CURRENT STEM CELL NEWS

1. In vitro model of glaucoma established using iPS cells

A novel stepwise differentiation method has helped in establishing retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) from the induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) of a patient with glaucoma. These patient derived RGCs died at a dramatically faster rate compared to normal cells thus recapitulating the disease process which could serve as an in vitro model of glaucoma for drug screening. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

2. Haploid Human embryonic stem cells created

In a first of its kind study, haploid human embryonic stem (ES) cell which carries only a single copy of the human genome have been generated from haploid female oocytes. These haploid ES cells exhibited typical pluripotent stem cell characteristics. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

3. Mesenchymal stem cells reverse osteoporosis in mice

Systemic injection of minimally expanded mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have exhibited long-term engraftment and increased bone formation in a mouse model of human age-related osteoporosis. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

4. Novel method helps grow 3D mini retinas in lab

A novel efficient protocol developed by researchers in Germany has helped develop 3D retinal organoids or mini retinas in vitro. This protocol does not require evagination of optic-vesicle-like structures which is a step that limited the organoid yield in previous studies. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

5. Hand held "Biopen" to print stem cells

Researchers have developed a handheld biofabrication tool, dubbed the 'biopen' which allows human stem cells to be deposited in freeform patterns with good survival rates. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

6. Mechanism behind low oxygen promoting cancer stem survival deciphered

It has been long known that low oxygen conditions encourages the growth of certain cancer stem cells. To study the mechanism behind this phenomenon, scientists exposed two breast cancer stem cell lines to hypoxia. The low O2 availability induced demethylation and stabilization of the mRNA of a pluripotency gene known as NANOG which in turn promoted the breast cancer stem cell phenotype. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

7. Neural stem cells employed to regenerate corticospinal tract

By transplanting neural progenitor cells, researchers have demonstrated robust corticospinal axon regeneration in rat model of spinal cord injury. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication

8. Stiff, cell-friendly collagen hydrogels developed

By reinforcing collagen-based hydrogels using a nanoparticulate-reinforcing agent, highly stiff hydrogels but which are compatible to cells have been developed. Cells encapsulated in these hydrogels were able to sense and respond to matrix stiffness. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

9. Study identifies new pathway playing key role in embryonic stem cell differentiation

A new pathway which the authors termed as PAN (Primary cilium, Autophagy Nrf2) axis has been shown to play a key role in directing human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to a neuroectoderm (NE) fate . Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

10. Genome study discovers gene modifiers of blood stem cell renewal and differentiation

A genome-wide RNAi screen in human cord-blood derived cells has helped identify four genes of the cohesin complex playing a key role in blood stem cell renewal and differentiation. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

Really???

1. While many might be aware that our life time experiences such as stress after traumatic events might be inherited and coded in the genome of our future generations by epigenetic mechanisms, a scientific study has actually shown how they are inherited. According to the study, small RNA molecules are the key factors in mediating this epigenetic inheritance and specific genes called "MOTEK" (Modified Transgenerational Epigenetic Kinetics) are required to transmit these small RNAs across generations.     
 - Source: Science Daily, March 28, 2016 and Cell, 2016; 165 (1): 88.

2. Human genome contains nearly 8% of retroviral genome. This is an already reported fact. However researchers have now identified a stretch of newfound DNA in the genome of 50 of the 2,500 people from diverse populations studied, which contains an intact, full genetic code capable for coding an entire pro-virus, with potential for infectivity . The same study also identified nineteen new pieces of non-human DNA of more ancient viruses in the human genome.    
 -Source: Science Daily, March 22, 2016 and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2016; 201602336 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1602336113

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