China is investing around $300 million into clean tech companies producing environmentally friendly, lab-grown meats. The process, in which stem cells are taken from a live animal and differentiated into meat-tissue without harming the animal, has been gaining ground, with 8 companies around the world working to bring accessible, and far less wasteful, protein to the public. “Clean meat” advocates project that the processes utilizes a tenth of the resources and land that the livestock industry currently uses, and contributes less to global pollution. Recent data by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization states that 14.5 % of all greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to global warming, come from the livestock industry, and lab-grown meat aims to change that. “There’s no better way to combine [fighting climate change, pollution and food safety issues] than by developing and scaling clean meat,” says Peter Verstrate, CEO of the clean meat company, Mosa Meat.
Scientists from the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Japan have recently grown skin tissue from transformed stem cells. Their work demonstrated an advancement from previous efforts to grow skin in that the transplanted stem cells developed as integumentary tissue – the tissue between the outer and inner skin, which holds the functional properties of the skin, including sweat glands and hair follicles.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have developed a system that uses differentiated human stem cells to expedite the testing of existing drugs that might work against rare cancers. By transforming human stem cells into an aggressive form of pediatric brain cancer, medulloblastoma, they can be compared to cancer cells already tested against existing drugs.
Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed a new, more precise way to control the differentiation of stem cells into bone cells.
Recently published research out of South Korea has presented a new method of differentiating mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] into liver cells for autologous use in regenerative medicine. Geneticists found that the overexpression of two genes within MSCs, oct4 and sox2, resulted in the stem cells converting into fully functional hepatocytes, or liver cells, capable of producing urea and storing glycogen.
Topics: hepatocytes, liver cells, regenerate organs, Stemcells, stem cell differentiation, Liver disease, research, StemSave, mesenchymal stem cells, autologous stem cells, stem cells, biology, adult stem cells
Bioengineers from the University of California, San Diego, have identified a mechanism by which stem cell differentiation is regulated by the exertion of mechanical pressure. Using optical tweezers to apply mechanical force to stem cells, the researchers, led by Dr. Yingxiao Wang, observed the release of calcium ions, which are critical in the cellular communication required for stem cell differentiation. Dr. Wang’s team concluded that the forces of a stem cell’s environment, such as the tension inside the jaw, can promote the cell’s maturation into stiff tissue like bone or cartilage.