Your hair may seem unwilling to cooperate some mornings, but at the root of each strand is a tiny partnership of stem cells that work very well together to make hair happen. New research from The Rockefeller University has elucidated how these adult stem cells communicate with each other to make hair grow and give it pigment.
“Deciphering the mechanisms behind stem cell differentiation advances our understanding of how adult stem cells can be used to maintain tissue integrity and heal wounds,” says Chiung-Ying Chang, a graduate student in the Laboratory of Elaine Fuchs, Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor
Tweaking the levels of factors used during the reprogramming of adult cells into induced pluriopotent stem (iPS) cells greatly affects the quality of the resulting iPS cells, according to Whitehead Institute researchers.
“This conclusion is something that I think is very surprising or unexpected—that the levels of these reprogramming factors determine the quality of the iPS cells,” says Whitehead Founding Member Rudolf Jaenisch. “We never thought they’d make a difference, but they do.”
An article describing this work is published in the December 2 issue of Cell Stem Cell.
“This conclusion is something that I think is very surprising or unexpected—that the
Never mind facial masks and exfoliating scrubs, skin takes care of itself. Stem cells located within the skin actively generate differentiating cells that can ultimately form either the body surface or the hairs that emanate from it. In addition, these stem cells are able to replenish themselves, continually rejuvenating skin and hair. Now, researchers at Rockefeller University have identified two proteins that enable these skin stem cells to undertake this continuous process of self-renewal.
The work, published in Nature Genetics, brings new details to the understanding of how stem cells maintain — and lose — their status as stem cells
Hepatitis C, an infectious disease that can cause inflammation and organ failure, has different effects on different people. But no one is sure why some people are very susceptible to the infection, while others are resistant.
Scientists believe that if they could study liver cells from different people in the lab, they could determine how genetic differences produce these varying responses. However, liver cells are difficult to obtain and notoriously difficult to grow in a lab dish because they tend to lose their normal structure and function when removed from the body.
Now, researchers from MIT, Rockefeller University and the Medical