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.
News & Commentaries
Kyoto, Japan – A new approach could illuminate a critical stage in the life cycle of one of the most common malaria parasites. The approach was developed by scientists at Kyoto University’s Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) in Japan and published in the Malaria Journal.
Leiden, The Netherlands – The ISSCR is pleased to announce Christine Mummery, PhD, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands, as the new president of the ISSCR Board of Directors. Dr. Mummery’s term of office leading the Society begins today.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
London, UK – Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute have found two genes that regulate the differentiation of stem cells in the small intestine, offering valuable insight into how the body develops and maintains a healthy gut.
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.