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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
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One factor, not four like a majority of biologists throughout the world have said up until now, is sufficient to convert an adult stem cell into a cell that is similar to an embryonic stem cell. A recipe that is much more simple than what the scientific community has believed has been discovered by Hans Schöler and his colleagues, who include Italians ,Vittorio Sebastiano and Luca Gentile, from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Germany. The study, published in February’s edition of Cell, shows for the first time that nerve stem cells taken from
Professor Jeanne Loring
Stem cells show great potential to enable treatments for conditions such as spinal injuries or Lou Gehrig’s disease, and also as research tools. One of the greatest problems slowing such work is that researchers have found major complications in purifying cell mixtures, for instance to remove stem cells that can cause tumors from cells developed for use in medical treatments. But a group of Scripps Research scientists, working with colleagues in Japan, have developed a clever solution to this purification problem that should prove more reliable than other methods, safer, and perhaps 100 times cheaper.
How will stem cells change the way we think about treating diseases? Here is the 5 year forward look at the world of Stem Cells, from some of the greatest experts in the field.
What are the diseases we’ll be treating, and the tools we’ll be using in 2015? Where will we be in terms of clinical trials? What are the dangers in the stem cell hype, and medical tourism? How will stem cells pave the way for personalized medicine, and more rational treatments? How important will stem cells become in the drug discovery process? Discussed in the
Scientists at the UCSF-affiliated Gladstone Institutes and an international team of researchers have generated a human model of Huntington’s disease — directly from the skin cells of patients with the disease.
For years, scientists have studied Huntington’s disease primarily in post-mortem brain tissue or laboratory animals modified to mimic the disease. Today, in Cell Stem Cell, the international team shows how they developed a human model of Huntington’s disease, which causes a diverse range of neurological impairments. The new model should help scientists better understand the development of Huntington’s — and provide better ways to identify and screen potential therapeutics