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.
News & Commentaries
London, UK – Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute have found two genes that regulate the differentiation of stem cells in the small intestine, offering valuable insight into how the body develops and maintains a healthy gut.
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.
Chicago, IL, USA – A study published in Molecular Psychiatry shows that patient-derived adult stem cells can be used to model major depressive disorder and test how a patient may respond to medication.
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.
New Haven, CT, USA – An experimental cancer drug can extend the life of mice with Rett syndrome, a devastating genetic disorder that afflicts about one of every 10,000 to 15,000 girls within 6 to 18 months after birth, Yale researchers report June 10 in the journal Molecular Cell.
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.
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.
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.
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.