The same genes that are chemically altered during normal cell differentiation, as well as when normal cells become cancer cells, are also changed in stem cells that scientists derive from adult cells, according to new research from Johns Hopkins and Harvard.
Although genetically identical to the mature body cells from which they are derived, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are notably special in their ability to self-renew and differentiate into all kinds of cells. And now scientists have detected a remarkable if subtle molecular disparity between the two: They have distinct “epigenetic” signatures; that is, they differ in what gets
Image via Wikipedia
SCIENTISTS HAVE taken another important step towards producing replacement tissues for the body using stem cells. A group in Germany has developed a simpler way to produce these cells using just one special factor instead of the usual four.
The work helps build knowledge of how to produce the most powerful or “pluripotent” stem cells but new treatments using them are still some distance into the future, according to stem cell specialist Dr Stephen Sullivan.
Prof Hans Schöler led the work at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine and details are published this morning online by the journal
Image by Getty Images via Daylife
Sheng Ding, the leader of a group of researchers at the Scripps Research Institute of the La Jolla University in California, spoke about using chemistry-related techniques to obtain pluripotent stem cells from a miniscule section of skin at Milan University in a conference on stem cells.
Experts were able to cause some skin cells in mice to regress to their embryonic state by injecting four proteins into an adult mouse without performing any sort of DNA manipulation. A technique that, according to their idea, could be safer than techniques based on genetic manipulation. The
Image by engineroomblog via Flickr
Using skin cells from people with type 1 diabetes, researchers were able to produce cells that made insulin in response to changing blood sugar levels, though not as efficiently as normal insulin-producing cells do. (…) “This is a big deal,” said Susan Solomon, CEO of the New York Stem Cell Foundation, which provided some of the funding for the study. “Tackling the basic biology of type 1 diabetes, which is a very complex disease, is a critical step. With these cells, we can see in a dish what’s happening to the immune system, and if
In a landmark paper, researchers at Stanford University have described a new way to derive human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) without the use of contaminating mouse feeder cells. Using adipose cells as the starting cell population and mTeSR1, a defined medium that allows the expansion of human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells without the use of feeders, the researchers were able to fully reprogram the cells to the pluripotent state.
mTeSR1 is a fully defined medium and is the most widely used feeder-independent method for culturing human pluripotent stem cells, with citations in more than 25 publications.