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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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Filling a void in stem cell therapy

September 15, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Stem cell therapies are often limited by low survival of transplanted stem cells and the lack of precise control over their differentiation into the terminal cell types needed to repair or replace injured tissues. Now, a team led by Wyss Institute Core Faculty member David Mooney, Ph.D., has developed a new strategy – embedding stem cells into porous, transplantable hydrogels – that has experimentally improved bone repair by boosting the survival rate of transplanted stem cells and influencing their cell differentiation.

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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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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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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.

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T-cell receptor therapy achieves encouraging clinical responses in multiple myeloma

July 21, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Results from a clinical trial investigating a new T cell receptor (TCR) therapy that uses a person’s own immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells demonstrated a clinical response in 80 percent of multiple myeloma patients with advanced disease after undergoing autologous stem cell transplants (ASCT). This time, researchers modified T cells to attack cancer cells expressing NY-ESO-1, an antigen found in nearly 60 percent of multiple myelomas and previously shown to be associated with tumor growth and poor prognosis.

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Stem cell therapy shows promise in small clinical trial for rare lung disease

July 21, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Canadian researchers have published promising results of the first clinical trial in the world of a genetically-enhanced stem cell therapy for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). This rare and deadly disease mainly affects young women, and is characterized by very high pressure in the arteries supplying blood to the lungs. In some cases, PAH is caused by a defective gene, but in many cases the cause is unknown. Currently available drugs can modestly improve symptoms and exercise capacity (at best), but cannot repair the blood vessel damage to the lungs or cure the disease.

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Stem cells move one step closer to cure for genetic diseases

July 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Stem cells are key for the continual renewal of tissues in our bodies. As such, manipulating stem cells also holds much promise for biomedicine if their regenerative capacity can be harnessed. However, understanding how stem cells govern normal tissue renewal is a field still in its infancy.

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Production of iPS cells: Discovery of the fifth element

July 9, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Since 2006, research has succeeded in generating, from specialised adult cells, induced pluripotent cells (iPS cells), with huge potential applications, particularly for regenerative medicine. However, the process has still not been completely mastered. Two teams of researchers from Inserm, CNRS, Centre Léon Bérard and Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University have discovered a molecule that may favour the production of these induced stem cells. Their work is published in Nature Communications, on 8 July 2015.

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Supercharging stem cells to create new therapies

July 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Researchers at the University of Adelaide have discovered a new method for culturing stem cells which sees the highly therapeutic cells grow faster and stronger.

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