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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.
Mice study shows stem cell infusion could help treat glaucoma

Mice study shows stem cell infusion could help treat glaucoma

An infusion of stem cells could help restore proper drainage for fluid-clogged eyes at risk for glaucoma. That's the upshot of a study led by a Veterans Affairs and University of Iowa team. [More]
Cancer risk screening for hereditary mutations: an interview with Ted Snelgrove

Cancer risk screening for hereditary mutations: an interview with Ted Snelgrove

Great question – the answer is actually unknown. Every month, there are publications that report on new cancer-related genes, so it's an area of great knowledge growth at the moment. [More]
Embryonic stem cell gene Nanog holds potential for reversing effects of aging

Embryonic stem cell gene Nanog holds potential for reversing effects of aging

The fountain of youth may reside in an embryonic stem cell gene named Nanog. [More]
Choroid plexus signals in the brain control stem cell behavior

Choroid plexus signals in the brain control stem cell behavior

Prof. Fiona Doetsch's research team at the Biozentrum, University of Basel, has discovered that the choroid plexus, a largely ignored structure in the brain that produces the cerebrospinal fluid, is an important regulator of adult neural stem cells. [More]
Scientists receive $2.4 million grant to advance stem cell therapy for Parkinson's disease

Scientists receive $2.4 million grant to advance stem cell therapy for Parkinson's disease

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and Scripps Clinic have received a grant of nearly $2.4 million from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to support safety and quality tests of a potential stem cell therapy for Parkinson's disease. [More]
Key gene controls ability of adult stem cells to regenerate muscle after injury, study finds

Key gene controls ability of adult stem cells to regenerate muscle after injury, study finds

A key gene enables the repair of injured muscle throughout life. This is the finding of a study in mice led by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and the University of Colorado at Boulder, and published online July 21 in Cell Reports. [More]
HSS researchers launch new study to find if stem cell treatment could help people with knee arthritis

HSS researchers launch new study to find if stem cell treatment could help people with knee arthritis

Researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery have launched a study to determine if a treatment using stem cells could help people with painful knee arthritis. [More]
New study offers hypothesis why obese patients fare worse during cancer treatment

New study offers hypothesis why obese patients fare worse during cancer treatment

Across many cancer types, obese patients fare worse than leaner patients. Now a University of Colorado Cancer Center study published in the journal Cell Stem Cell offers a compelling hypothesis why: researchers found that leukemia stem cells "hide" in fatty tissue, even transforming this tissue in ways that support their survival when challenged with chemotherapy. It is as if leukemia stem cells not only use fatty tissue as a robbers' cave to hide from therapy, but actively adapt this cave to their liking. [More]
Study reports BV therapy may be curative in some Hodgkin lymphoma patients

Study reports BV therapy may be curative in some Hodgkin lymphoma patients

Five-year survival data published online today in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology, suggest that the targeted therapy brentuximab vedotin may have cured some Hodgkin lymphoma patients whose disease has persisted despite receiving previous therapies. [More]
Protein present on stem cell surface can boost growth of damaged muscle tissue

Protein present on stem cell surface can boost growth of damaged muscle tissue

Johns Hopkins University biologists have found that a protein that plays a key role in the lives of stem cells can bolster the growth of damaged muscle tissue, a step that could potentially contribute to treatments for muscle degeneration caused by old age and diseases such as muscular dystrophy. [More]
Scientists develop new way to resurface arthritic hip joint

Scientists develop new way to resurface arthritic hip joint

With a goal of treating worn, arthritic hips without extensive surgery to replace them, scientists have programmed stem cells to grow new cartilage on a 3-D template shaped like the ball of a hip joint. [More]
Mutations in STN1 gene cause Coats plus syndrome

Mutations in STN1 gene cause Coats plus syndrome

A team of Israeli researchers has discovered that mutations in STN1, a gene that helps maintain the ends of chromosomes, cause the rare, inherited disorder Coats plus syndrome. [More]
Bone marrow transplantation may one day be beneficial to subset of ALS, say researchers

Bone marrow transplantation may one day be beneficial to subset of ALS, say researchers

Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers at Harvard University and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT have found evidence that bone marrow transplantation may one day be beneficial to a subset of patients suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal neurodegenerative disorder more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. [More]
Salk scientists propose new molecular criteria for generating naïve stem cells

Salk scientists propose new molecular criteria for generating naïve stem cells

Salk scientists and colleagues have proposed new molecular criteria for judging just how close any line of laboratory-generated stem cells comes to mimicking embryonic cells seen in the very earliest stages of human development, known as naïve stem cells. [More]
Interim results from clinical trial demonstrate safety of cell-based therapy for retinitis pigmentosa

Interim results from clinical trial demonstrate safety of cell-based therapy for retinitis pigmentosa

Regenerative medicine company jCyte and the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center at the University of California, Irvine report that their investigational therapy for retinitis pigmentosa (RP) has demonstrated a favorable safety and tolerability profile in an ongoing Phase I/II clinical trial. [More]
Scientists identify viable new approach to making more stem cells from cord blood

Scientists identify viable new approach to making more stem cells from cord blood

International stem cell scientists, co-led in Canada by Dr. John Dick and in the Netherlands by Dr. Gerald de Haan, have discovered the switch to harness the power of cord blood and potentially increase the supply of stem cells for cancer patients needing transplantation therapy to fight their disease. [More]
Researchers use microfluidic chip to study how adipose stem cells develop into mature fat cells

Researchers use microfluidic chip to study how adipose stem cells develop into mature fat cells

A Freiburg-based research group has developed a microfluidic chip where more than one hundred apidose-derived adult stem cell cultures can grow and divide. In the human body, adipose tissue acts as a primary energy store. [More]
First arthritis model in zebrafish offers new hope for finding biological cure

First arthritis model in zebrafish offers new hope for finding biological cure

The very first bony fish on Earth was susceptible to arthritis, according to a USC-led discovery that may fast-track therapeutic research in preventing or easing the nation's most common cause of disability. [More]
Researches create mini-brain model of idiopathic ASD characterized by early neuronal overgrowth

Researches create mini-brain model of idiopathic ASD characterized by early neuronal overgrowth

The vast majority of cases of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are idiopathic - the cause is unknown. [More]
VIB research reveals new insights into ALS

VIB research reveals new insights into ALS

Research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) conducted by VIB-KU Leuven has led to interesting and unexpected conclusions. [More]
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