Tag Archives: Harvard Medical School

Enhancing the regenerative capacity of stem cells

tem cell scientists scored what at first appeared an easy win for regenerative medicine when they discovered mesenchymal stem cells several decades ago. These cells, found in bone marrow, can give rise to fat, bone, and muscle tissue, and have been used in hundreds of clinical trials for tissue repair. Unfortunately, the results of these trials have been underwhelming. One problem is that these stem cells don’t stick around in the body long enough to benefit patients.

But Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) scientists at Boston Children’s Hospital aren’t ready to give up. A research team led by Juan Melero-Martin
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Stem Cell Therapy is Reality

The mesenchymal stem cells found in the bone marrow can give rise to bone, fat, and muscle tissue, and have been used in hundreds of clinical trials for tissue repair.

Unfortunately, the results of these trials have been underwhelming, the main problem being that these stem cells do not stick around in the body long enough to benefit the patient.

Researchers have now found that transplanting mesenchymal stem cells along with blood vessel-forming cells naturally found in circulation improves results.

Stem cells used to make “heart disease-on-a-chip”

Harvard scientists have merged stem cell and ‘organ-on-a-chip’ technologies to grow, for the first time, functioning human heart tissue carrying an inherited cardiovascular disease.

The research appears to be a big step forward for personalized medicine, as it is working proof that a chunk of tissue containing a patient’s specific genetic disorder can be replicated in the laboratory.

The work, published in Nature Medicine, is the result of a collaborative effort bringing together scientists from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Boston Children’s Hospital, the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Harvard Medical
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Brain stem cell transplant may pave way for Parkinson’s

Neuron transplants have repaired brain circuitry and substantially normalized function in mice with a brain disorder, an advance indicating that key areas of the mammalian brain are more reparable than was widely believed.

Collaborators from Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) transplanted normally functioning embryonic neurons at a carefully selected stage of their development into the hypothalamus of mice unable to respond to leptin, a hormone that regulates metabolism and controls body weight. These mutant mice usually become morbidly obese, but the neuron transplants repaired defective brain circuits, enabling
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Maryland in the biotechnology spotlight: Cancer stem cell research gains traction, tackles new targets

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In the decades-long war on cancer, as of late, researchers had been making little progress in comparison to colleagues treating other conditions, such as cardiac or infectious diseases. “Cancer research has really plateaued out,” William Matsui, an associate professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins University‘s School of Medicine, said at the 2009 World Stem Cell Summit here on Tuesday. But pushing cancer stem cell research “gives us a novel way to study cancer,” said Matsui, who also runs a lab at the university’s Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Cancer and stem cells have had a fraught relationship—not in
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