News & Commentaries

Researchers Develop New Protocol to Generate Intestinal Organoids In Vitro

Development could lead to better disease models in the lab to test treatments for efficacy

Boston, MA, USA – Boston researchers have developed a new way to generate groups of intestinal cells that can be used, among others, to make disease models in the lab to test treatments for diseases affecting the gastrointestinal system. Using human induced pluripotent stem cells, this novel approach combined a variety of techniques that enabled the development of three-dimensional groups of intestinal cells called organoids in vitro, which can expand disease treatment testing in the lab using human cells.

Rejuvenating The Brain: More Stem Cells Improve Learning And Memory Of Old Mice

STEMBOOK: Rejuvenating The Brain: More Stem Cells Improve Learning And Memory Of Old Mice

Dresden, Germany – We all will experience it at some point, unfortunately: The older we get the more our brains will find it difficult to learn and remember new things. What the reasons underlying these impairments are is yet unclear but scientists at the Center for Regenerative Therapies of TU Dresden (CRTD) wanted to investigate if increasing the number of stem cells in the brain would help in recovering cognitive functions, such as learning and memory, that are lost during ageing.

"Census" In The Zebrafish's Brain - Dresden Scientists Explore Newborn, Regenerated Neurons

STEMBOOK: "Census" In The Zebrafish's Brain - Dresden Scientists Explore Newborn, Regenerated Neurons

Dresden, Germany – The zebrafish is a master of regeneration: If brain cells are lost due to injury or disease, it can simply reproduce them - contrary to humans where this only happens in the fetal stage. However, the zebrafish is evolutionarily related to humans and, thus, possesses the same brain cell types as humans. Can a hidden regeneration potential also be activated in humans? Are therapies for stroke, craniocerebral trauma and presently incurable diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's possible?

First-Ever Genomic Study of Puberty Yields Insights Into Development, Cancer, and Infertility

STEMBOOK: First-Ever Genomic Study of Puberty Yields Insights Into Development, Cancer, and Infertility

Salt Lake City, UT, USA – In the first-ever genome-scale analysis of the puberty process in humans, researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah (U of U) outline distinct and critical changes to stem cells in males during adolescence. They further outline how testosterone, and the cells that produce testosterone, impact stem cells in male reproductive organs. The researchers believe this study adds dramatically to a foundation of knowledge that may yield insights into critical areas of human health, including infertility and cellular changes that lead to cancer and other diseases.

Backbone of Success

STEMBOOK: Backbone of Success
Researchers achieve first stem cell models of human spine development

Boston, MA, USA – More than 20 years ago, the lab of developmental biologist Olivier Pourquié discovered a sort of cellular clock in chicken embryos where each “tick” stimulates the formation of a structure called a somite that ultimately becomes a vertebra.

Plant-Derived SVC112 Hits Cancer Stem Cells, Leaves Healthy Cells Alone

STEMBOOK: Tin Tin Su, PhD, and colleagues show promise of new drug SVC112 against cancer stem cells (Credit: Paul Muhlrad)

Aurora, CO, USA – The red, tube-shaped flowers of the firecracker bush (Bouvardia ternifolia), native to Mexico and the American Southwest, attract hummingbirds. The bush also provides the chemical bouvardin, which the lab of University of Colorado Cancer Center and CU Boulder researcher, Tin Tin Su, PhD, and others have shown to slow a cancer’s ability to make proteins that tell cancer cells to grow and spread. Now a paper based on nearly half a decade of work, published in the journal Cancer Research, shows that the molecule SVC112, based on bouvardin and synthesized by Su’s Colorado-based pharmaceutical startup, SuviCa, Inc. acts specifically against head and neck cancer stem cells (CSCs), resulting in better tumor control with less toxicity to healthy cells than existing, FDA-approved protein synthesis inhibitors. The group hopes these promising preclinical results will lay the groundwork for human clinical trials of SVC112 in head and neck cancer patients.

Mouse Pups Born From Eggs Derived From The Granulosa Cells That Surround Oocytes

STEMBOOK: Mouse Pups Born From Eggs Derived From The Granulosa Cells That Surround Oocytes

Nankai District, China – By introducing a chemical cocktail to granulosa cells, researchers in China induced the cells to transform into functional oocytes in mice. Once fertilized, these oocytes were then successfully able to produce healthy offspring, showing no differences from naturally bred mice. The chemical reprogramming method appears December 24 in the journal Cell Reports.

Mouse Pups Born From Eggs Derived From The Granulosa Cells That Surround Oocytes

STEMBOOK: Mouse Pups Born From Eggs Derived From The Granulosa Cells That Surround Oocytes

Nankai District, China – By introducing a chemical cocktail to granulosa cells, researchers in China induced the cells to transform into functional oocytes in mice. Once fertilized, these oocytes were then successfully able to produce healthy offspring, showing no differences from naturally bred mice. The chemical reprogramming method appears December 24 in the journal Cell Reports.

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