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
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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
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
International Stem Cell Corporation, a California-based biotechnology company, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted the Company a patent for a method of creating pure populations of definitive endoderm, precursor cells to liver and pancreas cells, from human pluripotent stem cells. This patent is a key element of ISCO’s metabolic liver disease program and allows the Company to produce the necessary quantities of precursor cells in a more efficient and cost effective manner.
The patent, 8,268,621, adds to the Company’s growing portfolio of proprietary technologies relating to the development of potential treatments
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) give rise to all other blood cell types, but their development and how their fate is determined has long remained a mystery. In a paper published online this week in Nature, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine elaborate upon a crucial signaling pathway and the role of key proteins, which may help clear the way to generate HSCs from human pluripotent precursors, similar to advances with other kinds of tissue stem cells.
Principal investigator David Traver, PhD, professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, and colleagues focused on the