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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.
Tandem myeloablative ASCT consolidation boosts neuroblastoma outcomes

Tandem myeloablative ASCT consolidation boosts neuroblastoma outcomes

Research presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual conference suggests that consolidation therapy with tandem compared with single myeloablative autologous stem cell transplant can improve outcomes in paediatric patients with high-risk neuroblastoma. [More]
Immunoablation strengthens haemopoietic stem-cell transplantation effects in MS

Immunoablation strengthens haemopoietic stem-cell transplantation effects in MS

Intensifying current transplant conditioning to remove rather than suppress immune cells ahead of autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation may result in long-term remission of multiple sclerosis, phase II trial findings show. [More]
About 30% of iPSCs not safe for clinical use, report multi-institutional researchers

About 30% of iPSCs not safe for clinical use, report multi-institutional researchers

As the promise of using regenerative stem cell therapies draws closer, a consortium of biomedical scientists reports about 30 percent of induced pluripotent stem cells they analyzed from 10 research institutions were genetically unstable and not safe for clinical use. [More]
RNA editing enzyme ADAR1 may play role in regeneration of leukemia stem cells

RNA editing enzyme ADAR1 may play role in regeneration of leukemia stem cells

Cancer stem cells are like zombies — even after a tumor is destroyed, they can keep coming back. These cells have an unlimited capacity to regenerate themselves, making more cancer stem cells and more tumors. [More]
First limbal stem cell transplant performed in Ireland

First limbal stem cell transplant performed in Ireland

On Tuesday 7th June 2016, the first Limbal Stem Cell transplant in Ireland was performed by Mr. William Power, Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin. [More]
Scientists discover new ZBTB7A gene mutation that promotes growth of cancer cells

Scientists discover new ZBTB7A gene mutation that promotes growth of cancer cells

Biomarkers play an important role in modern cancer medicine. They are used as tools to diagnose cancers more precisely and to better predict the course of the disease. [More]
Novel methods may help assess multipotent or unipotent fate of mammary gland, prostate stem cells

Novel methods may help assess multipotent or unipotent fate of mammary gland, prostate stem cells

Stem cells ensure the development of tissues, their daily maintenance and their repair following injuries. One of the key questions in the field of stem cell biology is to define the different cell lineages in which stem cells can differentiate into. [More]
New IVF-based technique can reduce risk of mothers passing on mitochondrial disease to infants

New IVF-based technique can reduce risk of mothers passing on mitochondrial disease to infants

A new IVF-based technique is likely to lead to normal pregnancies and reduce the risk that babies born will have mitochondrial disease, according to researchers at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Disease at Newcastle University. [More]
New effort in biomedical engineering may improve heart repair

New effort in biomedical engineering may improve heart repair

Jianyi "Jay" Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., brought his biomedical engineering expertise to the University of Alabama at Birmingham to fix hearts. [More]
Transplantation of hpNSCs into non-human primates modeled with PD promotes behavioral recovery

Transplantation of hpNSCs into non-human primates modeled with PD promotes behavioral recovery

A multi-center team of researchers in the U.S. testing the potential of cell therapy for treating Parkinson's disease (PD) has found that grafting human parthenogenetic stem cell-derived neural stem cells (hpNSCs) into non-human primates modeled with PD promoted behavioral recovery, increased dopamine concentrations in the brain, and induced the expression of beneficial genes and pathways when compared to control animals not transplanted with stem cells. [More]
Mice implanted with human glia cells exhibit reduced symptoms of Huntington's disease

Mice implanted with human glia cells exhibit reduced symptoms of Huntington's disease

Researchers have successfully reduced the symptoms and slowed the progression of Huntington's disease in mice using healthy human brain cells. The findings, which were published today in the journal Nature Communications, could ultimately point to a new method to treat the disease. [More]
Scientists develop non-toxic transplantation procedure using antibodies to target blood stem cells in mice

Scientists develop non-toxic transplantation procedure using antibodies to target blood stem cells in mice

Harvard Stem Cell Institute scientists have taken the first steps toward developing a treatment that would make bone marrow - blood stem cell - transplantation safer and, as a result, more widely available to the millions of people living with blood disorders like sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, and AIDS. [More]
Human stem cells restore motor function in chronic stroke patients

Human stem cells restore motor function in chronic stroke patients

Injecting modified, human, adult stem cells directly into the brains of chronic stroke patients proved not only safe but effective in restoring motor function, according to the findings of a small clinical trial led by Stanford University School of Medicine investigators. [More]
Combination immunotherapy may be better than one to combat metastatic melanoma

Combination immunotherapy may be better than one to combat metastatic melanoma

A new metastatic melanoma study suggests that a combination of two immunotherapies may be better than one. [More]
Innovative mouse model could provide new strategy to arrest growth of pancreatic cancer

Innovative mouse model could provide new strategy to arrest growth of pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, the most common of pancreatic cancers, is extraordinarily lethal, with a 5-year survival rate of just 6 percent. Chemotherapy treatments are poorly effective, in part due to a high degree of drug-resistance to currently used regimens. [More]
Antiinflammatory drug HUMIRA enhances specific TNF function in rheumatoid arthritis patients

Antiinflammatory drug HUMIRA enhances specific TNF function in rheumatoid arthritis patients

Researchers from University College London have discovered that the widely used antiinflammatory drug HUMIRA doesn't just work by inhibiting its target protein, TNF, but by enhancing a particular function of TNF in rheumatoid arthritis patients. [More]
Maintenance lenalidomide treatment improves overall survival in multiple myeloma patients

Maintenance lenalidomide treatment improves overall survival in multiple myeloma patients

While several clinical trials have demonstrated that maintenance therapy with lenalidomide reduces the risk of disease progression in patients with multiple myeloma, there have been no definitive results regarding overall survival. [More]
Gene alterations in WNT pathway may increase CRC risk in younger patients

Gene alterations in WNT pathway may increase CRC risk in younger patients

While increased screening continues to drive down overall colorectal cancer rates, the rate of colorectal cancer in patients under age 50 is increasing, and the disease is commonly more aggressive in these young patients. [More]
New research pinpoints specific lncRNA that regulates neural development

New research pinpoints specific lncRNA that regulates neural development

Compared to other mammals, humans have the largest cerebral cortex. A sheet of brain cells that folds in on itself multiple times in order to fit inside the skull, the cortex is the seat of higher functions. It is what enables us to process everything we see and hear and think. [More]
Scientists use new technique to repair fibrotic liver cells within the organ

Scientists use new technique to repair fibrotic liver cells within the organ

Advances in stem cell research have made it possible to convert patients' skin cells into heart cells, kidney cells, liver cells and more in the lab dish, giving researchers hope that one day such cells could replace organ transplantation for patients with organ failure. [More]
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