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

February 14, 2012 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

From Cell
By Stuart P. Atkinson

A recent research article in Cell from the laboratory of Shoukhrat Mitalipov at the Oregon National Primate Research Center at the Oregon Health & Science University has reported the generation of the first chimaeras from a non-human primate (Tachibana et al). In mouse, the ability to contribute to chimeric animals upon re-...

January 23, 2012 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

From Neuroscience Letters
Commentary by Carla B. Mellough

In vitro disease modelling approaches largely involve the use of immortalised cell lines that have been genetically altered in order to induce a disease phenotype. While these systems provide valuable information, such models are unable to represent complex human disease aetiology and are therefore not...

January 23, 2012 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

From PNAS
By Stuart P. Atkinson

Marfan syndrome (MFS) is a heritable dominant disorder caused by mutations in the FBN1 gene (Dietz et al and Pereira et al) affecting the skeletal, ocular and cardiovascular systems. FBN1 itself is an extracellular matrix (ECM) glycoprotein and although the molecular pathogenesis was originally thought to be due to resultant defects in the...

January 23, 2012 | Cancer Stem Cells

From PNAS
By Stuart P. Atkinson

Tumour initiating stem cells (TISCs) are rare, highly malignant cells identified within diverse tumor types that share important similarities with embryonic stem cells (ESCs) (Clark and Fuller, Visvader and Lindeman and Clevers) including the mis-regulated expression of OCT4, SOX2, and NANOG (Chen et al and Kim ­et al). Studies have begun to...

January 23, 2012 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

From Nature Genetics
By Stuart P. Atkinson

c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) are a subgroup of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), and have been suggested to mediate transcriptional changes through their downstream effectors (Bogoyevitch and Kobe and Pearson et al), such as AP-1 (a heterodimeric transcription factor composed of proteins belonging to the c-Fos...

January 23, 2012 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

From PNAS
By Stuart P. Atkinson

Mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) have a remarkably short G1 and G2 phase, which in somatic cells is determined by Cdk activity alongside other cell-cycle related proteins which fluctuate during the cell cycle due to APC/C mediated degradation. APC/C is a large multi-subunit E3 ubiquitin ligase, which can be activated by Cdc20 and Cdh1...

January 23, 2012 | Mesenchymal Stem Cells

From Nature Medicine
By Stuart P. Atkinson

Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs) are multipotent adult stem cells which are capable of differentiating into various cell types (osteoblasts, adipocytes and chondrocytes (Friedenstein et al, Pittinger et al and Prockop)) and their regenerative capabilities shown to be of clinical importance in the treatment of...

January 18, 2012 | Society

Four people were recently indicted on federal charges in the United States for selling unapproved stem cell treatments and other biological products to seriously ill patients. The patients were falsely told that the treatments were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to the indictment.

Francisco Morales, Larry Stowe, Jesus Alberto Ramon and Dr. Vincent Dammai...

January 11, 2012 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

From Genes and Development
By Stuart P. Atkinson

Although induced stem cell technology promises a source of patient-specific cells for cell replacement in diseased or dysfunctional tissues, multiple studies have shown that activation of cellular senescence pathways is a barrier to the reprogramming process and some studies have shown that cells differentiated from iPSCs...

January 11, 2012 | Ageing

From Nature
By Stuart P. Atkinson

Cellular senescence is a mechanism by which dysfunctional or aging cells are growth arrested and plays an important role in controlling tumourigenesis. Senescent cells also accumulate in various tissues and organs with ageing (Campisi, 2005) but whether this is causally implicated in age-related tissue dysfunction and whether their...

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