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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.
Progenitor cells responsible for generation and maintenance of Merkel cells

Progenitor cells responsible for generation and maintenance of Merkel cells

Researchers have identified a population of "progenitor" cells in the skin that are solely responsible for the generation and maintenance of touch-sensing Merkel cells. The study appears in The Journal of Cell Biology. [More]
Researchers develop new treatment that extends telomeres

Researchers develop new treatment that extends telomeres

Will extending telomeres lead to longer, healthier lives? Researchers have taken an important step toward answering this question by developing a new treatment used in the laboratory that extends telomeres. [More]
Cardiac regeneration strategies need to be based on severity of heart injury

Cardiac regeneration strategies need to be based on severity of heart injury

A new study by researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles has shown that neonatal mouse hearts have varying regenerative capacities depending upon the severity of injury. Using cryoinjury - damaging the heart through exposure to extreme cold in order to mimic cellular injury caused by myocardial infarction - investigators found that neonatal mouse hearts can fully recover normal function following a mild injury, though fail to regenerate after a severe injury. [More]
Dr. Hans Clevers receives ISSCR's McEwen Award for Innovation

Dr. Hans Clevers receives ISSCR's McEwen Award for Innovation

The International Society for Stem Cell Research has awarded Dr. Hans Clevers, senior author on two important papers published recently in the scientific journal Cell, the society's McEwen Award for Innovation. [More]
Umbilical cord-derived stem cells from women with gestational diabetes show premature aging

Umbilical cord-derived stem cells from women with gestational diabetes show premature aging

Multipotent cells isolated from the human umbilical cord, called mesenchymal stromal cells (hUC-MSCs) have shown promise for use in cell therapy to treat a variety of human diseases. However, intriguing new evidence shows that hUC-MSCs isolated from women with gestational diabetes demonstrate premature aging, poorer cell growth, and altered metabolic function, as reported in an article in Stem Cells and Development, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. [More]
Study: Stem cell transplantation improves quality of life in patients with relapsing-remitting MS

Study: Stem cell transplantation improves quality of life in patients with relapsing-remitting MS

Results from a preliminary study indicate that among patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), treatment with nonmyeloablative hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (low intensity stem cell transplantation) was associated with improvement in measures of disability and quality of life, according to a study in the January 20 issue of JAMA. [More]
Johnson & Johnson announces sales of $18.3 billion for Q4 2014

Johnson & Johnson announces sales of $18.3 billion for Q4 2014

Johnson & Johnson today announced sales of $18.3 billion for the fourth quarter of 2014, a decrease of 0.6% as compared to the fourth quarter of 2013. Operational results increased 3.9% and the negative impact of currency was 4.5%. Domestic sales increased 7.4%. [More]
Researchers turn clinical experience in multiple myeloma treatment into instructive review for physicians

Researchers turn clinical experience in multiple myeloma treatment into instructive review for physicians

Multiple myeloma is a malignant disease characterised by proliferation of clonal plasma cells in the bone marrow and typically accompanied by the secretion of monoclonal immunoglobulins that are detectable in the serum or urine. Increased understanding of the microenvironmental interactions between malignant plasma cells and the bone marrow niche, and their role in disease progression and acquisition of therapy resistance, has helped the development of novel therapeutic drugs for use in combination with cytostatic therapy. [More]
Iron accumulation in human tissues may contribute to the aging process

Iron accumulation in human tissues may contribute to the aging process

It's been known for decades that some metals, including iron, accumulate in human tissues during aging and that toxic levels of iron have been linked to neurologic diseases, such as Parkinson's. Common belief has held that iron accumulation happens as a result of the aging process. [More]
CUMC researchers identify that OCR stem cells can regenerate bone and cartilage in mice

CUMC researchers identify that OCR stem cells can regenerate bone and cartilage in mice

A stem cell capable of regenerating both bone and cartilage has been identified in bone marrow of mice. The discovery by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center is reported today in the online issue of the journal Cell. [More]
New device holds promise for improving the delivery of stem cell therapy for non-healing fractures

New device holds promise for improving the delivery of stem cell therapy for non-healing fractures

A new device that can rapidly concentrate and extract young cells from irrigation fluid used during orthopaedic surgery holds promise for improving the delivery of stem cell therapy in cases of non-healing fractures. UC Davis surgeons plan to launch a "proof-of-concept" clinical trial to test the safety and efficacy of the device in the coming months. [More]
CNIO researchers identify new mechanism that influences differentiation of keratinocytes

CNIO researchers identify new mechanism that influences differentiation of keratinocytes

The formation of human skin involves a cascade of biochemical signals, which are not well understood. However, they are very important since their failure may cause diseases, such as Atopic Dermatitis and skin cancers, which affect more than 25% of the human population. [More]
HLI gains access to PGDx's cancer genomics solutions to expand cancer genome analysis

HLI gains access to PGDx's cancer genomics solutions to expand cancer genome analysis

Personal Genome Diagnostics, Inc., a provider of advanced cancer genome analysis and testing services, and Human Longevity, Inc., the human health information technology and health care company, today announced that HLI will have access to PGDx's cancer genomics solutions to expand its analysis of cancer genomes, including CancerSelect, PlasmaSelect, CancerXome, METDetect and CancerComplete. [More]
ULB researchers uncover new mechanism involved in tumour initiation, growth in SCC

ULB researchers uncover new mechanism involved in tumour initiation, growth in SCC

Researchers at the Université libre de Bruxelles (Belgium) report the mechanisms regulating the different functions of Twist1 controlling skin tumour initiation, cancer stem cell function and tumor progression. [More]
CHLA scientists grow tissue-engineered small intestine from human cells

CHLA scientists grow tissue-engineered small intestine from human cells

A new study by researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles has shown that tissue-engineered small intestine grown from human cells replicates key aspects of a functioning human intestine. The tissue-engineered small intestine they developed contains important elements of the mucosal lining and support structures, including the ability to absorb sugars, and even tiny or ultra-structural components like cellular connections. [More]
Canadian Blood Services, OPSEU reach tentative agreement to support employees in Ontario

Canadian Blood Services, OPSEU reach tentative agreement to support employees in Ontario

Today, Canadian Blood Services announced that it has reached a tentative agreement with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, representing its support employees in Ontario. [More]

UCLA researchers develop method that defines unique stages of reprogramming skin cells

In a groundbreaking study that provides scientists with a critical new understanding of stem cell development and its role in disease, UCLA researchers at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research led by Dr. Kathrin Plath, professor of biological chemistry, have established a first-of-its-kind methodology that defines the unique stages by which specialized cells are reprogrammed into stem cells that resemble those found in the embryo. [More]
Gamida Cell granted FDA and EMA orphan drug designation for NiCord

Gamida Cell granted FDA and EMA orphan drug designation for NiCord

Gamida Cell, a leader in cell therapy technologies and products for transplantation and adaptive immune therapy, announced today that orphan drug designation has been granted by The US Department of Health and Human Services, The FDA Office of Orphan Products Development (OOPD) for the investigational medicinal product NiCord for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), Hodgkin lymphoma and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). [More]
Johns Hopkins scientists use genome editing technology to alter human stem cells

Johns Hopkins scientists use genome editing technology to alter human stem cells

A powerful “genome editing” technology known as CRISPR has been used by researchers since 2012 to trim, disrupt, replace or add to sequences of an organism’s DNA. [More]
BrainStorm's phase 2a ALS study meets primary endpoint

BrainStorm's phase 2a ALS study meets primary endpoint

BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc., a leading developer of adult stem cell technologies for neurodegenerative diseases, today announced positive final results from its phase 2a clinical trial of NurOwn™ in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients, which enrolled 14 subjects at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. [More]