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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Naming MSCs, NHIE Cell Therapy, mESCs go “Surfen”, and Promoting Tendon Differentiation with Fos!

The Stem Cells Portal brings you a roundup of some of the new and exciting stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells, regenerative medicine, and beyond!

New research on sperm stem cells has implications for male infertility and cancer

New research has shed light on the complex process that occurs in the development of human sperm stem cells. This study is reportedly the first to characterize the changes human sperm stem cells undergo as they mature.

The results have implications for understanding male infertility as well as cancer development.

Gene therapy halts progression of deadly CALD in clinical trial

In a recent clinical trial, a gene therapy to treat cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (CALD) — a neurodegenerative disease that typically claims young boys' lives within 10 years of diagnosis — effectively stabilized the disease's progression in 88 percent of patients, researchers from the Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and Massachusetts General Hospital reported.

Preclinical Assessment for hESC-derived Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cells for Cervical Spinal Cord Injury

An exciting new animal study suggests that oligodendrocyte progenitor cells derived from human ESCs are safe for the treatment of cervical spinal cord injury

Comparative Study Highlights Utility of iPSC-derived Cardiomyocytes

A cardiomyocyte showdown suggests that cells derived from different PSC sources demonstrate similar characteristics and functionality following transplantation

BATTLE trial focuses on combo treatment for AML

A new clinical trial, known as the BATTLE study, will focus on the maintenance treatment of patients with intermediate and high-risk acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who have achieved a complete response (CR) following induction and consolidation therapy.

$20 million granted for clinical trial of stem cell therapy for high-risk type 1 diabetes

ViaCyte Inc., a privately held regenerative medicine company, has been awarded a $20 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to support the clinical development of its PEC-Direct™ product candidate.  This novel cell replacement therapy is being developed as a functional cure for patients with type 1 diabetes who are at high risk for acute life-threatening complications.

How brain develops before birth is tightly controlled by RNA modification

A chemical tag added to RNA during embryonic development regulates how the early brain grows, according to research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Differences detailed in methods for generating heart muscle cells

Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death worldwide, partly due to limited therapeutic options and the heart’s inability to regenerate healthy cells called cardiomyocytes after heart attacks. Scientists at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and elsewhere are exploring ways to reprogram scar tissue cells into healthy heart muscle cells, and now UNC researchers have published the first scientific paper to compare in great detail the two leading reprogramming techniques.

Plant substance inhibits cancer stem cells

The plant Ambrosia arborescens grows wild in much of South America and is traditionally used as a medicinal plant. Researchers at the Faculty of Science at Lund University, in collaboration with colleagues in La Paz, Bolivia, have isolated the substance damsin from the plant and studied its effect on cancer stem cells in three different breast cancer cell lines. 

They have also done similar studies with ambrosin, a substance similar to damsin, but produced by chemical means. The results show that both have an effect on cancer stem cells.

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