Cardiomyocytes, the workhorse cells that make up the beating heart, can now be made cheaply and abundantly in the laboratory.
A team of Wisconsin scientists describes a way to transform human stem cells — both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells — into the critical heart muscle cells by simple manipulation of one key developmental pathway. The technique promises a uniform, inexpensive and far more efficient alternative to the complex bath of serum or growth factors now used to nudge blank slate stem cells to become specialized heart cells.
“Our protocol is more efficient and robust,” explains Sean Palecek, the senior
Storing your children’s umbilical stem cells in private banks for autologous use is a growing trend. But is it an evil marketing ploy, a useless precaution, or a winning strategy? The debate rages on, but perhaps a report in Newsweek could shift the balance in favor of this practice.
When he was 9 months old, Dallas Hextall was diagnosed with cerebral paralysis, a serious neural disorder caused by oxygen deprivation in the uterus or at birth. His parents consulted many neurologists, but according to them, he boy’s chances for a recovery were almost non-existant.
The extensive research on stem cells has revolutionised the way life-threatening diseases like leukaemia and aplastic anaemia can be treated.
But there are several steps before these diseases can be treated using stem cells.
To begin with, the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)-typing of the patient is done. Doctors then get into the process of finding a matched donor from the computerised list made available to them by National Marrow Donor Programme (NMDP), U.S., and New York Cord Blood Bank.
If registration of potential bone marrow donors has been in place for a long time, the emergence of a number of cord blood
Cells grown in culture are not alone: They are constantly communicating with one another by sending signals through their culture media that are picked up and transmitted by other cells in the media. When thousands of cells are cultured together in a dish, there are hundreds of thousands of these signals present every minute, all competing to be heard.
Scientists trying to direct cells to do useful things — like causing stem cells to turn into neurons or heart cells — typically try to overcome these signals by adding their own exogenous factors. These exogenous factors are often added at
Scientists in the US have made a major breakthrough that has the potential for people with brain damage, caused by epilepsy or Parkinson’s for example, to use their own brain stem cells as a treatment.
Steven Roper of the University of Florida discovered that stem cells from the human brain that were transplanted into the brains of newborn rats matured and were able to function just like native rat cells.
The researchers found that the adult stem cells had the ability to turn into all types of brain tissue in the rats, including the neocortex, which deals with higher processing, and