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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.
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]
Stem cell therapy appears to dampen the body's neuroinflammatory response to trauma, preserve brain tissue

Stem cell therapy appears to dampen the body's neuroinflammatory response to trauma, preserve brain tissue

Results of a cellular therapy clinical trial for traumatic brain injury (TBI) using a patient's own stem cells showed that the therapy appears to dampen the body's neuroinflammatory response to trauma and preserve brain tissue, according to researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. [More]
Takara Bio to provide SMART-Seq v4 Ultra Low Input RNA Kit for Sequencing to Allen Institute

Takara Bio to provide SMART-Seq v4 Ultra Low Input RNA Kit for Sequencing to Allen Institute

Takara Bio USA, Inc. announced today that its SMART-Seq v4 Ultra Low Input RNA Kit for Sequencing has been selected for the development of gene expression profiles of individual brain cells as part of the Allen Cell Types Database, a public resource available from the Allen Institute for Brain Science. [More]
Researchers find certain short junk DNA play key role in development of Ewing sarcoma

Researchers find certain short junk DNA play key role in development of Ewing sarcoma

The stretches of DNA between genes, littered with repeating sequences, were once considered the "junk of the genome," but scientists are learning that some of this junk is far from harmless clutter. [More]
Researchers discover Hedgehog signaling pathway is key to formation of gastrointestinal stromal tumors

Researchers discover Hedgehog signaling pathway is key to formation of gastrointestinal stromal tumors

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Mayo Clinic provide the first evidence that the Hedgehog signaling pathway is central to the formation of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), which are frequently driven by the KIT oncogene. [More]
Penn study reveals new sights into how some intestinal cells can withstand chemotherapy and radiation

Penn study reveals new sights into how some intestinal cells can withstand chemotherapy and radiation

When treating cancer with chemotherapy and radiation, decisions about dose must walk a fine line between attacking cancerous cells and preserving healthy ones. [More]
Improved skin graft process shows promise for treating severe burn wounds

Improved skin graft process shows promise for treating severe burn wounds

Full thickness skin grafts are the golden standard for treating burn wounds. But most skin grafts for severe burns require a donor, and for large or complicated injury sites, a full thickness skin graft is hard to come by. [More]
Mitochondria regulates stem cell proliferation in gut epithelium, study shows

Mitochondria regulates stem cell proliferation in gut epithelium, study shows

What happens in intestinal epithelial cells during a chronic illness? Basic research conducted at the Chair of Nutrition and Immunology at the Technical University of Munich addressed this question by generating a new model system. [More]
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