Scientists have now shown that skin cells can be coaxed to behave like muscle cells and muscle cells like skin cells.
The fickleness of the cells, and the relative ease with which they make the switch, provide a glimpse into the genetic reprogramming that must occur for a cell to become something it’s not.
“We’d all like to understand what happens inside the black box (cell),” said Helen Blau, professor and member of Stanford University‘s Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine Institute and co-author of a new study on the subject.
Harnessing these genetic makeovers will allow scientists to better
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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
Scientists and transplant clinicians at the Ansary Stem Cell Institute at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Center for Cell Engineering at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have been awarded a $15.7 million, four-year research grant from the New York State Stem Cell Science Program (NYSTEM).
The scientists will translate their approach to manipulate hematopoietic stem cells to cure acquired and inherited blood disorders. For many patients with such blood diseases, including sickle cell disease, the only hope for a cure requires transplanting normal blood stem cells.
But in many instances suitable blood stem cells cannot be found or there are
Researchers have found a gene that could be key to the development of stem cells — cells that can potentially save millions of lives by morphing into practically any cell in the body.
The gene, known as ASF1A, is at least one of the genes responsible for the mechanism of cellular reprogramming, a phenomenon that can turn one cell type into another, which is key to the making of stem cells.
Researchers at the Michigan State University analysed more than 5,000 genes from a human egg, or oocyte, before determining that the ASF1A, along with another gene known as OCT4 and
Not unlike looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack, a team of Michigan State University researchers have found a gene that could be key to the development of stem cells – cells that can potentially save millions of lives by morphing into practically any cell in the body.
The gene, known as ASF1A, was not discovered by the team. However, it is at least one of the genes responsible for the mechanism of cellular reprogramming, a phenomenon that can turn one cell type into another, which is key to the making of stem cells (…)
“This has the potential to