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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.
New UCLA study reveals why people with autism experience neural stem cell overgrowth after birth

New UCLA study reveals why people with autism experience neural stem cell overgrowth after birth

People with autism spectrum disorder often experience a period of accelerated brain growth after birth. No one knows why, or whether the change is linked to any specific behavioral changes. [More]
New research reveals innovative way to classify severity of stroke

New research reveals innovative way to classify severity of stroke

New research conducted at the Florida State University-based National High Magnetic Field Laboratory has revealed a new, innovative way to classify the severity of a stroke, aid in diagnosis and evaluate potential treatments. [More]
UC Berkeley, UCSF researchers team up to create center for neurodegenerative disease research

UC Berkeley, UCSF researchers team up to create center for neurodegenerative disease research

Researchers at UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley have teamed up to create an innovative, integrated center for research on neurodegenerative diseases. Supported by a $3 million grant from the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research, the new center aims to pave the way to developing novel treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease by investigating the many ways that proteins can malfunction within cells. [More]
UCI to receive $8 million from NIH to study brain cell activity in motor neuron disorders

UCI to receive $8 million from NIH to study brain cell activity in motor neuron disorders

UC Irvine will receive $8 million from the National Institutes of Health to establish one of six national centers dedicated to creating a database of human cellular responses that will accelerate efforts to develop new therapies for many diseases. [More]
USC researchers develop new methods to advance study of human brains, epilepsy

USC researchers develop new methods to advance study of human brains, epilepsy

USC biomedical engineers, neurologists and neurosurgeons develop new methods to advance the study of human brains and epilepsy. Studying the human brain is logistically complicated. Living samples of the complex and sensitive organ are limited and difficult to preserve, which means that research on them must be conducted quickly before they expire. [More]
FDA designates NurOwn as Fast Track product for ALS treatment

FDA designates NurOwn as Fast Track product for ALS treatment

BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc., a leading developer of adult stem cell technologies for neurodegenerative diseases, announced today that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has designated NurOwn as a Fast Track product for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease). [More]
UC Irvine scientist receives New Innovator Award to create stem cell-based treatments for cancer

UC Irvine scientist receives New Innovator Award to create stem cell-based treatments for cancer

UC Irvine scientist Weian Zhao will receive a prestigious National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Award to further his efforts to create stem cell-based detection methods and treatments for cancer. [More]
Bristol-Myers Squibb, MD Anderson partner to evaluate multiple immunotherapies

Bristol-Myers Squibb, MD Anderson partner to evaluate multiple immunotherapies

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center today announced a novel clinical research collaboration to evaluate multiple immunotherapies, including Opdivo (nivolumab), Yervoy (ipilimumab) and three early-stage clinical immuno-oncology assets from Bristol-Myers Squibb, as potential treatment options for acute and chronic leukemia as well as other hematologic malignancies. [More]
FDA grants orphan drug designation for neuroblastoma vaccine

FDA grants orphan drug designation for neuroblastoma vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted orphan drug designation for a neuroblastoma vaccine from MabVax Therapeutics, providing development incentive with market exclusivity of the novel treatment for children with this deadly childhood cancer. [More]
New research on barcoding tool that tracks origin of blood cells challenges scientific dogma

New research on barcoding tool that tracks origin of blood cells challenges scientific dogma

A 7-year-project to develop a barcoding and tracking system for tissue stem cells has revealed previously unrecognized features of normal blood production: New data from Harvard Stem Cell Institute scientists at Boston Children's Hospital suggests, surprisingly, that the billions of blood cells that we produce each day are made not by blood stem cells, but rather their less pluripotent descendants, called progenitor cells. [More]
New method for extracting potential bone-producing cells from human fat

New method for extracting potential bone-producing cells from human fat

Within our fat lives a variety of cells with the potential to become bone, cartilage, or more fat if properly prompted. This makes adipose tissue, in theory, a readily available reservoir for regenerative therapies such as bone healing if doctors can get enough of those cells and compel them to produce bone. [More]
Genoscience Pharma to present novel cancer therapeutic strategy at EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium

Genoscience Pharma to present novel cancer therapeutic strategy at EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium

Genoscience Pharma, a company focused on discovering and developing small molecules to treat cancer by targeting cancer stem cells, today announces that it will present data on its most promising candidate at the 26th EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, in Barcelona, Spain, on November 18-21, 2014. [More]
Family physician  answers questions related to Ebola virus

Family physician answers questions related to Ebola virus

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the outbreak of Ebola in four West African countries is one of the largest outbreaks of the disease in history. [More]
Daiichi Sankyo, Ambit Biosciences enter into definitive merger agreement

Daiichi Sankyo, Ambit Biosciences enter into definitive merger agreement

Daiichi Sankyo Company, Ltd. (hereinafter Daiichi Sankyo) and Ambit Biosciences, jointly announced today that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Daiichi Sankyo will acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Ambit Biosciences for $15 per share in cash through a tender offer followed by a merger with a subsidiary of Daiichi Sankyo, or approximately $315 million on a fully diluted basis. [More]
Cedars-Sinai to participate in a consortium studying motor neuron disorders

Cedars-Sinai to participate in a consortium studying motor neuron disorders

Investigators at the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute have received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to participate in a consortium taking the study of motor neuron disorders - such as Lou Gehrig's disease and spinal muscular atrophy - to a new, comprehensive perspective. [More]
BRD4 protein appears to play key role in keeping stem cells in immature "pluripotent" state

BRD4 protein appears to play key role in keeping stem cells in immature "pluripotent" state

A protein implicated in several cancers appears to play a pivotal role in keeping stem cells in an immature "pluripotent" state, according to a new study by NYU Langone Medical Center scientists. [More]
UW-Madison and Morgridge researchers are creating tissue chip technology to screen neural toxins

UW-Madison and Morgridge researchers are creating tissue chip technology to screen neural toxins

A multidisciplinary team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Morgridge Institute for Research is creating a faster, more affordable way to screen for neural toxins, helping flag chemicals that may harm human development. [More]
Distinct patterns of gene expression identified in several groups of pancreatic CTCs

Distinct patterns of gene expression identified in several groups of pancreatic CTCs

Analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in a mouse model of pancreatic cancer identified distinct patterns of gene expression in several groups of CTCs, including significant differences from the primary tumor that may contribute to the ability to generate metastases. [More]
Clontech Laboratories announces launch of DNA SMART ChIP-Seq Kit

Clontech Laboratories announces launch of DNA SMART ChIP-Seq Kit

Clontech Laboratories, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Takara Bio Inc., today announced the launch of the DNA SMART ChIP-Seq Kit. This kit adapts Clontech's patented SMART technology in an innovative manner for use with low-input samples, including both dsDNA and ssDNA templates, to generate ChIP-seq libraries for NGS. [More]
MIT engineers find new strategy to combat superbugs

MIT engineers find new strategy to combat superbugs

In recent years, new strains of bacteria have emerged that resist even the most powerful antibiotics. Each year, these superbugs, including drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis and staphylococcus, infect more than 2 million people nationwide, and kill at least 23,000. Despite the urgent need for new treatments, scientists have discovered very few new classes of antibiotics in the past decade. [More]