Body: Immunotherapies, which harness the body's natural defenses to combat disease, have revolutionized the treatment of aggressive and deadly cancers. But often, these therapies -- especially those based on immune cells -- must be tailored to the individual patient, costing valuable time and pushing their price into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Body: A new study suggests that enlargement of stem cells contributes to age-related decline in function. The researchers found that blood stem cells, which are among the smallest cells in the body, lose their ability to perform their normal function -- replenishing the body's blood cells -- as they grow larger. When the cells were restored to their usual size, they behaved normally again.
Body: Studying mice, researchers have developed a method of stem cell transplantation that does not require radiation or chemotherapy. Instead, the strategy takes an immunotherapeutic approach, combining the targeted elimination of blood-forming stem cells in the bone marrow with immune-modulating drugs to prevent the immune system from rejecting the new donor stem cells.
Body: In just a few weeks a completely new organism develops from a fertilized egg cell. The real miracle is that a bunch of identical stem cells turns into completely different, specialized cell types. A team has now been able to show that the specialization of individual cells during embryonic development is not, as previously assumed, exclusively left to chance but is rather determined by cell communication.
Body: Researchers uncovered key networks that simultaneously control pluripotency and readiness for cell death (apoptosis), helping to ensure optimal conditions for embryonic development. The study's findings offer new insights into cancer genetics and a novel approach for regenerative medicine research.
Body: With age, the human heart gradually loses its ability to repair itself following injury. Damage wrought by injuries such as cardiac ischemia and heart attack, which are associated with decreased oxygen levels in the heart, can cause the heart to function below normal capacity, making it difficult for patients to carry out day-to-day activities. To augment heart repair after ischemic injury, researchers have turned to stem cell-based therapies, which replace dead heart tissue with new, functional tissue.
Body: A new study shows that functional sperm cells can be made in a dish using primate embryonic stem cells.
Body: A recent study examining the therapeutic potential of photoreceptor precursors, derived from clinically compliant induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), has demonstrated the safety and therapeutic potential of clinically compliant iPSC-derived photoreceptor precursors as a cell replacement source for future clinical trials.
Body: Researchers have found that the ability of skin stem cells to heal wounds is linked with their ability to move towards the injury. Their study identified the signalling pathway of EGFR and COL17A1 as a key player in the regulation of motility. Understanding mechanisms that underlie the age-associated reduction in regenerative capacity is the first step to develop targeted treatments for age-associated chronic nonhealing disorders, such as diabetic ulcers.
Body: Lizards can regrow severed tails, making them the closest relative to humans that can regenerate a lost appendage. But in lieu of the original tail that includes a spinal column and nerves, the replacement structure is an imperfect cartilage tube. Now, a study describes how stem cells can help lizards regenerate better tails.