News & Commentaries

Inhalation Therapy Shows Promise Against Pulmonary Fibrosis in Mice, Rats

Stembook: Inhalation Therapy Shows Promise Against Pulmonary Fibrosis in Mice, Rats

Raleigh, NC, USA – A new study from North Carolina State University shows that lung stem cell secretions – specifically exosomes and secretomes – delivered via nebulizer, can help repair lung injuries due to multiple types of pulmonary fibrosis in mice and rats. The work could lead to more effective, less invasive treatment for human pulmonary fibrosis sufferers.

A Molecular Atlas of Skin Cells

Stembook: A Molecular Atlas of Skin Cells

Solna, Sweden – Our skin protects us from physical injury, radiation and microbes, and at the same time produces hair and facilitates perspiration. Details of how skin cells manage such disparate tasks have so far remained elusive. Now, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have systematically mapped skin cells and their genetic programs, creating a detailed molecular atlas of the skin in its complexity. The study is published today in the scientific journal Cell Stem Cell.

Bone or Cartilage? Presence of Fatty Acids Determines Skeletal Stem Cell Development

Stembook: Bone or Cartilage? Presence of Fatty Acids Determines Skeletal Stem Cell Development

Leuven, Belgium – In the event of a bone fracture, fatty acids in our blood signal to stem cells that they have to develop into bone-forming cells. If there are no blood vessels nearby, the stem cells end up forming cartilage. The finding that specific nutrients directly influence the development of stem cells opens new avenues for stem cell research. Biomedical scientists from KU Leuven and Harvard University published these results in Nature.

Curing Genetic Disease in Human Stem Cells

Stembook: Curing Genetic Disease in Human Stem Cells

Utrecht, The Netherlands – Whereas the CRISPR-Cas technology developed in 2012 cuts out a defect in a gene and replaces it with a new piece, the latest CRISPR technology works differently. The aim is to repair the error in the DNA without cutting it. This theoretically makes it a safer form of genetic editing. Scientists from Utrecht have shown for the first time that this technique can effectively and safely repair the DNA of stem cells derived from cystic fibrosis patients in the lab. The results of this study were published in the scientific journal Cell Stem Cell on the 20th of February.

A Case Of Reverse Development: Dana-Farber Scientists Solve Long-Debated Puzzle Of How The Intestine Heals Itself

Stembook: A Case Of Reverse Development: Dana-Farber Scientists Solve Long-Debated Puzzle Of How The Intestine Heals Itself

Boston, MA, USA – Deep within the lining of the human intestine lies the source of the organ’s ability to renew itself and recover from damage: intestinal stem cells (ISCs), lodged in pockets of tissue called crypts, generate the cells that continuously repopulate the intestinal lining. Even the stem cells themselves have a safety net: when they’re damaged, healthy replacements appear in less than a week.

Computer Simulations Visualize How DNA Is Recognized To Convert Cells Into Stem Cells

Stembook: Computer Simulations Visualize How DNA Is Recognized To Convert Cells Into Stem Cells

Utrecht, The Netherlands – Researchers from the group of Vlad Cojocaru together with colleagues the Max Planck Institute in Münster (Germany) have revealed how an essential protein helps to activate genomic DNA during the conversion of regular adult human cells into stem cells. Their findings are published in the Biophysical Journal.

Scientists Discover How Rogue Communications Between Cells Lead to Leukaemia

STEMBOOK: Scientists discover how rogue communications between cells lead to Leukaemia

Helsinki, Finland – New research has deciphered how rogue communications in blood stem cells can cause Leukaemia. The discovery could pave the way for new, targeted medical treatments that block this process. Blood cancers like leukaemia occur when mutations in stem cells cause them to produce too many blood cells. The study is published in the journal Science

Abnormal Bone Formation After Trauma Explained and Reversed in Mice

STEMBOOK: Abnormal Bone Formation After Trauma Explained and Reversed in Mice
Findings implicate a specific type of immune cell behind heterotopic ossification--and present a potential target for treatment.

Ann Arbor, MI, USA – Hip replacements, severe burns, spinal cord injuries, blast injuries, traumatic brain injuries—these seemingly disparate traumas can each lead to a painful complication during the healing process called heterotopic ossification. Heterotopic ossification is abnormal bone formation within muscle and soft tissues, an unfortunately common phenomenon that typically occurs weeks after an injury or surgery. Patients with heterotopic ossification experience decreased range of motion, swelling and pain.

New Hydrogels Wither While Stem Cells Flourish for Tissue Repair

STEMBOOK: New hydrogels wither while stem cells flourish for tissue repair

College Station, TX, USA – Baby diapers, contact lenses and gelatin dessert. While seemingly unrelated, these items have one thing in common — they’re made of highly absorbent substances called hydrogels that have versatile applications. Recently, a type of biodegradable hydrogel, dubbed microporous annealed particle (MAP) hydrogel, has gained much attention for its potential to deliver stem cells for body tissue repair. But it is currently unclear how these jelly-like materials affect the growth of their precious cellular cargo, thereby limiting its use in regenerative medicine.

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