CURRENT STEM CELL NEWS

1. Molecule that blocks cancer stem cells' self-renewal explored

A recent study has has reported that a compound called LF3 had the ability to block a crucial interaction occuring in the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling by which this compound was able to block the self-renewal of cancer stem cells and reduced the tumour growth in a mouse model of colon cancer. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

2. CRISP-R technology for personalized iPSC-based transplantation therapies in retinal disease

The gene editing technology called CRISPR/Cas9 has been used to repair a point mutation that causes X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP) in the patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from fibroblasts of a patient with XLRP. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

3. Simple and efficient protocol to derive and maintain human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) reported

Scientists have reported a simple and efficient protocol based on a HERVH endogenous retrovirus expression to derive and stably maintain ground-state human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) in culture. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

4. Mechanisms and genes behind self-renewal of macrophages and embryonic stem cells deciphered

Though it has been known that immune cells called macrophages can self-renew in tissues and also have the ability to expand long-term in culture, the gene regulatory mechanisms behind these processes were unknown. Now a study has revealed that in macrophages a gene network controls self-renewal by transient down-regulation of a specific transcription factor and the same network also controls embryonic stem (ES) cell renewal but using different ES cell specific enhancers. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

5. Alginate based stem cell encapsulation method improves preservation of adipose stem cells

Alginate encapsulation has shown to improve the recovery of viable cells when human adipose-derived stem cells were preserved for more than 72 hours at low temperatures of 4°C–23°C in a new study. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

6. Stem cells capable of repairing skull identified

Study in mice has revealed that a stem cell population expressing Axin2 protein can help in injury repair and skeletal regeneration in a disease known as craniosynostosis in which the skull fuses together too early during development thereby inhibiting the brain's growth. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

7. Andersen's syndrome (AS) modelled using iPS cells

Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have been developed from muscle cells of patients with Andersen's syndrome (AS) which is a rare disorder causing periodic paralysis, cardiac arrhythmia, and bone developmental defects. These AS-iPS cells could serve as good lab models to study the mechanisms underlying the disease. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication

8. Origins of melanoma visualized for the first time

A zebrafish model of the skin cancer called melanoma and fluorescent tagged cells has enables scientists to visualize the cancer from its birth as a single cell and the study has also showed that a set of gene regulatory elements, called super-enhancers play an important role in regulation of neural crest progenitor cells which are involved in this cancer initiation. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

9. Long time blood sugar level maintenance using stem cells reported in mice

Mature beta cells derived from human embryonic stem cells encapsulated with alginate derivatives have resulted in correction of glycemic levels in diabetic immunocompetent mice for nearly 174 days which is a first of its kind study. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

10. Males without Y chromosome can produce offspring – proves study

In a novel attempt, researchers have replaced two essential genes of the Y chromosome with their homologues, Sry and Eif2s3y which resulted in male mice but with no 'Y' chromosome. Then using an assisted reproduction technology (ART) called round spermatid injection (ROSI), spermatids from these 'no Y' mice were used to fertilize oocytes and produce offspring. Click to read more... | Click here to view the link of the relevant publication in a peer reviewed journal

Really???

1. A recent study on snails has shown that asexual snails grow faster and reach reproductive age quicker than sexual snails. One may wonder as to then what is the need for sexual reproduction. The answer is asexual females are more vulnerable to a parasitic worm which preys on snails because asexual snails which are alike to one another in their genomes, are easier to target and wipe out but sexual females due to mating inherit a separate distinct genomic set which diversifies the gene pool making them more resistant to such parasitic attacks. Perhaps gene diversity is the only reason why sexual reproduction persists.     
 -Source: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160121130706.htm and
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ece3.1934/abstract

2. Gene duplication is a biological phenomenon in which there is sudden emergence of 'Sister' genes in the genome. It was not known for long on why these duplicate genes remain in the genome. In 2014, researchers identified by a study in yeast that these duplicate genes confer 'mutational robustness' which help the organism to survive across long evolutionary timescales and allow them to tolerate mutations which are lethal.    
 -Source: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140930212204.htm and
http://genome.cshlp.org/content/24/11/1830

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