Okazaki, Japan – In a study with significant implications for human organ transplantation, researchers have successfully grown functional mouse kidneys inside rats from just a few donor stem cells. The results of the study, led by researchers from the National Institute for Physiological Sciences in Japan, will be published in an upcoming issue of Nature Communications.
News & Commentaries
Cambridge, MA, USA – Functional B-1 cells derived from mouse embryonic stem cells are capable of long-term engraftment and secrete natural antibodies after transplantation in mice, researchers report February 7 in the journal Stem Cell Reports. Scientists are interested in B-1 cells generated from pluripotent stem cells because they could be tested as a therapeutic for a broad range of immunological disorders.
Stanford, CA, USA – The production of sperm – otherwise known as spermatogenesis – generates more than 1,000 sperm per second in normal males. This productivity comes, in part, from a special cell type called the spermatogonial stem cell. The staying power of this stem cell has allowed many celebrities, including Robert DeNiro and Pablo Picasso, to father children after the age of 65.
Vienna, Austria – Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are still difficult to treat. A team from Vetmeduni Vienna and the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences/Medical University of Vienna has discovered a new therapeutic approach that could fundamentally change this situation, as evidenced by a study that was published recently in the academic journal Blood.
Seattle, WA, USA – Advances in stem cell research offer hope for treatments that could help patients regrow heart muscle tissue after heart attacks, a key to achieving more complete recovery. Scientists today report success in creating functional blood vessels in vitro for hearts of rats that had sustained a heart attack. The journal Nature Communications published the paper, whose lead authors are Ying Zheng and Charles Murry of the UW Medicine Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine in Seattle.
Heidelberg, Germany – Stem cells are true "Jacks-of-all-trades" of our bodies, as they can turn into the many different cell types of all organs. This allows the tissues such as muscle or even brain to renew and to heal after injury. This amazing "multipotency" makes stem cells in the adult body key tools for the future of regenerative medicine. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) now publish in the journal Nature how brain stem cells make the decision to transform into new nerve cells.
Berlin, Germany – Researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have discovered a protective mechanism which is used by the body to protect intestinal stem cells from turning cancerous. The body’s innate immune system was found to play a pivotal role in this regard. The researchers were able to demonstrate that, rather than having a purely defensive role, the immune system is crucial in maintaining a healthy body. The study has been published in the renowned scientific journal Nature.
Ottawa, ON, Canada – Researchers at The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa have discovered a new way to treat the loss of muscle function caused by Duchenne muscular dystrophy in animal models of the disease. As reported in Cell Stem Cell, the team restored muscle stem cell function that is impaired in Duchenne muscular dystophy, resulting in efficient regeneration of the muscle and preventing the progressive loss of muscle strength characteristic of the disease.
Cambridge, UK – After the fertilisation of an egg cell, two become one; two sets of genetic information combine to form a genome. We can think of the egg and sperm as information capsules with stored instructions for starting a new life, but post fertilisation, what kick starts the interpretation of these instructions? Researchers at the Babraham Institute have provided further pieces of the puzzle by using a rare subset of mouse embryonic stem cells that provide a ‘lookalike’ system to the two cell embryo (zygote) occurring 24 hours post-fertilisation in pregnant mice.
Houston, TX, USA – One of the main obstacles to successfully treating breast cancer is the cells’ ability to change in ways that make them resistant to treatment. Understanding the cellular mechanisms that mediate this cancer cell plasticity may lead to improved treatments. Taking a step in that direction, a team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine has discovered that breast cancer cells can shift between two forms of the cell surface molecule CD44, CD44s and CD44v.