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Investigators create complex kidney structures from human stem cells derived from adults

October 23, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) have established a highly efficient method for making kidney structures from stem cells that are derived from skin taken from patients. The kidney structures formed could be used to study abnormalities of kidney development, chronic kidney disease, the effects of toxic drugs, and be incorporated into bioengineered devices to treat patients with acute and chronic kidney injury. In the longer term, these methods could hasten progress toward replacing a damaged or diseased kidney with tissue derived from a patient’s own cells. These results were published in Nature Biotechnology this week.

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A step forward in obtaining blood stem cells in laboratory

October 14, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

An international study led by researchers from IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) published in the journal Nature Communications has revealed that the intensity or efficiency of the activation of a protein called Notch, which is involved in the different phases of embryonic development, determines the fate of cells, i.e. if cells will form the aorta artery or blood (hematopoietic) stem cells. For artery cells, many Notch molecules need to be activated, whereas for hematopoietic cells many fewer are needed.

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New method for testing iPSC differentiation potential could lead to safer and more potent treatments

September 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The discovery of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in 2006 completely revolutionized the field of stem cell biology. iPSC lines have become powerful tools that can be used to study human embryonic development, as model systems for human diseases. They are also helpful as a renewable source for regenerative medicine, where these cells are expected to play a key role in the development of many regenerative medicine therapies.

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Scientists sequence genome of worm that can regrow body parts, seeking stem cell insights

September 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Tourists spending a recuperative holiday on the Italian coast may be envious of the regenerative abilities of locally found flatworm Macrostomum lignano. Named for its discovery near the Italian beach town of Lignano Sabbiadoro, this tiny worm can regenerate almost its whole body following an injury, and researchers have long been trying to understand how it’s able to pull off this trick.

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New way to repair nerves: Using exosomes to hijack cell-to-cell communication

September 15, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Regenerative medicine using stem cells is an increasingly promising approach to treat many types of injury. Transplanted stem cells can differentiate into just about any other kind of cell, including neurons to potentially reconnect a severed spinal cord and repair paralysis.

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Pancreatic cancer stem cells could be ‘suffocated’ by an anti-diabetic drug

September 11, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Cancer cells commonly rely on glycolysis, the type of metabolism that does not use oxygen to generate their energy however, researchers from Queen Mary University of London’s Barts Cancer Institute and the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) in Madrid have now found that not all cancer cells are alike when it comes to metabolism.

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Study provides hope for some human stem cell therapies

August 21, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

An international team of scientists headed by biologists at UC San Diego has discovered that an important class of stem cells known as human “induced pluripotent stem cells,” or iPSCs, which are derived from an individual’s own cells, can be differentiated into various types of functional cells with different fates of immune rejection.

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Can stem cells cause and cure cancer?

August 13, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Simply put, cancer is caused by mutations to genes within a cell that lead to abnormal cell growth. Finding out what causes that genetic mutation has been the holy grail of medical science for decades. Researchers at the Texas A&M Health Science Center Institute of Biosciences and Technology believe they may have found one of the reasons why these genes mutate and it all has to do with how stem cells talk to each other.

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Protein identified that favors neuroprotective glial cell formation from stem cells

August 7, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

An international team of researchers has shown that NFIX, a protein that regulates neuronal stem cell activity (NSC), also has a role in driving NSC differentiation toward oligodendrocytes, a type of glial cell. These cells produce the myelin that surrounds and protects neurons. Evidence supporting this mechanism in mice and its potential in the development of NSC-based therapy for brain injury, demyelinating diseases, and brain tumors are discussed in a study published in Stem Cells and Development, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Stem Cells and Development website until September 6, 2015.

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Source of liver stem cells identified

August 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists have identified stem cells in the liver that give rise to functional liver cells. The work solves a long-standing mystery about the origin of new cells in the liver, which must constantly be replenished as cells die off, even in a healthy organ.

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