Tag Archives: Cell biology

Stem Cell-Based Therapy to Relieve COPD Symptoms

New developments in regenerative medicine are bringing about exciting, novel approaches to create therapies for hard to treat diseases. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a hard to treat disorder that progressively blocks airflow in the lungs making it increasingly difficult for an individual to breathe, and is one of the leading illnesses in the US. Yet, current treatments for COPD can only try to limit the extent of damage to the lungs, and to bring some relief from symptoms.

Novel treatments for COPD are urgently needed, and new applications with the use of adult stem cells may
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Two Proteins let Skin Cells to return to life

Never mind facial masks and exfoliating scrubs, skin takes care of itself. Stem cells located within the skin actively generate differentiating cells that can ultimately form either the body surface or the hairs that emanate from it. In addition, these stem cells are able to replenish themselves, continually rejuvenating skin and hair. Now, researchers at Rockefeller University have identified two proteins that enable these skin stem cells to undertake this continuous process of self-renewal.

The work, published in Nature Genetics, brings new details to the understanding of how stem cells maintain — and lose — their status as stem cells
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A New Role for Old Sox

Understanding the genetic underpinnings of the biology of stem cells is crucial for their use in disease research and treatment. Scientists have identified a variety of genetic factors that maintain self renewal properties in embryonic, fetal, and adult stem cells. But whether these cell types are controlled by the same or different molecules is a persisting question.

Recent work from HSCI Principal Faculty Konrad Hochedlinger, PhD, begins to crack that mystery. Sox2 is a gene whose expression is required for maintaining pluripotency in early embryonic cells and regulating tissue development in the fetal stage. But until now, Sox2 expression had
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Expanding the uses of stem cells extracted from fat

Stem cells extracted from body fat may pave the way for the development of new regenerative therapies including soft tissue reconstruction following tumor removal or breast mastectomy surgery, the development of tissue-engineered cartilage or bone, and the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

An interdisciplinary team of Queen’s University researchers led by Dr. Lauren Flynn, a professor in the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Anatomy and Cell Biology, has been working with stem cells extracted from samples of human fat and is developing new methods in the lab to develop these cells into mature tissue substitutes.

While stem cells extracted from fat cannot
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Stem cells and you can forget diabetes

A team of researchers has brought the end of diabetes closer to reality by announcing a new breakthrough that could lead directly to a cure and not just a treatment for the disease.

The scientists discovered a protein that activates the maturation process in vitro, overcoming this longstanding obstacle in diabetes therapy development.

“In a dish, with this one switch, it’s possible to produce a functional human beta cell that’s responding almost as well as the natural thing,” says senior author Ronald Evans of the Salk Institute. “This has been a major blockade, and overcoming it has been a major challenge
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