CURRENT STEM CELL NEWS

1. Stem cell trial improves vision in woman

A stem cell clinical trial that employed autologous bone marrow-derived stem cells has improved the visual acuity from 20/100 OD and 20/40 OS of one of the women with optic neuropathy who participated in the trial. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

2. Functional sperm produced from ES cells- Hopes to treat infertility

In vitro meiosis from embryonic stem cell (ES) cells has been reported for the first time and the cells produced by this meiosis when grown with neonatal testicular somatic cells has resulted in formation of spermatid-like cells in the lab. These spermatid like cells produced viable offspring after fusion with oocytes. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

3. Proteins, not viruses used to create RPE cells from iPS cells

As a safe alternative to viruses, scientists have exposed exposing skin cells to human proteins to create retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells which expressed RPE cell markers and mimicked native RPE cells' behavior in vitro. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

4. Skin cell derived cardiac progenitors make heart tissue in heart-impaired mice

Cardiac factors have been used to reprogram skin cells into induced cardiac progenitor cells which were able to contribute to new myocardial tissue formation in the embryonic and adult mouse, post heart-attack. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

5. Stem cells + drug - Effective combination for parasite induced liver fibrosis

When Wharton's jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells were combined with an anti-parasitic drug, praziquantel (PZQ), the combination resulted in conversion of the transplanted stem cells into functional liver cells and reduction of the fibrosis in mice with S. mansoni induced liver fibrosis. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

6. Engineered stem cells to kill brain tumour

Induced neural stem cells genetically engineered with tumouricidal gene product have been shown to home rapidly to co-cultured glioblastoma cells and the engineered cells migrated to distant foci of the cancer in mouse brain leading to decrease of the brain tumour known as glioblastoma. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

7. Safety of iPS cells for clinical therapy established by genome study

The safety concerns surrounding the process of reprogramming iPS cells has been put to rest by a study which compared the genome mutation burden in iPS cell lines generated by three different reprogramming methods. The study has concluded that the mutations induced in these cells during reprogramming are generally benign and these mutations are unlikely to make these iPS cells inappropriate for therapy. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication

8. Gene signatures help link normal stem cells to aggressive prostate cancer

A genome-wide transcriptome analysis has revealed that basal stem cells in the prostate gland share genetic features with a deadliest form of prostate cancer. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

9. Prediction scale for clinical use of mesenchymal stem cells developed

Researchers have used a transcription factor called Twist1 to develop a Clinical Indications Prediction (CLIP) scale for Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as the level of the Twist1 levels can help predict inter-population differences in the therapeutic efficacy of these cells. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

10. TiPSCs- An useful tool for modeling neurological disease

As an alternative to skin cells which are usually employed for deriving induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, Japanese researchers have shown that T cells which can be easily obtained from blood are an ideal source of patient-specific iPSCs, especially for modelling neurological diseases like the Parkinson's disease. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

Really???

1. Did you know that it is the process known as Somatic hypermutation (or SHM) which makes our immune system to adapt to new foreign elements that attack it? SHM involves a programmed mutation process that affects the variable regions of immunoglobulin genes which diversifies B cell receptors to recognize new foreign elements thus allowing the immune system to adapt its response.     
 - Source: Wikipedia and Nat Rev Immunol. 2006 Aug;6(8):573-83

2. Are you aware of the theory of the "Original antigenic sin"? Also known as 'Hoskins effect', it refers to the nature of the immune system to get trapped by the first response it has made to each antigen making it unable to mount a potentially effective response when a second slightly different version of that antigen is encountered. This theory has been attributed to the response of the immune system to infections by influenza virus, dengue fever, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) etc.    
 -Source: Wikipedia and Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 1960; 104(6):572-78

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