In a recent study conducted by the University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, scientists have discovered a rare line of stem cells involved in regulating spermatogenesis [the production of sperm cells]. Furthermore, these stem cells are resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which are toxic to the male germline and common causes for male infertility.
Nearly half a million babies in the U.S. are born premature every year (that's roughly 1 in every 8 children). Many of them require medical assistance during the first weeks of life, especially due to their under-developed lungs. Babies that are born premature are often put on breathing machines as their lungs finish maturing, but there can be negative side effects of these measures: many children (as many as 10,000) develop a condition called bronchopulmonary dysplasia, or BPD.
But research headed by Bernard Thébaud, a neonatologist and senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and CHEO Research Institute, demonstrates that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can help repair damaged lungs in animal studies involving newborn rats, which have lungs that are roughly similar to a human fetus at 24 weeks of development.
A recent story in the New York Times tells the story of a young infant who was born three months premature with a disorder that causes their intestinal tissue to die. The condition can be fatal and for surviving infants, current treatments are limited and invasive. Dr. Grikscheit, a pediatric surgeon at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, is developing methods to grow intestinal tissue ‘in vivo’ [inside the body] to replace defective intestinal tissue and provide an opportunity for children afflicted with the condition to live a normal life. “We have a huge problem that if we solve it, it will change the future for a lot of children,” she said.