News & Commentaries

Becoming A Nerve Cell: Timing Is Of The Essence

Stembook: Becoming A Nerve Cell: Timing Is Of The Essence

Gent, Belgium – Mitochondria are small organelles that provide the energy critical for each cell in our body, in particular in the high fuel-consuming brain. In this week’s edition of Science, a Belgian team of researchers led by Pierre Vanderhaeghen (VIB-KU Leuven, ULB) finds that mitochondria also regulate a key event during brain development: how neural stem cells become nerve cells. Mitochondria influence this cell fate switch during a precise period that is twice as long in humans compared to mice. The seminal findings highlight an unexpected function for mitochondria that may help explain how humans developed a bigger brain during evolution, and how mitochondrial defects lead to neurodevelopmental diseases. the study was published in Science.

Implanted Neural Stem Cell Grafts Show Functionality in Spinal Cord Injuries

Stembook: Implanted Neural Stem Cell Grafts Show Functionality in Spinal Cord Injuries

San Diego, CA,USA – Using stem cells to restore lost functions due to spinal cord injury (SCI) has long been an ambition of scientists and doctors. Nearly 18,000 people in the United States suffer SCIs each year, with another 294,000 persons living with an SCI, usually involving some degree of permanent paralysis or diminished physical function, such as bladder control or difficulty breathing.

UMSOM Researchers Discover Stem Cells in the Optic Nerve that Enable Preservation of Vision

Stembook: UMSOM Researchers Discover Stem Cells in the Optic Nerve that Enable Preservation of Vision
Finding May Lead to New Therapeutic Strategy for Disorders Causing Blindness

Baltimore, MD, USA – Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have for the first time identified stem cells in the region of the optic nerve, which transmits signals from the eye to the brain. The finding, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), presents a new theory on why the most common form of glaucoma may develop and provides potential new ways to treat a leading cause of blindness in American adults.

How Airway Cells Work Together in Regeneration and Aging

Stembook: How Airway Cells Work Together in Regeneration and Aging

Los Angeles, CA, USA – Researchers at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA have identified the process by which stem cells in the airways of the lungs switch between two distinct phases – creating more of themselves and producing mature airway cells – to regenerate lung tissue after an injury.

A Never-Before-Seen Cell State May Explain Cancer’s Ability to Resist Drugs

Stembook: A Never-Before-Seen Cell State May Explain Cancer’s Ability to Resist Drugs

Cambridge, MA, USA – Scientists at the Sloan Kettering Institute, the Koch Institute at MIT, and the Klarman Cell Observatory at the Broad Institute have identified an unusual cell state that emerges early in tumor evolution and supports a cancer’s ability to outwit chemotherapy.

A Never-Before-Seen Cell State May Explain Cancer’s Ability to Resist Drugs

Stembook: A Never-Before-Seen Cell State May Explain Cancer’s Ability to Resist Drugs

Cambridge, MA, USA – Scientists at the Sloan Kettering Institute, the Koch Institute at MIT, and the Klarman Cell Observatory at the Broad Institute have identified an unusual cell state that emerges early in tumor evolution and supports a cancer’s ability to outwit chemotherapy.

“Self-eating” Process of Stem Cells May be the Key to New Regenerative Therapies

Stembook: “Self-eating” Process of Stem Cells May be the Key to New Regenerative Therapies
Penn Study Uncovers New Roles of Autophagy in Stem Cell Renewal and Differentiation

Philadelphia, PA, USA – The self-eating process in embryonic stem cells known as chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) and a related metabolite may serve as promising new therapeutic targets to repair or regenerate damaged cells and organs, Penn Medicine researchers show in a new study published online in Science.

“Self-eating” Process of Stem Cells May be the Key to New Regenerative Therapies

“Self-eating” Process of Stem Cells May be the Key to New Regenerative Therapies

Philadelphia, PA, USA – The self-eating process in embryonic stem cells known as chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) and a related metabolite may serve as promising new therapeutic targets to repair or regenerate damaged cells and organs, Penn Medicine researchers show in a new study published online in Science.

Getting to the Bottom of Goosebumps

Stembook: Getting to the Bottom of Goosebumps
Harvard scientists find that the same cell types that cause goosebumps are responsible for controlling hair growth

Cambridge, MA, USA – If you’ve ever wondered why we get goosebumps, you’re in good company – so did Charles Darwin, who mused about them in his writings on evolution. Goosebumps might protect animals with thick fur from the cold, but we humans don’t seem to benefit from the reaction much – so why has it been preserved during evolution all this time?

Researchers 3D Print a Working Heart Pump with Real Human Cells

STEMBOOK: Researchers 3D Print a Working Heart Pump with Real Human Cells

Minneapolis, MN, USA – In a groundbreaking new study, researchers at the University of Minnesota have 3D printed a functioning centimeter-scale human heart pump in the lab. The discovery could have major implications for studying heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States killing more than 600,000 people a year.

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