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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.
Scientists reveal underlying mechanisms leading to microcephaly in NBS patients

Scientists reveal underlying mechanisms leading to microcephaly in NBS patients

Scientists from Jerusalem and Duesseldorf have succeeded in generating induced pluripotent stem cells from a rare disorder called Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) and to push these cells to become early neurons, revealing the mechanisms leading to the neurological phenotype observed in these patients. [More]
Stem cells may be responsible for vascular calcification in patients with kidney disease

Stem cells may be responsible for vascular calcification in patients with kidney disease

Scientists have implicated a type of stem cell in the calcification of blood vessels that is common in patients with chronic kidney disease. [More]
TKCI pioneers new treatment techniques for patients suffering from Stevens-Johnson syndrome

TKCI pioneers new treatment techniques for patients suffering from Stevens-Johnson syndrome

The Tej Kohli Cornea Institute, in partnership with the world-renowned LV Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, is pioneering new treatments for sufferers of Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), which takes the lives of 20%-25% of the people it affects. [More]
Study finds cord blood transplant recipients appear to have better outcomes against leukemia

Study finds cord blood transplant recipients appear to have better outcomes against leukemia

Umbilical cord blood transplants may have advantages beyond offering an alternative stem cell source for leukemia patients without a traditional donor match, according to a study published today in The New England Journal of Medicine. [More]
New collaborative initiative to develop novel ways of screening drugs for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia

New collaborative initiative to develop novel ways of screening drugs for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies will co-lead a $15.4 million effort to develop new systems for quickly screening libraries of drugs for potential effectiveness against schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has announced. [More]
Blood cancer treatment linked to distinct increase in molecular age of immune cells

Blood cancer treatment linked to distinct increase in molecular age of immune cells

Certain cancer treatments are known to take a toll on patients, causing side effects like fatigue, nausea and hair loss. Now, scientists are investigating whether some treatments can cause another long-term side effect: premature aging of important disease-fighting cells. [More]
Research sheds new light on how human organ systems develop

Research sheds new light on how human organ systems develop

For the first time, the precise way individual human organs and tissue develop has been mapped - providing new insight into how genetic disorders can occur during the crucial early phase of development. [More]
New stem-cell model of heart tissue unravels mechanisms linked to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

New stem-cell model of heart tissue unravels mechanisms linked to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Using advanced stem cell technology, scientists from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have created a model of a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) — an excessive thickening of the heart that is associated with a number of rare and common illnesses, some of which have a strong genetic component. [More]
Transplantation of placenta-derived MSCs can prevent diabetes-related CLI in rats

Transplantation of placenta-derived MSCs can prevent diabetes-related CLI in rats

In an effort to determine if stem cell therapy can prevent or improve a condition called "diabetic foot" caused by poor blood flow in patients with diabetes, a team of researchers in China has found that transplanting human placenta-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into rats modeled with diabetes can affect blood vessel growth, potentially improving blood flow and preventing critical limb ischemia (CLI), a condition that results in diabetic foot and frequently leads to amputation. [More]
Researchers find better way to purify liver cells made from induced pluripotent stem cells

Researchers find better way to purify liver cells made from induced pluripotent stem cells

A research team including developmental biologist Stephen A. Duncan, D. Phil., SmartState Chair of Regenerative Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina, has found a better way to purify liver cells made from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). [More]
Outpatient CLABSIs costly for pediatric stem cell transplant and oncology patient population

Outpatient CLABSIs costly for pediatric stem cell transplant and oncology patient population

Pediatric stem cell transplant and cancer patients often are discharged from the hospital with an external central venous line for medications that parents or other caregivers must clean and flush daily to avoid potentially life-threatening infections. [More]
NCATS scientists identify promising compounds effective in inhibiting Zika virus replication

NCATS scientists identify promising compounds effective in inhibiting Zika virus replication

Researchers at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences recently identified compounds that potentially can be used to inhibit Zika virus replication and reduce its ability to kill brain cells. [More]
Less invasive infusion strategy not linked to cardiac functional improvements but enhances health status

Less invasive infusion strategy not linked to cardiac functional improvements but enhances health status

A single dose of mesenchymal stem cells delivered intravenously to patients with chronic non-ischemic cardiomyopathy was not associated with significant cardiac structural or functional improvements, but did result in several clinically relevant benefits, according to results from a phase II-a randomized trial. [More]
Spotlight Innovation, FSU collaborate to support development of novel therapies for Zika virus infection

Spotlight Innovation, FSU collaborate to support development of novel therapies for Zika virus infection

Spotlight Innovation Inc. has entered into a Sponsored Research Agreement with Florida State University to support research directed by FSU Prof. Hengli Tang aimed at developing safe and effective drugs to treat patients infected with Zika virus (ZIKV). [More]
Scientists grow noroviruses in laboratory cultures of human intestinal epithelial cells

Scientists grow noroviruses in laboratory cultures of human intestinal epithelial cells

Human noroviruses - the leading viral cause of acute diarrhea around the world - have been difficult to study because scientists had not found a way to grow them in the lab. [More]
Researchers find new way for early prediction of leukemic relapse

Researchers find new way for early prediction of leukemic relapse

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center have identified RNA-based biomarkers that distinguish between normal, aging hematopoietic stem cells and leukemia stem cells associated with secondary acute myeloid leukemia (sAML), a particularly problematic disease that typically afflicts older patients who have often already experienced a bout with cancer. [More]
Novel small-molecule Wnt inhibitor may provide new treatment option for colorectal cancer patients

Novel small-molecule Wnt inhibitor may provide new treatment option for colorectal cancer patients

A team including the National Cancer Center, the RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies , and Carna Biosciences Inc., has jointly announced the development of a novel small-molecule Wnt inhibitor named NCB-0846. [More]
New biomaterial allows scientists to study how stem cells sense stiffness of surrounding environment

New biomaterial allows scientists to study how stem cells sense stiffness of surrounding environment

A new biomaterial can be used to study how and when stem cells sense the mechanics of their surrounding environment, found a team led by Robert Mauck, PhD, the Mary Black Ralston Professor for Education and Research in Orthopaedic Surgery, in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. [More]
Researchers develop new method to culture norovirus in intestinal cells

Researchers develop new method to culture norovirus in intestinal cells

Researchers have succeeded in culturing norovirus in human intestinal cells, a breakthrough that could help scientists develop novel therapeutics and vaccines against the debilitating effects of the virus. [More]
Breakthrough in cancer cell screening advances personalised treatment of childhood leukaemia

Breakthrough in cancer cell screening advances personalised treatment of childhood leukaemia

Researchers at Newcastle University have been able to accurately predict how children whose cancer returns after treatment for leukaemia are likely to respond to further treatment. [More]
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