Tag Archives: Doctor of Philosophy

Stem Cell Survival Strategy Is Key to Blood and Immune System Health

Stem cells of the aging bone marrow recycle their own molecules to survive and keep replenishing the blood and immune systems as the body ages, researchers at UC San Francisco (UCSF) have discovered.

The recycling process, known as autophagy, or self-eating, involves reusing molecules and the chemical energy obtained from these molecules to withstand the killing effect of metabolic stress that intensifies as the body ages.

The discovery, reported online Feb. 6 in the journal Nature, showed that autophagy allows stem cells to avoid the alternative response to stress, which is programmed cellular suicide, in which cells that aren’t
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Corneal stem cells to give mom better vision

Debra Astrug was struggling. She couldn’t read or drive, she worried about crossing the street to get the mail, and she couldn’t draw (…)

Astrug needed a transplant, this time of corneal stem cells from a living donor to fix her limbal stem cell deficiency, which causes the cornea to be covered with abnormal tissue. She underwent the transplant in March 2013 at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood and now has near-perfect vision with a therapeutic lens (…)

Astrug’s sister would have been an ideal candidate to donate the tissue, but she died in 2005 from stomach cancer. Next best
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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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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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