Image via Wikipedia
Scientists seeking new ways to fight maladies ranging from arthritis and osteoporosis to broken bones that won’t heal have cleared a formidable hurdle, pinpointing and controlling a key molecular player to keep stem cells in a sort of extended infancy. It’s a step that makes treatment with the cells in the future more likely for patients.
Controlling and delaying development of the cells, known as mesenchymal (pronounced meh-ZINK-a-mill) stem cells, is a long-sought goal for researchers. It’s a necessary step for doctors who would like to expand the number of true
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center researchers have identified a new population of intestinal stem cells that may hold clues to the origin of colorectal cancer.
This new stem cell population, reported March 30 in the journal Cell, appears to be relatively quiescent (inactive) – in contrast to the recent discovery of intestinal stem cells that multiply rapidly — and is marked by a protein, Lrig1, that may act as a “brake” on cell growth and proliferation.
The researchers have also developed a new and clinically relevant mouse model of colorectal cancer that investigators can now use to better understand where and how the
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
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.
Children born with so-called “bubble boy” disease have the best chance of survival if they undergo a hematopoietic stem cell transplant as soon after birth as possible, according to a detailed analysis of 10 years of outcome data by researchers at the Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.
Researchers say the findings support expanding newborn screening for severe combined immune deficiency (SCID), a disorder that leaves affected infants so vulnerable to infection that most die within the first year of life if untreated.
The study, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, analyzed data on 240 children