Tag Archives: Parkinson’s disease

Researchers directly turn mouse skin cells into neurons

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
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StemCells can avoid rejection from the immune system

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
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Adult Stem Cell Research Helps Parkinson’s and Heart Failure Patients

Balanced Article on Stem Cell Research
In a surprisingly balanced article on stem cell research from the mainstream media, Adult Stem Cells have helped at least two more patients- one for congestive heart failure and the other for Parkinson’s disease.
In an article by Forbes Magazine, they took a fair look at stem cell treatments abroad. […]

North Carolina University Researchers Advance Understanding of Stem Cells

Researchers from North Carolina State University have identified a gene that tells embryonic stem cells in the brain when to stop producing nerve cells called neurons. The research is a significant advance in understanding the development of the nervous system, which is essential to addressing conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders.

The bulk of neuron production in the central nervous system takes place before birth, and comes to a halt by birth. But scientists have identified specific regions in the core of the brain that retain stem cells into adulthood and continue to produce new
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Minimizing background noise in stem cell culture

Cells grown in culture are not alone: They are constantly communicating with one another by sending signals through their culture media that are picked up and transmitted by other cells in the media. When thousands of cells are cultured together in a dish, there are hundreds of thousands of these signals present every minute, all competing to be heard.

Scientists trying to direct cells to do useful things — like causing stem cells to turn into neurons or heart cells — typically try to overcome these signals by adding their own exogenous factors. These exogenous factors are often added at
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