News & Commentaries


First Blood-Brain Barrier Chip Using Stem Cells Developed by Ben-Gurion University Researchers

StemBook:  First Blood-Brain Barrier Chip Using Stem Cells Developed by Ben-Gurion University Researchers

Beer-Sheva, Israel – Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles have, for the first time, duplicated a patient's blood-brain barrier (BBB), creating a human BBB chip with stem cells, which can be used to develop personalized medicine and new techniques to research brain disorders.


Tissue Engineering: The Big Picture on Growing Small Intestines

StemBook: Tissue Engineering: The Big Picture on Growing Small Intestines (stem cells)
Pediatric surgeon Tracy Grikscheit of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and colleagues describe the progress and challenges of building new intestinal tissue for babies in need

Babies born prematurely often face intense medical challenges, including intestines that are underdeveloped or diseased. While an intestine transplant can benefit some patients, many babies are simply too small to endure this procedure.


Scientists Recreate Blood-Brain Barrier Defect Outside the Body

Stembook: Scientists Recreate Blood-Brain Barrier Defect Outside the Body (stem cells)

Los Angeles, CA, USA – Scientists can't make a living copy of your brain outside your body. That's the stuff of science fiction. But in a new study, they recreated a critical brain component, the blood-brain barrier, that functioned as it would in the individual who provided the cells to make it. Their achievement — detailed in a study published today in the peer-reviewed journal Cell Stem Cell — provides a new way to make discoveries about brain disorders and, potentially, predict which drugs will work best for an individual patient.


Boosting Research into Development and Regenerative Medicine with a Major Stem Cell Discovery

StemBook: Boosting research into development and regenerative medicine with a major stem cell discovery (stem cells)

new approach has enabled researchers to create Expanded Potential Stem Cells (EPSCs) of both pig and human cells. These stem cells have the features of the very first cells in the developing embryo, and can develop into any type of cell. The research from LKS Faculty of Medicine of The University of Hong Kong (HKUMed), the Wellcome Sanger Institute, and the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut in Germany offers incredible potential for studying human development and regenerative medicine. The study published in Nature Cell Biology is the first time scientists have been able to derive stem cells from early pig embryos. Domestic pigs have great potential for biomedical research because of their genetic and anatomical similarities to humans, including comparable organ sizes. Being able to genetically-modify pig stem cells will also be beneficial for animal health and food production.


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.


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.


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.


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.