ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease and alcoholic liver disease. Please find summaries below. To speak with the journal authors, please email media@gastro.org.

Scientists at Oxford University have discovered the oldest known population of plant root stem cells in a 320 million-year-old fossil.

Induced pluripotent stem cells hold promise for regenerative medicine because they can, in theory, turn into any type of tissue and because they are made from a patient's own adult cells, guaranteeing compatibility. However, the technique that turns adult cells into these iPS cells is not foolproof; after reverting to their pluripotent state, these cells don't always correctly differentiate back into adult cells.

A new stem cell therapy significantly improved long-term health outcomes in patients with severe and end-stage heart failure in a study presented at the American College of Cardiology's 65th Annual Scientific Session.


The authors investigated the effects of 15,000 genes on the balance between self-renewal and differentiation of the human blood stem cell (blue box).
An important element in getting blood stem cells to multiply outside the body is to understand which of the approximately 20 000 genes in the human body control their growth. A research team at Lund University in Sweden has studied close to 15 000 of these genes alongside each other. The researchers have succeeded in identifying four key genes which, together, govern the growth and multiplication of the stem cells. The study is now being published in the journal Cell Reports.


A hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) is being mobilized from the bone marrow microenvironment into a blood vessel.
Australian scientists have developed a new method for harvesting stem cells, which is less invasive and reduces side effects for donors.

Scientists at Michigan State University have discovered a new kind of stem cell, one that could lead to advances in regenerative medicine as well as offer new ways to study birth defects and other reproductive problems.

A team of researchers led by scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is looking at ways to improve how blood-forming stem cells can be used for therapeutic interventions. The work has uncovered a group of genes that regulate how hematopoietic stem cells start to grow and thrive in mice. The function of many of these genes was previously unknown. Reconstitution of a robust blood-forming system is essential for recovery from many catastrophic diseases as well as from chemotherapy treatments. A report on this study appears today in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.


This is a dormant mouse blastocyst.
After a gestation period of around ten months, fawns are born in early summer - when the weather is warm and food is plentiful for the mother. Six months would actually be enough for the embryo's development, but then offspring from mating in the later portion of summer would be born in winter. Therefore, nature prolongs the gestation period by a hormone-regulated pause in the development of the early embryos. Many animal species use this process, called diapause, to adjust their reproduction to environmental conditions.

Human stem cells that are capable of becoming any other kind of cell in the body have previously only been acquired and cultivated with difficulty. A team of European scientists including researchers from the University of Bath has now developed a method to detect such pluripotent cells in a cell culture and preserve them in the laboratory.

A team of Rochester scientists has, for the first time, identified and isolated a stem cell population capable of skull formation and craniofacial bone repair in mice--achieving an important step toward using stem cells for bone reconstruction of the face and head in the future, according to a new paper in Nature Communications.


A new inhibitor suppresses tumor growth and cancer stem cells. The image on the left shows beta catenin (red) in cell nuclei indicating that these are cancer stem cells.
All tumor cells are the offspring of a single, aberrant cell, but they are not all alike. Only a few retain the capacity of the original cell to create an entire tumor. Such cancer stem cells can migrate to other tissues and become fatal metastases. To fully cure a patient's cancer, it is crucial to find and eliminate all of these cells because any that escape can regenerate the tumor and trigger its spread through the body.


A- Labeled stem cells target spinal bone fracture; B- Two spinal bone fractures; C- Complete healing of spinal bone fractures eight weeks post treatment with stem cells and PTH.
A combination of adult stem cells and parathyroid hormone significantly increased new bone formation in laboratory animals and may speed the healing process for human bone fractures caused by osteoporosis, a new study shows.


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.

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