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Brief reviews of recently published articles, organized by stem cell type.

February 1, 2011 | Haematopoetic Stem Cells

New results from the laboratory of Camilla Forsberg at the Institute for the Biology of Stem Cells, University of Santa Cruz, California are beginning to unravel the mechanisms by which transplanted haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) localise to the bone marrow niche. HSC transplants are a common treatment for various illnesses including certain blood cancers and their correct localisation is...

January 27, 2011 | Neural Stem Cells

It has been over ten years since the physiological link between nutritional input and growth and development in Drosophila was established, yet the mechanisms downstream of nutritional stimuli that act to regulate the growth of the organism were unknown. Results published recently in Cell from Chell and Brand at the Gurdon Institute and Department of Physiology, Development and...

January 25, 2011 | Haematopoetic Stem Cells

By Stuart P. Atkinson

UNAIDS (Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS) estimated that at the end of 2009 33.3 million people were living with HIV, and that in the same year there had been 1.8 million AIDS-related deaths and 2.6 million new infections (UN Millennium Goals report 2010). The benefits of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) have been demonstrated in some patients...

January 25, 2011 | Hair Follicle Stem Cells

While not being a life threatening condition, male pattern baldness affects (or will affect!) a great number of males and can also affect females too. A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation by Garza et al., from the lab of George Cotsarelis at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine places the blame for this condition squarely at the feet of our stem cells...

January 25, 2011 | Society

Canadian stem cell pioneer Ernest Armstrong McCulloch has died at the age of 84. Born in Toronto on the 26th of April 1926 McCulloch, affectionately known as ‘Bun’, and his partner James Till were the first to demonstrate the existence of stem cells in the hematopoietic system in the 1960s. Their discovery revolutionized cell biology and cancer therapy and paved the way for the...

January 6, 2011 | Hair Follicle Stem Cells

By Stuart P. Atkinson

Many laboratories throughout the world are working with embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) as sources of cells for replacement therapy in human disease. The necessity for patient specificity of these cells is generally a significant problem, which may be overcome in the case of iPSCs if they ultimately prove to be a...

January 6, 2011 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

By Stuart P. Atkinson

Current protocols for the differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESC) to clinically relevant cell types are woefully inefficient with many millions or tens of millions of ESC used for each differentiation, only to yield small proportions of the desired cell type. This entails large scale culture and amplification of ESC, often over a large period of...

December 9, 2010 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

From the December Issue of Stem Cells

By Stuart P Atkinson

Modifications of histone proteins have been well studied in ESCs and iPSCs and we are beginning to understand the importance that these modifications have in relation to chromatin structure and gene regulation and indeed the enzymes which mediate these modifications. However, research into...

December 9, 2010 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

From Cell Stem Cell

A new study from the lab of Sheng Ding (The Scripps Research Institute), published recently in Cell Stem Cell, reports the reprogramming of human primary somatic cells using only OCT4 gene transduction and a combination of small molecules. Kim et alhad previously shown than one factor reprogramming is possible, but in human foetal...

November 27, 2010 | Society
By Marie McCullough
Inquirer Staff Writer

Is it legal for the federal government to fund human embryonic stem cell research?

Next month, a federal appeals court will hear...