News & Commentaries

Aided by Stem Cells, a Lizard Regenerates a Perfect Tail for the First Time in 250 Million Years

Stembook: Aided by Stem Cells, a Lizard Regenerates a Perfect Tail for the First Time in 250 Million Years

Los Angeles, CA, USA – Lizards can regrow severed tails, making them the closest relative to humans that can regenerate a lost appendage. But in lieu of the original tail that includes a spinal column and nerves, the replacement structure is an imperfect cartilage tube. Now, for the first time, a USC-led study in Nature Communications describes how stem cells can help lizards regenerate better tails.

Study: Gene Therapy Can Restore Vision After Stroke

Stembook: Study: Gene therapy can restore vision after stroke

West Lafayette, IN, USA – Most strokes happen when an artery in the brain becomes blocked. Blood flow to the neural tissue stops, and those tissues typically die. Because of the locations of the major arteries in the brain, many strokes affect motor function. Some affect vision, however, causing patients to lose their vision or find it compromised or diminished. A research team led by Purdue University’s Alexander Chubykin, an associate professor of biological sciences in the College of Science, in collaboration with the team led by Gong Chen at Jinan University, China, has discovered a way to use gene therapy to turn glial brain cells into neurons, restoring visual function and offering hope for a way to restore motor function.

Strict Lineage Tracing Crucial to Nerve Cell Regeneration Research, Study Says

Stembook: Strict Lineage Tracing Crucial to Nerve Cell Regeneration Research, Study Says

Dallas, TX, USA – UT Southwestern stem cell scientists find that stringent lineage tracing is crucial for studies of nerve cell regeneration. Their results, which are published in Cell, show that this tracing is far from routine in the field and suggest that earlier studies reporting “striking” regeneration results must be reexamined.

Researchers Build Embryo-Like Structures from Human Stem Cells

Stembook: Researchers Build Embryo-Like Structures from Human Stem Cells

Pasadena, CA, USA – Research on human embryos is vital to understanding the earliest stages of human development. Currently, this research is conducted on surplus embryos willingly donated by individuals who have undergone in vitro fertilization. Nevertheless, this research is limited by the availability of embryos and strict international ethical time limits on how long an embryo is allowed to develop in the laboratory (14 days maximum).

Improving Biomaterials Design for Bone Regeneration

Stembook: Improving biomaterials design for bone regeneration

Urbana, IL, USA – Bone injuries in the face and skull—known as craniomaxillofacial defects—can be caused by sports injuries, vehicle accidents, or battlefield injuries. Repairing such defects is complicated because different types of cells need to interact with each other. In a new study, researchers are investigating the types of material used in reconstruction to see which one works best.

Lab-Grown Beating Heart Cells Identify Potential Drug to Prevent COVID-19-Related Heart Damage

Cambridge, UK – Cambridge scientists have grown beating heart cells in the lab and shown how they are vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection. In a study published in Communications Biology, they used this system to show that an experimental peptide drug called DX600 can prevent the virus entering the heart cells.

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Researchers Discover Key Stem Cell Dormancy Mechanism Which Could Help Unlock Future Cancer Treatments

Toronto, Canada – Princess Margaret Cancer Centre researchers have made new findings which provide a broader understanding of how dormant hematopoietic stem cells are activated and could pave the way towards therapeutic treatments for a number of cancers.

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