Tag Archives: Cell potency

Research Team Overcomes Major Obstacle for Stem Cell Therapies and Research

Professor Jeanne Loring

Stem cells show great potential to enable treatments for conditions such as spinal injuries or Lou Gehrig’s disease, and also as research tools. One of the greatest problems slowing such work is that researchers have found major complications in purifying cell mixtures, for instance to remove stem cells that can cause tumors from cells developed for use in medical treatments. But a group of Scripps Research scientists, working with colleagues in Japan, have developed a clever solution to this purification problem that should prove more reliable than other methods, safer, and perhaps 100 times cheaper.

The work
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Stem Cell Granted Key Patent for Liver Disease

International Stem Cell Corporation, a California-based biotechnology company, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted the Company a patent for a method of creating pure populations of definitive endoderm, precursor cells to liver and pancreas cells, from human pluripotent stem cells. This patent is a key element of ISCO’s metabolic liver disease program and allows the Company to produce the necessary quantities of precursor cells in a more efficient and cost effective manner.

The patent, 8,268,621, adds to the Company’s growing portfolio of proprietary technologies relating to the development of potential treatments
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Tracing the Beginnings of Hematopoietic Stem Cells

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) give rise to all other blood cell types, but their development and how their fate is determined has long remained a mystery. In a paper published online this week in Nature, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine elaborate upon a crucial signaling pathway and the role of key proteins, which may help clear the way to generate HSCs from human pluripotent precursors, similar to advances with other kinds of tissue stem cells.

Principal investigator David Traver, PhD, professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, and colleagues focused on the
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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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Stem cells tolerated by immune system

Many of us know by now that stem cells are remarkably fluid in the types of cells they can become. But this fluidity, or pluripotency, comes with a price. Several studies have shown that the body’s immune system will attack and reject even genetically identical transplanted stem cells, making it difficult to envision their usefulness for long-term therapies.

Now Stanford cardiologist Joseph Wu, MD, PhD, and his colleagues have shown that coaxing the stem cells to become more-specialized (a process known as differentiation) before transplantation allows the body to recognize and tolerate the cells. Their research was published today in
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