Snake stem cells used to create venom-producing organoids

Organoids have become an important tool for studying many disease processes and testing potential drugs. Now, they are being used in a surprising and unexpected way: for the production of snake venom. On January 23 in the ...

Scientists identify gene that puts brakes on tissue growth

The planarian flatworm is a simple animal with a mighty and highly unusual ability: it can regenerate itself from nearly every imaginable injury, including decapitation. These tiny worms can regrow any missing cell or tissue—muscle, ...

Programmable nests for cells

Using DNA, small silica particles, and carbon nanotubes, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have developed novel programmable nanocomposites that can be tailored to various applications and programmed ...

A simple twist of cell fate

How do a couple of universally expressed proteins in stem cells and developing embryos influence an individual cell's ultimate fate—whether it ultimately becomes, for example, a retinal cell, a heart muscle cell, or a stomach ...

New ways to generate totipotent-like cells

Totipotency is set to become a key tool for research and future medical applications. Finding efficient ways to generate totipotent-like cells is therefore crucial. In a new study, a group of researchers at Helmholtz Zentrum ...

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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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