Tag Archives: Massachusetts General Hospital

Stem cells progress against ALS

Studies begun by Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) scientists eight years ago have led to a report published today that may be amount to a major step in developing treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The findings by Kevin Eggan, a professor in Harvard’s Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (HSCRB), and colleagues also has produced functionally identical results in human motor neurons in a laboratory dish and in a mouse model of the disease, demonstrating that modeling the human disease with customized stem cells in the laboratory could relatively soon eliminate some
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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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From Stem Cells to Lung Cells

Bronchi, bronchial tree, and lungs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How do you grow stem cells into lungs? The question has puzzled scientists for years. First you need the right recipe, and it took BU researchers Darrell Kotton, Tyler Longmire, and Laertis Ikonomou seven years of trial and error and painstaking science to come up with it. “A lot had to happen to make a lung,” says Kotton. “It was a little more complicated than Julia Child’s ‘heat, eat, bon appetit.’”

Kotton is a School of Medicine associate professor of medicine and pathology and codirector of the Center for Regenerative Medicine (CReM),
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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 cells put women on fertile ground

Stem cells from the ovaries of reproductive age women can give rise to cells that appear to be mature oocytes, suggesting that women can produce more eggs than the batch they are born with. The findings, reported in the March 2012 issue of Nature Medicine, open the door to a new generation of assisted fertility treatments.

Germline stem cells that produce oocytes in vitro and fertilization-competent eggs in vivo have been identified in and isolated from adult mouse ovaries. Here we describe and validate a fluorescence-activated cell sorting-based protocol that can be used with adult mouse ovaries and human ovarian
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