Tag Archives: Reprogramming

Seeking superior stem cells

New technique produces one hundred-fold increase in efficiency in reprogramming human cells

Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have today (10/10/2011) announced a new technique to reprogramme human cells, such as skin cells, into stem cells. Their process increases the efficiency of cell reprogramming by one hundred-fold and generates cells of a higher quality at a faster rate.

Until now cells have been reprogrammed using four specific regulatory proteins. By adding two further regulatory factors, Liu and co-workers brought about a dramatic improvement in the efficiency of reprogramming and the robustness of stem cell development. The new streamlined process produces
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Reprogrammed stem cells hit a roadblock

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Is there a future for stem cell therapies that don’t use embryonic stem cells? An international study involving EPFL has raised doubts, by showing that “reprogramming” adult stem cells leads to genetic aberrations.

It’s a discordant note in the symphony of good news that usually accompanies stem cell research announcements. Stem cells hold enormous promise in regenerative medicine, thanks to their ability to regenerate diseased or damaged tissues. They have made it possible to markedly improve the effectiveness of many medical treatments – muscle regeneration in cases of dystrophy, skin grafts for treating burn victims, and the
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Stem Cells to Reverse Parkinson’s

A team of researchers has now compared the ability of cells derived from different types of human stem cell to reverse disease in a rat model of Parkinson disease and identified a stem cell population that they believe could be clinically relevant.

Parkinson disease results from the progressive loss of a specific subpopulation of nerve cells. Current treatments provide only relief from the symptoms of the disease and cannot reverse the nerve cell loss.

Stem cells are considered by many to be promising candidate sources of cells to reverse nerve cell loss in individuals with Parkinson disease through their ability to
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Gene key to develop stem cells

Researchers have found a gene that could be key to the development of stem cells — cells that can potentially save millions of lives by morphing into practically any cell in the body.

The gene, known as ASF1A, is at least one of the genes responsible for the mechanism of cellular reprogramming, a phenomenon that can turn one cell type into another, which is key to the making of stem cells.

Researchers at the Michigan State University analysed more than 5,000 genes from a human egg, or oocyte, before determining that the ASF1A, along with another gene known as OCT4 and
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