Tipping the Scales: Stem Cells May Help Prevent Obesity and More.

Scientists have found that the alteration of stem cell cilia can have a positive effect on weight loss.

 

In a recently published study from the Queen Mary University of London, scientists discovered a connection between the length of cilia [hair-like projections for cell movement] on stem cells and their proclivity towards differentiating into fat cells.  By restricting the elongation of stem cell cilia, the researchers were able to impede on the formation of new fat cells. Continue reading

Atherosclerotic Lesions Prevented by MSCs

Stem cells were found to reduce plaque in patients with atherosclerosis.

According to new research from the National Yang-Ming University, mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] hold the ability to limit atherosclerotic plaque formation, thereby preventing the onset of harmful endothelial lesions. The research team, led by Shih-Chieh Hung, transplanted MSCs into animal models with atherosclerosis and observed significant reduction in plaque formation. They also saw an increase in blood vessel dilation, which prevents further plaque development, indicating good endothelial health. Continue reading

In with a BAM – Stem Cells Advance Bladder Regeneration

The bladder acellular matrix is a housing of connective tissue that provides structural support for the functional cells of the bladder

New research from McGill University has shown that the bladder acellular matrix [BAM], or the external structure of connective tissue and growth factors that house the cellular components of the bladder, can serve as a scaffolding unit for mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] to regenerate healthy bladder tissue.  The stem cells receive growth factors from the BAM, which direct them to differentiate into new bladder cells that, when transplanted into an animal model, exhibit nearly 100% normal bladder capacity and function. Continue reading

Stem Cells Grow Human Intestines Successfully

Scientists have engineered human intestinal tissue through the use of stem cells.

Researchers from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre have successfully grown functional human intestinal tissues by utilizing stem cells. After stimulating the stem cells with a “molecular cocktail” of chemicals and growth factors, the team observed as the cells developed into the mucosal lining and muscle layers, while exhibiting digestive functions such as nutrient uptake and responding to molecular signals. Continue reading

Insulin Producing Cells En-Masse

Scientists have accelerated stem cell differentiation to produce more insulin-producing beta cells.

Harvard University researchers have developed a technique to accelerate stem cell differentiation to produce massive amounts of the insulin-producing beta cells that are destroyed in patients with type-1 or type-2 diabetes.  With an ample and readily available supply of beta cells, researchers are developing therapies that may someday allow patients to produce the precise amount of insulin required to control their blood sugar levels naturally – without the use of a pump or insulin shots. Continue reading

Schizophrenia Studied With Human Stem Cells.

Scientists have differentiated stem cells into brain cells to study Schizophrenia.

Researchers from the University of California San Diego have differentiated stem cells into neurons to reach a new understanding of the mechanisms of schizophrenia.  The scientists harvested the stem cells of schizophrenia patients, differentiated them into brain cells, and then studied the cells on a dish to reveal that not only do stem cell-derived neurons emit neurotransmitters, but that several of these transmitters, such as dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, are secreted excessively in patients suffering from schizophrenia. Continue reading

ARDS Treatment Integrates Proteins from Stem Cells.

Scientists have utilized Mesenchymal Stem Cells to reduce inflammation in the lungs of ARDS patients.

A recent study presented at the European Respiratory Society’s International Congress has developed a possible treatment for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) by using Mesenchymal Stem Cells [MSC] to reduce inflammation in the lungs. In an animal model, stem cells released proteins that stimulate macrophages (a type of white blood cell) to suppress the excessive immune response that can severely damage a patient’s lungs. Continue reading

Stem Cell Differentiation Regulated by Molecular Competition.

Scientists at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have identified a mechanism between two proteins, Bam and COP9, which controls the transition of adult stem cell function from self-renewal to differentiation into other tissues.  The researchers, led by Dr. Ting Xie, report that while COP9 promotes stem cell self-renewal,  Bam inhibits a critical subunit of COP9, causing the cell to switch its function. Continue reading

Harnessing the Power of Stem Cells

Scientists have developed a method for increasing the survival rate, and therefore the effectiveness, of transplanted mesenchymal stem cells.

A team of scientists from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and the Boston Children’s Hospital have developed a method to increase the survival rate, and therefore the effectiveness, of transplanted mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs]. In an animal model, Dr. Juan Melero-Martin and his team of researchers co-transplanted MSCs with blood vessel-forming cells, enabling the stem cells to survive longer in a patient to reach their full regenerative potential.

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Stem Cells Make a ‘Dentin’ Tooth Decay.

Researchers have utilized low-intensity lasers to regenerate lost dentin in damaged teeth.

Researchers at the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research have developed a method of utilizing autologous [the patient’s own] dental stem cells to regenerate damaged or decayed teeth.  In an animal model, as well as human cells in vitro [in a lab], the scientists treated the damaged teeth with low-intensity lasers, which prompted the stem cells located in the dental pulp to differentiate and grow into new, healthy dentin tissue. Continue reading