Cells from people with premature aging disease get “younger” with the help of stem cell technology.
Premature aging is one of the most difficult-to-deal with conditions in the world. In addition to its physical consequences, its psychological impact is devastating on a person suffering from it. At this point, experts believe that the disease is caused by the fact that people predisposed to it have very short telomeres, which are repetitive stretches of DNA attached to the end of each chromosome in each cell featuring genetic material in the human body. As chromosomes multiply, the telomeres naturally get shorter, and
University of Minnesota Medical School researchers have developed a new strategy to improve the development of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS).
Currently, iPS cells are created by introducing four defined genes to an adult cell. The genes reprogram the adult cell into a stem cell, which can differentiate into many different types of the cells in the body. Typically, the four genes introduced are Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc, a combination known as OSKM.
The U of M researchers found that by fusing two proteins – a master stem cell regulator (Oct4) and a fragment of a muscle cell inducer (MyoD)
Even Superman needed to retire to a phone booth for a quick change. But now scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have succeeded in the ultimate switch: transforming mouse skin cells in a laboratory dish directly into functional nerve cells with the application of just three genes. The cells make the change without first becoming a pluripotent type of stem cell — a step long thought to be required for cells to acquire new identities.
The finding could revolutionize the future of human stem cell therapy and recast our understanding of how cells choose and maintain their specialties
Last year, Japanese researchers announced that the first human patient would be treated with induced pluripotent stem cells in an attempt to reverse a degenerative eye condition called macular degeneration that leads to vision loss.
Now, a team of scientists headed by biologists at UC San Diego has discovered how induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which are derived from an individual’s own cells, could be programmed to avoid rejection from the immune system.
Their findings, published online ahead of print in the journal Cell Stem Cell, show that iPS cells can differentiate or change into various types of functional cells with
Using a patient’s own stem cells, researchers at Johns Hopkins have corrected the genetic alteration that causes sickle cell disease (SCD), a painful, disabling inherited blood disorder that affects mostly African-Americans. The corrected stem cells were coaxed into immature red blood cells in a test tube that then turned on a normal version of the gene.
The research team cautions that the work, done only in the laboratory, is years away from clinical use in patients, but should provide tools for developing gene therapies for SCD and a variety of other blood disorders.
In an article published online August 31 in