News & Commentaries

University of Minnesota First to Prove New Method to Grow Human Blood Vessels

Stembook: University of Minnesota First to Prove New Method to Grow Human Blood Vessels

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.

‘Primitive’ Stem Cells Shown to Regenerate Blood Vessels in The Eye

Stembook: ‘Primitive’ Stem Cells Shown to Regenerate Blood Vessels in The Eye

Baltimore, MD, USA – Johns Hopkins Medicine scientists say they have successfully turned back the biological hands of time, coaxing adult human cells in the laboratory to revert to a primitive state, and unlocking their potential to replace and repair damage to blood vessels in the retina caused by diabetes. The findings from this experimental study, they say, advance regenerative medicine techniques aimed at reversing the course of diabetic retinopathy and other blinding eye diseases.

UConn Researchers Discover New Stem Cells That Can Generate New Bone

Stembook UConn Researchers Discover New Stem Cells That Can Generate New Bone

Storrs, CT, USA – In the journal STEM CELLS, lead investigator Dr. Ivo Kalajzic, professor of reconstructive sciences, postdoctoral fellows Dr. Sierra Root and Dr. Natalie Wee, and collaborators at Harvard, Maine Medical Research Center, and the University of Auckland present a new population of cells that reside along the vascular channels that stretch across the bone and connect the inner and outer parts of the bone.

A Molecular Atlas of Skin Cells

Stembook: A Molecular Atlas of Skin Cells

Solna, Sweden – Our skin protects us from physical injury, radiation and microbes, and at the same time produces hair and facilitates perspiration. Details of how skin cells manage such disparate tasks have so far remained elusive. Now, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have systematically mapped skin cells and their genetic programs, creating a detailed molecular atlas of the skin in its complexity. The study is published today in the scientific journal Cell Stem Cell.

Inhalation Therapy Shows Promise Against Pulmonary Fibrosis in Mice, Rats

Stembook: Inhalation Therapy Shows Promise Against Pulmonary Fibrosis in Mice, Rats

Raleigh, NC, USA – A new study from North Carolina State University shows that lung stem cell secretions – specifically exosomes and secretomes – delivered via nebulizer, can help repair lung injuries due to multiple types of pulmonary fibrosis in mice and rats. The work could lead to more effective, less invasive treatment for human pulmonary fibrosis sufferers.

Bone or Cartilage? Presence of Fatty Acids Determines Skeletal Stem Cell Development

Stembook: Bone or Cartilage? Presence of Fatty Acids Determines Skeletal Stem Cell Development

Leuven, Belgium – In the event of a bone fracture, fatty acids in our blood signal to stem cells that they have to develop into bone-forming cells. If there are no blood vessels nearby, the stem cells end up forming cartilage. The finding that specific nutrients directly influence the development of stem cells opens new avenues for stem cell research. Biomedical scientists from KU Leuven and Harvard University published these results in Nature.

Curing Genetic Disease in Human Stem Cells

Stembook: Curing Genetic Disease in Human Stem Cells

Utrecht, The Netherlands – Whereas the CRISPR-Cas technology developed in 2012 cuts out a defect in a gene and replaces it with a new piece, the latest CRISPR technology works differently. The aim is to repair the error in the DNA without cutting it. This theoretically makes it a safer form of genetic editing. Scientists from Utrecht have shown for the first time that this technique can effectively and safely repair the DNA of stem cells derived from cystic fibrosis patients in the lab. The results of this study were published in the scientific journal Cell Stem Cell on the 20th of February.

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