Neuherberg, Germany – Scientists have discovered the signals that determine the fate of immature cells in the pancreas. The research shows that they are very mobile and that their destiny is strongly influenced by their immediate environment. This breakthrough published in the journal Nature will facilitate the manufacturing of pancreatic islet cells from stem cells and might help combating type 1 diabetes.
News & Commentaries
Utrecht, the Netherlands – Researchers from the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology have shown that the number of mutations in healthy and leukemic blood stem cells does not differ. Rather the location of the mutations in the DNA is relevant. Using the mutation patterns in the hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) the team was able to trace the developmental lineage tree of the cells.
Houston, TX, USA – To help patients with muscle disorders, scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have engineered a new stem cell line to study the conversion of stem cells into muscle. Findings appeared in Cell Reports.
University Park, PA, USA – A material based on a natural product of bones and citrus fruit, called citrate, provides the extra energy that stem cells need to form new bone tissue, according to a team of Penn State bioengineers. Their new understanding of the mechanism that allows citrate to aid in bone regeneration will help the researchers develop slow-release, biodegradable, citrate-releasing scaffolds to act as bone-growth templates to speed up healing in the body.
Kyoto, Japan – If you want to build an organ for transplant, you need to think in 3-D. Using stem cells, scientists are now able to grow parts of organs in the lab, but that is a far cry from constructing a fully-formed, functioning, three-dimensional (3D) organ.
Boston, MA, USA – Epigenetic therapies – targeting enzymes that alter what genes are turned on or off in a cell – are of growing interest in oncology as a way to make cancers less aggressive or less malignant. But now, at least one epigenetic therapy that had looked promising for lung cancer appears to boost the cancer stem cells that are believed to drive tumors. A study published in Nature Communications also identifies a strategy that reduces these stem cells, curbing lung cancer in mice.
London, UK – In a new study led by Imperial College London in collaboration with a group from the University of Cambridge, researchers transplanted human brain cells into a mouse brain, and for the first time watched how they grew and connected to each other. This allowed the team to study the way human brain cells interact in a more natural environment than previously possible.
Kyoto, Japan – A key determinant of successful immunotherapies is immune cells targeting the pathology with high specificity. CiRA scientists are using iPS cell technology to make a large batch of immune cells for immunotherapies. However, retaining the antigen specificity remains a challenge. A new study by the CiRA Associate Professor Shin Kaneko laboratory reports a method that solves this problem.
St. Louis, MO, USA – Scientists hoping to develop better treatments for kidney disease have turned their attention to growing clusters of kidney cells in the lab. One day, so-called organoids – grown from human stem cells – may help repair damaged kidneys in people or be used to test drugs developed to fight kidney disease.
San Francisco, CA, USA – Immunotherapy can cure some cancers that until fairly recently were considered fatal. In addition to developing drugs that boost the immune system’s cancer-fighting abilities, scientists are becoming expert at manipulating a patient’s own immune cells, turning them into cancer-killing armies. But cancers have tricks to evade attack, so scientists are racing to outmaneuver cancer and boost the effectiveness of immune cell therapies.