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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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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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A snapshot of stem cell expression

October 2, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Researchers on the Wellcome Genome Campus reveal new genes involved in stem cell pluripotency, new subpopulations of cells and new methods to find meaning in the data. Published in Cell Stem Cell, the findings have implications for the study of early development.

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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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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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Stem cells help researchers study the effects of pollution on human health

August 10, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A recent study published in the Journal of Environmental Sciences (JES) shows that embryonic stem cells could serve as a model to evaluate the physiological effects of environmental pollutants efficiently and cost-effectively.

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Stem cell transplantation for children with rare form of leukemia improves outcomes

July 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Researchers in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles have shown greatly improved outcomes in using stem cell transplantation to treat patients with a serious but very rare form of chronic blood cancer called juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML).

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