Boston, MA, USA – Researchers at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and the University of Massachusetts Medical School have developed a strategy to treat two of the most common inherited blood diseases – sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia – applying CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to patients' own blood stem cells. Described this week in Nature Medicine and in a January report in the journal Blood, their approach overcomes prior technical challenges, editing blood stem cells more efficiently than in the past.
News & Commentaries
Philadelphia, PA, USA – It was once believed that mammals were born with the entire supply of neurons they would have for a lifetime. However, over the past few decades, neuroscientists have found that at least two brain regions – the centers of the sense of smell and the hippocampus, the seat of learning and memory – grow new neurons throughout life. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have shown, in mice, that one type of stem cell that makes adult neurons is the source of this lifetime stock of new cells in the hippocampus. Published in Cell, these findings may help neuroscientists figure out how to maintain youthful conditions for learning and memory, and repair and regenerate parts of the brain after injury and aging.
Singapore, Singapore – Tissue engineering is a medical solution that uses living cells to repair or replace structural tissue, such as blood vessels, bone, cartilage, etc. Polymeric hydrogels, in both solid and liquid forms, are used as a delivery system for living cells, acting as a protective layer to contain the cells for transplantation into patients to replace diseased or damaged cells.
Birmingham, AL, USA – Most patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia can be treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors. These drugs are highly effective and lead to deep remission and prolonged survival. Yet quiescent leukemic stem cells persist in these patients, and they therefore must continue inhibitor treatment to maintain remission.
Santa Cruz, CA, USA – A healthy adult makes about 2 million blood cells every second, and 99 percent of them are oxygen-carrying red blood cells. The other one percent are platelets and the various white blood cells of the immune system. How all the different kinds of mature blood cells are derived from the same "hematopoietic" stem cells in the bone marrow has been the subject of intense research, but most studies have focused on the one percent, the immune cells.
Washington, DC, USA – According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of all Americans will have periodontal disease at some point in their lives. Characterized by inflamed gums and bone loss around teeth, the condition can cause bad breath, toothache, tender gums and, in severe cases, tooth loss. Now, in ACS Nano, researchers report development of a membrane that helps periodontal tissue regenerate when implanted into the gums of rats.
Atlanta, GA, USA – Scientists at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Georgia Tech have found that modulating blood-forming stem cells' stiffness could possibly facilitate mobilization procedures used for stem cell-based transplants.
New York, NY, USA – Increases in chronic inflammation – not the passage of time – is the main reason why injured bones do not heal as well with age. This is the finding of a study in mice and humans published online March 18, 2019 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Berlin, Germany – Muscle stem cells have to be ready to spring into action at any time: When a muscle becomes injured, for example, during a sports activity, it is their responsibility to develop new muscle cells as quickly as possible. When a muscle grows, because its owner is still growing too or has started to do more sports, the conversion of stem cells is also required.
Winston-Salem, NC, USA – Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) scientists are working on a promising approach for treatment of chronic kidney disease – regeneration of damaged tissues using therapeutic cells. By harnessing the unique properties of human amniotic fluid-derived stem cells, WFIRM scientists have demonstrated that the cells could potentially help recover organ function in a pre-clinical model of kidney disease.