News & Commentaries

Order from Noise: How Randomness and Collective Dynamics Define a Stem Cell

Stembook: Order from Noise: How Randomness and Collective Dynamics Define a Stem Cell

Klosterneuburg, Austria – Without stem cells, human life would not exist. Due to them, a lump of cells becomes an organ, a fertilized egg develops into a baby, and tissues of our body can be continuously renewed. But what actually makes a stem cell? How do they know when to divide to replace a dying cell? Are these a stable population of specially gifted cells? Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) Austria discovered that instead, stem cells might emerge due to the collective behavior of cells within the organs. They saw that the shape of the surrounding tissue, jointly to the pattern of seemingly random movements of the cells determined the cell’s role. The scientists published their study in the journal PNAS on July 1, 2020. Their results could lead to a deeper understanding of organ renewal and development.

COVID-19: Study Shows Virus Can Infect Heart Cells in Lab Dish

Stembook: COVID-19: Study Shows Virus Can Infect Heart Cells in Lab Dish

Los Angeles, CA, USA – A new study shows that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (coronavirus), can infect heart cells in a lab dish, indicating it may be possible for heart cells in COVID-19 patients to be directly infected by the virus. The discovery, published today in the journal Cell Reports Medicine, was made using heart muscle cells that were produced by stem cell technology.

USC Stem Cell Scientists Find a Simpler Way to Make Sensory Hearing Cells

Stembook: USC Stem Cell Scientists Find a Simpler Way to Make Sensory Hearing Cells

Los Angeles, CA, USA – Scientists from the USC Stem Cell laboratories of Neil Segil and Justin Ichida are whispering the secrets of a simpler way to generate the sensory cells of the inner ear. Their approach uses direct reprogramming to produce sensory cells known as “hair cells,” due to their hair-like protrusions that sense sound waves. The study was published today in the journal eLife.

ISSCR Urges FDA and EMA to Enforce Regulation of Clinics Offering Unproven and Unapproved Stem Cell-based Interventions

Stembook: ISSCR Urges FDA and EMA to Enforce Regulation of Clinics Offering Unproven and Unapproved Stem Cell-based Interventions
Misleading Marketing Preys on the Hopes of Patients and Families, Including Those with COVID-19

Skokie, IL, USA – In letters released today by the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the Society presses for greater enforcement to help protect patients suffering from devastating diseases including COVID-19. The effort comes as the world’s foremost stem cell and regenerative medicine researchers are meeting this week to share the field’s newest discoveries as part of ISSCR 2020 Virtual.

UConn Researcher Invents Nanoparticle for Overcoming Leukemia Treatment Resistance

Stembook: UConn Researcher Invents Nanoparticle for Overcoming Leukemia Treatment Resistance

Mansfield, CT, USA – UConn associate professor of pharmaceutics Xiuling Lu, along with professor of chemistry Rajeswari M. Kasi, was part of a team that recently published a paper in Nature Cell Biology finding a commonly used chemotherapy drug may be repurposed as a treatment for resurgent or chemotherapy-resistant leukemia.

Primitive Stem Cells Point to New Bone Grafts for Stubborn-to-Heal Fractures

Stembook: Primitive Stem Cells Point to New Bone Grafts for Stubborn-to-Heal Fractures

College Station, TX, USA – Although most broken bones can be mended with a firm cast and a generous measure of tender loving care, more complicated fractures require treatments like bone grafting. Researchers at Texas A&M University have now created superior bone grafts using primitive stem cells. They found that these cells help create very fertile scaffolds needed for the bone to regenerate at the site of repair.

Putting ‘Super’ in Natural Killer Cells

Stembook: Putting ‘Super’ in Natural Killer Cells
Deleting an inhibitory gene in natural killer cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells is found to boost their anti-tumor activity and persistence; researchers now seek to develop a clinical therapy.

San Diego, CA, USA – Using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and deleting a key gene, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have created natural killer cells – a type of immune cell – with measurably stronger activity against a form of leukemia, both in vivo and in vitro.

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