CURRENT STEM CELL NEWS

1. Leprosy bacteria easily reprogram (mature) Schwann cells into stem cells; a biological alchemy?

Scientists have identified that bacteria that cause leprosy infect neural cells called Schwann cells and convert them into stem cells using which they spread throughout the body, as they will not be recognized by the immune system. Click to read more...

2. Mechanism behind different form of DNA repair in cancer cells uncovered

A protein called BRCA1 helps in DNA repair without which the chromosome becomes jumbled and cells stop growing or they die. However it has been now found that cells lacking BRCA1 undergo alternate forms of DNA repair which helps them to continue growth but abnormally. This mechanism along with the underlying pathways have now been explored by scientists to explain the abnormal growth and resistance to therapies of breast cancer cells. Click to read more...

3. Metabolism of Leukemia stem cells could serve as a potential therapeutic target- identifies study

Leukemia stem cells have alternate pathways of metabolism compared to normal cells and other cancer cells. They also have slower metabolism which is advantageous for them to lie dormant for long periods of time. A study has identified the key gene involved in this process and the researchers involved also tested two compounds to antagonize this process.Click to read more...

4. 'Quadruple helix' DNA structures in the cell explored to understand cell division and tackle cancer

Cambridge researchers have proven that 'quadruple helix' DNA structures - known as G-quadruplexes exists within the genome and the fact that they occur more in rapidly dividing cells has opened a new paradigm in cancer research. Click to read more...

5. Converting neurons from one type to another accomplished inside brain of living mice

Harvard stem cell scientists have been able to directly reprogram a type of neurons called callosal projection neurons into another type of neurons called cortico-spinal neurons within the brain of living mice. This research is considered to offer potential therapeutic strategies for diseases like Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Click to read more...

6. Stem cells from vessels improve heart function in dystrophin deficient mice

Dystrophin deficiency leads to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and enlarged hearts that don’t function properly are a common feature of DMD. Researchers have now injected stem cells derived from the heart vessel called aorta into dystrophin deficient mice and the results showed that the stem cell injection prevented or delayed the development of heart problem in these mice. Click to read more...

7. Mass production of T cells for immunotherapy possible using reprogramming technology- says study

Japanese scientists were able to reprogram T lymphocytes to stem cells and again back to T lymphocytes in larger numbers with the capability to kill HIV infected and cancer cells. This research has potential to enhance T cell based immunotherapy. Click to read more...

8. Transplantation of neuro-epithelial stem cells over expressing Bcl2 gene may help to treat gastrointestinal motility disorders

As a potential therapeutic option for gastrointestinal motility disorders, Neuroepithelial Stem Cells (NESCs) taken from rat embryo have been manipulated to overexpress a particular gene and when these stem cells were transplanted to a rat colon without ganglions, the stem cells were able to graft and function better compared to NESCs without overexpression of the gene.Click to read more...

9. Genetically corrected induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) may offer potential solution for spinal muscular atrophy

For treating spinal muscular atrophy, scientists have devised a potential solution. They have been able to reprogram skin cells from Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) patients to Induced Pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and then corrected the gene defect in these iPSCs. The gene corrected iPSCs when transplanted into animal models of SMA were able to alleviate the motor dysfunction associated with SMA. Click to read more...

10. Key protein involved in creation of neurons from stem cells explored

Scientists have explored a key protein called Sp2 which when overexpressed or lacked leads to abnormal creation of offsprings from stem cells including that of neuronal cells and skin cells. Click to read more..

Really???

1. Did you know about the guardian of the genome? It is a protein called p53 which acts a tumour suppressor. It is dubbed as the guardian of the genome because of its role in conserving the stability of the genome by preventing mutation.

2. Of accidental Medical discoveries, the identification of penicillium mold by Dr. Alexander Fleming in 1928 is one of the best. Instead of throwing away the bacterial cultures in which growth of a mold inhibited the bacterial growth, Fleming took time to examine the mold closely which gave rise to the Nobel Prize winning discovery.

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