News & Commentaries


Viagra Shows Promise for Use in Bone Marrow Transplants

STEMBOOK: Viagra Shows Promise for Use in Bone Marrow Transplants
By dilating blood vessels, Viagra enhances the mobilization of blood-forming stem cells from the bone marrow so they can be collected from the blood for transplants

Santa Cruz, CA, USA – Researchers at UC Santa Cruz have demonstrated a new, rapid method to obtain donor stem cells for bone marrow transplants using a combination of Viagra and a second drug called Plerixafor. Bone marrow transplants, used mostly in the treatment of cancer, are life-saving procedures to restore the stem cells that generate new blood cells throughout a person's life. These blood-forming cells (called "hematopoietic stem cells") normally reside only in the bone marrow.


First Cell Map Of Developing Human Liver Reveals How Blood And Immune Systems Develop

STEMBOOK: First Cell Map Of Developing Human Liver Reveals How Blood And Immune Systems Develop

Cambridge, UK – In a world first, scientists have created the human developmental liver cell atlas that provides crucial insights into how the blood and immune systems develop in the foetus. It maps changes in the cellular landscape of the developing liver between the first and second trimesters of pregnancy, including how stem cells from the liver seed other tissues to support the high demand for oxygen needed for growth.


Breakthrough in Testosterone-Producing Cells Could Lead to Treatment for "Low T"

StemBook: Breakthrough in testosterone-producing cells could lead to treatment for ‘low T’ (stem cells)
Low testosterone can affect men’s mood, sex life and health. USC scientists say they’ve hit upon a potential new solution.

Los Angeles, CA, USA – USC researchers have successfully grown human, testosterone-producing cells in the lab, paving the way to someday treat low testosterone with personalized replacement cells. In Monday’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists describe how they transformed stem cells into functioning Leydig cells – the cells in the testes that produce the male sex hormone.


New Method to Purify Cell Rypes to High Purity

StemBook: Graphical representation of the GateID method (stem cells)

Utrecht, The Netherlands – Researchers from the group of Alexander van Oudenaarden and Eelco de Koning have developed GateID, a new method that can highly purify a cell type of interest from a tissue, without the use of antibodies or a genetic reporter. Thereby, GateID allows to isolate a variety of cell types, such as stem cells, in order to study them in more detail. The researchers have published their results in the scientific journal Cell.


Stem Cell Studies Offer Hope for Childhood Neurological Condition

StemBook: Stem Cell Studies Offer Hope for Childhood Neurological Condition (stem cells)
As Both Therapy and Tool for Drug Discovery, Stem Cells Present Parallel Opportunities for Treatment

San Francisco, CA, USA – Two new studies by an international team of researchers report progress in using stem cells to develop new therapies for Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD), a rare genetic condition affecting boys that can be fatal before 10 years of age.


Possible Therapeutic Target For Slow Healing Of Aged Muscles Discovered

STEMBOOK: Possible Therapeutic Target For Slow Healing Of Aged Muscles Discovered by Liangji Li

Washington, DC, USA – An age-related decline in recovery from muscle injury can be traced to a protein that suppresses the special ability of muscle stem cells to build new muscles, according to work from a team of current and former Carnegie biologists led by Chen-Ming Fan and published in Nature Metabolism.


How Transcription Factor Fluctuations Affect the Fate of Stem Cells

STEMBOOK: How transcription factor fluctuations affect the fate of stem cells EPFL

Lausanne, Switzerland – How do temporal variations in protein concentrations affect biology? It’s a question that biologists have only recently begun to address, and the findings are increasingly showing that random temporal changes in the amount of certain proteins play a direct and significant role on biological processes.


Engineered Killer T Cells Could Provide Long-lasting Immunity Against Cancer

STEMBOOK: Engineered killer T cells could provide long-lasting immunity against cancer Lili Yang UCLA
UCLA researchers use stem cells to engineer cells that attack human tumors in mice

Los Angeles, CA, USA – They've been called the "special forces" of the immune system: invariant natural killer T cells. Although there are relatively few of them in the body, they are more powerful than many other immune cells. In experiments with mice, UCLA researchers have shown they can harness the power of iNKT cells to attack tumor cells and treat cancer. The new method, described in the journal Cell Stem Cell, suppressed the growth of multiple types of human tumors that had been transplanted into the animals.


Suntanner, Heal Thyself: Exosome Therapy May Enable Better Repair of Sun, Age-Damaged Skin

STEMBOOK: Monolayer dermal fibroblasts were cultured into spheroids, then exosomes were collected and delivered by a needle-free injector for skin aging treatment

Raleigh, NC, USA – In the future, you could be your very own fountain of youth – or at least your own skin repair reservoir. In a proof-of-concept study, researchers from North Carolina State University have shown that exosomes harvested from human skin cells are more effective at repairing sun-damaged skin cells in mice than popular retinol or stem cell-based treatments currently in use. Additionally, the nanometer-sized exosomes can be delivered to the target cells via needle-free injections.