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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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Restoring vision with stem cells

October 8, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

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.”

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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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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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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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More power to the mitochondria: Cells’ energy plant also plays key role in stem cell development

April 30, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center have discovered that mitochondria, the major energy source for most cells, also play an important role in stem cell development — a purpose notably distinct from the tiny organelle’s traditional job as the cell’s main source of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) energy needed for routine cell metabolism.

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‘Open’ stem cell chromosomes reveal new possibilities for diabetes

April 3, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Stem cells hold great promise for treating a number of diseases, in part because they have the unique ability to differentiate, specializing into any one of the hundreds of cell types that comprise the human body. Harnessing this potential, though, is difficult. In some cases, it takes up to seven carefully orchestrated steps of adding certain growth factors at specific times to coax stem cells into the desired cell type. Even then, cells of the intestine, liver and pancreas are notoriously difficult to produce from stem cells. Writing in Cell Stem Cell April 2, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered why.

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Scientists pinpoint molecule that switches on stem cell genes

March 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Stem cells can have a strong sense of identity. Taken out of their home in the hair follicle, for example, and grown in culture, these cells remain true to themselves. After waiting in limbo, these cultured cells become capable of regenerating follicles and other skin structures once transplanted back into skin. It’s not clear just how these stem cells — and others elsewhere in the body — retain their ability to produce new tissue and heal wounds, even under extraordinary conditions.

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Bone stem cells shown to regenerate bones and cartilage in adult mice

January 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A stem cell capable of regenerating both bone and cartilage has been identified in bone marrow of mice. The discovery by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) is reported today in the online issue of the journalĀ Cell.

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‘CRISPR’ science: Newer genome editing tool shows promise in engineering human stem cells

January 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A powerful “genome editing” technology known as CRISPR has been used by researchers since 2012 to trim, disrupt, replace or add to sequences of an organism’s DNA. Now, scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine have shown that the system also precisely and efficiently alters human stem cells.

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