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Brief reviews of recently published articles, organized by stem cell type.

September 21, 2012 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

“Modulating Glypican4 Suppresses Tumorigenicity of ESCs While Preserving Self-Renewal and Pluripotency”

September 2012 — Stem cell self-renewal and differentiation are highly complex processes involving the integration of a variety of signals, both external and internal, such as soluble cytokines, growth factors, and extracellular matrix proteins which converge onto complex networks of...

September 21, 2012 | Cancer Stem Cells

‘Rai is a new regulator of neural progenitor migration and glioblastoma invasion’

September 2012 — Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common form of brain tumor yet carries an unfortunately poor prognosis owing to its aggressive nature and the high infiltrative capacity of Glioblastoma cells.   Its invasive nature makes it difficult to contain or remove surgically, and also a...

September 21, 2012 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

Huntington’s Disease (HD) is an autosomal-dominant progressive neurodegenerative disease, characterized by movement, cognitive, and emotional disorders caused by an expanded CAG repeat in exon 1 of the Huntingtin (HTT) gene resulting in an expanded polyglutamine stretch known as the polyQ region or stretch.   Generally, fewer than 36 CAG repeats in the polyQ region is observed in healthy...

September 19, 2012 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

An estimated 250 million people worldwide have a disabling hearing impairment (WHO, 2001). This figure has risen dramatically in the last 15 years due to improvements in diagnosis, increasing longevity of the population and a combination of other factors including noise/occupational induced hearing loss and ototoxicity (damage to the Cochlea or auditory nerve), particularly from the use of...

September 7, 2012 | Haematopoetic Stem Cells

Prominent Australian stem cell scientist and current Director of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Professor Alan Trounson has announced that a potential cure for HIV is about to enter human clinical trials. The treatment takes advantage of the fact that a small proportion of humans are immune to HIV as they have a specific gene mutation which disables the CCR5...

September 7, 2012 | Germ Cells

Results of a recent study in Nature Medicine (White et al), backed up by other research of the last ten years, indicated that the understanding that oocytes in postnatal mammals cannot renew and their number is fixed (Telfer et al and Zuckerman) may be wrong (Johnson et al, Pacchiarotti et al, White YA et al, Zou et al 2009, Zou et al...

September 7, 2012 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

Previous studies have shown that embryonic stem cell (ESC) cultures are heterogeneous with respect to certain transcription factors (e.g. Dppa3, Nanog, Sox17 and Gata6) and could imbue specific cells with distinct attributes (Hayashi et al and Singh et al). Now in a study in Nature, researchers from the group of Samuel L. Pfaff at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies,...

August 28, 2012 | Cardiac Stem Cells

The lack of innate regenerative potential in the heart has made it a focus for external regenerative therapy (Yacoub et al). Cellular therapies include the derivation of cardiomyocytes (CMs), which account for a majority of cells in the heart, from embryonic stem cells (ESCs) or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). However these methods have associated challenges such as their...

August 28, 2012 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

The scarcity of progenitor cells obtained directly from human embryos for application in basic research and the development of cellular therapies leaves human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), such as human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), as the most useful cell types to this end. However, the identification of progenitors from hPSC sources suffers from...

August 28, 2012 | Cancer Stem Cells

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are now becoming acknowledged as an important factor in tumor initiation and sustainment (Dick, 2009 and Reya et al) and, unfortunately, it has been shown that conventional chemotherapeutics are often ineffective against human CSCs (Guan et al) and have detrimental effects on healthy stem and progenitor cells (Smith et al). This therefore...

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