News & Commentaries

Getting to the Bottom of Goosebumps

Stembook: Getting to the Bottom of Goosebumps
Harvard scientists find that the same cell types that cause goosebumps are responsible for controlling hair growth

Cambridge, MA, USA – If you’ve ever wondered why we get goosebumps, you’re in good company – so did Charles Darwin, who mused about them in his writings on evolution. Goosebumps might protect animals with thick fur from the cold, but we humans don’t seem to benefit from the reaction much – so why has it been preserved during evolution all this time?

Researchers 3D Print a Working Heart Pump with Real Human Cells

STEMBOOK: Researchers 3D Print a Working Heart Pump with Real Human Cells

Minneapolis, MN, USA – In a groundbreaking new study, researchers at the University of Minnesota have 3D printed a functioning centimeter-scale human heart pump in the lab. The discovery could have major implications for studying heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States killing more than 600,000 people a year.

Order from Noise: How Randomness and Collective Dynamics Define a Stem Cell

Stembook: Order from Noise: How Randomness and Collective Dynamics Define a Stem Cell
Collective cell dynamics could define stem cells identity, number, and dynamics

Klosterneuburg, Austria – Without stem cells, human life would not exist. Due to them, a lump of cells becomes an organ, a fertilized egg develops into a baby, and tissues of our body can be continuously renewed. But what actually makes a stem cell? How do they know when to divide to replace a dying cell? Are these a stable population of specially gifted cells? Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) Austria discovered that instead, stem cells might emerge due to the collective behavior of cells within the organs. They saw that the shape of the surrounding tissue, jointly to the pattern of seemingly random movements of the cells determined the cell’s role. The scientists published their study in the journal PNAS on July 1, 2020. Their results could lead to a deeper understanding of organ renewal and development.

USC Stem Cell Scientists Find a Simpler Way to Make Sensory Hearing Cells

Stembook: USC Stem Cell Scientists Find a Simpler Way to Make Sensory Hearing Cells

Los Angeles, CA, USA – Scientists from the USC Stem Cell laboratories of Neil Segil and Justin Ichida are whispering the secrets of a simpler way to generate the sensory cells of the inner ear. Their approach uses direct reprogramming to produce sensory cells known as “hair cells,” due to their hair-like protrusions that sense sound waves. The study was published today in the journal eLife.

COVID-19: Study Shows Virus Can Infect Heart Cells in Lab Dish

Stembook: COVID-19: Study Shows Virus Can Infect Heart Cells in Lab Dish
Research, Led by Cedars-Sinai, Uses Stem Cell Technology to Learn How Coronavirus May Directly Attack Heart Muscle

Los Angeles, CA, USA – A new study shows that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (coronavirus), can infect heart cells in a lab dish, indicating it may be possible for heart cells in COVID-19 patients to be directly infected by the virus. The discovery, published today in the journal Cell Reports Medicine, was made using heart muscle cells that were produced by stem cell technology.

Sleeper Cells: New Neural Stem Cell State Gives Insight Into Cancer

Stembook: Sleeper Cells: New Neural Stem Cell State Gives Insight Into Cancer
ASU researchers discover and explore new resting phase of stem cells that could help put brain tumors to sleep

Phoenix, AZ, USA – The human body contains approximately 200 different kinds of cells, including many kinds of stem cells that have the potential to turn into a variety of specialized cells. Probing into the life cycle states or phases of these cells is important to understanding and treating diseases like dementia and cancer.

ISSCR Urges FDA and EMA to Enforce Regulation of Clinics Offering Unproven and Unapproved Stem Cell-based Interventions

Stembook: ISSCR Urges FDA and EMA to Enforce Regulation of Clinics Offering Unproven and Unapproved Stem Cell-based Interventions
Misleading Marketing Preys on the Hopes of Patients and Families, Including Those with COVID-19

Skokie, IL, USA – In letters released today by the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the Society presses for greater enforcement to help protect patients suffering from devastating diseases including COVID-19. The effort comes as the world’s foremost stem cell and regenerative medicine researchers are meeting this week to share the field’s newest discoveries as part of ISSCR 2020 Virtual.

UConn Researcher Invents Nanoparticle for Overcoming Leukemia Treatment Resistance

Stembook: UConn Researcher Invents Nanoparticle for Overcoming Leukemia Treatment Resistance

Mansfield, CT, USA – UConn associate professor of pharmaceutics Xiuling Lu, along with professor of chemistry Rajeswari M. Kasi, was part of a team that recently published a paper in Nature Cell Biology finding a commonly used chemotherapy drug may be repurposed as a treatment for resurgent or chemotherapy-resistant leukemia.

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