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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.
Using Cultrex BME 2 reduced growth factor to enable long-term culture of human hepatocytes

Using Cultrex BME 2 reduced growth factor to enable long-term culture of human hepatocytes

AMSBIO reports on the recent publication in Cell [1] by Dr Meritxell Huch, Prof Hans Clevers et al. of ground-breaking research using Cultrex BME2 reduced growth factor (organoid growth matrix) to enable long-term (>1 year) culture of genome-stable bipotent stem cells from adult human liver. These results open up new experimental avenues towards the use of human liver material expanded in vitro as an alternative cell source for disease modeling, toxicology studies, drug testing, regenerative medicine and gene therapy. [More]
Support employees in Ontario vote to ratify agreement between OPSEU and Canadian Blood Services

Support employees in Ontario vote to ratify agreement between OPSEU and Canadian Blood Services

Canadian Blood Services is pleased to announce that support employees in Ontario, represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), have voted to ratify the agreement recently reached between the two parties. [More]
Cardiologist promotes the importance of controlling high blood pressure

Cardiologist promotes the importance of controlling high blood pressure

During Heart Month, the Cardiovascular Institute of New Jersey at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is promoting the importance of controlling high blood pressure, also called hypertension, in order to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and other related chronic disorders in adults. [More]
Marie Csete appointed president and chief scientist of HMRI

Marie Csete appointed president and chief scientist of HMRI

Huntington Medical Research Institutes, a leading biomedical research organization, has announced the appointment of Marie Csete, MD, PhD, its chief scientific officer, to her new role as president and chief scientist of HMRI. [More]
UCSD professor wins 2015 Japan Prize

UCSD professor wins 2015 Japan Prize

Theodore Friedmann, MD, professor in the Department of Pediatrics at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine was named today one of three recipients of the 2015 Japan Prize, a prestigious international award honoring laureates whose "original and outstanding achievements in science and technology have advanced the frontiers of knowledge and served the cause of peace and prosperity for mankind. [More]
Promising results for stem cell therapy in MS

Promising results for stem cell therapy in MS

Preliminary findings suggest that nonmyeloablative haematopoietic stem cell transplantation may arrest, or even reverse, the progress of disease among patients with relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis. [More]
SCCA's Fred Hutch Bone Marrow Transplant Program achieves higher survival rates

SCCA's Fred Hutch Bone Marrow Transplant Program achieves higher survival rates

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Bone Marrow Transplant Program at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance was recently recognized for outperforming its anticipated one-year survival rate for allogeneic transplant patients. [More]
Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome can be compared to normal aging, say scientists

Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome can be compared to normal aging, say scientists

In a new research study, scientists from Vision Genomics, LLC, Insilico Medicine, Inc., and Howard University showed that Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS or Progeria) is comparable to normal aging with respect to cellular signaling pathways, and that HGPS truly recapitulates the normal aging process. [More]
Researchers devise novel way to generate corneal stem cells for treating corneal blindness

Researchers devise novel way to generate corneal stem cells for treating corneal blindness

Researchers in the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute have devised a novel way to generate transplantable corneal stem cells that may eventually benefit patients suffering from life-altering forms of blindness. [More]
Sanford-Burnham researchers use human pluripotent stem cells to grow new hair

Sanford-Burnham researchers use human pluripotent stem cells to grow new hair

In a new study from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, researchers have used human pluripotent stem cells to generate new hair. The study represents the first step toward the development of a cell-based treatment for people with hair loss. In the United States alone, more than 40 million men and 21 million women are affected by hair loss. [More]
Progenitor cells responsible for generation and maintenance of Merkel cells

Progenitor cells responsible for generation and maintenance of Merkel cells

Researchers have identified a population of "progenitor" cells in the skin that are solely responsible for the generation and maintenance of touch-sensing Merkel cells. The study appears in The Journal of Cell Biology. [More]
Researchers develop new treatment that extends telomeres

Researchers develop new treatment that extends telomeres

Will extending telomeres lead to longer, healthier lives? Researchers have taken an important step toward answering this question by developing a new treatment used in the laboratory that extends telomeres. [More]
Cardiac regeneration strategies need to be based on severity of heart injury

Cardiac regeneration strategies need to be based on severity of heart injury

A new study by researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles has shown that neonatal mouse hearts have varying regenerative capacities depending upon the severity of injury. Using cryoinjury - damaging the heart through exposure to extreme cold in order to mimic cellular injury caused by myocardial infarction - investigators found that neonatal mouse hearts can fully recover normal function following a mild injury, though fail to regenerate after a severe injury. [More]
Dr. Hans Clevers receives ISSCR's McEwen Award for Innovation

Dr. Hans Clevers receives ISSCR's McEwen Award for Innovation

The International Society for Stem Cell Research has awarded Dr. Hans Clevers, senior author on two important papers published recently in the scientific journal Cell, the society's McEwen Award for Innovation. [More]
Umbilical cord-derived stem cells from women with gestational diabetes show premature aging

Umbilical cord-derived stem cells from women with gestational diabetes show premature aging

Multipotent cells isolated from the human umbilical cord, called mesenchymal stromal cells (hUC-MSCs) have shown promise for use in cell therapy to treat a variety of human diseases. However, intriguing new evidence shows that hUC-MSCs isolated from women with gestational diabetes demonstrate premature aging, poorer cell growth, and altered metabolic function, as reported in an article in Stem Cells and Development, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. [More]
Study: Stem cell transplantation improves quality of life in patients with relapsing-remitting MS

Study: Stem cell transplantation improves quality of life in patients with relapsing-remitting MS

Results from a preliminary study indicate that among patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), treatment with nonmyeloablative hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (low intensity stem cell transplantation) was associated with improvement in measures of disability and quality of life, according to a study in the January 20 issue of JAMA. [More]
Johnson & Johnson announces sales of $18.3 billion for Q4 2014

Johnson & Johnson announces sales of $18.3 billion for Q4 2014

Johnson & Johnson today announced sales of $18.3 billion for the fourth quarter of 2014, a decrease of 0.6% as compared to the fourth quarter of 2013. Operational results increased 3.9% and the negative impact of currency was 4.5%. Domestic sales increased 7.4%. [More]
Researchers turn clinical experience in multiple myeloma treatment into instructive review for physicians

Researchers turn clinical experience in multiple myeloma treatment into instructive review for physicians

Multiple myeloma is a malignant disease characterised by proliferation of clonal plasma cells in the bone marrow and typically accompanied by the secretion of monoclonal immunoglobulins that are detectable in the serum or urine. Increased understanding of the microenvironmental interactions between malignant plasma cells and the bone marrow niche, and their role in disease progression and acquisition of therapy resistance, has helped the development of novel therapeutic drugs for use in combination with cytostatic therapy. [More]
Iron accumulation in human tissues may contribute to the aging process

Iron accumulation in human tissues may contribute to the aging process

It's been known for decades that some metals, including iron, accumulate in human tissues during aging and that toxic levels of iron have been linked to neurologic diseases, such as Parkinson's. Common belief has held that iron accumulation happens as a result of the aging process. [More]
CUMC researchers identify that OCR stem cells can regenerate bone and cartilage in mice

CUMC researchers identify that OCR stem cells can regenerate bone and cartilage in mice

A stem cell capable of regenerating both bone and cartilage has been identified in bone marrow of mice. The discovery by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center is reported today in the online issue of the journal Cell. [More]