News & Commentaries

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Breaking Down Pathological Protein Aggregates

StemBook: Breaking Down Pathological Protein Aggregates (stem cells)

Zurich, Switzerland – ETH researchers have discovered a new mechanism that brain cells use to protect themselves from protein aggregates. Such aggregates play a key role in Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. This new finding might provide the basis for new therapeutic approaches. It is published in Science Translational Medicine.

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Improved Human Brain Organoids to Boost Neurological Disease Research

StemBook: Improved Human Brain Organoids to Boost Neurological Disease Research (stem cells)
Reproducible, miniature 3D models of human brain tissue open up new frontiers in neuroscience

Research led by scientists at Harvard and the Broad Institute has optimized the process of making human brain ‘organoids’ – miniature 3D organ models – so they consistently follow growth patterns observed in the developing human brain.
Researchers can use this reproducible experimental system to test drugs for neuropsychiatric diseases like autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia directly in human tissues.

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Killing the Unkillable Cancer Cells

StemBook: Killing the unkillable cancer cells (stem cells)

Why do some cancer cells evade therapy? To understand this problem, we need to "look" at the molecular machinery inside the cancer cells that regulates their ability to grow, stay alive, and divide, producing more cells. Scientists have identified many mechanisms within this machinery and they have designed drugs and other treatments that interfere with them, blocking their ability to divide, or even killing them. Clearly, these treatments are not able to kill all the cells within a tumor.

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Researchers Discover Cells that Change their Identity During Normal Development

StemBook:Researchers discover cells that change their identity during normal development (stem cells)

A new study by researchers at the University of Virginia and other institutions has discovered a type of pigment cell in zebrafish that can transform after development into another cell type. David Parichy, the Pratt-Ivy Foundation Distinguished Professor of Morphogenesis in UVA's Department of Biology, said that researchers in his lab noticed that some black pigment cells on zebrafish became gray and then eventually white. When they looked closer, they found dramatic changes in gene expression and pigment chemistry.

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NIH-supported Study Reveals a Novel Indicator of Influenza Immunity

StemBook: NIH-supported Study Reveals a Novel Indicator of Influenza Immunity(stem cells)

Bethesda, MD, USA – A study of influenza virus transmission in Nicaraguan households reveals new insights into the type of immune responses that may be protective against influenza virus infection, report investigators. The findings could help scientists design more effective influenza vaccines and lead to the development of novel universal influenza vaccines. The research was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

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New Genetic Weapons Challenge Sickle Cell Disease

StemBook: New Genetic Weapons Challenge Sickle Cell Disease (stem cells)
Rice lab’s CRISPR-Cas9 strategy offers two-pronged attack

Help for patients with sickle cell disease may soon come from gene editing to fix the mutation that causes the disease and boost the patient’s own protective fetal hemoglobin.New research shows that using CRISPR-Cas9 and a corrective short DNA template to repair the sickle cell mutation in a patient’s hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) could be efficient and safe.

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Stem Cells Delivered to the Nose Restore Mice’s Ability to Smell

StemBook: Stem Cells Delivered to the Nose Restore Mice’s Ability to Smell (stem cells)
The introduced cells engrafted in the nose, became olfactory sensory neurons, and sent axons to the animals’ brains

In mice whose sense of smell has been disabled, a squirt of stem cells into the nose can restore olfaction, researchers report today (May 30) in Stem Cell Reports. The introduced “globose basal cells,” which are precursors to smell-sensing neurons, engrafted in the nose, matured into nerve cells, and sent axons to the mice’s olfactory bulbs in the brain.

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Scientists Develop Gel-based Delivery System for Stem Cell-derived Factors to Improve Kidney Regeneration

In ongoing research to find a treatment for acute kidney injury, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) scientists have further advanced a promising approach using therapeutic factors produced by stem cells by creating a more efficient delivery method that would improve tissue regeneration. WFIRM researchers wanted to determine if any of the growth factors could lead to kidney function recovery. They developed a gel-based system that contained a cocktail of stem cell derived growth factors.

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Study Reveals Factors Behind Embryonic Stem Cell State

ACS news

Washington, DC, USA – What if doctors had a remote control that they could use to steer a patient’s own cells to a wound to speed up the healing process? Although such a device is still far from reality, researchers reporting in the ACS journal Nano Letters have taken an important first step: They used near-infrared light and an injected DNA nanodevice to guide stem cells to an injury, which helped muscle tissue regrow in mice.

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