The same genes that are chemically altered during normal cell differentiation, as well as when normal cells become cancer cells, are also changed in stem cells that scientists derive from adult cells, according to new research from Johns Hopkins and Harvard.
Although genetically identical to the mature body cells from which they are derived, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are notably special in their ability to self-renew and differentiate into all kinds of cells. And now scientists have detected a remarkable if subtle molecular disparity between the two: They have distinct “epigenetic” signatures; that is, they differ in what gets
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
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Embryonic stem cells (ESC) can survive even when inserted into chains of polymers, in a process in which they are “weaved” into artificial and flexible tissues able to adapt to various types of transplants. In an innovative technique, stem cells could be used in the future to produce artificial organs, say researchers at University College London.
The technique was described in a study, published in Integrative Biology. It implements other research to shape living cells into engineered tissues, including a technique which would print a live tissue using an ink printer, which would substitute normal ink
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Researchers said on Sunday they had found a safer way to transform ordinary skin cells into powerful stem cells in a move that could eventually remove the need to use human embryos.
It is the first time that scientists have turned skin cells into induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells — which look and act like embryonic stem cells — without having to use viruses in the process.
The new method also allows for genes that are inserted to trigger cell reprogramming to be removed afterwards.
Stem cells are the body’s master cells, producing all the body’s tissues and
Researchers from the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and the Department of Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University claim that a gene shown to play a role in the aging process appears to play a role in the regulation of the differentiation of embryonic stem cells.
In the study, published online in the journal Aging Cell, the researchers identified a protein interaction that controls the silencing of Oct4, a key transcription factor that is critical to ensuring that embryonic stem cells remain pluripotent. The protein, WRNp, is the product of a gene associated with Werner syndrome, an autosomal