New mechanisms regulating neural stem cells

The use of stem cells to repair organs is one of the foremost goals of modern regenerative medicine. Scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München and Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) have discovered that the protein ...

Chimpanzee 'mini-brains' hint at secrets of human evolution

At some point during human evolution, a handful of genetic changes triggered a dramatic threefold expansion of the brain's neocortex, the wrinkly outermost layer of brain tissue responsible for everything from language to ...

Indian scientists slam ancient Hindu 'stem cell' claim

The organisers of a major Indian science conference distanced themselves Sunday from speakers who used the prestigious event to dismiss Einstein's discoveries and claim ancient Hindus invented stem cell research.

Mechanism for turning skin cells into blood stem cells uncovered

Researchers have succeeded in converting human skin cells into blood stem cells in an international collaboration project. "This is a first step on the way to generating fully functional blood stem cells in a petri dish which, ...

Regulating gene transcription using light

Researchers led by Mustafa Khammash have developed a new method that uses blue light to control the transcription of DNA into RNA in single cells. The technology could also be used in tissue engineering and stem cell research.

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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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