Tag Archives: stem cells

MU Scientists Successfully Transplant, Grow Stem Cells in Pigs

New line of pigs do not reject transplants, will allow for future research on stem cell therapies

COLUMBIA, Mo. – One of the biggest challenges for medical researchers studying the effectiveness of stem cell therapies is that transplants or grafts of cells are often rejected by the hosts. This rejection can render experiments useless, making research into potentially life-saving treatments a long and difficult process. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have shown that a new line of genetically modified pigs will host transplanted cells without the risk of rejection. (more…)

Read More

Racing the Clock to Help Young Patients with Old Hearts

UMD study of premature aging may help explain effects of normal aging

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Children with progeria, a rare disorder that causes premature aging, die in their teens of ailments that are common in octogenarians: heart failure and stroke. Kan Cao, a University of Maryland assistant professor of cell biology and molecular genetics, urgently wants to help find a cure. Cao and her colleagues have taken a big step in that direction, showing that a toxic protein destroys muscle cells inside the patients’ arteries. The researchers suspect the damaged arteries are more prone to failure. (more…)

Read More

Help for a scarred heart: Scarring cells turned to beating muscle

Poets and physicians know that a scarred heart cannot beat the way it used to, but the science of reprogramming cells offers hope—for the physical heart, at least.

A team of University of Michigan biomedical engineers has turned cells common in scar tissue into colonies of beating heart cells. Their findings could advance the path toward regenerating tissue that’s been damaged in a heart attack. (more…)

Read More

Method makes it easier to separate useful stem cells from ‘problem’ ones for therapies

UCLA study IDs small molecule that destroys potentially dangerous cells

Pluripotent stem cells can turn, or differentiate, into any cell type in the body, such as nerve, muscle or bone, but inevitably some of these stem cells fail to differentiate and end up mixed in with their newly differentiated daughter cells.  

Because these remaining pluripotent stem cells can subsequently develop into unintended cell types — bone cells among blood, for instance — or form tumors known as teratomas, identifying and separating them from their differentiated progeny is of utmost importance in keeping stem cell–based therapeutics safe.  (more…)

Read More

Lack of Protein Sp2 Disrupts Neuron Creation in Brain

A protein known as Sp2 is key to the proper creation of neurons from stem cells, according to researchers at North Carolina State University. Understanding how this protein works could enable scientists to “program” stem cells for regeneration, which has implications for neural therapies.

Troy Ghashghaei and Jon Horowitz, both faculty in NC State’s Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences and researchers in the Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research, wanted to know more about the function of Sp2, a cell cycle regulator that helps control how cells divide. Previous research from Horowitz had shown that too much Sp2 in skin-producing stem cells resulted in tumors in experimental mice. Excessive amounts of Sp2 prevented the stem cells from creating normal cell “offspring,” or skin cells. Instead, the stem cells just kept producing more stem cells, which led to tumor formation. (more…)

Read More

Vision Improves Modestly in Patients after Human Embryonic Stem Cells Transplants

Researchers at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute and colleagues who successfully transplanted specialized retinal cells derived from human embryonic stem cells into the eyes of two legally blind patients report that the transplants appear safe and that both patients have experienced modest improvement in their vision.

The preliminary findings, published online Jan. 23 in the journal The Lancet, represent a milestone in the therapeutic use of stem cells and may pave the way for a new therapy to treat eye diseases, the researchers said. Because this is the first time physicians have applied the power of regenerative medicine to eye disease, the clinical trials are being watched closely by scientists, stem-cell therapy advocates and the public. (more…)

Read More

Diabetes Drug Shows Promise in Reducing Risk of Cancer

EAST LANSING, Mich. — An inexpensive drug that treats Type-2 diabetes has been shown to prevent a number of natural and man-made chemicals from stimulating the growth of breast cancer cells, according to a newly published study by a Michigan State University researcher.

The research, led by pediatrics professor James Trosko and colleagues from South Korea’s Seoul National University, provides biological evidence for previously reported epidemiological surveys that long-term use of the drug metformin for Type-2 diabetes reduces the risk of diabetes-associated cancers, such as breast cancers. (more…)

Read More