Tag Archives: Biology

Possible cancer-causing genes taked off from engineered stem cells

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Whitehead Institute researchers have developed a novel method of removing potential cancer-causing genes during the reprogramming of skin cells from Parkinson’s disease patients into an embryonic-stem-cell-like state. Scientists were then able to use the resulting induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to derive dopamine-producing neurons, the cell type that degenerates in Parkinson’s disease patients.

The work marks the first time researchers have generated human iPS cells that have maintained their embryonic stem-cell-like properties after the removal of reprogramming genes. The findings are published in the March 6 edition of the journal Cell.

Removing the reprogramming genes is also important because
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Umbilical Cord Stem Cells, a Point in Favor of Autologous Storage

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.

Stem Cells at a Glance

What are the differences between embryonic, adult and induced pluripotent stem cells? Where do the experts expect the next medical application will be for stem cells? Do stem cells promote regeneration? How are cell types interacting? How can induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells revolutionize drug discovery? Can cell therapies be made into a viable business? How close are we to finding the right business model? Are investors interested in stem cells today? What is the political and ethical landscape like now that the Obama administration has taken over the White House?

This is the Episode 1 of the Stem Cell
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Minimizing background noise in stem cell culture

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
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New stem cell therapy could be used to halt Huntington’s advance

A team of researchers at the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures has developed a technique for using stem cells to deliver therapy that specifically targets the genetic abnormality found in Huntington’s disease, a hereditary brain disorder that causes progressive uncontrolled movements, dementia and death. The findings, now available online in the journal Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, suggest a promising approach that might block the disease from advancing.

“For the first time, we have been able to successfully deliver inhibitory RNA sequences from stem cells directly into neurons, significantly decreasing the synthesis of the abnormal huntingtin protein,” said Jan A.
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