Cells from people with premature aging disease get “younger” with the help of stem cell technology.
Premature aging is one of the most difficult-to-deal with conditions in the world. In addition to its physical consequences, its psychological impact is devastating on a person suffering from it. At this point, experts believe that the disease is caused by the fact that people predisposed to it have very short telomeres, which are repetitive stretches of DNA attached to the end of each chromosome in each cell featuring genetic material in the human body. As chromosomes multiply, the telomeres naturally get shorter, and
The team at Children’s Hospital Boston and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute were working with a new type of cell called induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells, which closely resemble embryonic stem cells but are made from ordinary skin cells.
In this case, they wanted to study a rare, inherited premature aging disorder called dyskeratosis congenita. The blood marrow disorder resembles the better-known aging disease progeria and causes premature graying, warped fingernails and other symptoms as well as a high risk of cancer.
One of the benefits of stem cells and iPS cells is that researchers can make them from
Mental retardation, altered facial characteristics, and heart problems are all problems suffered by children affected by Costello syndrome, a genetic disease that is being studied by researchers in Milan at the Italian Foundation for Cancer Research (FIRC) Institute of molecular oncology (IFOM) using the zebrafish as a model.
The cause of the disease – explained the scientists in the January issue of ‘Disease Models & Mechanisms’ monthly magazine – is a mutation of the Ras gene, the same alteration observed in 20pct of tumors. One out of every five cases of cancer and the rare genetic disease have a common
Stem cells are not invincible and therefore not likely to be the magic wand in the world of medicine, but they may be a great clue in finding what will be, a research professor explained on Thursday.
As part of a stem cell seminar series, Barbara Driscoll, Ph. D presented a lecture in the U Building titled “The Impact of Aging on Stem Cells.” The presentation covered basic information about stem cells, the aging process of mammals and how the two are so crucial to the next great discovery in medicine.
Driscoll is an assistant professor of Developmental Biology at USC