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

March 7, 2012 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

The attainment of pluripotency during development has been linked to genome-wide epigenetic changes, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, and also to the expression of key genes, such as Oct4 and Nanog (Chambers et al, Mitsui et al, Nichols et al and Reik). However, details on how such epigenetic changes affect key pluripotency-associated gene...

March 7, 2012 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

From PNAS
By Stuart P. Atkinson

The mammalian embryo requires properly controlled extrinsic signalling for normal development. Autocrine and paracrine signals are also important in blastocyst-derived embryonic stem cell (ESC) self-renewal (Bendall et al), growth (Mittal and Voldman) and differentiation (Kunath et al and Peerani et al). ...

March 7, 2012 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

From Nature
By Stuart P. Atkinson

Alzheimer’s disease has been associated with certain molecular events, such as the presence of amyloid-β containing plaques (Citron et al and Scheuner et al), neurofibrillary tangles of hyperphosphorylated Tau (MAPT), a microtubule-associated protein (Ballatore et al and Arriagada et al), the co-...

February 14, 2012 |

From Nature
By Stuart P. Atkinson

While metastatic tumour growth is the major cause of cancer mortality, this process is very inefficient for many cancers (Kouros-Mehr et al and Nguyen et al) and suggests that a barrier to implantation and growth exists to these few initiatory cancer cells mediated by the distant tissues in which they attempt to colonize...

February 14, 2012 | Cancer Stem Cells

From Nature
By Stuart P. Atkinson

While metastatic tumour growth is the major cause of cancer mortality, this process is very inefficient for many cancers (Kouros-Mehr et al and Nguyen et al) and suggests that a barrier to implantation and growth exists to these few initiatory cancer cells mediated by the distant tissues in which they attempt to colonize...

February 14, 2012 | Neural Stem Cells

From Cell Stem Cell
By Stuart P. Atkinson

Oligodendrocytes precursor cells (OPCs) differentiate into oligodendrocytes with remyelination capabilities which, in the adult central nervous system (CNS), restores conduction, prevents axonal degradation and promotes functional recovery. Reduction in this capacity in aging (Sim et al) leads to demyelinated neurons and...

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...

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