New method creates endless supply of kidney precursor cells (MedicalXpress & Cell Stem Cell)

“We provide a proof-of-principle for how to make and maintain unlimited numbers of precursor kidney cells,” says Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, professor in Salk’s Gene Expression Laboratory. “Having a supply of these cells could be a starting point to grow functional organs in the laboratory as well as a way to begin applying cell therapy to kidneys with malfunctioning genes.” The work was published in Cell Stem Cell on August 25, 2016.

See full news item at MedicalXpress.

See original study at Cell Stem Cell.

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Solving a 48 year old mystery: Scientists grow noroviruses in human intestinal cell cultures (ScienceDaily & Science)

Human noroviruses — the leading viral cause of acute diarrhea around the world — have been difficult to study because scientists had not found a way to grow them in the lab. Now, more than 40 years after Dr. Albert Kapikian identified human noroviruses as a cause of severe diarrhea, scientists at Baylor College of Medicine have, for the first time, succeeded at growing noroviruses in laboratory cultures of human intestinal epithelial cells. This work, published today in Science, represents a major step forward in the study of human gastroenteritis viruses because it establishes a system in which a number of norovirus strains can be grown, which will allow researchers to explore and develop procedures to prevent and treat infection and to better understand norovirus biology.

See full news item at ScienceDaily.

See original study at Science.

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Stem cell propagation fuels cancer risk in different organs (MedicalXpress & Cell)

The idea that stem cells – special cells that divide to repair and generate tissues – might be the major determinant of cancer risk has provoked great debate in the scientific community. Some researchers maintain that environmental carcinogens are more important in determining cancer risk. Now a team of researchers has performed a large systematic, organism-wide study that confirms the crucial contribution of stem cells to the origins of cancer in different organs of mice

See full news item at MedicalXpress.

See original study at Cell.

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Mapping pluripotency differences between mice, monkeys, and humans (ScienceDaily & Nature)

New research shows that certain primate stem cells have pluripotency superior to some types derived from mice. The study maps how pluripotency differs among mice, monkeys, and humans, and illustrates for the first time the characteristics unique to primate stem cells.

See full news item at ScienceDaily.

See original study an Nature.

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Altering stem cell perception of tissue stiffness may help treat musculoskeletal disorders (Phys.org & Nat Mat)

A new biomaterial can be used to study how and when stem cells sense the mechanics of their surrounding environment, found a team led by Robert Mauck, PhD, the Mary Black Ralston Professor for Education and Research in Orthopaedic Surgery, in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. With further development, this biomaterial could be used to control when immature stem cells differentiate into more specialized cells for regenerative and tissue-engineering-based therapies.

See full news item at Phys.org.

See original study at Nature Materials.

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Researchers Discover How Zika Virus Causes Fetal Brain Damage (Sci-News & Cell Rep)

According to a team of researchers led by Yale University, infection by the Zika virus diverts a key protein necessary for neural cell division in the developing human fetus. The findings, published in the journal Cell Reports, suggest that Zika virus might be susceptible to existing antiviral drugs that may prevent disruption to the developing nervous system.

See full news item at Sci-News.

See original study at Cell Reports.

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Ageing: Dietary protection for genes (Nature)

Dietary restriction is known to extend lifespan in many species. It has now been shown to reduce DNA damage and extend lifespan in mice modelling human DNA-repair disorders.

See full news item at Nature.

See original study at Nature.

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