Announcer: Recently, Dr. Ricardo Dolmetsch, an associate professor of neurobiology at Stanford, spoke with National Institute of Mental Health Director Dr. Thomas Insel. Devoted to Autism Spectrum Disorder research, Dr. Dolmetsch and his colleagues have generated stem cells from children with autism allowing them to study how the brain develops in children with ASD.
Dr. Thomas Insel: I thought a good place to begin the conversation was to ask you about your interest in autism and how that happened. You’re someone who trained in calcium channels… worked on very basic problems in molecular biology and now you’re interested in autism…
New technique removes several hurdles in generating induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, smoothing the way for disease research and drug development.
Stem cells are ideal tools to understand disease and develop new treatments; however, they can be difficult to obtain in necessary quantities. In particular, generating induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells can be an arduous task because reprogramming differentiated adult skin cells into iPS cells requires many steps and the efficiency is very low – researchers might end up with only a few iPS cells even if they started with a million skin cells.
A team at Sanford-Burnham Medical
A team of Harvard stem cell researchers has succeeded in reprogramming adult mouse skin cells directly into the type of motor neurons damaged in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), best known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). These new cells, which researchers are calling induced motor neurons (iMNs), can be used to study the development of the paralyzing diseases and to develop treatments for them.
Producing motor neurons this way is much less labor intensive than having to go through the process of creating induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC, iPS cells), and is so much faster than the
A team of scientists has discovered what could be a novel source for researching and potentially treating Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions involving the destruction of brain cells.
Researchers at the University of California San Francisco-affiliated Gladstone Institutes converted skin cells from mice and humans into brain stem cells with the use of a protein called Sox2. Using only this protein to transform the skin cells into neuron stem cells is unusual. Normally, the conversion process is much more complex.
Researchers at the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and the Sackler School of Medicine in Israel have shown how the kidneys constantly grow and have surprising ability to regenerate themselves, overturning decades of accepted wisdom that such regeneration didn’t happen. It also opens a path toward new ways of repairing and even growing kidneys.
“These are basic findings that have direct implications for kidney disease and kidney regeneration,” says Yuval Rinkevich, PhD, the lead author of the paper and a postdoctoral scholar at the institute.
The findings were published online May 15 in Cell Reports.