News & Commentaries


Salk Team Reveals Clues into Early Development of Autism Spectrum Disorder

salk news
Neurons from people with autism exhibit different patterns of growth and develop at a faster rate

La Jolla, CA, USA – Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a relatively common developmental disorder of communication and behavior that affects about 1 in 59 children in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite its prevalence, it is still unclear what causes the disease and what are the best ways to treat it.


UCLA Study Overturns Dogma of Cancer Metabolism Theory – Tumors Not as Addicted to Glucose as Previously Thought


Los Angeles, CA, USA – Scientists at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA have discovered that squamous cell skin cancers do not require increased glucose to power their development and growth, contrary to a long-held belief about cancer metabolism.


Stem Cell Study Offers Clues for Optimizing Bone Marrow Transplants and More

usc news

Los Angeles, CA, USA – Bone marrow transplants, which involve transplanting healthy blood stem cells, offer the best treatment for many types of cancers, blood disorders and immune diseases. Even though 22,000 of these procedures are performed each year in the US, much remains to be understood about how they work.


Stem Cell Signal Drives New Bone Building

john hopkins
If harnessed in people, it could speed recovery for bone breaks, spinal fusions, osteoporosis

Baltimore, MA, USA – In experiments in rats and human cells, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have added to evidence that a cellular protein signal that drives both bone and fat formation in selected stem cells can be manipulated to favor bone building. If harnessed in humans, they say, the protein – known as WISP-1 – could help fractures heal faster, speed surgical recovery and possibly prevent bone loss due to aging, injury and disorders.


An Errant Editing Enzyme Promotes Tumor Suppressor Loss and Leukemia Propagation


San Diego, CA, USA – Writing in the January 3 issue of Cancer Cell, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine report that detection of “copy editing” by a stem cell enzyme called ADAR1, which is active in more than 20 tumor types, may provide a kind of molecular radar for early detection of malignancies and represent a new therapeutic target for preventing cancer cell resistance to chemotherapy and radiation.


Growing A Brain: Two-Step Control Mechanism Identified in Mouse Stem Cells

uni of tokyo

Tokyo, Japan – Scientists identified two distinct control mechanisms in the developmental transition of undifferentiated stem cells into healthy brain cells. This fundamental research using mice may inform regenerative medicine treatments for neurodegenerative diseases and spinal cord injuries, in the future.


How Sperm Stem Cells Maintain Their Number

NIBB news

Tokyo, Japan – The steady production of sperm relies on the number of sperm stem cells in the testis remaining constant. Researchers including Asst. Prof. Yu Kitadate and Prof. Shosei Yoshida [developmental biologists at the National Institute for Basic Biology (NIBB) within the National Institutes of Natural Sciences in Japan] and Prof. Benjamin Simons (a theoretical physicist at the University of Cambridge in the UK) have revealed a novel mechanism for stem cell number control.


An Important Step for Regenerative Medicine: Human Blood Cells can be Directly Reprogrammed into Neural Stem Cells

DKFZ news

Heidelberg, Germany – Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the stem cell institute HI-STEM in Heidelberg have succeeded for the first time in directly reprogramming human blood cells into a previously unknown type of neural stem cell. These induced stem cells are similar to those that occur during the early embryonic development of the central nervous system. They can be modified and multiplied indefinitely in the culture dish and can represent an important basis for the development of regenerative therapies.