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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 technique may help replace brain cells, restore memory

New technique may help replace brain cells, restore memory

Although brains—even adult brains—are far more malleable than we used to think, they are eventually subject to age-related illnesses, like dementia, and loss of cognitive function. [More]
Scientists aim to heal failing heart with the body’s own cells

Scientists aim to heal failing heart with the body’s own cells

Babies born with heart defects live longer than ever thanks to advances in the diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart disease. Yet, despite substantial progress, many continue to face bleak odds, lifelong medication, multiple surgeries and progressive heart failure, often requiring a transplant. [More]
Autologous stem cell transplant safe, effective for HIV-associated lymphoma patients

Autologous stem cell transplant safe, effective for HIV-associated lymphoma patients

New research published online today in Blood Journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), challenges the generally held belief that individuals with HIV and aggressive lymphoma are not candidates for standard treatment. [More]
Prkci gene plays role in organizing cells during early embryo, organ formation

Prkci gene plays role in organizing cells during early embryo, organ formation

A gene called Prkci can point cells in the right direction, according to a new study in Developmental Biology. [More]
Study shows similarity between embryonic and reprogrammed stem cells

Study shows similarity between embryonic and reprogrammed stem cells

Stem cells are specialized undifferentiated cells that can divide and have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. [More]
New stem cell treatment may halt clinical relapses, development of new brain lesions in patients MS

New stem cell treatment may halt clinical relapses, development of new brain lesions in patients MS

A new use of chemotherapy followed by autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (aHSCT) has fully halted clinical relapses and development of new brain lesions in 23 of 24 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) for a prolonged period without the need for ongoing medication, according to a new phase 2 clinical trial, published in The Lancet. [More]
Inotuzumab ozogamicin study reveals complete remission rates higher than standard therapy for ALL patients

Inotuzumab ozogamicin study reveals complete remission rates higher than standard therapy for ALL patients

In a randomized Phase III study of the drug inotuzumab ozogamicin, a statistically significant percentage of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) whose disease had relapsed following standard therapies, qualified for stem cell transplants. [More]
Controlling corneal blindness by 2030: an interview with Dr Pravin Vaddavalli

Controlling corneal blindness by 2030: an interview with Dr Pravin Vaddavalli

Corneal blindness is estimated to be the second most prevalent cause of blindness in many less developed countries. Globally, bilateral corneal blindness is estimated to afflict 4.9 million persons and accounts for 12% of 39 million blind, utilizing WHO 2010 global blindness data. [More]
Tandem myeloablative ASCT consolidation boosts neuroblastoma outcomes

Tandem myeloablative ASCT consolidation boosts neuroblastoma outcomes

Research presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual conference suggests that consolidation therapy with tandem compared with single myeloablative autologous stem cell transplant can improve outcomes in paediatric patients with high-risk neuroblastoma. [More]
Immunoablation strengthens haemopoietic stem-cell transplantation effects in MS

Immunoablation strengthens haemopoietic stem-cell transplantation effects in MS

Intensifying current transplant conditioning to remove rather than suppress immune cells ahead of autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation may result in long-term remission of multiple sclerosis, phase II trial findings show. [More]
About 30% of iPSCs not safe for clinical use, report multi-institutional researchers

About 30% of iPSCs not safe for clinical use, report multi-institutional researchers

As the promise of using regenerative stem cell therapies draws closer, a consortium of biomedical scientists reports about 30 percent of induced pluripotent stem cells they analyzed from 10 research institutions were genetically unstable and not safe for clinical use. [More]
RNA editing enzyme ADAR1 may play role in regeneration of leukemia stem cells

RNA editing enzyme ADAR1 may play role in regeneration of leukemia stem cells

Cancer stem cells are like zombies — even after a tumor is destroyed, they can keep coming back. These cells have an unlimited capacity to regenerate themselves, making more cancer stem cells and more tumors. [More]
First limbal stem cell transplant performed in Ireland

First limbal stem cell transplant performed in Ireland

On Tuesday 7th June 2016, the first Limbal Stem Cell transplant in Ireland was performed by Mr. William Power, Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin. [More]
Scientists discover new ZBTB7A gene mutation that promotes growth of cancer cells

Scientists discover new ZBTB7A gene mutation that promotes growth of cancer cells

Biomarkers play an important role in modern cancer medicine. They are used as tools to diagnose cancers more precisely and to better predict the course of the disease. [More]
Novel methods may help assess multipotent or unipotent fate of mammary gland, prostate stem cells

Novel methods may help assess multipotent or unipotent fate of mammary gland, prostate stem cells

Stem cells ensure the development of tissues, their daily maintenance and their repair following injuries. One of the key questions in the field of stem cell biology is to define the different cell lineages in which stem cells can differentiate into. [More]
New IVF-based technique can reduce risk of mothers passing on mitochondrial disease to infants

New IVF-based technique can reduce risk of mothers passing on mitochondrial disease to infants

A new IVF-based technique is likely to lead to normal pregnancies and reduce the risk that babies born will have mitochondrial disease, according to researchers at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Disease at Newcastle University. [More]
New effort in biomedical engineering may improve heart repair

New effort in biomedical engineering may improve heart repair

Jianyi "Jay" Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., brought his biomedical engineering expertise to the University of Alabama at Birmingham to fix hearts. [More]
Transplantation of hpNSCs into non-human primates modeled with PD promotes behavioral recovery

Transplantation of hpNSCs into non-human primates modeled with PD promotes behavioral recovery

A multi-center team of researchers in the U.S. testing the potential of cell therapy for treating Parkinson's disease (PD) has found that grafting human parthenogenetic stem cell-derived neural stem cells (hpNSCs) into non-human primates modeled with PD promoted behavioral recovery, increased dopamine concentrations in the brain, and induced the expression of beneficial genes and pathways when compared to control animals not transplanted with stem cells. [More]
Mice implanted with human glia cells exhibit reduced symptoms of Huntington's disease

Mice implanted with human glia cells exhibit reduced symptoms of Huntington's disease

Researchers have successfully reduced the symptoms and slowed the progression of Huntington's disease in mice using healthy human brain cells. The findings, which were published today in the journal Nature Communications, could ultimately point to a new method to treat the disease. [More]
Scientists develop non-toxic transplantation procedure using antibodies to target blood stem cells in mice

Scientists develop non-toxic transplantation procedure using antibodies to target blood stem cells in mice

Harvard Stem Cell Institute scientists have taken the first steps toward developing a treatment that would make bone marrow - blood stem cell - transplantation safer and, as a result, more widely available to the millions of people living with blood disorders like sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, and AIDS. [More]
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