CURRENT STEM CELL NEWS

1. Novel rapid method for reprogramming cells using transcription factor (C/EBPα) identified

Adult Cell reprogramming which usually takes a couple of weeks to accomplish can be completed in a few days; thanks to a new mechanism identified by a group of researchers from the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona which uses a particular transcription factor called C/EBPα. Click to read more...

2. Scientists employ Progerin in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) based disease models to reveal late-onset age-related disease features

Disease specific stem cells can be obtained from patients using the induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology. However as the process of reprogrmaming rejuvenates the cells, it was not possible to study the stages of age-related diseases. Now researchers have used 'Progerin' to treat the nerve cells derived using iPS technology from Parkinson disease patients and these nerve cells developed the characteristic features of Parkinson's thus exactly recapitulating the disease in vitro. Click to read more...

3. Manipulating primary cilia elongation controls stem cell specialization- reveals study

It has been observed in a study that growing adult stem cells on micro-grooved surfaces by certain biochemical pathways determines the length of the primary cilia, which are hair like structures protruding from the cells and the changes in length of the primary cilia controls the stem cell specialization process.Click to read more...

4. CRISPR-based gene regulatory system developed for precise manipulation of gene expression in human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC).

CRISPR is a natural defense system found in bacteria and scientists have used this system to deliver transcription effectors that regulate gene expression in human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) without disrupting the underlying genome and this approach can be used to convert these hPSCs into clinically relevant cell types.Click to read more...

5. Studies on Zebra fish help identify chemicals to differentiate human stem cells into muscle cells in the lab

In a cross laboratory collaboration, screening a large number of chemicals on Zebra fish has helped identify a combination of three chemicals that can induce differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into muscle cells and these cells after transplantation into mice integrated successfully. The experiments on Zebra fish has helped save resources and time because the same experiments on humans iPS would have taken more time and involved more cost. Click to read more...

6. Three studies on a complex network of genes, Wnt and BMP signaling pathways offer valuable clues to hair regeneration

Three publications that focus on hair follicle stem cells (hfSCs) have explored as to how the gene Wnt7b activates hair growth and also how reduced BMP signaling and increased Wnt signaling activate hair growth. The studies also have examined the function of two key proteins, called Smad1 and Smad5 that transmit the necessary signals for regulating hair stem cells during new hair growth. Click to read more...

7. Cell Reprogramming achieved using plasmids in live mice

Researchers in a video article have demonstrated as to how by employing a plasmid, instead of a virus, liver cells can be converted into iPS cells in live mice with no signs of cancer development after the conversion. Click to read more...

8. Stem cell transplantion in utero for Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) proves successful

In two separate studies, researchers have injected allogenic stem cells in utero to successfully treat two fetuses with a bone disorder called Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) that causes stunted growth and repeated fracturing of the bones. Click to read more...

9. Embryonic stem-cell-derived pancreatic cells transplanted with a "macroencapsulation device" to treat Type – I diabetes

Macroencapsulation device which is a small plastic pouch implanted beneath the skin has been used to encapsulate pancreatic cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) so that the insulin secreted by these cells can enter the blood stream and this approach also prevents immune rejection of these cells. This approach is being tried to treat Type I diabetes. Click to read more...

10. Kidney tubular cells generated from pluripotent stem cells

A cocktail of chemicals have been used to convert human embryonic stem (ES) cells and human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into the intermediate mesoderm (a tissue in embryo that gives rise to kidneys) and further this mesoderm gave rise to tubular structures that expressed markers of mature kidney tubules. Click to read more..

Really???

1. A chimera is a single organism composed of two or more populations of genetically distinct cells originated from different zygotes involved in sexual reproduction. Did you know that it has been recently identified that the monkey species called marmosets which always give birth to fraternal twins exhibit germline chimerism in which the twins carry reproductive cells of one another due to placental fusion during development? Microchimerism has been indicated as cause of auto-immune diseases in humans (Source: Wikipedia and Ross et al. PNAS 2007).

2. Are you aware of parthenogenesis? It is the process of growth and development of embryos that occur without fertilization. In humans in recent times, parthenogenesis is being employed to derive histocomaptible human stem cells from unfertilized human eggs for use in therapeutics. (Source: Wikipedia and Revazova et al. Cloning and stem cells.2007)

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