Cardiff, UK – Cardiff University researchers have uncovered new information about the underlying mechanisms for gastric cancer, providing hope of potential new therapies in the future. The team, at the University’s European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute, found they could stop gastric cells dividing and growing by deleting a particular cell-surface receptor implicated in the function of stem cells.
News & Commentaries
Edinburgh, UK – Researchers at the University of Edinburgh and the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service carried out a clinical trial using stem cells from donors to create tissue that was transplanted into patients with a condition that causes blindness. This is the first time that stem cells have been used in this way in a randomised clinical trial.
New York, NY, USA – Researchers from the National Institutes of Health have discovered that antibodies that may form the basis of a universal flu vaccine inhibit a second viral protein in addition to the one that they bind. The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, reveals that antibodies that recognize the viral surface protein hemagglutinin can also inhibit the viral neuraminidase, and that this enhances antibody neutralization of the virus and the activation of innate immune cells with anti-viral activity.
Indianopolis, IN, USA – Biologists at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), growing human pluripotent stem cell-derived retinal ganglion cells in the lab, have developed a way to create more-mature models that better mimic the environment in the human retina. By introducing hPSC-RGCs to astrocytes, researchers can create cells that are more analogous to human RGCs and can be further used to study diseases such as glaucoma. These results are published online in Stem Cell Reports.
Los Angeles, CA, USA – A study by UCLA researchers is the first to demonstrate a technique for coaxing pluripotent stem cells — which can give rise to every cell type in the body and which can be grown indefinitely in the lab — into becoming mature T cells capable of killing tumor cells. The technique uses structures called artificial thymic organoids, which work by mimicking the environment of the thymus, the organ in which T cells develop from blood stem cells.
Washington, MO, USA – Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have tweaked the recipe for coaxing human stem cells into insulin-secreting beta cells and shown that the resulting cells are more responsive to fluctuating glucose levels in the blood. Here, the new beta cells appear red as they secrete insulin in response to glucose.
Dresden, Germany – Most neurons in the human brain are generated from neural stem cells during embryonic development. After birth, a small reservoir of stem cells remains in the brain that keeps on producing new neurons throughout life. However, the question arises as to whether these new neurons really support brain function? And if so, can we improve brain capacity by increasing the number of neurons? The research group of Prof. Federico Calegari at the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) of TU Dresden has answered these questions, now published in the renowned EMBO Journal.
Cambridge, MA, USA – Research led by stem cell scientists at Harvard University points to a potential new biomarker and drug target for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurological disease that is difficult to diagnose and treat. Published in Nature Neuroscience, the study used stem cell models of human motor neurons to reveal the gene STMN2 as a potential therapeutic target, demonstrating the value of this human stem cell model approach in drug discovery.
Kansas City, MO, USA – New research from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research has identified a backup for an important biological system – the hematopoietic system, whose adult stem cells constantly replenish the body’s blood supply.
Los Angeles, CA, USA – UCLA researchers led by Dr. Donald Kohn have created a method for modifying blood stem cells to reverse the genetic mutation that causes a life-threatening autoimmune syndrome called IPEX. The gene therapy, which was tested in mice, is similar to the technique Kohn has used to cure patients with another immune disease, severe combined immune deficiency, or SCID, also known as bubble baby disease.