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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.
Biologists create bright red fluorescent protein to track essential cellular processes

Biologists create bright red fluorescent protein to track essential cellular processes

After years of trying, biologists have succeeded in creating an extremely bright red fluorescent protein in the lab. [More]
New color-coding tool sheds light on blood disorders, cancers by tracking clonal stem cells

New color-coding tool sheds light on blood disorders, cancers by tracking clonal stem cells

A new color-coding tool is enabling scientists to better track live blood stem cells over time, a key part of understanding how blood disorders and cancers like leukemia arise, report researchers in Boston Children's Hospital's Stem Cell Research Program. [More]
MEMOIR can help read history and ‘family trees’ of cells

MEMOIR can help read history and ‘family trees’ of cells

Researchers have developed a new method for reading the history and "family trees" of cells. [More]
Scientists map reorganization of genetic material in cells using 3-D imaging technique

Scientists map reorganization of genetic material in cells using 3-D imaging technique

Scientists have mapped the reorganization of genetic material that takes place when a stem cell matures into a nerve cell. [More]
Researchers identify pathway that helps cancer cells to aggressively spread in the brain

Researchers identify pathway that helps cancer cells to aggressively spread in the brain

Glioblastoma multiforme remains the most common and highly lethal brain cancer and is known for its ability to relapse. [More]
Creating artery banks may transform treatment of heart and vascular ailments

Creating artery banks may transform treatment of heart and vascular ailments

The prospect of creating artery "banks" available for cardiovascular surgery, bypassing the need to harvest vessels from the patient, could transform treatment of many common heart and vascular ailments. [More]
Lonza’s RAFT 3D Cell Culture System helps researchers develop corneal models for research into blindness treatment

Lonza’s RAFT 3D Cell Culture System helps researchers develop corneal models for research into blindness treatment

Lonza’s RAFT 3D Cell Culture System has been used to develop corneal models for research into treatment for a painful and potentially blinding corneal disease. [More]
Spinal cord rehabilitation and repair: an interview with Quentin Barraud

Spinal cord rehabilitation and repair: an interview with Quentin Barraud

There are many grades of spinal cord injuries, in terms of range of movement, from small disabilities to becoming wheelchair bound for the rest of your life, the range is very broad. [More]
Retinitis pigmentosa can be slowed by reprogramming metabolism of photoreceptors, study shows

Retinitis pigmentosa can be slowed by reprogramming metabolism of photoreceptors, study shows

Columbia University Medical Center researchers have demonstrated that vision loss associated with a form of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) can be slowed dramatically by reprogramming the metabolism of photoreceptors, or light sensors, in the retina. [More]
Deficiency of tumor suppressor gene may allow brain cancer cells to survive outside niches

Deficiency of tumor suppressor gene may allow brain cancer cells to survive outside niches

Astronauts survive in space by wearing high-tech space suits. But how do brain cancer cells thrive when they migrate to inhospitable sites within the brain? [More]
Stem-cell-derived gap junction cells could be important therapeutic target for treatment of hereditary deafness

Stem-cell-derived gap junction cells could be important therapeutic target for treatment of hereditary deafness

A collaboration, including researchers from Juntendo University, demonstrate differentiation from stem cells into specialised cells thought to be the most important therapeutic target for the treatment of hereditary deafness. [More]
Research to assess safety and effectiveness of stem cells as potential treatment for heart failure

Research to assess safety and effectiveness of stem cells as potential treatment for heart failure

Stem cells are being tested at the Medical University of South Carolina as a possible treatment for heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction, or HFpEF. The condition causes severe disability and kills half its victims within five years. [More]
Intestinal parasite increases susceptibility to colitis, study finds

Intestinal parasite increases susceptibility to colitis, study finds

Researchers from the University of Toronto have discovered that mice infected with the common gut parasite Tritrichomonas muris are at an increased risk of developing inflammatory colitis. [More]
Scientists explore how nanoscale topographies affect cellular regenerative responses

Scientists explore how nanoscale topographies affect cellular regenerative responses

Researchers are trying to find ways to control cellular response in vitro using engineered materials in a continuous pursuit to regenerate injured or diseased tissues. [More]
U-M researchers successfully transplant lab-grown mini lungs into immunosuppressed mice

U-M researchers successfully transplant lab-grown mini lungs into immunosuppressed mice

Researchers at the University of Michigan have transplanted lab-grown mini lungs into immunosuppressed mice where the structures were able to survive, grow and mature. [More]
SMU virologist receives NCI grant to advance research into how certain viruses cause cancers

SMU virologist receives NCI grant to advance research into how certain viruses cause cancers

SMU virologist and cancer researcher Robert L. Harrod has been awarded a $436,500 grant from the National Cancer Institute to further his lab's research into how certain viruses cause cancers in humans. [More]
Researchers discover genetic alterations in autism gene that reduces brain activity

Researchers discover genetic alterations in autism gene that reduces brain activity

Scientists at McMaster University's Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute in collaboration with Sick Children's Hospital have discovered genetic alterations in the gene DIXDC1 in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). [More]
Stanford researchers discover new biological markers to measure progression of Huntington's disease

Stanford researchers discover new biological markers to measure progression of Huntington's disease

Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine have identified several new biological markers to measure the progression of the inherited neurodegenerative disorder Huntington's disease (HD). [More]
High-altitude dwellers prone to chronic mountain sickness produce huge amounts of red blood cells

High-altitude dwellers prone to chronic mountain sickness produce huge amounts of red blood cells

To better understand why some people adapt well to life at high altitude while others don't, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine studied red blood cells derived from representatives of both groups living in the Andes Mountains. [More]
WSU researcher finds a way to reduce development of cancer cells

WSU researcher finds a way to reduce development of cancer cells

A Washington State University researcher has developed a way to reduce the development of cancer cells that are an infrequent but dangerous byproduct of gene therapy. [More]
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