Houston, TX, USA – Two internationally renowned stem cell experts have found an abundance of abnormal stem cells in the lungs of patients who suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a leading cause of death worldwide. Frank McKeon, professor of biology and biochemistry and director of the Stem Cell Center, and Wa Xian, research associate professor at the center, used single cell cloning of lung stem cells to make their discovery. Now they are targeting the cells for new therapeutics.
News & Commentaries
Heidelberg, Germany – Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Heidelberg Institute of Stem Cell Technology and Experimental Medicine (HI-STEM)* and the Max Planck Institute in Freiburg have identified a new control mechanism that enables stem cells to adapt their activity in emergency situations. For this purpose, the stem cells simultaneously modify the blueprints for hundreds of proteins encoded in the gene transcripts. In this way, they control the amount of protein produced and can also control the formation of certain proteinisoforms. If this mechanism is inactivated, stem cells lose their self-renewal potential and can no longer react adequately to danger signals or inflammation.
Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong – Human stem cells have been regarded as one of the promising cell sources for cardiac regeneration therapy. But their clinical use is hampered due to the poor performance after transplantation into failing hearts. Recently a stem cell biologist from City University of Hong Kong (CityU), together with his collaborators, has developed a novel strategy, called in vivo priming, to "train" the stem cells to stay strong after implantation to the damaged heart via the 3D-printed bandage-like patch. The positive results of the study show that an in vivo priming strategy can be an effective means to enhance cardiac repair.
Zurich, Switzerland – Researchers at the University of Zurich show that different stem cell populations are innervated in distinct ways. Innervation may therefore be crucial for proper tissue regeneration. They also demonstrate that cancer stem cells likewise establish contacts with nerves. Targeting tumor innervation could thus lead to new cancer therapies. The research was published in FASEB
Irvine, CA, USA – A team of University of California, Irvine researchers have published the first comprehensive overview of the major changes that occur in mammalian skin cells as they prepare to heal wounds. Results from the study provide a blueprint for future investigation into pathological conditions associated with poor wound healing, such as in diabetic patients.
Berkely, CA, USA – Like humans, cells are easily influenced by peer pressure. Take a neural stem cell in the brain: Whether this cell remains a stem cell or differentiates into a fully formed brain cell is ultimately determined by a complex set of molecular messages the cell receives from countless neighbors. Understanding these messages is key for scientists hoping to harness these stem cells to treat neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
Melbourne, Australia – A powerful Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) collaboration has revealed that a bacterial superbug can prevent stem cells in the gut from carrying out their vital role of regenerating the inner lining of the intestine. This causes potentially severe disease, particularly in the elderly.
Dresden, Germany – A Franco-German research team led by Prof. Michael Sieweke, from the Center for Regenerative Therapies TU Dresden (CRTD) and the Center of Immunology of Marseille Luminy (CNRS, INSERM, Aix-Marseille University), today uncovered a surprising property of blood stem cells: not only do they ensure the continuous renewal of blood cells and contribute to the immune response triggered by an infection, but they can also remember previous infectious encounters to drive a more rapid and more efficient immune response in the future. These findings should have a significant impact on future vaccination strategies and pave the way for new treatments of an underperforming or over-reacting immune system. The results of this research are published in Cell Stem Cell on March 12, 2020.
Rochester, MN, USA – Mayo Clinic researchers have uncovered stem cell-activated mechanisms of healing after a heart attack. Stem cells restored cardiac muscle back to its condition before the heart attack, in turn providing a blueprint of how stem cells may work.
Minneapolis, MN, USA – A team of researchers at the University of Minnesota Medical School recently proved the ability to grow human-derived blood vessels in a pig—a novel approach that has the potential for providing unlimited human vessels for transplant purposes. Because these vessels were made with patient-derived skin cells, they are less likely to be rejected by the recipient, helping patients potentially avoid the need for life-long, anti-rejection drugs.