CURRENT STEM CELL NEWS

1. "Cinderella Cells", the Neuro-mesodermal progenitors (NMPs) successfully grown in the lab

Neuro-mesodermal progenitors (NMPs) are cells which are the source for the spinal cord and majority of the bones and muscles but like Cinderella, these cells have been ignored by several scientists for decades. Now researchers have been successful in coaxing mouse and human stem cells into becoming NMPs and then spinal cord cells. Click to read more...

2. Direct reprogramming technology utilised to grow patient specific cells for the rare genetic disorder, familial dysautonomia

Using a single transcription factor, researchers have been able to directly reprogram skin fibroblasts to neural crest cells that display many biological features of familial dysautonomia, a rare genetic disorder. Click to read more...

3. Adult stem cells from bone marrow manipulated to produce cells with potential to treat brain damage

By manipulating a family of proteins called heparin sulfate proteoglycans, scientists hope to modify the environment of adult stem cells from bone marrow in order to produce neural cells with potential to treat brain damage. Click to read more...

4. Fully functional thymus created in a living animal using laboratory grown cells

Using fibroblasts from mouse embryo, researchers have grown Thymus cells and when these lab grown thymus cells were mixed with other key thymus cells and transplanted into a mouse, the cells formed a healthy and fully functional thymus organ in the mouse. This research is important because thymus is the organ responsible for development of the T cells, a key player in immunity.Click to read more...

5. Stem cell transplant for stiff person syndrome

Stiff person syndrome (SPS) is a neurological condition that leads to periodic muscle stiffness and spasms. Two patients with SPS have been treated with autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and the symptoms have been abated for up to 4.5 years in these two patients, according to a recent report published.Click to read more...

6. Study on Zebrafish stem cells offers insights into neurodegenerative disease processes of the human brain

Zebrafish can serve as ideal models to study brain stem cells according to a recent study which was able to give surprising insights into a molecular signaling pathway regulated by the microRNA, miRNA-132 involved in the development of Alzheimer's dementia in humans. Click to read more...

7. Stem cell study links several major mental illnesses to faulty "wiring" during early brain development

Families with mutations in the gene known as disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) have been earlier reported to have several members with mental illnesses. A research team has collected skin cells from members of such a family who either possessed or did not possess the mutations and hence the mental illnesses. The skin cells were coaxed into neurons which when studied showed that indeed mutations in the DISC1 lead to neurons with decreased synapses compared to healthy neurons.Click to read more...

8. Coronary artery endothelial cells can function as cardiac stem cells - suggests study

A study has shown that endothelial cells lining the coronary arteries in the hearts can function as cardiac stem cells contributing to new cardiac muscle cell formation during tissue homeostasis in healthy hearts. Click to read more...

9. Proteins that regulate a crucial signaling pathway involved in the development of Hematopoietic stem cells studied

Studying the Notch signaling pathway which is important for development of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) in vertebrates, it has been identified that proteins called JAM proteins act as key mediators of the Notch signaling pathway and this study in future will help to improvise technologies for generating HSCs from human pluripotent precursors. Click to read more...

10. Study highlights role of Glial cells in CNS regeneration

A study that has critically reviewed the roles of glial cells in central nervous system (CNS) regeneration has highlighted the strategies in regulating these glial cells behaviors in order to create a conducive environment for the neuronal stem cells for CNS regeneration. Click to read more...

Really???

1. Did you know that the mutation rate is twofold higher in males compared to females? This has been attributed to the errors occurring during DNA replication which are the primary source of germ-line mutations because spermatogonia undergo divisions throughout the life of a male while oogenesis in females is almost complete by birth.

2. Are you aware that the Human Genome Project remains the world's largest collaborative biological project till date? Proposed and Funded by the US government, the project planning was started in 1984 and the project was declared complete in 2003. The government sponsored sequencing was performed in nearly twenty universities and research centres. A parallel project was launched in 1990 and conducted privately by the Celera Corporation, or Celera Genomics                                   
                                               - Sources : Wikipedia ,Ten facts from the Human Genome Project. Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and McVean G.Curr Biol. 2000

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