News & Commentaries

IU Researchers Model Human Stem Cells to Identify Degeneration in Glaucoma

Stembook: IU Researchers Model Human Stem Cells to Identify Degeneration in Glaucoma

Indianapolis, IN, USA – More than 3 million Americans have glaucoma, a serious eye condition causing vision loss. Using human stem cell models, researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine found they could analyze deficits within cells damaged by glaucoma, with the potential to use this information to develop new strategies to slow the disease process.

Cord Blood as Source for Stem Cell Transplant May Outperform Accepted “Gold Standard” of Matched Sibling Donors

Stembook: Cord Blood as Source for Stem Cell Transplant May Outperform Accepted “Gold Standard” of Matched Sibling Donors

Denver, CO, USA – When a cancer patient needs a bone marrow transplant, there are four common donor sources: A matched related donor (sibling), a matched unrelated donor (from a donor database), a half-matched donor, or umbilical cord blood. Of course, there are plusses and minuses to each approach, but consensus has generally ranked a matched sibling first, followed by a matched unrelated donor, with cord blood and half-matched donors reserved for patients without either of the first two options. Now a University of Colorado Cancer Center study based on a decade of research and treatment may reshuffle this list. In fact, the comparison of 190 patients receiving cord-blood transplants with 123 patients receiving transplants from the “gold standard” of matched sibling donors showed no difference in survival outcomes between these two approaches, with significantly fewer complications due to chronic graft-versus-host disease in patients receiving transplants from cord blood. The study was published in Blood Advances.

Stem Cell Treatments 'Go Deep' to Regenerate Sun-Damaged Skin

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – For a while now, some plastic surgeons have been using stem cells to treat aging, sun-damaged skin. But while they've been getting good results, it's been unclear exactly how these treatments – using adult stem cells harvested from the patient's own body – work to rejuvenate "photoaged" facial skin.

Unique Insight into the Development of the Human Brain: Researchers Produce a Model of the Early Embryonic Brain

Stembook: Unique Insight into the Development of the Human Brain: Researchers Produce a Model of the Early Embryonic Brain

Lund, Sweden – Stem cell researchers from the University of Copenhagen have designed a model of an early embryonic brain. The model will increase our understanding of how the human brain develops and can thereby help to accelerate the development of stem cell treatments for brain disorders such as Parkinson's Disease, epilepsy and dementia.

Image Analysis Technique Provides Better Understanding of Heart Cell Defects

Stembook: Image Analysis Technique Provides Better Understanding of Heart Cell Defects

Washington, WA, USA – Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and other industrialized nations, and many patients face limited treatment options. Fortunately, stem cell biology has enabled researchers to produce large numbers of cardiomyocytes, the cells that make up the heart or cardiac muscle and have the potential to be used in advanced drug screens and cell-based therapies.

Little Skates Could Hold the Key to Cartilage Therapy in Humans

Stembook: Little Skates Could Hold the Key to Cartilage Therapy in Humans

Woods Hole, MA, USA – Nearly a quarter of Americans suffer from arthritis, most commonly due to the wear and tear of the cartilage that protects the joints. As we age, or get injured, we have no way to grow new cartilage. Unlike humans and other mammals, the skeletons of sharks, skates, and rays are made entirely of cartilage and they continue to grow that cartilage throughout adulthood.

Scientists Show MRI Predicts the Efficacy of a Stem Cell Therapy for Brain Injury

Stembook: Scientists Show MRI Predicts the Efficacy of a Stem Cell Therapy for Brain Injury

San Diego, CA, USA – Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute and Loma Linda University Health have demonstrated the promise of applying magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to predict the efficacy of using human neural stem cells to treat a brain injury—a first-ever “biomarker” for regenerative medicine that could help personalize stem cell treatments for neurological disorders and improve efficacy. The researchers expect to test the findings in a clinical trial evaluating the stem cell therapy in newborns who experience a brain injury during birth called perinatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury (HII). The study was published in Cell Reports.

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