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Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. In addition, in many tissues they serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential either to remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell.

Stem cells are distinguished from other cell types by two important characteristics. First, they are unspecialized cells capable of renewing themselves through cell division, sometimes after long periods of inactivity. Second, under certain physiologic or experimental conditions, they can be induced to become tissue- or organ-specific cells with special functions. In some organs, such as the gut and bone marrow, stem cells regularly divide to repair and replace worn out or damaged tissues. In other organs, however, such as the pancreas and the heart, stem cells only divide under special conditions.
Study reveals glioblastoma subtypes tend to develop in different regions of the brain

Study reveals glioblastoma subtypes tend to develop in different regions of the brain

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have demonstrated that distinct types of glioblastoma, the most common form of brain cancer in adults, tend to develop in different regions of the brain. This finding provides an explanation for how the same cancer-causing mutation can give rise to different types of brain malignancies. [More]
New research shows molecular, cellular processes in human embroyo development

New research shows molecular, cellular processes in human embroyo development

Despite significant biomedical advances in recent decades, the very earliest events of human development¬--those that occur during a critical window just after fertilization--have remained an unobservable mystery, until now. [More]
Certain sugars in the body play key role in colitis, colon cancer development

Certain sugars in the body play key role in colitis, colon cancer development

An Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientist has discovered that certain sugars produced by the body play an important role in the development of colitis and, ultimately, colon cancer. The new finding could potentially lead to therapies for ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and colon cancer. [More]
Blend of pulverized natural bone and man-made plastic can create 3D printed replacement bones

Blend of pulverized natural bone and man-made plastic can create 3D printed replacement bones

To make a good framework for filling in missing bone, mix at least 30 percent pulverized natural bone with some special man-made plastic and create the needed shape with a 3-D printer. That's the recipe for success reported by researchers at The Johns Hopkins University in a paper published April 18 online in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering. [More]
LALES study analyzes risk, prevalence of early and late stage AMD among Latinos

LALES study analyzes risk, prevalence of early and late stage AMD among Latinos

The University of Southern California Roski Eye Institute researchers and clinicians published results of the largest population-based study of adult Latinos and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the National Eye Institute-funded "Los Angeles Latino Eye Study." The study, published in JAMA Ophthalmology, is the first to analyze the risk and prevalence of early and late stage AMD and its impact on quality of life for older Latinos. [More]
Researchers safely transplant stem cells from patient's skin to the eye to restore vision

Researchers safely transplant stem cells from patient's skin to the eye to restore vision

Researchers have safely transplanted stem cells derived from a patient's skin to the back of the eye in an effort to restore vision. The research is being presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology this week in Seattle, Wash. [More]
Olympus launches new CKX-CCSW cell confluency checker software

Olympus launches new CKX-CCSW cell confluency checker software

Accurate cell confluency measurements are now quick to perform on cell cultures with the Olympus CKX-CCSW confluency checker software. Without having to remove cells from the vessel, the software quantifies the exact growth density to quickly help scientists decide on the next step and optimise cultivation conditions. [More]
Study examines role of intraventricular transplantation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell in stroke patients

Study examines role of intraventricular transplantation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell in stroke patients

Winner of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons International Travel Scholarship, Asra Al Fauzi, MD, IFAANS, presented his research, Intraventricular Transplantation of Autologous Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cell in Hemorrhagic Stroke, during the 2016 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting. [More]
Bioengineers develop synthetic bed to nurture colonies of human embryonic stem cells

Bioengineers develop synthetic bed to nurture colonies of human embryonic stem cells

The most productive way scientists have devised to nurture colonies of human embryonic stem cells is to do so atop a bed of mouse cells. That may be fine for lab research, but it poses an unacceptable contamination risk for stem cells intended for transplant into human patients. In a new study, Brown University bioengineers have developed a synthetic bed that works about as well as the mouse cells, called fibroblasts, without any possibility of contamination. [More]
NEI to discuss research advances in regenerative medicine for eye disease at ARVO 2016

NEI to discuss research advances in regenerative medicine for eye disease at ARVO 2016

The National Eye Institute (NEI), part of NIH, is participating in the Inaugural Press Conference from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting (ARVO 2016), the largest gathering of eye and vision researchers in the world, attracting over 11,000 attendees from more than 75 countries. [More]
Study provides new avenues for improving quality, stability of embryonic stem cells

Study provides new avenues for improving quality, stability of embryonic stem cells

Research led by the Babraham Institute with collaborators in the UK, Canada and Japan has revealed a new understanding of how an open genome structure supports the long-term and unrestricted developmental potential in embryonic stem cells. This insight provides new avenues for improving the quality and stability of embryonic stem cells - an essential requirement to fulfil their promise in regenerative medicine. [More]
Scientists reprogram mature blood cells from mice into blood-forming HSCs

Scientists reprogram mature blood cells from mice into blood-forming HSCs

Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have reprogrammed mature blood cells from mice into blood-forming hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), using a cocktail of eight genetic switches called transcription factors. The reprogrammed cells, which the researchers have dubbed induced HSCs (iHSCs), have the functional hallmarks of HSCs, are able to self-renew like HSCs, and can give rise to all of the cellular components of the blood like HSCs. [More]
New article reviews ability of different stem cells to help restore function after spinal cord injuries

New article reviews ability of different stem cells to help restore function after spinal cord injuries

Stem cell therapy is a rapidly evolving and promising treatment for spinal-cord injuries. According to a new literature review, published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, different types of stem cells vary in their ability to help restore function, and an ideal treatment protocol remains unclear pending further clinical research. [More]
Curve along edge of tumor may play major role in cancer cell metastasis

Curve along edge of tumor may play major role in cancer cell metastasis

Only a few cells in a cancerous tumor are able to break away and spread to other parts of the body, but the curve along the edge of the tumor may play a large role in activating these tumor-seeding cells, according to a new University of Illinois study. [More]
New research on EdnrB, Wnt signaling pathways could lead to therapies for skin pigment disorders

New research on EdnrB, Wnt signaling pathways could lead to therapies for skin pigment disorders

A pair of molecular signals controls skin and hair color in mice and humans — and could be targeted by new drugs to treat skin pigment disorders like vitiligo, according to a report by scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center. [More]
Gut bacteria linked to risk of bloodstream infections after chemotherapy

Gut bacteria linked to risk of bloodstream infections after chemotherapy

A new study led by researchers at the University of Minnesota and Nantes University Hospital in France shows that the bacteria in people's gut may predict their risk of life-threatening blood infections following high-dose chemotherapy. [More]
Dopamine neuron transplants controlled by designer drug may fight Parkinson's disease in mice

Dopamine neuron transplants controlled by designer drug may fight Parkinson's disease in mice

A University of Wisconsin-Madison neuroscientist has inserted a genetic switch into nerve cells so a patient can alter their activity by taking designer drugs that would not affect any other cell. The cells in question are neurons and make the neurotransmitter dopamine, whose deficiency is the culprit in the widespread movement disorder Parkinson's disease. [More]
Musashi-2 protein regulates function, development of blood stem cells

Musashi-2 protein regulates function, development of blood stem cells

Researchers at McMaster University's Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute have made significant steps forward in understanding the stem cells of the human blood system after discovering how a key protein allows for better control and regeneration of these cells. [More]
Study reveals surprising results that may impair future therapeutic approaches in TGF-beta pathway

Study reveals surprising results that may impair future therapeutic approaches in TGF-beta pathway

Researchers at Helmholtz Zentrum München describe how breast cancer cells challenged with a small-molecule inhibitor targeting specific invasive properties switch to an alternative mode-of-action, rendering them even more aggressive. The results may impair future therapeutic approaches in the TGF-beta pathway and are published in the journal 'Oncotarget'. [More]
Clinical study to evaluate safety of investigational cell therapy to treat chronic motor deficits after stroke

Clinical study to evaluate safety of investigational cell therapy to treat chronic motor deficits after stroke

University Hospitals Case Medical Center is the first surgical site for a Phase 2b clinical trial study to further evaluate the safety and efficacy of an investigational cell therapy for the treatment of chronic motor deficit following an ischemic stroke. [More]
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