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Blocking differentiation is enough to give cells ‘stemness’

October 23, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Though immune therapy and regenerative medicine are promising areas of research for future medical therapies, they are limited today by the difficulty of creating stem cells, and scientists around the world are searching for ways to create somatic stem cells in the easiest way possible. Now, a collaboration between the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Science (IMS) and other institutions in Japan and Europe have found that in immune cells, simply blocking a transcription factor that leads to differentiation is sufficient to keep cells in a multipotent stem cell-like state where they can continue to proliferate and can later differentiate into various cell types.

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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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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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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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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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Discovery offers hope for treating leukemia relapse post-transplant

September 11, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Targeting exhausted immune cells may change the prognosis for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) relapse after a stem cell transplant, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

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Switching mouse neural stem cells to a primate-like behavior

August 8, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

When the right gene is expressed in the right manner in the right population of stem cells, the developing mouse brain can exhibit primate-like features. In a paper publishing August 7th in the Open Access journal PLOS Biology, researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG) succeeded in mimicking the sustained expression of the transcription factor Pax6 as seen in the developing human brain, in mouse cortical progenitor cells. This altered the behavior of these cells to one that is akin to that of progenitors in the developing primate neocortex. Consequently, the mouse progenitors generated more neurons – a prerequisite for a bigger brain.

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Stem cells provide lasting pain relief in mice

July 14, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Chronic pain caused by the nerve damage of type 2 diabetes, surgical amputation, chemotherapy and other conditions is especially intractable because it resists painkilling medications.

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Blood stem cells in a rush — velocity determines quality

July 11, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

For the first time, the research group of Prof. Claudia Waskow at the Carl Gustav Carus Faculty of Medicine at Dresden Technical University is now describing a new mechanism in which the length of the G1 phase of the cell cycle has a dramatic impact on the fitness of human blood stem cells. In the study, the shortened G1 phase resulted in much improved continuous production of mature blood cells from stem cells over a prolonged period of time. It is imaginable that the stem cell function can also be increased in the human body in the future by an acceleration of cell cycle transition kinetic. The work has now been published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine(DOI:10.1084/jem.20150308).

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New measurements reveal differences between stem cells for treating retinal degeneration

July 3, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

By growing two types of stem cells in a “3-D culture” and measuring their ability to produce retinal cells, a team lead by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital researchers has found one cell type to be better at producing retinal cells.

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