Scientists have for the first time watched and manipulated stem cells as they regenerate tissue in an uninjured mammal, Yale researchers report July 1 online in the journal Nature.
Using a sophisticated imaging technique, the researchers also demonstrated that mice lacking a certain type of cell do not regrow hair. The same technique could shed light on how stem cells interact with other cells and trigger repairs in a variety of other organs, including lung and heart tissue.
“This tells us a lot about how the tissue regeneration process works,” said Valentina Greco, assistant professor of genetics and of dermatology at
Scientists have now shown that skin cells can be coaxed to behave like muscle cells and muscle cells like skin cells.
The fickleness of the cells, and the relative ease with which they make the switch, provide a glimpse into the genetic reprogramming that must occur for a cell to become something it’s not.
“We’d all like to understand what happens inside the black box (cell),” said Helen Blau, professor and member of Stanford University‘s Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine Institute and co-author of a new study on the subject.
Harnessing these genetic makeovers will allow scientists to better
Designer babies, the end of diseases, genetically modified humans that never age. Outrageous things that used to be science fiction are suddenly becoming reality. The only thing we know for sure is that things will change irreversibly.
Imagine you were alive back in the
nineteen eighties and were told the
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she would own a handheld device orders
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supercomputers it would seem absurd but
then all of it habit science fiction
became our reality that we don’t even
think about it
The master regulator of muscle differentiation, MyoD, functions early in myogenesis to help stem cells proliferate in response to muscle injury, according to researchers at Case Western Reserve University.
The study appears online Jan. 4 in the Journal of Cell Biology.
Some stem cells can lay dormant for more than two weeks in a dead person and then be revived to divide into new, functioning cells, scientists in France said.
The research, published in the journal Nature Communications, unlocks further knowledge about the versatility of these cells, touted as a future source to replenish damaged tissue.
“Remarkably, skeletal muscle stem cells can survive for 17 days in humans and 16 days in mice, post mortem well beyond the 1-2 days currently thought,” they said in a statement.
The stem cells retained their ability to differentiate into perfectly functioning muscle cells, they found.