Body: Despite being an essential developmental process, the understanding of human embryonic genome activation is limited, owing to the lack of in vitro cell models and ethical concerns. To advance understanding, five independent research groups have recently developed human 8-cell-like cells (8CLCs) from pluripotent stem cells using different approaches. In a new study, researchers now compare the transcriptomic profiles of these 8CLCs and human pre-implantation embryos to facilitate the use of 8CLCs as cell models.
Body: Craniosynostosis, the premature fusion of the top of the skull in infants, is caused by an abnormal excess of a previously unknown type of bone-forming stem cell, according to a preclinical study.
Body: Bricklayer, banker, teacher -- choosing a career is one of the most exciting and important decisions in our lives. At the beginning of embryonic development, our cells are also faced with this decision. Some of them become blood cells, others muscle cells and still others become nerve cells. A team has now unveiled how the antagonism between the two signaling molecules FGF and BMP influences the stem cells' career choice. Particularly interesting is the fact that stem cells can also direct their own fate. These findings help to better understand cell differentiation and could thus be a basis for future developments in the field of targeted culturing of tissue in cell replacement therapies.
Body: Researchers recently unveiled a potential new PCOS treatment that restored ovarian function and improved hormonal and metabolic regulation in mice.
Body: Researchers have unveiled an intriguing phenomenon of cellular reprogramming in mature adult organs, shedding light on a novel mechanism of adaptive growth. The study, which was conducted on fruit flies (Drosophila), provides further insights into dedifferentiation -- where specialized cells that have specific functions transform into less specialized, undifferentiated cells like stem cells.
Body: Researchers have successfully created chimeric embryos containing a combination of human and pig cells. When transferred into surrogate pig mothers, the developing humanized kidneys had normal structure and tubule formation after 28 days. This is the first time that scientists have been able to grow a solid humanized organ inside another species, though previous studies have used similar methods to generate human tissues such as blood or skeletal muscle in pigs.
Body: A broad new strategy could hold hope for treating virtually all blood cancers with CAR T cell therapy, which is currently approved for five subtypes of blood cancer. Scientists have demonstrated the potential efficacy of this approach a preclinical study.
Body: A clinical trial has tested a potentially curative stem cell gene therapy for sickle cell disease. The results were promising.
Body: Researchers have identified stem cells in the human thymus for the first time. These cells represent a potential new target to understand immune diseases and cancer and how to boost the immune system.
Body: Researchers have discovered a novel approach for engrafting engineered cells into injured lung tissue. These findings may lead to new ways for treating lung diseases, such as emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis and COVID-19. The two studies describe the methodologies for engineering lung stem cells and transplanting them into injured experimental lungs without immunosuppression.