'Glow-in-the-dark' red blood cells made from human stem cells

Aug 24, 2009

Victorian stem cell scientists from Monash University have modified a human embryonic stem cell (hESC) line to glow red when the stem cells become red blood cells.

The modified hESC line, ErythRED, represents a major step forward to the eventual aim of generating mature, fully functional red blood cells from human embryonic stem cells.

The research, conducted by a team led by Professors Andrew Elefanty and Ed Stanley at the Monash Immunology and Stem Cell Laboratories that included scientists at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, was published in today's issue of the prestigious journal, .

The work, funded by the Australian Stem Cell Centre (ASCC), will help scientists to track the differentiation of embryonic stem cells into red blood cells.

Whilst hESCs have the potential to turn into any cell type in the body, it remains a scientific challenge to reliably turn these stem cells into specific cell types such as red blood cells. The development of the ErythRED embryonic stem cell line, which fluoresces red when haemoglobin are switched on, is an important development that will help researchers to optimise the conditions that generate these cells.

Professor Joe Sambrook, Scientific Director of the ASCC said that "The elegant work of the Elefanty-Stanley group unlocks the entrance to the long sought and elusive differentiation pathway that leads to expression of adult haemoglobin genes"

"Not only will the ErythRED cell line lead to more efficient creation of from human , but these cells are a crucial tool for monitoring the behaviour of the cells when transplanted into animal models" said Professor Andrew Elefanty.

More information: dx.doi.org/10.1038/NMETH.1364

Source: Monash University (news : web)

Explore further: Cell resiliency surprises scientists

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study: Skin cells turned into stem cells

Aug 22, 2005

The controversy over embryonic stem cell research may become moot with a procedure that turns skin cells into what appear to be embryonic stem cells.

From stem cells to organs: The bioengineering challenge

Feb 16, 2008

For more than a decade, Peter Zandstra has been working at the University of Toronto to rev up the production of stem cells and their descendants. The raw materials are adult blood stem cells and embryonic stem cells. The ...

Recommended for you

Ocean microbes display remarkable genetic diversity

2 hours ago

The smallest, most abundant marine microbe, Prochlorococcus, is a photosynthetic bacteria species essential to the marine ecosystem. An estimated billion billion billion of the single-cell creatures live i ...

Cell resiliency surprises scientists

3 hours ago

New research shows that cells are more resilient in taking care of their DNA than scientists originally thought. Even when missing critical components, cells can adapt and make copies of their DNA in an alternative ...

Cell division speed influences gene architecture

Apr 23, 2014

Speed-reading is a technique used to read quickly. It involves visual searching for clues to meaning and skipping non-essential words and/ or sentences. Similarly to humans, biological systems are sometimes ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Genetic code of the deadly tsetse fly unraveled

Mining the genome of the disease-transmitting tsetse fly, researchers have revealed the genetic adaptions that allow it to have such unique biology and transmit disease to both humans and animals.

Ocean microbes display remarkable genetic diversity

The smallest, most abundant marine microbe, Prochlorococcus, is a photosynthetic bacteria species essential to the marine ecosystem. An estimated billion billion billion of the single-cell creatures live i ...

Study links California drought to global warming

While researchers have sometimes connected weather extremes to man-made global warming, usually it is not done in real time. Now a study is asserting a link between climate change and both the intensifying California drought ...

Autism Genome Project delivers genetic discovery

A new study from investigators with the Autism Genome Project, the world's largest research project on identifying genes associated with risk for autism, has found that the comprehensive use of copy number variant (CNV) genetic ...