News & Commentaries

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Researchers Discover How Cells Know Their Future And Forget Their Past

STEMBOOK: Researchers Discover How Cells Know Their Future And Forget Their Past

Copenhagen, Denmark – All cells in the body contain the same genetic material. The difference between cells therefore depends solely on which genes are expressed or ‘turned on’. Now, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have gained new insights into how genes are turned on and off and how the cells “forget their past” while developing into a specific cell in the body. This new knowledge is published in Nature and will be crucial for stem cell therapy and potentially treating people with cancer.

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Some Skin Cancers May Start in Hair Follicles

STEMBOOK: Some Skin Cancers May Start in Hair Follicles

New York, NY, USA – Some of the most deadly skin cancers may start in stem cells that lend color to hair and originate in hair follicles rather than in skin layers, a new study finds.Hair follicles are complex organs that reside within skin layers. It is there that immature pigment-making cells develop cancer-causing genetic changes and – in a second step – are exposed to normal hair growth signals, say the study authors.

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Milk from Teeth: Dental Stem Cells Can Generate Milk-Producing Cells

Zurich, Switzerland – Stem cells of the teeth can contribute to the regeneration of non-dental organs, namely mammary glands. According to a new study from researchers at the University of Zurich, dental epithelial stem cells from mice can generate mammary ducts and even milk-producing cells when transplanted into mammary glands. This could be used for post-surgery tissue regeneration in breast cancer patients.

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Research Identifies Earlier Origin Of Neural Crest Cells

STEMBOOK: Research Identifies Earlier Origin Of Neural Crest Cells
UC Riverside-led research could aid regenerative stem cell therapies

Riverside, CA, USA – Neural crest cells, embryonic cells in vertebrates that travel throughout the body and generate many cell types – have been thought to originate in the ectoderm, the outermost of the three germ layers formed in the earliest stages of embryonic development

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Stem Cell Research Leads to Insights Into How Huntington’s Disease Develops

StemBook: Reduction of HTT levels during differentiation reduces the HD Nestin phenotype (JHD, stem cells); Stem Cell Research Leads to Insights Into How Huntington’s Disease Develops
Characterization of neurodevelopmental abnormalities in cultures from Huntington’s disease patients may help to understand juvenile HD

Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Huntington's disease (HD) is a fatal hereditary disease for which there is no cure. A novel study from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, USA, using pluripotent stem cells advances understanding of how the disease develops and may help pave the way for identifying pathways for future treatments. Results are published in the Journal of Huntington's Disease.

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'Instant Liver, Just Add Water'? Not Quite, But A Better Way To Grow Multiple Organs

A research team centered at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) and Tokyo Medical and Dental University(TMDU) develops an improved method to grow an organoid model of the liver, bile duct and pancreas

Tokyo, Japan – Pluripotent stem cells are specialized cells that can become almost any type of cell or tissue in the body. Because of this potential, they are often used in research to study disease. One way this is done is by coaxing stem cells to form organoids, which resemble organs but can be more easily studied in a laboratory. Researchers centered at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) and Tokyo Medical and Dental University(TMDU) have devised a better way to make one particular organoid to aid in studies of the liver, bile duct and pancreas.

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Embryo’s Early Development Revealed In A Dish

STEMBOOK: Embryo’s Early Development Revealed In A Dish
Unique Rice platform helps bioscientists learn how ectoderm cells begin to differentiate

Houston, TX, USA – During embryonic development, the entire nervous system, the skin and the sensory organs emerge from a single sheet of cells known as the ectoderm. While there have been extensive studies of how this sheet forms all these derivatives, it hasn’t been possible to study the process in humans – until now.

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When Added To Gene Therapy, Plant-Based Compound May Enable Faster, More Effective Treatments

STEMBOOK: When Added To Gene Therapy, Plant-Based Compound May Enable Faster, More Effective Treatments
Scripps Research team finds that a nontoxic molecule closely related to resveratrol can overcome barriers to delivering gene therapy into stem cells.

La Jolla, CA, USA – Gene therapy has broadened the treatment possibilities for those with immune system deficiencies and blood-based conditions, such as sickle cell anemia and leukemia. These diseases, which once would require a bone marrow transplant, can now be successfully treated by modifying patients’ own blood stem cells to correct the underlying genetic problem.

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