How did vertebrates first evolve jaws?

Five-hundred million years ago, it was relatively safe to go back in the water. That's because creatures of the deep had not yet evolved jaws. In a new pair of studies in eLife and Development, scientists reveal clues about ...

The new heroics of RNA in cell differentiation

Scientists are increasingly learning of new reasons to appreciate RNA, and the glycolytic enzyme ENO1 seems to have provided yet another in new research from EMBL this week, as published in Molecular Cell.

Leveraging AI to work with cells

One of the ultimate goals of medical science is to develop personalized disease diagnostics and therapeutics. With a patient's genetic information, doctors could tailor treatments to individuals, leading to safer and more ...

How embryo cells gain independence

It happens in the first hours after fertilization: The cells of the early embryo begin to independently produce proteins, the building blocks for cells and organs. Their own, uniquely composed genetic material serves as the ...

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Stem cell

Stem cells are cells found in most, if not all, multi-cellular organisms. They are characterized by the ability to renew themselves through mitotic cell division and differentiating into a diverse range of specialized cell types. Research in the stem cell field grew out of findings by Canadian scientists Ernest A. McCulloch and James E. Till in the 1960s. The two broad types of mammalian stem cells are: embryonic stem cells that are isolated from the inner cell mass of blastocysts, and adult stem cells that are found in adult tissues. In a developing embryo, stem cells can differentiate into all of the specialized embryonic tissues. In adult organisms, stem cells and progenitor cells act as a repair system for the body, replenishing specialized cells, but also maintain the normal turnover of regenerative organs, such as blood, skin or intestinal tissues.

Stem cells can now be grown and transformed into specialized cells with characteristics consistent with cells of various tissues such as muscles or nerves through cell culture. Highly plastic adult stem cells from a variety of sources, including umbilical cord blood and bone marrow, are routinely used in medical therapies. Embryonic cell lines and autologous embryonic stem cells generated through therapeutic cloning have also been proposed as promising candidates for future therapies.

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