Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) scientists collaborating with researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a “genome-editing” approach for permanently reducing cholesterol levels in mice through a single injection, a development that could reduce the risk of heart attacks in humans by 40 to 90 percent.
“For the first iteration of an experiment, this was pretty remarkable,” said Kiran Musunuru of HSCI, an assistant professor in Harvard’s Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (SCRB), and a cardiologist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Musunuru stressed, however, that it could take a decade of concerted effort to get this
UC San Diego scientists have dramatically improved the success rate of genetically modifying human embryonic stem cells. This advance brings the promise of better treatment of genetic diseases.
The new approach works in 20 percent of embryonic stem cells, compared to less than 1 percent treated with standard methods, said Yang Xu, a UCSD professor of biology, who led the study, assisted by Hoseok Song and Sun-Ku Chung, postdoctoral fellows in his lab.
The study was published Thursday in the journal Cell Stem Cell.
Some genetic diseases can’t be studied adequately in animals, Xu said, so the ability to produce human cells
Cellular Dynamics International‘s disclosure Wednesday that its researchers have generated stem cells from ordinary human blood samples holds enormous promise in the emerging field of personalized medicine.
The promise in the long term is that, by giving a vial or two of blood, we could all have our own personal stem cells to deploy in the event of a spinal cord injury or the onset of Parkinson’s disease or many other now-incurable diseases.
Cellular Dynamics is the first company to say it can make stem cells from something as readily available, and so representative of human diversity, as blood.
“This stuff sounds
Hikers know that moss on a tree trunk always points north. According to new research by Israeli and German scientists, this ancient plant may also provide a new “compass” for stem cell research, telling scientists how better to program stem cells for medical purposes.
Dr. Nir Ohad of Tel Aviv University‘s Department of Plant Sciences and Prof. Ralf Reski of the University of Freiburg have discovered a new use for the Polycomb group proteins (PcG) found in moss. They reported their findings recently in the journal Development. PcG proteins play an important role in telling stem cells how to develop,
Children with progeria, a rare disorder that causes premature aging, die in their teens of ailments that are common in octogenarians: heart failure and stroke. Kan Cao, a University of Maryland assistant professor of cell biology and molecular genetics, urgently wants to help find a cure. Cao and her colleagues have taken a big step in that direction, showing that a toxic protein destroys muscle cells inside the patients’ arteries. The researchers suspect the damaged arteries are more prone to failure.
The researchers conducted their experiments on smooth muscle cells that they genetically engineered. “This gives us a very good