CURRENT STEM CELL NEWS

1. Gel to keep stem cells alive but dormant, developed

A mucin mimicking hydrogel capable of maintaining pluripotent stem cell viability and pluripotency in a quiescent state for at least 14 days and making human embryos to remain in a stasis period for up to 8 days has been developed. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

2. Inequality among leukemia stem cells revealed

A study has thrown insights into the heterogeneity of the stem cells of the blood cancer known as leukemia. The study showed that these stem cells can be distinguished by cell markers particularly expression of Mpl. Cells with high Mpl gene expression are the ones prone to initiate the disease according to the study. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

3. Testing lab grown iPS cells through biomarker

While studying the epigenetic phenomenon of non-CG methylation and differentiation capacity of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, it has been observed that a reduction in non-CG methylation is associated with the impaired differentiation capacity of these iPS cells into endodermal lineages. Thus this marker can serve as a tool for large-scale assessment of endodermal differentiation capability of lab engineered iPSC lines for clinical applications. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

4. Vital role of maternal bile acids in fetal stem cell production revealed

Blood stem cells in the fetus are vulnerable to stress due to accumulation of proteins in the Endoplasmic reticulum known as 'ER stress'. Scientists have discovered that the mother's bile acids which reaches the fetus helps in reducing this ER stress in the blood stem cells and enables normal blood stem cell expansion in the fetus. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

5. Anti-cancer therapy based on small molcule 'LF3' shows promise

Abnormalities in the Wnt/ß-catenin signalling pathway has shown to promote malignancies such as that of the head and neck. In a mouse xenograft model, it has been demonstrated that treatment using the small molecule 'LF3' which is a specific inhibitor of this pathway helped in reducing tumor growth and further, it also induced differentiation of the tumour cells. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

6. microRNA-142 helps stem cells to resist change

MicroRNA miR‐142 which is bimodally expressed in embryonic stem cells, during high expression makes stem cells irresponsive to differentiation signals while during low expression makes the stem cells respond to differentiation cues according to a recent study. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

7. Myc Oncogene regulates entry and exit of stem cells from dormancy

It has been observed that inhibition of the activity of the oncogene known as Myc leads to a reversible proliferation arrest in embryonic stem cells without affecting pluripotency making the stem cells to enter a state of dormancy. This study could be useful in studying dormant metastatic cancer stem cells. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication

8. Heart-on-a-chip technology helps compare in vitro stem cell derived cardiomyocytes and primary cardiomyocytes

By comparing the chemical and mechanical properties of stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes to those of cardiomyocytes in actual heart tissue in a heart-on-a-chip platform, the researchers found that different types of stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes form cell-cell junctions between each other and with primary cardiomyocytes. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

9. Stem cells' sexual identity explored

Investigating the nature and importance of cellular sex in an adult somatic organ, it has been identified that intestinal stem cells exhibit sex differences in expression of genes which control growth and metabolism. By turning specific genes "on" and "off" in these cells the researchers were able to masculinize or feminize the stem cells which in turn changed the proliferative capacity of the cells. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

10. Molecular regulation of HSC engraftment studied

By studying the molecular regulation underlying hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) engraftment after transplant in mice, nearly 17 regulators have been identified. This study could help in devising strategies to condition the niche to promote engraftment of the HSCs for achieving better transplant outcome. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

Really???

1. A new study in fruit flies has shown that compared to normal males, males with a mutant version of the fruitless (fru) gene showed no interest in females; rather they set off in vigorous pursuit of other males. However this vigorous pursuit of males was observed only in flies reared in groups which showed hypersensitive response to visually induced courtship behavior while flies reared in isolation did not react to such visual stimuli. This study suggests that both nature and nurture determines sexual behavior and orientation.     
 - Source: Science Daily and Kohatsu S & Yamamoto D. Nature Communications, 2015; 6: 6457

2. Did you know raising a child has greater effects on your immune system than a seasonal flu vaccine? It has been reported after a study of the effects of a variety of factors, including age, gender and obesity, that it is co-parenting a child which has profound effects on an individual's immune system. Individuals who co-parented a child showed a 50% reduction in the diversity between their two immune systems, compared with what can be observed in a wider population. Also the immune system has been found to be a highly elastic one which rebounds to its unique individual baseline after transient vaccination-induced changes.    
 -Source: Science Daily and Carr JE et al. Nature Immunology 2016

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