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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
Steven Goldman, M.D., Ph.D.
Scientists have created a way to isolate neural stem cells – cells that give rise to all the cell types of the brain – from human brain tissue with unprecedented precision, an important step toward developing new treatments for conditions of the nervous system, like Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases and spinal cord injury.
The work by a team of neuroscientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center was published in the Nov. 3 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience. Neurologist Steven Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Neurology, led the
“Now that we have identified SOX10 as an initiator of myelination, we can work on developing a viral or pharmaceutical approach to inducing it in MS patients,” says Fraser J. Sim, PhD, assistant professor and senior author of the paper.
Transcription factors are proteins or molecules that bind to DNA and alter which genes are turned on, or expressed.
“If we could create a drug that would switch on SOX10, that would be therapeutically important,” Sim explains.
Removing Barriers to MS Stem Cell Therapy
Targeting SOX10 offers hope for a viable stem cell treatment for MS.
Long seen as having dramatic potential for treating
From left to right: A normal pig heart, a pig heart after being decellularised, the pig heart prepared for recellularisation. Photos courtesy of the University of Minnesota.
In a medical first, University researchers have created a beating heart in the laboratory. Using detergents, they stripped away the cells from rat hearts until only the nonliving matrix, or “skeleton,” was left; they then repopulated the matrix with fresh heart cells.
If perfected, the technique may be used someday to generate new hearts for patients. In the United States alone, about 5 million people live with heart failure, 550,000 new cases are