Tag Archives: California Institute of Technology

What Decides Neural Stem Cell Fate?

A gene called SOX2 acts as a stem cell gatekeeper – only cells expressing it have the potential to become neurons.

Early in embryonic development, the neural crest – a transient group of stem cells – gives rise to parts of the nervous system and several other tissues. But little is known about what determines which cells become neurons and which become other cell types. A team led by Dr. Alexey Terskikh at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) recently found that expression of a gene called SOX2 maintains the potential for neural crest stem cells to become neurons in the
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Young Investigators honored

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This year marks the 35th annual Young Investigators’ Award program, when School of Medicine trainee researchers are recognized for their stellar accomplishments in the lab. The event will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, April 13, in Mountcastle Auditorium in the Preclinical Teaching Building on the East Baltimore campus.

Researchers will celebrate and share their findings, and 13 students and three fellows will receive awards. Each award includes a cash prize and is named for a former member of the Johns Hopkins community.

Each spring students and fellows look forward
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Keeping Stem Cells Strong

When infections occur in the body, stem cells in the blood often jump into action by multiplying and differentiating into mature immune cells that can fight off illness. But repeated infections and inflammation can deplete these cell populations, potentially leading to the development of serious blood conditions such as cancer.

Now, a team of researchers led by biologists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has found that, in mouse models, the molecule microRNA-146a (miR-146a) acts as a critical regulator and protector of blood-forming stem cells (called hematopoietic stem cells, or HSCs) during chronic inflammation, suggesting that a deficiency of
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