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.
News & Commentaries
Gothenburg, Sweden – Researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, in collaboration with research groups in Finland, Canada, and Slovenia, have discovered a novel and unexpected function of nestin, the best known marker of neural stem cells.
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.
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.
Helsinki, Finland – Researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland have described mechanisms linking chronic cellular stress to the poor development of the insulin-producing cells.
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.
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.
New Brunswick, NJ, USA – A team of Rutgers scientists, including Leonard Y. Lee and Shaohua Li, have taken an important step toward the goal of making diseased hearts heal themselves – a new model that would reduce the need for bypass surgery, heart transplants or artificial pumping devices.
Lund, Sweden – NK cells, or natural killer cells, play an important role in the body's defences against cancer and various infections. Now, in a joint project, researchers at Lund University in Sweden, the University of Oxford and Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm have mapped how the different steps of the maturation process of these supercells from blood producing stem cells in the bone marrow are regulated: knowledge which is crucial for the development of new immunotherapies against cancer.
Amsterdam, NL – IOS Press, an international publisher providing content for scientific, technical and medical communities, is proud to announce the relaunch and revitalization of StemBook, an online open access forum and discussion platform for the stem cell research community. It features a collection of content covering a range of topics related to stem cell biology written by top researchers in the field. The stembook.org site is being refreshed with new content that will be expanded and updated regularly. Enhanced functionality will also be introduced soon.