News & Commentaries

Little Skates Could Hold the Key to Cartilage Therapy in Humans

Stembook: Little Skates Could Hold the Key to Cartilage Therapy in Humans

Woods Hole, MA, USA – Nearly a quarter of Americans suffer from arthritis, most commonly due to the wear and tear of the cartilage that protects the joints. As we age, or get injured, we have no way to grow new cartilage. Unlike humans and other mammals, the skeletons of sharks, skates, and rays are made entirely of cartilage and they continue to grow that cartilage throughout adulthood.

Scientists Show MRI Predicts the Efficacy of a Stem Cell Therapy for Brain Injury

Stembook: Scientists Show MRI Predicts the Efficacy of a Stem Cell Therapy for Brain Injury

San Diego, CA, USA – Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute and Loma Linda University Health have demonstrated the promise of applying magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to predict the efficacy of using human neural stem cells to treat a brain injury—a first-ever “biomarker” for regenerative medicine that could help personalize stem cell treatments for neurological disorders and improve efficacy. The researchers expect to test the findings in a clinical trial evaluating the stem cell therapy in newborns who experience a brain injury during birth called perinatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury (HII). The study was published in Cell Reports.

A UCLA Scientists Create First Roadmap Of Human Skeletal Muscle Development

Stembook: A UCLA Scientists Create First Roadmap Of Human Skeletal Muscle Development
Findings could lead to better methods for creating muscle cells from stem cells

Los Angeles, CA, USA – An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA has developed a first-of-its-kind roadmap of how human skeletal muscle develops, including the formation of muscle stem cells.

More Selective Elimination of Leukemia Stem Cells and Blood Stem Cells

Stembook: More Selective Elimination of Leukemia Stem Cells and Blood Stem Cells

Zurich, Switzerland – Hematopoietic stem cells from a healthy donor can help patients suffering from acute leukemia. However, the side effects of therapies are often severe. A group of researchers led by the University of Zurich have now shown how human healthy and cancerous hematopoietic stem cells can be more selectively eliminated using immunotherapy instead of chemotherapy in mice. The aim is to test the new immunotherapy in humans as soon as possible.

Researchers Have Found Accumulation Of Gene Mutations In Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease

Stembook: Researchers Have Found Accumulation Of Gene Mutations In Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease
Mutations in white blood cells can contribute to abnormal immune profile after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Helsinki, Finland – Graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) is a potentially life-threatening medical condition that is common after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, the only curative treatment for various types of leukemias. In GvHD, white blood cells from transplant donor recognize recipient cells as non-self and attack recipient tissues. Understanding how these donor white blood cells remain active against recipient cells can pave the way for novel treatment strategies in GvHD.

Beta Cells from Stem Cells: Potential for Cell Replacement Therapy

Stembook: Beta Cells from Stem Cells: Potential for Cell Replacement Therapy

Munich, Germany – The loss of insulin-secreting beta cells by autoimmune destruction leads to type 1 diabetes. Clinical islet cell transplantation has the potential to cure diabetes, but donor pancreases are rare. In a new study, a group of researchers developed an improved pluripotent stem cell differentiation protocol to generate beta cells in vitro with superior glucose response and insulin secretion. This is a major step towards beta cell replacement therapy.

Diabetes Reversed In Mice With Genetically Edited Stem Cells Derived From Patients

Stembook: Diabetes Reversed In Mice With Genetically Edited Stem Cells Derived From Patients
CRISPR corrects genetic defect so cells can normalize blood sugar

St. Louis, MO, USA – Using induced pluripotent stem cells produced from the skin of a patient with a rare, genetic form of insulin-dependent diabetes called Wolfram syndrome, researchers transformed the human stem cells into insulin-producing cells and used the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 to correct a genetic defect that had caused the syndrome. They then implanted the cells into lab mice and cured the unrelenting diabetes in those mice.

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