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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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Johns Hopkins biologist leads research shedding light on stem cells

October 8, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A Johns Hopkins University biologist has led a research team reporting progress in understanding the mysterious shape-shifting ways of stem cells, which have vast potential for medical research and disease treatment.

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Sticky gel helps stem cells heal rat hearts

September 28, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A sticky, protein-rich gel created by Johns Hopkins researchers appears to help stem cells stay on or in rat hearts and restore their metabolism after transplantation, improving cardiac function after simulated heart attacks, according to results of a new study.

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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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Filling a void in stem cell therapy

September 15, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Stem cell therapies are often limited by low survival of transplanted stem cells and the lack of precise control over their differentiation into the terminal cell types needed to repair or replace injured tissues. Now, a team led by Wyss Institute Core Faculty member David Mooney, Ph.D., has developed a new strategy – embedding stem cells into porous, transplantable hydrogels – that has experimentally improved bone repair by boosting the survival rate of transplanted stem cells and influencing their cell differentiation.

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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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Scientists create functional liver cells from stem cells

July 31, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

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.

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Programming adult stem cells to treat muscular dystrophy and more by mimicking nature

July 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Stem cells hold great potential for addressing a variety of conditions from spinal cord injuries to cancer, but they can be difficult to control. Scientists are now reporting in the journal ACS Nano a new way to mimic the body’s natural approach to programming these cells. Using this method, they successfully directed adult stem cells to turn specifically into muscle, which could potentially help treat patients with muscular dystrophy.

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Stem cells move one step closer to cure for genetic diseases

July 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Stem cells are key for the continual renewal of tissues in our bodies. As such, manipulating stem cells also holds much promise for biomedicine if their regenerative capacity can be harnessed. However, understanding how stem cells govern normal tissue renewal is a field still in its infancy.

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Production of iPS cells: Discovery of the fifth element

July 9, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Since 2006, research has succeeded in generating, from specialised adult cells, induced pluripotent cells (iPS cells), with huge potential applications, particularly for regenerative medicine. However, the process has still not been completely mastered. Two teams of researchers from Inserm, CNRS, Centre Léon Bérard and Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University have discovered a molecule that may favour the production of these induced stem cells. Their work is published in Nature Communications, on 8 July 2015.

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