News & Commentaries

Primitive Stem Cells Point to New Bone Grafts for Stubborn-to-Heal Fractures

Stembook: Primitive Stem Cells Point to New Bone Grafts for Stubborn-to-Heal Fractures

College Station, TX, USA – Although most broken bones can be mended with a firm cast and a generous measure of tender loving care, more complicated fractures require treatments like bone grafting. Researchers at Texas A&M University have now created superior bone grafts using primitive stem cells. They found that these cells help create very fertile scaffolds needed for the bone to regenerate at the site of repair.

Putting ‘Super’ in Natural Killer Cells

Stembook: Putting ‘Super’ in Natural Killer Cells
Deleting an inhibitory gene in natural killer cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells is found to boost their anti-tumor activity and persistence; researchers now seek to develop a clinical therapy.

San Diego, CA, USA – Using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and deleting a key gene, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have created natural killer cells – a type of immune cell – with measurably stronger activity against a form of leukemia, both in vivo and in vitro.

IU Researchers Model Human Stem Cells to Identify Degeneration in Glaucoma

Stembook: IU Researchers Model Human Stem Cells to Identify Degeneration in Glaucoma

Indianapolis, IN, USA – More than 3 million Americans have glaucoma, a serious eye condition causing vision loss. Using human stem cell models, researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine found they could analyze deficits within cells damaged by glaucoma, with the potential to use this information to develop new strategies to slow the disease process.

Cord Blood as Source for Stem Cell Transplant May Outperform Accepted “Gold Standard” of Matched Sibling Donors

Stembook: Cord Blood as Source for Stem Cell Transplant May Outperform Accepted “Gold Standard” of Matched Sibling Donors

Denver, CO, USA – When a cancer patient needs a bone marrow transplant, there are four common donor sources: A matched related donor (sibling), a matched unrelated donor (from a donor database), a half-matched donor, or umbilical cord blood. Of course, there are plusses and minuses to each approach, but consensus has generally ranked a matched sibling first, followed by a matched unrelated donor, with cord blood and half-matched donors reserved for patients without either of the first two options. Now a University of Colorado Cancer Center study based on a decade of research and treatment may reshuffle this list. In fact, the comparison of 190 patients receiving cord-blood transplants with 123 patients receiving transplants from the “gold standard” of matched sibling donors showed no difference in survival outcomes between these two approaches, with significantly fewer complications due to chronic graft-versus-host disease in patients receiving transplants from cord blood. The study was published in Blood Advances.

Stem Cell Treatments 'Go Deep' to Regenerate Sun-Damaged Skin

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – For a while now, some plastic surgeons have been using stem cells to treat aging, sun-damaged skin. But while they've been getting good results, it's been unclear exactly how these treatments – using adult stem cells harvested from the patient's own body – work to rejuvenate "photoaged" facial skin.

Unique Insight into the Development of the Human Brain: Researchers Produce a Model of the Early Embryonic Brain

Stembook: Unique Insight into the Development of the Human Brain: Researchers Produce a Model of the Early Embryonic Brain

Lund, Sweden – Stem cell researchers from the University of Copenhagen have designed a model of an early embryonic brain. The model will increase our understanding of how the human brain develops and can thereby help to accelerate the development of stem cell treatments for brain disorders such as Parkinson's Disease, epilepsy and dementia.

Image Analysis Technique Provides Better Understanding of Heart Cell Defects

Stembook: Image Analysis Technique Provides Better Understanding of Heart Cell Defects

Washington, WA, USA – Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and other industrialized nations, and many patients face limited treatment options. Fortunately, stem cell biology has enabled researchers to produce large numbers of cardiomyocytes, the cells that make up the heart or cardiac muscle and have the potential to be used in advanced drug screens and cell-based therapies.

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