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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.
Penn researchers uncover strategy to reverse effects of dyskeratosis congenita

Penn researchers uncover strategy to reverse effects of dyskeratosis congenita

Dyskeratosis congenita, or DC, is a rare, inherited disease for which there are limited treatment options and no cure. [More]
Tulane professor receives three-year grant to improve survival of mesenchymal stem cells

Tulane professor receives three-year grant to improve survival of mesenchymal stem cells

Kim O'Connor, a professor in Tulane University's Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, received a three-year $599,638 grant from the National Science Foundation to study ways to improve the survival of mesenchymal stem cells once they are implanted in patients. [More]
Stem cells derived from bone marrow provide better quality of life to transplant patients

Stem cells derived from bone marrow provide better quality of life to transplant patients

A large, nationwide study published in the journal JAMA Oncology found that people who received transplants of cells collected from a donor's bone marrow the original source for blood stem cell transplants, developed decades ago had better self-reported psychological well-being, experienced fewer symptoms of a common post-transplant side effect called graft-vs.-host disease and were more likely to be back at work five years after transplantation than those whose transplanted cells were taken from the donor's bloodstream. [More]
German scientists develop new approach to prevent GvHD after bone marrow transplants

German scientists develop new approach to prevent GvHD after bone marrow transplants

Scientists in Germany have developed a new approach that may prevent leukemia and lymphoma patients from developing graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) after therapeutic bone marrow transplants. [More]
Researchers explain why secondary infection with MRSA kills influenza patients

Researchers explain why secondary infection with MRSA kills influenza patients

Researchers have discovered that secondary infection with the Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacterium (or "superbug") often kills influenza patients because the flu virus alters the antibacterial response of white blood cells, causing them to damage the patients' lungs instead of destroying the bacterium. [More]
Scientists discover key molecule that drives regeneration in planarian stem cells

Scientists discover key molecule that drives regeneration in planarian stem cells

Many living creatures possess exceptional abilities that set them apart from other species. Cheetahs can run up to 60 miles per hour; ants can lift 100 times their body weight; flatworms can regrow amputated body parts. [More]
BCL-2 inhibitor shows promise in AML patients

BCL-2 inhibitor shows promise in AML patients

Patients whose acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) had relapsed or was resistant to chemotherapy and those who were deemed unable to tolerate chemotherapy experienced responses to the selective BCL-2 inhibitor venetoclax (Venclexta), with complete remissions in some, according to phase II clinical trial data. [More]
Scientists find new functions of ANG protein that plays key role in regulation of blood cell formation

Scientists find new functions of ANG protein that plays key role in regulation of blood cell formation

Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University scientists have found exciting, new functions of the protein angiogenin that play a significant role in the regulation of blood cell formation, important in bone marrow transplantation and recovery from radiation-induced bone marrow failure. [More]
Experts underscore need to tackle rising global problem of stem cell medical tourism

Experts underscore need to tackle rising global problem of stem cell medical tourism

Stem cell medical tourism and unproven stem cell interventions are growing and concerning issues for patients afflicted with lung disease. [More]
Researchers develop new strategy to convert fibroblasts directly into neuronal cells

Researchers develop new strategy to convert fibroblasts directly into neuronal cells

Researchers have used CRISPR -- a revolutionary new genetic engineering technique -- to convert cells isolated from mouse connective tissue directly into neuronal cells. [More]
USC researchers discover two Zika proteins potentially responsible for microcephaly

USC researchers discover two Zika proteins potentially responsible for microcephaly

USC researchers have tracked down two Zika proteins potentially responsible for thousands of microcephaly cases in Brazil and elsewhere — taking one small step toward preventing Zika-infected mothers from birthing babies with abnormally small heads. [More]
Novel computational analysis of prostate cancer suggests potential targets for therapy

Novel computational analysis of prostate cancer suggests potential targets for therapy

Cancer researchers have applied a comprehensive set of analytical tools to lethal cases of metastatic prostate cancer, yielding a detailed map of the complex networks of interactions among genes and proteins that enable prostate cancer cells to proliferate and evade treatment. [More]
Scientists improve potential weapon to fight against autoimmune disorders

Scientists improve potential weapon to fight against autoimmune disorders

With a trick of engineering, scientists at the Gladstone Institutes improved a potential weapon against inflammation and autoimmune disorders. Their work could one day benefit patients who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease or organ transplant rejection. [More]
New bioinspired device could diagnose formation of blood clots

New bioinspired device could diagnose formation of blood clots

When in dysfunction, the vascular endothelium -- the tissue that lines the blood vessels throughout our body's entire circulatory system -- plays a big role in the development of many human diseases, including diabetes, stroke, heart disease, viral infections and cancer. [More]
Scientists make major advance in understanding how stem cells become specialized

Scientists make major advance in understanding how stem cells become specialized

Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute have made a major advance in understanding how the cells of an organism, which all contain the same genetic information, come to be so diverse. [More]
Scientists identify new way to impair tumour growth in lung cancer

Scientists identify new way to impair tumour growth in lung cancer

Researchers from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore at the National University of Singapore, in collaboration with Harvard Stem Cell Institute, have discovered a new way in which the development of lung cancer can be stopped. [More]
Novel dual molecular tuner offers easy way to perform in-depth analyses in mammalian cells

Novel dual molecular tuner offers easy way to perform in-depth analyses in mammalian cells

A research team headed by investigators at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has developed a tool that allows scientists to quickly manipulate levels of two proteins in the same cell. [More]
New reconstruction technique restores bone loss in the jaw of pigs

New reconstruction technique restores bone loss in the jaw of pigs

Researchers have engineered living bone tissue to repair bone loss in the jaw, a structure that is typically difficult to restore. [More]
Australian researchers use novel Nanolive 3D Cell Explorer for nanotoxicity research

Australian researchers use novel Nanolive 3D Cell Explorer for nanotoxicity research

The Nanolive 3D Cell Explorer is a new and unique instrument using revolutionary technology that affords researchers a view inside living cells like never before. [More]
Research could help develop better therapies for new subtype of adenocarcinoma  patients

Research could help develop better therapies for new subtype of adenocarcinoma patients

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths, accounting for about a third of all tumor-related deaths. Adenocarcinomas, a non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), account for about 40 percent of cancer diagnoses, but few treatments are available for the disease. [More]
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