Tokyo, Japan – Heart development as it happens in vivo, or in a living organism, is a complex process that has traditionally been difficult to mimic in vitro, or in the laboratory. In a new study, researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) developed three-dimensional functional heart organoids from mouse embryonic stem cells that closely resemble the developing heart.
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Lausanne, Switzerland – The EPFL researchers used a laser to sculpt this gut-shaped scaffold within a hydrogel, a soft mix of crosslinked proteins found in the gut’s extracellular matrix supporting the cells in the native tissue. Aside from being the substrate on which the stem cells could grow, the hydrogel thus also provides the form or “geometry” that would build the final intestinal tissue.
Kyoto, Japan – The genes regulating pluripotent stem cells in mammals are surprisingly similar across 48 species, Kyoto University researchers report in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution. The study also shows that differences among these ‘gene regulating networks’ might explain how certain features of mammalian pluripotent stem cells have evolved.
Ithaca, NY, USA – High-grade serious ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC) is the fifth-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the United States, yet little is known about the origins of this disease.
London, UK –Pioneering scientists at the Francis Crick Institute, Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (ICH) have grown human intestinal grafts using stem cells from patient tissue that could one day lead to personalised transplants for children with intestinal failure, according to a study published in Nature Medicine.
Chicago, IL, USA – Researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago have developed a unique method for precisely controlling the deposition of hydrogel, which is made of water-soluble polymers commonly used to support cells in experiments or for therapeutic purposes. Hydrogel mimics the extracellular matrix – the natural environment of cells in the body
Sheffield, UK – Scientists have made a breakthrough in understanding how the enteric nervous system forms, which could pave the way for new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's.
Cincinnati, OH, USA – You might have heard the old proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” University of Cincinnati instructor Syn Yeo, PhD, thinks the same analogy applies when it comes to cells and the growth of cancer, particularly breast cancer.
Madison, WI, USA – The mature brain is infamously bad at repairing itself following damage like that caused by trauma or strokes, or from degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s. Stem cells, which are endlessly adaptable, have offered the promise of better neural repair. But the brain’s precisely tuned complexity has stymied the development of clinical treatments.
Tokyo, Japan – Intestinal stem cells keep a fine balance between two potential forms: remaining as stem cells, or developing into intestinal epithelial cells. In a new study, researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) discovered a novel molecular mechanism that regulates this balance and preserves the stemness of intestinal stem cells—that is, their ability to develop into any intestinal epithelial cell type.