Top

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.

Read more

Role of telomeres in plant stem cells discovered

May 3, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The role played by telomeres in mammalian cells has been known for several years. It is also known that these non-coding DNA sequences, which are found at the ends of the chromosomes, protect them and are necessary to ensure correct cell division. What is more, the “youngest” cells have longer telomeres, and as these cells divide, the telomeres get shorter until they no longer permit new cell divisions. This telomere shortening process has also been associated with cancer, which emphasises the important implications of these structures, not only in the ageing process, but also in the oncology field or other age-associated illnesses.

Read more

Super-resolution microscopes reveal the link between genome packaging and cell pluripotency

March 13, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

In 1953 Watson and Crick first published the discovery of the double helix structure of the DNA. They were able to visualize the DNA structure by means of X-Ray diffraction. Techniques, such as electron microscopy, allowed scientists to identify nucleosomes, the first and most basic level of chromosome organisation. Until now it was known that our DNA is packaged by regular repeating units of those nucleosomes throughout the genome giving rise to chromatin. However, due to the lack of suitable techniques and instruments, the chromatin organisation inside a cell nucleus could not be observed in a non-invasive way with the sufficient resolution. Now, for the first time, a group of scientists at the CRG and ICFO in Barcelona, have been able to visualise and even count the smallest units which, packaged together, form our genome. This study was possible thanks to the use of super-resolution microscopy, a new cutting-edge optical technique that received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2014. In combination with innovative quantitative approaches and numerical simulations, they were also able to define the genome architecture at the nano-scale. Most importantly, they found that the nucleosomes are assembled in irregular groups across the chromatin and nucleosome-free-DNA regions separate these groups.

Read more

Autophagy helps fast track stem cell activation

October 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered a link between a protective mechanism used by cells and the activation of muscle stem cells. Cells use autophagy to recycle cellular “building blocks” and generate energy during times of nutrient deprivation. The scientists report in The EMBO Journal that when this protective mechanism is operational it also seems to assist in the activation of stem cells.

Read more

Weakness of leukemic stem cells discovered

August 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Despite improved therapy, only one out of every two adult patients survive acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). The mean survival time for this disease, which predominantly occurs in the elderly, is less than a year for patients over 65 years. It is assumed that leukaemic stem cells, which cannot be completely eliminated during treatment, are the origin of relapse. However, as has been discovered by a team of Frankfurt-based researchers, these cells do have a weakness: In the current edition of the high impact journal “Cancer Research“, they report that the enzyme 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) plays a significant role in the survival of leukaemic AML stem cells.

Read more

Like mom or dad? Some cells randomly express one parent’s version of a gene over the other

February 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

We are a product of our parents. Maybe you have your mother’s large, dark eyes, and you inherited your father’s infectious smile. Both parents contribute one copy, or allele, of each gene to their offspring, so that we have two copies of every gene for a given trait – one from mom, the other from dad. In general, both copies of a gene are switched on or off as an embryo develops into an adult. The “switching on” of a gene begins the process of gene expression that ultimately results in the production of a protein.

Read more

Advances in stem cell transplantation strategies show promise to improve availability, success

December 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), once considered an effective yet risky alternative to drug therapy for blood cancer, has become more accessible and successful in a wide range of patients as a result of major advances in transplant strategies and technologies. Several studies representing these advances were presented today during the 55th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans.

Read more

Blood stem cells age at the unexpected flip of a molecular switch

October 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Scientists report in Nature they have found a novel and unexpected molecular switch that could become a key to slowing some of the ravages of getting older as it prompts blood stem cells to age.

Read more

Stomach cells naturally revert to stem cells

October 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

New research has shown that the stomach naturally produces more stem cells than previously realized, likely for repair of injuries from infections, digestive fluids and the foods we eat.

Read more

Stem cell study could aid quest to combat range of diseases

June 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Scientists have taken a vital step forward in understanding how cells from skin tissue can be reprogrammed to become stem cells.

Read more

Next Page »

Bottom