Tag Archives: Harvard Medical School

Reversal of aging achieved

Harvard scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute say they have for the first time partially reversed age-related degeneration in mice, resulting in new growth of the brain and testes, improved fertility, and the return of a lost cognitive function.

In a report posted online by the journal Nature in advance of print publication, researchers led by Ronald A. DePinho, a Harvard Medical School (HMS) professor of genetics, said they achieved the milestone in aging science by engineering mice with a controllable telomerase gene. The telomerase enzyme maintains the protective caps called telomeres that shield the ends of chromosomes.

As humans age, low
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Linking science and religion

Shelley Brown was pointing toward a life of cutting-edge stem cell research. Then one day in 2010, she says, she encountered the divine.

“Something was moving, and I thought I must have hit the petri dish by accident,” said Brown, who had been trying to direct a set of stem cells toward bone cells during her Ph.D. work in biomedical engineering at the University of Michigan. “When I looked closer under the microscope, I realized the cells were beating. They had spontaneously differentiated into electrically coupled, beating heart cells. That’s when I felt at the mercy of God, and that’s
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Stem Cells with potential to become eggs found in ovaries

Researchers found stem cells in the ovaries of young women that have the potential to become healthy eggs. Applications of this discovery may help women have children that were once too old to or left infertile because of disease.

Natalie Melgar-Fetzer, a junior in ICS from Maryland said “It’s interesting because it can give women with reproductive problems the opportunity to have children. So many people want to have babies but can’t for whatever reason.”

Researchers have already created potentially viable eggs from these stem cells by adding a protein to them as well as a gene that makes jellyfish glow
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Stem Cells Used to Grow Hearts

From left to right: A normal pig heart, a pig heart after being decellularised, the pig heart prepared for recellularisation. Photos courtesy of the University of Minnesota.

In a medical first, University researchers have created a beating heart in the laboratory. Using detergents, they stripped away the cells from rat hearts until only the nonliving matrix, or “skeleton,” was left; they then repopulated the matrix with fresh heart cells.

If perfected, the technique may be used someday to generate new hearts for patients. In the United States alone, about 5 million people live with heart failure, 550,000 new cases are
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Birth of new cardiac cells

A sophisticated imaging system, multi-isotope imaging mass spectrometry (MIMS), demonstrates cell division in the adult mammalian heart. Researchers were surprised to find that new heart muscle cells primarily arose from existing heart muscle cells, rather than stem cells.

Recent research has shown that there are new cells that develop in the heart, but how these cardiac cells are born and how frequently they are generated remains unclear.

In a study from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), researchers used a novel method to identify the new heart cells and describe their origins.

The research was published today in Nature.

“The question about how
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