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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.
Hydrogen sulfide regulates bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells, shows study

Hydrogen sulfide regulates bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells, shows study

Stem cells in bone marrow need to produce hydrogen sulfide in order to properly multiply and form bone tissue, according to a new study from the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC. [More]
Researchers develop class of drugs to lessen impact of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's

Researchers develop class of drugs to lessen impact of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's

​A class of drugs developed to treat immune-related conditions and cancer - including one currently in clinical trials for glioblastoma and other tumors - eliminates neural inflammation associated with dementia-linked diseases and brain injuries, according to UC Irvine researchers. [More]
Researchers coax human embryonic stem cells to turn into working spinal cord cells

Researchers coax human embryonic stem cells to turn into working spinal cord cells

The sponginess of the environment where human embryonic stem cells are growing affects the type of specialized cells they eventually become, a University of Michigan study shows. [More]
MD Anderson honors America's future cancer leaders

MD Anderson honors America's future cancer leaders

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center this week honored 16 junior faculty members who are expected to become some of America's future cancer leaders. The faculty members are the first R. Lee Clark Fellow award winners. The new award was established to recognize outstanding work by junior faculty members and to help support their future efforts. [More]
Genetically modified neural stem cells offer potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease

Genetically modified neural stem cells offer potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease

UC Irvine neurobiologists have found that genetically modified neural stem cells show positive results when transplanted into the brains of mice with the symptoms and pathology of Alzheimer's disease. The pre-clinical trial is published in the journal Stem Cells Research and Therapy, and the approach has been shown to work in two different mouse models. [More]
Lin28 gene may hold clues to regeneration of damaged kidneys in adults

Lin28 gene may hold clues to regeneration of damaged kidneys in adults

​Nearly one-third of cases of Wilms tumor, a pediatric cancer of the kidney, are linked to a gene called Lin28, according to research from Boston Children's Hospital. Mice engineered to express Lin28 in their kidneys developed Wilms tumor, which regressed when Lin28 was withdrawn, indicating that strategies aimed at blocking or deactivating the gene hold therapeutic promise for children with Wilms. [More]
Researchers develop novel assay to identify genes controlling pharynx regeneration in flatworms

Researchers develop novel assay to identify genes controlling pharynx regeneration in flatworms

As multicellular creatures go, planaria worms are hardly glamorous. To say they appear rudimentary is more like it. These tiny aquatic flatworms that troll ponds and standing water resemble brown tubes equipped with just the basics: a pair of beady light-sensing "eyespots" on their head and a feeding tube called the pharynx (which doubles as the excretory tract) that protrudes from a belly sac to suck up food. [More]

Researchers to develop cell-based approaches to minimize scarring in adult wounds

In early fetal development, skin wounds undergo regeneration and healing without scar formation. This mechanism of wound healing later disappears, but by studying the fetal stem cells capable of this scarless wound healing, researchers may be able to apply these mechanisms to develop cell-based approaches able to minimize scarring in adult wounds, as described in a Critical Review article published in Advances in Wound Care, a monthly publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers and an Official Journal of the Wound Healing Society. [More]
Tumor-suppressing protein acts as dimmer switch to dial down gene expression

Tumor-suppressing protein acts as dimmer switch to dial down gene expression

A tumor-suppressing protein acts as a dimmer switch to dial down gene expression. It does this by reading a chemical message attached to another protein that's tightly intertwined with DNA, a team led by scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reported at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014. [More]
Researchers identify biological process that appears to trigger Parkinson's disease

Researchers identify biological process that appears to trigger Parkinson's disease

Working with human neurons and fruit flies, researchers at Johns Hopkins have identified and then shut down a biological process that appears to trigger a particular form of Parkinson's disease present in a large number of patients. A report on the study, in the April 10 issue of the journal Cell, could lead to new treatments for this disorder. [More]
BioLineRx to initiate Phase 1/2 clinical trial on new drug candidate for CML treatment

BioLineRx to initiate Phase 1/2 clinical trial on new drug candidate for CML treatment

BioLineRx, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to identifying, in-licensing and developing promising therapeutic candidates, announced today that Prof. Arnon Nagler, Director of the Hematology Division and Bone Marrow Transplantation Center at Sheba Medical Center, Israel, has received final regulatory approval to evaluate BioLineRx's BL-8040 as a treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in a Phase 1/2 clinical study. [More]

Red LED irradiation promotes cell transplantation in treatment of hypoxic-ischemic brain damage

A series of previous studies suggested that the neuronal differentiation rate of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells during the in vitro culture reached 78-92%, but their in vivo transplantation efficiency, and survival and differentiation rates were very low. [More]

Stem cells culled from bone marrow may prove beneficial in stroke recovery

Stem cells culled from bone marrow may prove beneficial in stroke recovery, scientists at UC Irvine's Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center have learned. [More]
Osiris Therapeutics receives $15 million cash payment from Mesoblast for Prochymal

Osiris Therapeutics receives $15 million cash payment from Mesoblast for Prochymal

Osiris Therapeutics, Inc., the leading stem cell company focused on developing and marketing products to treat conditions in wound care, orthopedic and sports medicine markets, announced that it has received the next $15 million cash payment from Mesoblast in accordance with the Purchase Agreement relating to the Prochymal business. [More]
Penn Medicine to host symposium on regenerative medicine

Penn Medicine to host symposium on regenerative medicine

The University of Pennsylvania's Institute for Regenerative Medicine will host a symposium on Friday, April 11, 2014 to detail the progress researchers are making toward reprogramming human cells to treat a variety of diseases. [More]
Researchers receive NIH grant for pediatric acute myelogenous leukemia treatment

Researchers receive NIH grant for pediatric acute myelogenous leukemia treatment

​A $1.92 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was awarded to a research team that focuses on new approaches for treatment of relapsed pediatric acute myelogenous leukemia (rAML), led by Yang Liu, PhD, Bothworth Chair and Director of the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research (CCIR) at Children's Research Institute of Children's National Health System, and Reuven Schore, MD, member of CCIR and attending physician in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Program of the Division of Oncology of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. [More]

Ambit initiates QUANTUM-R Phase 3 clinical trial of quizartinib in FLT3-ITD positive AML patients

Ambit Biosciences, a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovery and development of drugs targeting unmet needs in oncology, autoimmune and inflammatory disease, today announced the initiation of the QUANTUM-R Phase 3 clinical trial comparing quizartinib as monotherapy to chemotherapy regimens in relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients with the FMS-like tyrosine kinase-3 (FLT3)-ITD mutation. [More]

Ambit initiates Phase 2 study of quizartinib in acute myeloid leukemia patients

Ambit Biosciences, a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovery and development of drugs targeting unmet needs in oncology, autoimmune and inflammatory disease, today announced the initiation of the Phase 2 cohort of the MD Anderson Cancer Center-sponsored Phase 1/2 study of quizartinib in combination with either 5-azacitidine or low dose cytarabine for previously untreated FLT3-ITD positive acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients age 60 or older, or FLT3-ITD positive AML patients 18 years of age or older in first relapse. [More]

Compounds from plant confer protective effects against breast cancer, say researchers

Compounds derived from plant-based sources - including garlic, broccoli and medicine plants - confer protective effects against breast cancer, explain researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), partner with the UPMC CancerCenter. [More]

UCL scientists find new way to artificially control paralyzed muscles using light

​A new way to artificially control muscles using light, with the potential to restore function to muscles paralysed by conditions such as motor neuron disease and spinal cord injury, has been developed by scientists at UCL and King's College London. [More]