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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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Knowing what to keep and what to trash: How an enzyme distinguishes cellular messages

August 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Every once in a while, we are forced to sort that stack of papers on the kitchen counter. Interspersed between the expired coupons and dozens of takeout menus are important documents like your car insurance or electric bill. So it isn’t an option to simply drop it all in the trash at once – you need to read through the messages to be sure that you don’t lose vital information.

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A novel surface marker helps scientists ‘fish out’ mammary gland stem cells

April 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Cold Spring Harbor, NY – Stem cells are different from all other cells in our body because they retain the remarkable genetic plasticity to self-renew indefinitely as well as develop into cell types with more specialized functions. However, this remarkable self-renewal capacity comes with a price, as stem cells can become seeds of cancer. Identifying genetic programs that maintain self-renewing capabilities therefore is a vital step in understanding the errors that derail a normal stem cell, sending it on a path to become a cancer stem cell.

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