The New York-based startup Epibone intends to begin human testing on a procedure that will utilize stem cells to regenerate living bone tissue. The researchers, originally from Columbia University, will apply autologous [the patient’s own] stem cells to nanofiber scaffolding of the desired size and shape and direct the stem cells to differentiate into a physical and genetic replica of the patient’s own bone.
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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.
Scientists from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke have identified neural stem cells as important regulators of the olfactory bulb and its connections to the brain. The researchers discovered that a constant influx of stem cells is required for the olfactory system to function properly. The removal of stem cells causes a widespread disruption of signals sent to the brain, resulting in sensory deprivation.
A research group led by Dr. Igor Slukvin, MD PHD, from University of Wisconsin-Madison has identified two transcription factors responsible for the differentiation of stem cells into numerous types of white and red blood cells. The team made use of messenger RNA to overexpress the two transcription factors, which allowed them to generate 30 million blood cells for every million stem cells, without the use of a virus or altering the genetic structure of the blood.
Today, stem cells are rightfully perceived as the future of regenerative medicine, set to bring the marvels of science fiction into reality. But in looking ahead at all of the promise that stem cells hold for the future, it becomes easy to miss the scientific advances made to date for the millions of people around the world suffering from disease, trauma, and injury. Thus, today marks Stem Cell Awareness Day: a global celebration of stem cell research coordinated to highlight the treatments and therapies currently in development to create personalized regenerative therapies for patients.
A research team, led by Dr. Eric Darling of Brown University, has found a potential source of stem cells to protect children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia against the adverse effects of the chemotherapy drug methotrexate (MTX). Adipose-derived stem cells, which appear to be impervious to the bone-degenerative side effects of MTX, may allow children to undergo the chemotherapy treatment and then regain the lost bone tissue afterwards.
A team of scientists from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and the Boston Children’s Hospital have developed a method to increase the survival rate, and therefore the effectiveness, of transplanted mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs]. In an animal model, Dr. Juan Melero-Martin and his team of researchers co-transplanted MSCs with blood vessel-forming cells, enabling the stem cells to survive longer in a patient to reach their full regenerative potential.
Gene therapies utilizing stem cells are being developed that may lead to a cure for several genetic diseases. Currently, two clinical trials were announced to treat Cerebral Adrenoleukodystrophy (CCALD) and beta-thalassemia/sickle cell disease.
"Kids will actually regrow a pretty good fingertip, after amputation, if you just leave it alone," says Dr. Christopher Allan, from the University of Washington Medicine Hand Center. The ability of young kids to regrow the end of a digit following some form of trauma to the digit has researchers at New York University studying a similar phenomenon in mice with the hopes of finding clues to digit regeneration in humans. Researchers are focusing on the stem cells that reside in the area and how they interact with other biological elements to induce the regeneration.