CURRENT STEM CELL NEWS

1. Molecular signals during skin stem cell development studied

A recent study has shown that the mechanism and regulation of skin stem cells is niche independent. The study also has shown that WNT and SHH molecular signalling are involved in the stem cell's response to undergo symmetric or asymmetric cell divisions, with the asymmetric cell division pushing the stem cells to a conducive environment for expansion initially and later to a state of restriction of their cell numbers by producing more differentiated daughter cells. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

2. Engineered Mesenchymal stem cells to serve as neuroprotective agents in ALS patients – Shows trial

Results of a phase 1/2 clinical trial has shown that transplantation of lab engineered mesenchymal stem cells secreting neurotrophic factors is safe in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and produces positive clinical effects. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

3. 3D gels to boost induced pluripotency

Researchers have used engineered 3D extracellular gel matrices which boosted cellular reprogramming in adult cells to form induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells by accelerating mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition and by increased epigenetic remodelling. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

4. Pluripotency differ only between donors and not between sources within same donor- reveals study

As a boost to induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell bio-banking a study has reported that blood derived and skin derived iPS from the same donor can be combined while banking iPS cells and it is only genetic variation between donors that lead to the variable functional capacities of iPS cells. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

5. Mechanism influencing cell after determination in the developing nervous system deciphered

By studying the developing nervous system researchers have observed that a gene called SAPCD2 influences orientation during cell division which in turn controls daughter cell fates in vivo. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

6. Mechanism of blood stem cell regulation explored

Blood stem cells can actively shape their own environment as per a new study which has shown that blood stem cells limit their proliferation within the bone marrow through a pathway that can be repressed by the E-selectin ligand 1 (ESL-1). Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

7. Skin cells converted to insulin producing cells

Scientists have shown that it is possible to efficiently create large numbers of functional pancreatic beta cells from human adult skin cells and these generated pancreatic cells were found to behave in a similar manner as that of native pancreatic beta cells. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication

8. Stem cell study provides mechanistic explanation for microcephaly

The reason behind why the developmental disease called microcephaly produces a smaller brain than normal has been identified by scientists. They have reported that in conditions like microcephaly, delay in the cellular division process known as mitosis produces more apoptotic neurons and due to lesser than normal number of neurons produced, the result is smaller brains. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

9. Age-related stem cell dysfunction and metabolic disease can be reversed- suggests study

In a recent study blocking a protein called activin A in aged cells resulted in preserved fat mass, reduced lipotoxicity, and increased insulin sensitivity in mice which could serve as a potential strategy to reverse age related disorders of fat tissue and metabolism in the future. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

10. Protein marker helps confirm presence of stem cells in ovary

Existence of stem cells in the ovarian epithelium though widely believed has not been definitively proven due to lack of proper stem cell markers. Using in vivo lineage tracing, now researchers have shown that the marker called Lgr5 marks the stem cells of the ovary which contribute to the development and maintenance of the ovary surface epithelium (OSE). Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

Really???

1. A new study has shown that the percentage of mildly harmful mutations a person of a specific population harbours depends on the distance of migration of that population from the sub-Saharan Africa from where humans are thought to have originated and migrated to the rest of the world. However the amount of very harmful mutations are found at similar frequencies in all individuals of the world.     
 - Source: : Science Daily and PNAS December 28, 2015; doi: 10.1073/pnas.1510805112

2. Are you aware that there is a genetic link between choice of a mate and height? The fact that humans find persons of similar height attractive is a long known one. However it has been long debated whether this choice is by environmental factors or chance or is genetically determined. Now it has been identified that genetic make-up not only determines phenotype but also one's preference for a mate with the same height characteristics. This mating pattern termed assortative mating makes individuals of similar physical characteristics mate more frequently than that is expected due to chance. Assortative mating influences arrangement of DNA variation in the genome and may have implications in disease susceptibility of an individual.    
  -Source: Science Daily and Genome Biology 2016, 16:269 doi:10.1186/s13059-015-0833-8

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