Nankai District, China – By introducing a chemical cocktail to granulosa cells, researchers in China induced the cells to transform into functional oocytes in mice. Once fertilized, these oocytes were then successfully able to produce healthy offspring, showing no differences from naturally bred mice. The chemical reprogramming method appears December 24 in the journal Cell Reports.
News & Commentaries
Berlin, Germany – Anyone who climbs the 285 steps to the viewing platform of Berlin’s Siegessäule, or Victory Column, will probably have quite a few sore muscles the next day. Out-of-the-ordinary activities such as climbing lots of steps or even normal exercise can put significant strain on muscles. Such activities cause tiny tears in the muscle fibers, which the body then repairs on its own.
The immune system establishes “forward operating bases”, or lymph node-like structures, inside the tumors of some patients with kidney and other urologic cancers, researchers at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University have discovered.
Houston, TC, USA – Led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, a study published in the journal Cell Stem Cell reveals a new mechanism that contributes to adult bone maintenance and repair and opens the possibility of developing therapeutic strategies for improving bone healing.
New York, NY, USA – Given the amount of wear and tear it’s subjected to on a daily basis, the skin has a phenomenal ability to replenish itself. Spread throughout it are small reservoirs of stem cells, nested within supportive microenvironments called niches, which keep a tight rein on this repair process. Too much tissue might cause problems like cancer, while too little might accelerate aging.
Arizona, GA, USA – Research on immune cells “exhausted” by chronic viral infection provides clues on how to refine cancer immunotherapy. The results were published Tuesday, Dec. 3 in Immunity
Freiburg, Germany – Several hundred different cell types of the adult human body are formed during embryonic development, starting from just a few identical stem cells. The differentiation potential of the cells is progressively restricted in the course of this process, causing changes in their morphology and functions. A research team headed by Prof. Dr. Sebastian Arnold and Jelena Tosic from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Freiburg has now succeeded in deciphering basic molecular control mechanisms by which stem cells decide which embryonic cell types to turn into. This is achieved at least partially through selective usage of the genes for each different cell type, despite the presence of the identical genetic information in every cell in the body. The scientists have published their findings in the journal Nature Cell Biology.
Durham, NX, USA – Duke Cancer Institute researchers have observed how stem cell mutations quietly arise and spread throughout a widening field of the colon until they eventually predominate and become a malignancy.
Cincinnati, OH, USA –Stem cell therapy helps hearts recover from a heart attack, although not for the biological reasons originally proposed two decades ago that today are the basis of ongoing clinical trials. This is the conclusion of a Nov. 27 study in Nature that shows an entirely different way that heart stem cells help the injured heart – not by replacing damaged or dead heart cells as initially proposed.
Tsukuba, Japan – Embryonic stem cells have the potential to differentiate into any type of cell in the human body. Once differentiated though, the newly minted somatic cells live out the rest of their days as that specific cell type and never again have the capacity to differentiate. Or so the theory goes