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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.
Existing drug could help treat MS, other neurological diseases

Existing drug could help treat MS, other neurological diseases

Damage to myelin, the fatty insulator that enables communication between nerve cells, characterizes multiple sclerosis (MS) and other devastating neurological diseases. [More]
Culture conditions in which stem cells are grown can affect genetic stability

Culture conditions in which stem cells are grown can affect genetic stability

The therapeutic promise of human stem cells is indisputably huge, but the process of translating their potential into effective, real-world treatments involves deciphering and resolving a host of daunting complexities. [More]
CLL patients discontinue ibrutinib drug due to disease progression during clinical trials

CLL patients discontinue ibrutinib drug due to disease progression during clinical trials

About 10 percent of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) discontinued therapy with the Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor drug ibrutinib because of disease progression during clinical trials, according to a study published online in JAMA Oncology. [More]
Authors examine potential reasons for the persistence of FC, other autism fads

Authors examine potential reasons for the persistence of FC, other autism fads

The communication struggles of children with autism spectrum disorder can drive parents and educators to try anything to understand their thoughts, needs and wants. Unfortunately, specialists in psychology and communication disorders do not always communicate the latest science so well. [More]
Novel financing technique may unlock funding for developing 'orphan' drugs to treat rare diseases

Novel financing technique may unlock funding for developing 'orphan' drugs to treat rare diseases

A paper published today, "Financing translation: Analysis of the NCATS rare-diseases portfolio" in Science Translational Medicine, demonstrates the potential of a new financing technique to reduce the risk associated with investing in the treatment of new diseases and potentially unlock new levels of funding for developing so-called "orphan" drugs. [More]
Findings reveal variations between countries and regions in use of HSCT procedure

Findings reveal variations between countries and regions in use of HSCT procedure

Since the first experimental bone marrow transplant over 50 years ago, more than one million hematopoietic stem cell transplantations (HSCT) have been performed in 75 countries, according to new research charting the remarkable growth in the worldwide use of HSCT, published in The Lancet Haematology journal. [More]
Bionomics to present data from DisrupTOR-1 trial at ASCO Genitourinary Cancers Symposium

Bionomics to present data from DisrupTOR-1 trial at ASCO Genitourinary Cancers Symposium

Bionomics Limited is to present important additional data from the DisrupTOR-1 trial of BNC105 in patients with metastatic renal cancer at the ASCO Genitourinary Cancers Symposium in Orlando, Florida. The data will be presented by Dr. Sumanta Pal of the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in California in his poster presentation. [More]
Researchers successfully convert adult human skin cells into neurons that control appetite

Researchers successfully convert adult human skin cells into neurons that control appetite

Researchers have for the first time successfully converted adult human skin cells into neurons of the type that regulate appetite, providing a patient-specific model for studying the neurophysiology of weight control and testing new therapies for obesity. [More]
New strategy may ensure safety of adult epidermal stem cells before performing treatments

New strategy may ensure safety of adult epidermal stem cells before performing treatments

A team of European researchers has devised a strategy to ensure that adult epidermal stem cells are safe before they are used as treatments for patients. The approach involves a clonal strategy where stem cells are collected and cultivated, genetically modified and single cells isolated before being rigorously tested to make sure they meet the highest possible safety criteria. [More]
Life-saving bone marrow transplants are not available to all who need them

Life-saving bone marrow transplants are not available to all who need them

Bone marrow (hematopoietic stem cell) transplant is a life saving treatment for patients with blood cancer that replaces blood stem cells lost to disease or chemotherapy. However, for each patient to benefit a matching donor must be found to provide the stem cells for transplant. [More]
Researchers one step closer to understanding development of glioblastoma

Researchers one step closer to understanding development of glioblastoma

Glioblastomas are a highly aggressive type of brain tumor, with few effective treatment options. Moffitt Cancer Center researchers are one step closer to understanding glioblastoma development following the identification of a key protein signaling pathway involved in brain tumor stem cell growth and survival. [More]
RowanSOM researcher awarded NINDS grant to develop stem cell-based therapy for Canavan disease

RowanSOM researcher awarded NINDS grant to develop stem cell-based therapy for Canavan disease

Paola Leone, PhD, the director of the Cell and Gene Therapy Center and a professor of Cell Biology at the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, has been awarded a three-year, $477,000 grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to develop a stem cell-based therapy for Canavan disease, a rare but devastating neurological disorder in children that typically takes a child's life by age 10. [More]
Scientists find new links between inflammation and tissue regeneration

Scientists find new links between inflammation and tissue regeneration

Almost all injuries, even minor skin scratches, trigger an inflammatory response, which provides protection against invading microbes but also turns on regenerative signals needed for healing and injury repair - a process that is generally understood but remains mysterious in its particulars. [More]
Researchers identify previously unknown effect of vitamin A in embryonic development

Researchers identify previously unknown effect of vitamin A in embryonic development

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have identified a previously unknown effect of vitamin A in human embryonic development. Their findings show that vitamin A affects the formation of blood cells. [More]
New partnership aims to create stem cell resource to study psychiatric disorders

New partnership aims to create stem cell resource to study psychiatric disorders

The New York Stem Cell Foundation and the Stanley Center at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard are partnering to create a foundational stem cell resource to study psychiatric disorders through the production of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell lines from individuals with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. [More]
IUPUI's Jason Meyer awarded $1.8 million NIH grant to explore how glaucoma develops in stem cells

IUPUI's Jason Meyer awarded $1.8 million NIH grant to explore how glaucoma develops in stem cells

Jason Meyer, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology in the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, has received a National Institutes of Health grant to study how glaucoma develops in stem cells created from skin cells genetically predisposed to the disease. [More]

Pioneering Separations Company Quad Technologies Set To Revolutionize Cell Isolation Following Successful Investment

Quad Technologies Inc (“Quad”), developer of a novel separation technology, has formally announced its entry into the cell separation market. [More]
Scientists map autism genetic pathway that regulates brain development

Scientists map autism genetic pathway that regulates brain development

Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found that mutations that cause autism in children are connected to a pathway that regulates brain development. The research, led by Lilia Iakoucheva, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, is published in the February 18 issue of Neuron. [More]
New facts provide baseline for future studies of epigenome's role in human development, diseases

New facts provide baseline for future studies of epigenome's role in human development, diseases

While genomics is the study of all of the genes in a cell or organism, epigenomics is the study of all the genomic add-ons and changes that influence gene expression but aren't encoded in the DNA sequence. A variety of new epigenomic information is now available in a collection of studies published Feb. 19 in Nature by the National Institutes of Health Roadmap Epigenomics Program. [More]
Advances in stem cell therapy can improve outcomes for patients with chronic diabetic foot ulcers

Advances in stem cell therapy can improve outcomes for patients with chronic diabetic foot ulcers

According to data presented at the 73rd Annual Scientific Conference of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, advances in stem cell therapy can significantly improve outcomes for patients with chronic diabetic foot ulcers. Use of stem cells to treat foot problems like diabetic ulcers may speed up the healing process, preventing infection and hospitalization during recovery. [More]