Tag Archives: Doctor of Philosophy

Scientists Identify Critical Process in Stem Cell Development

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have discovered that environmental factors critically influence the growth of a type of stem cell — called an iPS cell — that is derived from adult skin cells. This discovery offers newfound understanding of how these cells form, while also advancing science closer to stem cell-based therapies to combat disease.

Researchers in the laboratory of Gladstone Senior Investigator Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, have for the first time shown that protein factors released by other cells affect the “reprogramming” of adult cells into stem cells known as induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells. The scientists
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Kidneys grow continuously in adults

Researchers at the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and the Sackler School of Medicine in Israel have shown how the kidneys constantly grow and have surprising ability to regenerate themselves, overturning decades of accepted wisdom that such regeneration didn’t happen. It also opens a path toward new ways of repairing and even growing kidneys.

“These are basic findings that have direct implications for kidney disease and kidney regeneration,” says Yuval Rinkevich, PhD, the lead author of the paper and a postdoctoral scholar at the institute.

The findings were published online May 15 in Cell Reports.

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STEM CELLS BATTLE FOR SPACE

The body is a battle zone. Cells constantly compete with one another for space and dominance. Though the manner in which some cells win this competition is well known to be the survival of the fittest, how stem cells duke it out for space and survival is not as clear. A study on fruit flies published in the October 2 issue of Science by Johns Hopkins researchers describes how stem cells win this battle by literally sticking around.

“Our work exemplifies how one signal coordinately maintains two types of stem cells in a single niche, or microenvironment,” says Erika Matunis,
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Umbilical Stem Cells May Help Recover Lost Vision for Those With Corneal Disease

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CINCINNATI—New research from the University of Cincinnati may help in the recovery of lost vision for patients with corneal scarring.

Winston Whei-Yang Kao, PhD, professor of ophthalmology, along with other researchers in UC’s ophthalmology department found that transplanting human umbilical mesenchymal stem cells into mouse models that lack the protein lumican restored the transparency of cloudy and thin corneas.

Mesenchymal stem cells are “multi-potent” stem cells that can differentiate into a variety of cell types.

These findings are being presented Dec. 8 in San Diego at the 49th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Cell Biology.

“Corneal transplantation is currently
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Source of invasive bladder cancer found

Philip Beachy, PhD, professor of biochemistry and of developmental biology, said they’ve learned that, at an intermediate stage during cancer progression, a single cancer stem cell and its progeny can quickly and completely replace the entire bladder lining.

With their model in place, the researchers then conducted two main experiments in the mice: In the first experiment, they looked to see what would happen in animals exposed to BBN when the sonic-hedgehog-expressing cells were marked with a distinctive fluorescent color. In the second, they used genetic techniques to selectively kill those same cells in animals prior to exposure with BBN.

In
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