CURRENT STEM CELL NEWS

1. Biomarker based Prophylaxis strategy to reduce GVHD after stem cell transplant

In a randomized trial on patients who underwent haploidentical blood stem cell transplantation, a corticosteroid prophylaxis strategy based on bone marrow allogeneic graft CD4:CD8 ratios has helped in reduction of 100-day incidence of acute graft versus host disease (GVHD). Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

2. Factor responsible for neural stem cell quiescence in Drosophila discovered

Stem cells need to go into phases of quiescence to serve as backup for the future. Disruptions to this process may result in tumor formation or early depletion of this stem cell reservoir. Now, researchers have discovered that it is the Hippo signaling pathway which regulates the quiescence in the neural stem cells of Drosophila. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

3. Micro-scale heart tissues bioengineered using iPS derived cardiomyocytes

Human iPS-derived cardiomyocytes (iPS-CM) and Micro-Heart Muscle (μHM) arrays have been used to derive miniaturized cardiac muscles which will be useful in studying cardiac diseases and cardiac drug toxicology in vitro. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

4. Modeling Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome with iPS cells clarifies mechanism in disease pathogenesis

Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS), a rare developmental disorder is caused by mutations in the enzyme DHCR7. It was earlier unclear whether it is 7-dehydrocholesterol (7DHC) accumulation or cholesterol loss which is primarily responsible for the disease pathogenesis. When the disease was modelled in vitro using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from subjects with SLOS it has been observed that it is the accumulation of &DHC and not cholesterol deficiency which leads to the associated defects. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

5. Vitamin delaying stem cell senescence and prolonging life span identified

Injection of a vitamin called Nicotinamide riboside (NR) in aged mice has resulted in delay of senescence of neural stem cells and melanocyte stem cells. Also it resulted in increased mouse lifespan. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

6. Optimal Reactive oxygen species level crucial for reprogramming- says study

When researchers found in a study that reprogramming of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) was consistently associated with an increase in ROS generation, they employed methods to deplete the ROS and knocked out enzymes controlling ROS generation. The results showed a decreased reprogramming efficiency thus highlighting the importance of ROS levels in reprogramming. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

7. Study of gene in skeleton formation offers clues on its link to phylogeny

Study on a gene called Sp7 or Osterix which plays a crucial role in establishing the bone-forming cells or osteoblasts has revealed how the emergence of this gene is coupled with the evolution of bone-forming vertebrates. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication

8. Pain disorder modelled in lab using iPSCs

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from blood samples of patients with inherited erythromelalgia (a pain disorder) have been used to create sensory neurons which recapitulated the disease phenotype in vitro. This system will be highly useful in personalized pain therapy testing. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

9. Mutational history tracing shows iPSCs are safe

Scientists have sequenced the genomes of somatic cells and derived iPSCs from single and multiple clones to trace the history of mutations of those cells. The results revealed that the mutational rate of iPSCs is ten times lower than that of somatic cells. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

10. Novel method to expand blood stem cells reported

Researchers have reported that overexpression of a protein known as Musashi-2 helps in multifold ex vivo expansion of blood stem cells which will be highly useful for clinical applications. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

Really???

1.The size of the brain and Intelligence quotient is a widely debated topic and a much researched one. A comprehensive structural brain-scan study of intelligence in 2004 showed that higher the volume of gray matter tissue in certain regions of the brain, higher was the IQ. Another study in 2012 showed that there was a positive correlation between good nutrition, body weight, grey matter volume and intelligence in children.     
 --Source: ScienceDaily, 20 July 2004; Neuroimage. 2004 Sep;23(1):425-33 & Neuroimage. 2012 Jan 16;59(2):1023-7.

2. For the first time in the history of mankind, researchers have now identified parts of the genome which leads to the differences in how humans experience happiness. The study has identified three gene variants for happiness, two for depression and eleven for the various degrees of neuroticism. The variants for happiness were mainly expressed in the central nervous system, adrenal glands and pancreatic system.    
 -Source: Nature Genetics (2016) doi:10.1038/ng.3552 and ScienceDaily, 25 April 2016

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