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,
UCLA researchers have found that embryonic stem cells and skin cells reprogrammed into embryonic-like cells have inherent molecular differences, demonstrating for the first time that the two cell types are clearly distinguishable from one another.
The data from the study suggest that embryonic stem cells and the reprogrammed cells, known as induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, have overlapping but still distinct gene expression signatures. The differing signatures were evident regardless of where the cell lines were generated, the methods by which they were derived or the species from which they were isolated, said William Lowry, a researcher with
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Globs of human fat removed during liposuction conceal versatile cells that are more quickly and easily coaxed to become induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, than are the skin cells most often used by researchers, according to a new study from Stanford’s School of Medicine. The findings were published online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“We’ve identified a great natural resource,” said Stanford surgery professor and co-author of the research, Michael Longaker, who has called the readily available liposuction leftovers “liquid gold.” Reprogramming adult cells to function like embryonic stem
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Whitehead Institute researchers have developed a novel method of removing potential cancer-causing genes during the reprogramming of skin cells from Parkinson’s disease patients into an embryonic-stem-cell-like state. Scientists were then able to use the resulting induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to derive dopamine-producing neurons, the cell type that degenerates in Parkinson’s disease patients.
The work marks the first time researchers have generated human iPS cells that have maintained their embryonic stem-cell-like properties after the removal of reprogramming genes. The findings are published in the March 6 edition of the journal Cell.
Removing the reprogramming genes is also important because
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