Amsterdam, NL – Huntington's disease (HD) is a fatal hereditary disease for which there is no cure. A novel study from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, USA, using pluripotent stem cells advances understanding of how the disease develops and may help pave the way for identifying pathways for future treatments. Results are published in the Journal of Huntington's Disease.
News & Commentaries
Los Angeles, CA, USA – USC researchers have successfully grown human, testosterone-producing cells in the lab, paving the way to someday treat low testosterone with personalized replacement cells. In Monday’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists describe how they transformed stem cells into functioning Leydig cells – the cells in the testes that produce the male sex hormone.
Utrecht, NL – Researchers from the group of Alexander van Oudenaarden and Eelco de Koning have developed GateID, a new method that can highly purify a cell type of interest from a tissue, without the use of antibodies or a genetic reporter. Thereby, GateID allows to isolate a variety of cell types, such as stem cells, in order to study them in more detail. The researchers have published their results in the scientific journal Cell.
San Francisco, CA, USA – Two new studies by an international team of researchers report progress in using stem cells to develop new therapies for Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD), a rare genetic condition affecting boys that can be fatal before 10 years of age.
Leuven, Belgium – Vincent Pasque and his team at KU Leuven have unravelled parts of a mechanism that may one day help to treat Rett syndrome and other genetic disorders linked to the X chromosome. Women and most female mammals have two X chromosomes, but only one of these is active in any given cell. This active X chromosome is selected through a flip-of-the-coin process in the very early stages of embryonic development: each chromosome has a 50/50 chance of remaining active and getting to express its genes, or to be inactivated through a process called X chromosome inactivation.
Toronto, Canada – Males are straightforward while females are complicated. This false dichotomy prompted a decades-long exclusion of female animals from research out of fear that their fluctuating hormone levels will muddle the data. But now a new study by Toronto scientists shows that a female sex hormone plays a key role in promoting brain repair and opens the door to the development of more effective treatments.A team of researchers led by Cindi Morshead, a professor in the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, found that metformin, a widely prescribed drug to treat diabetes, promotes repair in adult female brains and is dependent on the sex hormone estradiol.
San Franciso, CA, USA – UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals have successfully treated a months-old infant with a rare childhood leukemia using a targeted therapy approved for adults with inoperable liver cancer and advanced kidney cancer. The decision to use the drug, sorafenib, was made after pathologists identified a unique mutation in the form of two genes being fused together instead of on separate chromosomes – according to a case study publishing in the journal Leukemia on Sept. 11, 2019
College Park, MD, USA – University of Maryland researchers have discovered that seemingly identical cells can use different protein molecules to carry out the same function in an important cellular process. The scientists named this newly discovered variability “functional mosaicism,” and it has significant implications for the development of therapeutic treatments, which are often designed to target a specific molecule, or a gene that produces a specific molecule.
Joensuu, Finland – The expression of many genes that have previously been associated with autism is abnormal also in violent psychopathy, a new study shows. The researchers used stem cell technology to analyze the expression of genes and proteins in the brain cells of psychopathic violent offenders. Published in Molecular Psychiatry, the findings may open up new avenues for the treatment of psychopathy. The study was carried out in collaboration between the University of Eastern Finland, the University of Helsinki and Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.
Basel, Switzerland – Scientists from Basel have investigated the activity of stem cells in the brain of mice and discovered a key mechanism that controls cell proliferation. According to the researchers, the gene regulator Id4 controls whether stem cells remain in a state of rest or enter cell division. The results were published in em>Cell Reports and may be relevant for treating neurodegenerative disease in human brains.