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Developmental biology

Multiple Paths: Embryos' Signals

Rice University scientists have found significant differences between the methods signaling pathways use to prompt cells to differentiate — that is, whether to become organs, bone, blood vessels, nerves or skin. Rice bioscientist Aryeh Warmflash and alumnus Idse Heemskerk led a team that discovered stem cells are sensitive not only to the signals that form…

Developmental biology

Copious Amounts Of Adult Stem Cells: Endothelial Cells Produce

Promises broad clinical benefits, from bone marrow transplantation to therapies for heart, brain, skin and lungs. In a leap toward making stem cell therapy widely available, researchers at the Ansary Stem Cell Institute at Weill Cornell Medical College have discovered that endothelial cells, the most basic building blocks of the vascular system, produce growth factors…

Embryo

Molecular Mechanisms Of Aging: In Adult Stem Cells

Stem cells are the ultimate mother cells of the human body. Not only do they have the capacity to self-renew, they can develop into specific cell types as the body requires. But as the human body ages, the regenerative capacity of our stem cells diminishes. For example, as the capacity of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs)…

stem cells

How Breast Cancer Spreads? 'Cellular Barcoding' Reveals

A cutting-edge technique called cellular barcoding has been used to tag; track and pinpoint cells responsible for the spread of breast cancer; from the main tumour into the blood and other organs. The technique also revealed; how chemotherapy temporarily shrinks the number of harmful cells; rather than eliminating them; explaining how the cancer could eventually…

Developmental biology

Reprogram Stem Cells: More Efficient System

Induced pluripotent stem cells (also known as iPS cells or iPSCs) are a type of pluripotent stem cell that can be generated directly from adult cells. The iPSC technology; pioneered by Shinya Yamanaka’s lab in Kyoto, Japan; who showed in 2006 that the introduction of four specific genes encoding transcription factors could convert adult cells into pluripotent stem cells. He was awarded…

Smoking

Human Embryos At The Single-cell Level: Nicotine Is Harmful

Nicotine induces widespread adverse effects on human embryonic development at the level of individual cells, researchers report in the journal Stem Cell Reports. Single-cell RNA sequencing of human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived embryoid bodies revealed; that 3 weeks of nicotine exposure disrupts cell-to-cell communication; decreases cell survival; and alters the expression of genes that regulate…

Stem cells

Aging Mouse Brains: Young Bone Marrow Rejuvenates

A new study has found that transplanting the bone marrow of young laboratory mice; into old mice prevented cognitive decline in the old mice; preserving their memory and learning abilities. The findings support an emerging model that attributes cognitive decline; in part, to aging of blood cells, which are produced in bone marrow. Slow progression…

Metabolism

Unstoppable? Cancer Cells' Plasticity Is Responsible

When metastatic cancer cells need to avoid a threat, they simply reprogram themselves. Rice University scientists are beginning to get a handle on how they survive hostile environments. Members of Rice’s Center for Theoretical Biological Physics (CTBP) and cancer metabolism researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have created a basic framework of how cancer cells…

HSC

To Develop Fat Cells: Rotator Cuff Stem Cells

Why are fat deposits more likely to occur after tears of the shoulder’s rotator cuff, compared to other types of muscle injuries? An increased propensity of stem cells within with rotator cuff muscles to develop into fat cells may explain the difference, reports a study in the The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.“Satellite” stem cells in the rotator cuff are…

Developmental biology

Stem Cell Growth: By Tropoelastin Protein

Tropoelastin, the raw material used to create ‘MeTro’ elastic surgical glue developed with the University of Sydney, found to encourage stem cell growth—with the potential to ultimately help the body repair itself. Stem cells are vital for therapeutic treatments to repair and build human tissue including skin and muscles. Researchers are constantly looking for ways to make stem…

Diabetes

Functional Insulin-producing Cells: Grown In Lab

UC San Francisco researchers have for the first time transformed human stem cells into mature insulin-producing cells; a major breakthrough in the effort to develop a cure for type 1 (T1) diabetes. Replacing these cells, which are lost in patients with T1 diabetes; has long been a dream of regenerative medicine; but until now scientists had…

Embryo

In Early Development: Kick-starting The Genome

After the fertilisation of an egg cell, two become one; two sets of genetic information combine to form a genome. We can think of the egg and sperm as information capsules with stored instructions for starting a new life, but post fertilisation, what kick starts the interpretation of these instructions? A ‘lookalike’ system Researchers at…