Tag Archives: Skin

Scientists Reprogram Skin Cells into Brain Cells

Scientists at the UCSF-affiliated Gladstone Institutes have for the first time transformed skin cells — with a single genetic factor — into cells that develop on their own into an interconnected, functional network of brain cells.

The research offers new hope in the fight against many neurological conditions because scientists expect that such a transformation — or reprogramming — of cells may lead to better models for testing drugs for devastating neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

This research comes at a time of renewed focus on Alzheimer’s disease, which currently afflicts 5.4 million people in the United States alone —
Read More…

Efficient process using microRNA converts human skin cells into neurons

The addition of two particular gene snippets to a skin cell’s usual genetic material is enough to turn that cell into a fully functional neuron, report researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine. The finding, published online July 13 in Nature, is one of just a few recent reports of ways to create human neurons in a lab dish.

The new capability to essentially grow neurons from scratch is a big step for neuroscience research, which has been stymied by the lack of human neurons for study. Unlike skin cells or blood cells, neurons are not something that’s easy
Read More…

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
Read More…

New Genetic Technique Converts Skin Cells into Brain Cells

A research breakthrough has proven that it is possible to reprogram mature cells from human skin directly into brain cells, without passing through the stem cell stage. The unexpectedly simple technique involves activating three genes in the skin cells; genes which are already known to be active in the formation of brain cells at the foetal stage.

The new technique avoids many of the ethical dilemmas that stem cell research has faced.

For the first time, a research group at Lund University in Sweden has succeeded in creating specific types of nerve cells from human skin. By reprogramming connective tissue cells,
Read More…

New Safer Way to Make Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found a better way to create induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells—adult cells reprogrammed with the properties of embryonic stem cells—from a small blood sample. This new method, described last week in Cell Research, avoids creating DNA changes that could lead to tumor formation.

“These iPS cells are much safer than ones made with previous technologies because they don’t involve integrating foreign viruses that can potentially lead to uncontrolled, cancerous cell growth,” says Linzhao Cheng, Ph.D., an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology and a
Read More…