New method expands the world of small RNAs

A team led by a biomedical scientist at the University of California, Riverside, has developed a new RNA-sequencing method— "Panoramic RNA Display by Overcoming RNA Modification Aborted Sequencing," or PANDORA-seq—that ...

Advanced mouse embryos grown outside the uterus

To observe how a tiny ball of identical cells on its way to becoming a mammalian embryo first attaches to an awaiting uterine wall and then develops into nervous system, heart, stomach and limbs: This has been a highly-sought ...

Research illuminates embryonic stem cell fate

USC postdoctoral researcher Xi Chen knows that you have to break a few eggs in order to grow chicken stem cells. His work on maintaining embryonic stem cells (ESC) from chicken eggs provides insight into stem cell pluripotency ...

New-found molecular signature keeps key genes ready for action

During development, scores of molecular signals prod cells to take on specialized identities and functions. In response to some of these signals, the cellular machinery awakens specific genes called 'immediate early genes' ...

Chromatin remodelers never rest to keep our genome open

Chromatin remodelers are needed to take nucleosomes away from DNA in order to make room for transcription factors to bind, and regulate the activity of our genes. It has been unclear how dynamic this process is. Researchers ...

High-speed model for the fight against SARS-CoV2

To contain the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus and slow the spread of infections and the rising death toll, researchers and health professionals around the world are rapidly developing vaccines and medical drugs. But before these can ...

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Embryonic stem cell

Embryonic stem cells (ES cells) are stem cells derived from the inner cell mass of an early stage embryo known as a blastocyst. Human embryos reach the blastocyst stage 4–5 days post fertilization, at which time they consist of 50–150 cells.

Embryonic Stem (ES) cells are pluripotent. This means they are able to differentiate into all derivatives of the three primary germ layers: ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm. These include each of the more than 220 cell types in the adult body. Pluripotency distinguishes ES cells from multipotent progenitor cells found in the adult; these only form a limited number of cell types. When given no stimuli for differentiation, (i.e. when grown in vitro), ES cells maintain pluripotency through multiple cell divisions. The presence of pluripotent adult stem cells remains a subject of scientific debate; however, research has demonstrated that pluripotent stem cells can be directly generated from adult fibroblast cultures.

Because of their plasticity and potentially unlimited capacity for self-renewal, ES cell therapies have been proposed for regenerative medicine and tissue replacement after injury or disease. However Diseases treated by these non-embryonic stem cells include a number of blood and immune-system related genetic diseases, cancers, and disorders; juvenile diabetes; Parkinson's; blindness and spinal cord injuries. Besides the ethical concerns of stem cell therapy (see stem cell controversy), there is a technical problem of graft-versus-host disease associated with allogeneic stem cell transplantation. However, these problems associated with histocompatibility may be solved using autologous donor adult stem cells or via therapeutic cloning.

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