CURRENT STEM CELL NEWS

1. Pluripotency of stem cells; newer insights

To answer the question on how embryonic stem cells remain pluripotent, scientists have identified that cells remain plastic by stationing a protein called Ell3 at portions of DNA known as “enhancers” which are required to activate a neighbouring gene. These EII3 stationed at the enhancers even in silent genes, prime the developmentally regulated genes for future expression. Click to read more...

2. Heart derived stem cells’ transplantation proven safe

A clinical trial that injected cardiac stem cells into patients who had heart attack recently has proven that the stem cell injection is safe and there was also improvement in other parameters compared to patients who received standard care. These stem cells were taken from the patient’s own healthy portion of the cardiac tissue. Click to read more...

3. Laminitis to have a solution using stem cells

Researchers have reported that injection of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in horses with laminitis improves the quality of healing and this therapy is advantageous because these injected MSCs have anti-inflammatory effects also.Click to read more...

4. Stem cell based in vitro models to assess cardiotoxicity of drugs

Toxicity to heart remains a main side effect of most drugs and there are currently no in vitro models existing which can evaluate the effect of the drugs on biochemical or contractile processes. Now scientists have used stem cells derived cardiomyocytes to create in vitro testing models and since cells are used, they recapitulate the in vivo environment to certain extent making them good models to assess cardiotoxicity. Click to read more...

5. Study examines factors influencing participation of donors in stem cell transplantation

Life saving Unrelated Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) faces donor shortage when minority populations are involved. Now a group of researchers have identified the cause behind this shortage and the reasons why minority donors opt out of stem cell donation making this study a valuable one to plan strategies to improve stem cell donation. Click to read more...

6. Gel scaffold to improve stem cell proliferation

Edinburgh scientists have used a water based gel scaffold to improve the growth rate of stem cells in the lab and since the scaffold is synthetic, there is minimal risk of biological contamination. Click to read more...

7. Transplantation of precursors of light sensitive cells in the retina restores vision in animal model

In a breakthrough study, researchers have been able to restore the rod photoreceptors, the light sensitive cells of the retina, thereby the vision in a murine animal model, by transplanting precursors of these cells. Click to read more...

8. Mechanism behind increased targeted migration of mesenchymal stem cells grown under hypoxia, explored

Scientists have identified the possible mechanism behind why mesenchymal stem cells grown in low oxygen environments migrate better towards the target compared to those grown under normal oxygen environments and this phenomenon is associated with a molecule called RhoA.Click to read more...

9. Cancer specific killer T cells created in lab using the iPS approach

A team of Japanese researchers have created cancer specific killer T lymphocytes using iPS cells. These iPS cells were initially derived from T lymphocytes that are killer against a certain skin cancer. Click to read more...

10. Molecular profiling of cancer stem cells opens new avenues for targeted therapies for cancer

Researchers have used 8 specific antibodies to localize the breast cancer initiating cells from the heterogeneous population of cancer cells in a breast cancer cell line and they have used Phase contrast microscopy and Immunofluorescence microscopy for profiling of these cells. This study will thus help in finding the specific target for designing molecular targeted therapies in the future. Click to read more..

Really???

1. Researchers have now suggested that luck also played a part in Mendel’s experiments in terms of his choice of the characteristics he studied. Mendel studied the inheritance of seven pairs of contrasting characteristics in pea plants concluding that each of them was inherited independently. This is because the genes controlling these 7 characteristics are indeed located on separate chromosomes. Two characteristics (seed colour and seed coat) though located on chromosome 1 are present on separate ends which get separated during crossing over. Had any two characteristics which Mendel would have chosen be present on the same chromosome, the linkage effects would have produced unusual offspring ratios thereby leading to complexities.

2. Did you know as to how despite 99% DNA similarity between humans and our nearest relative, chimpanzees, we are different from them? It is because of regions called recombination hot-spots which are locations of DNA swapping between chromosomes being almost entirely different between humans and chimps.

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