News & Commentaries


Scientists from TU Dresden Search For New Methods to Cure Neurodegenerative Diseases

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Dresden, Germany – Most neurons in the human brain are generated from neural stem cells during embryonic development. After birth, a small reservoir of stem cells remains in the brain that keeps on producing new neurons throughout life. However, the question arises as to whether these new neurons really support brain function? And if so, can we improve brain capacity by increasing the number of neurons? The research group of Prof. Federico Calegari at the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) of TU Dresden has answered these questions, now published in the renowned EMBO Journal.


Harvard Research Reveals Potential Therapeutic Target for ALS

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Cambridge, MA, USA – Research led by stem cell scientists at Harvard University points to a potential new biomarker and drug target for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurological disease that is difficult to diagnose and treat. Published in Nature Neuroscience, the study used stem cell models of human motor neurons to reveal the gene STMN2 as a potential therapeutic target, demonstrating the value of this human stem cell model approach in drug discovery.


UCLA Researchers Correct Genetic Mutation that Causes IPEX, a Life-Threatening Autoimmune Syndrome

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Los Angeles, CA, USA – UCLA researchers led by Dr. Donald Kohn have created a method for modifying blood stem cells to reverse the genetic mutation that causes a life-threatening autoimmune syndrome called IPEX. The gene therapy, which was tested in mice, is similar to the technique Kohn has used to cure patients with another immune disease, severe combined immune deficiency, or SCID, also known as bubble baby disease.


Salk Team Reveals Clues into Early Development of Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Neurons from people with autism exhibit different patterns of growth and develop at a faster rate

La Jolla, CA, USA – Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a relatively common developmental disorder of communication and behavior that affects about 1 in 59 children in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite its prevalence, it is still unclear what causes the disease and what are the best ways to treat it.


UCLA Study Overturns Dogma of Cancer Metabolism Theory – Tumors Not as Addicted to Glucose as Previously Thought


Los Angeles, CA, USA – Scientists at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA have discovered that squamous cell skin cancers do not require increased glucose to power their development and growth, contrary to a long-held belief about cancer metabolism.


Stem Cell Study Offers Clues for Optimizing Bone Marrow Transplants and More

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Los Angeles, CA, USA – Bone marrow transplants, which involve transplanting healthy blood stem cells, offer the best treatment for many types of cancers, blood disorders and immune diseases. Even though 22,000 of these procedures are performed each year in the US, much remains to be understood about how they work.


Stem Cell Signal Drives New Bone Building

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If harnessed in people, it could speed recovery for bone breaks, spinal fusions, osteoporosis

Baltimore, MA, USA – In experiments in rats and human cells, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have added to evidence that a cellular protein signal that drives both bone and fat formation in selected stem cells can be manipulated to favor bone building. If harnessed in humans, they say, the protein – known as WISP-1 – could help fractures heal faster, speed surgical recovery and possibly prevent bone loss due to aging, injury and disorders.


An Errant Editing Enzyme Promotes Tumor Suppressor Loss and Leukemia Propagation


San Diego, CA, USA – Writing in the January 3 issue of Cancer Cell, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine report that detection of “copy editing” by a stem cell enzyme called ADAR1, which is active in more than 20 tumor types, may provide a kind of molecular radar for early detection of malignancies and represent a new therapeutic target for preventing cancer cell resistance to chemotherapy and radiation.