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Current Stem Cell News

Proper stem cell function requires hydrogen sulfide
Stem cells in bone marrow need to produce hydrogen sulfide in order to properly multiply and form bone tissue, according to a new study. Researchers demonstrated that mice's osteoporosis-like condition could be rescued by administering small molecules that release hydrogen sulfide inside the body. The results indicate that a similar treatment may have potential to help human patients.
Surprise: Lost stem cells naturally replaced by non-stem cells, fly research suggests
An unexpected phenomenon in the organs that produce sperm in fruit flies has been discovered: When a certain kind of stem cell is killed off experimentally, another group of non-stem cells can come out of retirement to replace them. This study has been using the fruit fly as a model living system in which to study stem cells in their natural state. Most stem cell research is done on cells grown in the laboratory, but in real life, stem cells reside in tissues, where they are sequestered in tiny spaces known as niches. Adult stem cells keep dividing throughout life to make various kinds of cells, like new blood cells and germ cells.
Modified stem cells offer potential pathway to treat Alzheimer's disease
Genetically modified neural stem cells show positive results when transplanted into the brains of mice with the symptoms and pathology of Alzheimer's disease, neurobiologists have found. The pre-clinical trial approach has been shown to work in two different mouse models. Alzheimer's disease, one of the most common forms of dementia, is associated with accumulation of the protein amyloid-beta in the brain in the form of plaques.
How a Silly Putty ingredient could advance stem cell therapies
The sponginess of the environment where human embryonic stem cells are growing affects the type of specialized cells they eventually become, a study shows. The researchers coaxed human embryonic stem cells to turn into working spinal cord cells more efficiently by growing the cells on a soft, utrafine carpet made of a key ingredient in Silly Putty.
Researchers search for earliest roots of psychiatric disorders
A single molecular mechanism in the developing brain has been identified that sheds light on how cells may go awry when exposed to a variety of different environmental insults. The findings suggest that different types of stressors prenatally activate a single molecular trigger in brain cells that may make exposed individuals susceptible to late-onset neuropsychiatric disorders.
Transcription factors distinguishing glioblastoma stem cells identified
The activity of four transcription factors -- proteins that regulate the expression of other genes -- appears to distinguish the small proportion of glioblastoma cells responsible for the aggressiveness and treatment resistance of the deadly brain tumor. "We have identified a code of 'molecular switches' that control a very aggressive subpopulation of brain cancer cells, so-called glioblastoma stem cells," says a co-lead of the study. "Understanding what drives these aggressive cells will give us insights into alternative ways of eliminating them and potentially changing the course of this very deadly tumor."
Bone marrow stem cells show promise in stroke treatment
Stem cells culled from bone marrow may prove beneficial in stroke recovery, scientists have learned. The researchers identified 46 studies that examined the use of mesenchymal stromal cells -- a type of multipotent adult stem cells mostly processed from bone marrow -- in animal models of stroke. They found MSCs to be significantly better than control therapy in 44 of the studies.
Solution to platelet 'puzzle' uncovers blood disorder link
Researchers have solved a puzzle as to how an essential blood-making hormone stimulates production of the blood clotting cells known as platelets. The discovery has identified how bone marrow cells could become overstimulated and produce too many platelets. In blood diseases such as essential thrombocythemia, too many platelets can lead to clogging of the blood vessels, causing clots, heart attack or strokes.
Transplantation cell therapy offers hope to stroke patients
Researchers who conducted intraparenchymal transplantation of bone marrow-derived cell therapy in chronic stroke patients are poised to present their results of a recent study. The clinical findings have led to new studies using brain stimulation of circuits to restore neurologic function in animal stroke models.
Light-activated neurons from stem cells restore function to paralyzed muscles
A new way to artificially control muscles using light, with the potential to restore function to muscles paralyzed by conditions such as motor neuron disease and spinal cord injury, has been developed by scientists. The technique involves transplanting specially-designed motor neurons created from stem cells into injured nerve branches. These motor neurons are designed to react to pulses of blue light, allowing scientists to fine-tune muscle control by adjusting the intensity, duration and frequency of the light pulses.

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