News & Commentaries

A UCLA Scientists Create First Roadmap Of Human Skeletal Muscle Development

Stembook: A UCLA Scientists Create First Roadmap Of Human Skeletal Muscle Development
Findings could lead to better methods for creating muscle cells from stem cells

Los Angeles, CA, USA – An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA has developed a first-of-its-kind roadmap of how human skeletal muscle develops, including the formation of muscle stem cells.

More Selective Elimination of Leukemia Stem Cells and Blood Stem Cells

Stembook: More Selective Elimination of Leukemia Stem Cells and Blood Stem Cells

Zurich, Switzerland – Hematopoietic stem cells from a healthy donor can help patients suffering from acute leukemia. However, the side effects of therapies are often severe. A group of researchers led by the University of Zurich have now shown how human healthy and cancerous hematopoietic stem cells can be more selectively eliminated using immunotherapy instead of chemotherapy in mice. The aim is to test the new immunotherapy in humans as soon as possible.

Researchers Have Found Accumulation Of Gene Mutations In Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease

Stembook: Researchers Have Found Accumulation Of Gene Mutations In Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease
Mutations in white blood cells can contribute to abnormal immune profile after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Helsinki, Finland – Graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) is a potentially life-threatening medical condition that is common after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, the only curative treatment for various types of leukemias. In GvHD, white blood cells from transplant donor recognize recipient cells as non-self and attack recipient tissues. Understanding how these donor white blood cells remain active against recipient cells can pave the way for novel treatment strategies in GvHD.

Beta Cells from Stem Cells: Potential for Cell Replacement Therapy

Stembook: Beta Cells from Stem Cells: Potential for Cell Replacement Therapy

Munich, Germany – The loss of insulin-secreting beta cells by autoimmune destruction leads to type 1 diabetes. Clinical islet cell transplantation has the potential to cure diabetes, but donor pancreases are rare. In a new study, a group of researchers developed an improved pluripotent stem cell differentiation protocol to generate beta cells in vitro with superior glucose response and insulin secretion. This is a major step towards beta cell replacement therapy.

Diabetes Reversed In Mice With Genetically Edited Stem Cells Derived From Patients

Stembook: Diabetes Reversed In Mice With Genetically Edited Stem Cells Derived From Patients
CRISPR corrects genetic defect so cells can normalize blood sugar

St. Louis, MO, USA – Using induced pluripotent stem cells produced from the skin of a patient with a rare, genetic form of insulin-dependent diabetes called Wolfram syndrome, researchers transformed the human stem cells into insulin-producing cells and used the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 to correct a genetic defect that had caused the syndrome. They then implanted the cells into lab mice and cured the unrelenting diabetes in those mice.

What’s Old Is New Again

Stembook: What’s Old Is New Again
Researchers repurpose classic chemotherapy drug to overcome cancer therapy resistance

Kansas City, MO, USA – Drug resistance is a major obstacle in cancer treatment—leading to relapse for many patients. In a new study, published online April 20, 2020, in Nature Cell Biology, researchers from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Children’s Mercy Kansas City, and The University of Kansas Cancer Center report on a promising new strategy to overcome drug resistance in leukemia, using targeted doses of the widely-used chemotherapy drug doxorubicin.

Stem Cells in Human Embryos Commit to Specialisation Surprisingly Early

Stembook: Stem Cells in Human Embryos Commit to Specialisation Surprisingly Early
The point when human embryonic stem cells irreversibly commit to becoming specialised has been identified by researchers at the Francis Crick Institute.

London, UK – Our biological history can be traced back to a small group of cells called embryonic stem cells, which through cell division, give rise to cells that specialise to perform a specific role in the body – a process known as differentiation.

Researchers Restore Sight in Mice by Turning Skin Cells into Light-Sensing Eye Cells

Stembook: Researchers Restore Sight in Mice by Turning Skin Cells into Light-Sensing Eye Cells
NIH-funded study offers new path to modeling eye disease, advancing therapies

Bethesda, MD, USA – Researchers have discovered a technique for directly reprogramming skin cells into light-sensing rod photoreceptors used for vision. The lab-made rods enabled blind mice to detect light after the cells were transplanted into the animals’ eyes. The work, funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), published April 15 in Nature. The NEI is part of the National Institutes of Health.

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