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Stem Cells Freak
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  • April 19, 2014
  • 12:51 PM

First female “penis” discovered in cave-dwelling insects

by beredim in Strange Animals

Image showing the female penis of N. auroraCredit: Current Biology, Yoshizawa et al.Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ArthropodaClass: InsectaOrder: PsocopteraFamily: PrionoglarididaeGenus: NeotroglaSpecies: N. aurora, N. curvet and 2 otherThis Thursday, researchers announced that they have discovered several insect species that display the "world's first" known instance of gender-reversed genitalia. In simple words, they have found 4 insect species with female... "penises." and male "vaginae"!........ Read more »

  • April 7, 2014
  • 11:02 AM

Illacme plenipes - World's leggiest creature

by beredim in Strange Animals

Illacme plenipesCredit: Paul Marek et. al.Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ArthropodaClass: Diplopoda Order: Siphonophorida Family: SiphonorhinidaeGenus: IllacmeSpecies: Illacme plenipesConservation Status: Not officially assessed, possibly threatened by extinctionCommon Name: NoneDespite their name, we have yet to discover a millipede species that has one thousand legs. However, the rare Illacme plenipes comes very close to this number, with one recorded specimen having 750 legs.The species has on........ Read more »

  • April 1, 2014
  • 12:24 PM

Researchers find a better way to grow motor neurons from stem cells

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

Prof Fei Wang (left), scholar Qiuhao Qu (center)  andengineering professor Jianjun ChengResearchers reported today that they can generate human motor neurons from stem cells much more quickly and efficiently than previous methods allowed.The finding, described in Nature Communications, will aid efforts to model human motor neuron development, and to understand and treat spinal cord injuries and motor neuron diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).The new method involves adding crit........ Read more »

  • March 31, 2014
  • 03:50 PM

Major breakthrough in stem cell manufacturing technology

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

Kevin ShakesheffCreditCell therapy is an exciting and rapidly developing area of medicine in which stem cells have the potential to repair human tissue and maintain organ function in chronic disease and age-related illnesses. But a major problem with translating current successful research into actual products and treatments is how to mass-produce such a complex living material.There are two distinct phases in the production of stem cell products; proliferation (making enough cells to form large........ Read more »

Dixon, J., Shah, D., Rogers, C., Hall, S., Weston, N., Parmenter, C., McNally, D., Denning, C., & Shakesheff, K. (2014) Combined hydrogels that switch human pluripotent stem cells from self-renewal to differentiation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1319685111  

  • March 31, 2014
  • 03:23 PM

Preserving fertility in boys with cancer

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

Hooman Sadri-ArdekaniResearchers have moved a step closer to being able to preserve fertility in young boys who undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer. The new research, published in Fertility and Sterility, the journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, addresses the safety of an option scientists are developing for boys who aren't sexually mature and cannot bank sperm.Scientists aim to freeze a sample of the boys' testicular tissue so that when they re........ Read more »

Sadri-Ardekani H, Homburg CH, van Capel TM, van den Berg H, van der Veen F, van der Schoot CE, van Pelt AM, & Repping S. (2014) Eliminating acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells from human testicular cell cultures: a pilot study. Fertility and sterility. PMID: 24581582  

  • March 28, 2014
  • 07:33 AM

'Mini heart' organ may help return venous blood

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

George Washington University (GW) researcher Narine Sarvazyan, Ph.D., has invented a new organ to help return blood flow from veins lacking functional valves. A rhythmically contracting cuff made of cardiac muscle cells surrounds the vein acting as a 'mini heart' to aid blood flow through venous segments. The cuff can be made using cardiomyocytes derived from the patient's own adult stem cells, eliminating the chance of implant rejection."We are suggesting, for the first time, t........ Read more »

  • March 27, 2014
  • 11:19 AM

Orangutan goes spearfishing

by beredim in Strange Animals

Just came across this extraordinary photo, taken by Gerd Schuster co-author of Thinkers of the Jungle: The Orangutan Report, showing an orangutan spearfishing in Borneo.Apparently, the orangutan had witnessed the locals fishing with spears and attempted to do the same, albeit with not much success. Monkey see, monkey do..The description of the photo in the book reads:"…a male orangutan, clinging precariously to overhanging branches, flails the water with a pole, trying desperately to spear a p........ Read more »

Galdikas, B. (1989) Orangutan tool use. Science, 243(4888), 152-152. DOI: 10.1126/science.2911726  

O'Malley RC, & McGrew WC. (2000) Oral tool use by captive orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus). Folia primatologica; international journal of primatology, 71(5), 334-41. PMID: 11093037  

Schaik, C., Fox, E., & Sitompul, A. (1996) Manufacture and use of tools in wild Sumatran orangutans. Naturwissenschaften, 83(4), 186-188. DOI: 10.1007/BF01143062  

van Schaik CP, Ancrenaz M, Borgen G, Galdikas B, Knott CD, Singleton I, Suzuki A, Utami SS, & Merrill M. (2003) Orangutan cultures and the evolution of material culture. Science (New York, N.Y.), 299(5603), 102-5. PMID: 12511649  

  • March 27, 2014
  • 04:40 AM

Tumor suppressor gene linked to stem cells

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

Just like archeologists try to decipher ancient tablets to discern their meaning, UT Southwestern Medical Center cancer biologists are working hard to decode the purpose of an ancient gene considered one of the most important in cancer research.The p53 gene appears to be involved in signaling other cells instrumental in stopping tumor development. But the p53 gene predates cancer, so researchers are uncertain what its original function is.In trying to unravel the mystery, Dr. John Abrams, Profes........ Read more »

  • March 26, 2014
  • 04:01 PM

Saiga antelope

by beredim in Strange Animals

Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ChordataClass: MammaliaOrder: ArtiodactylaFamily: BovidaeGenus: SaigaSpecies: Saiga tataricaConservation Status: Critically EndangeredCommon Name: Saiga antelope, SaigaSaigas are nomadic animals, best known for their distinctive enlarged noses that hang down over their mouth. The species originally inhabited a vast area, covering the steppes and semi-desert regions of south-eastern Europe and Central Asia from the Precaspian steppes to ........ Read more »

  • March 26, 2014
  • 05:36 AM

Stem cell study on bipolar disorder offers hope for better treatments

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

Cells, made from the skin of people with bipolar disorderWhat makes a bipolar person, prone to manic highs and deep, depressed lows? Why does bipolar disorder run so strongly in families, even though no single gene is to blame? And why is it so hard to find new treatments for a condition that affects more than 200 million people worldwide?A new study by a research team at the University of Michigan Medical School, and fueled by the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund, may help scientists fin........ Read more »

  • March 26, 2014
  • 05:20 AM

Stem cell-derived pancreatic cells treat diabetes in mice

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

Microscopic view of Islet of Langerhans in the pancreas. Beta cells in the Islets are responsible for insulin production.Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) and UC San Diego School of Medicine researchers have shown that by encapsulating immature pancreatic cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), and implanting them under the skin in animal models of diabetes, sufficient insulin is produced to maintain glucose levels without unwanted potential trade-offs o........ Read more »

  • March 25, 2014
  • 05:22 AM

New method to generate mesenchymal stem cellls from human embryonic stem cells

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), reported today that it has discovered a new method to generate a potent and replenishable population of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from human embryonic stem cells. This new and proprietary population of embryonic stem cell-derived MSCs displays potent immunomodulatory and therapeutic properties and has a greater than 30,000 fold proliferative capacity, relative to ordinary bone marrow-derived MSCs, the most commonly used source for MSCs in clinical trials.Read ........ Read more »

  • March 25, 2014
  • 05:09 AM

Adjustable scaffolds promote stem cell growth

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

A new scaffold material based on a biocompatible silk-alginate hydrogel, which can be made soft or stiff, could provide the just right environment to culture stem cells for regenerative medicine, say researchers at the Stanford University and Queen’s University in Canada.Widespread clinical application of stem cells  requires a robust and reliable culture system that mimics the natural microenvironment of the cell. This microenvironment provides crucial direction to the function and viability........ Read more »

Ziv K, Nuhn H, Ben-Haim Y, Sasportas LS, Kempen PJ, Niedringhaus TP, Hrynyk M, Sinclair R, Barron AE, & Gambhir SS. (2014) A tunable silk-alginate hydrogel scaffold for stem cell culture and transplantation. Biomaterials, 35(12), 3736-43. PMID: 24484675  

  • March 23, 2014
  • 07:23 PM

Stem cell memories influence their fate

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

Kristi S. AnsethCreditNew research suggests that human stem cells have memories. Specifically, they can remember whether they were grown on a soft bed of polyethylene glycol or on a stiff floor of polystyrene.This mechanical memory influences their fate, such as whether they will differentiate into fat or bone cells.That’s one take-home message of a presentation given last week by University of Colorado, Boulder, materials scientist Kristi S. Anseth at the American Chemical Society meeting in ........ Read more »

Yang, C., Tibbitt, M., Basta, L., & Anseth, K. (2014) Mechanical memory and dosing influence stem cell fate. Nature Materials. DOI: 10.1038/nmat3889  

  • March 22, 2014
  • 06:44 AM

Induction of human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells into bladder cells

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

Eric KurzrockCreditFor the first time, researchers have managed to coax laboratory cultures of human stem cells to develop into the specialized, unique bladder cells requred to fix a patient's defective or diseased bladder.This breakthrough, developed at the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures and published today in the scientific journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine, is of great importance as it provides a pathway to regenerate replacement bladder tissue for patients whose bladde........ Read more »

Osborn, S., Thangappan, R., Luria, A., Lee, J., Nolta, J., & Kurzrock, E. (2014) Induction of Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Into Urothelium. Stem Cells Translational Medicine. DOI: 10.5966/sctm.2013-0131  

  • March 22, 2014
  • 06:13 AM

Research identifies source of hematopoietic stem cells

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

Matthew InlayHematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are routinely used to treat patients with cancers and other disorders of the blood and immune system, but researchers know little about the progenitor cells that give rise to them during embryonic development.In a study appearing in Stem Cell Reports, Matthew Inlay of the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, and faculty member of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, and Stanford University colleagues created novel cell assa........ Read more »

  • March 20, 2014
  • 04:53 PM

Proteins that break down glucose important for iPSCs development

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

Hannele Ruohola-Baker, Julie Mathieu, Amy Ferreccio, Zsuzsa Agoston, Henrik Sperber, Yalan Xing.(left to right)Credit: Michael McCarthyNew research by scientists at the University of Washington shows that two proteins that control how cells break down glucose play a key role in human stem cell formation. Their findings have implications for future work in both regenerative medicine and cancer therapy.The study was led by Julie Mathieu, a postdoctoral fellow at the UW, and Wenyu Zhou, a former........ Read more »

Mathieu et al. (2014) Hypoxia-Inducible Factors Have Distinct and Stage-Specific Roles during Reprogramming of Human Cells to Pluripotency. Cell Stem Cell. info:/10.1016/j.stem.2014.02.012

  • March 20, 2014
  • 01:48 PM

Stem cell combination therapy improves traumatic brain injury outcomes

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

CT scan showing cerebral contusions, hemorrhage within the hemispheres, subdural hematoma, and skull fractures[Traumatic brain injuries (TBI), sustained by close to 2 million Americans annually, including military personnel, are debilitating and devastating for patients and their families. Regardless of severity, those with TBI can suffer a range of motor, behavioral, intellectual and cognitive disabilities over the short or long term. Sadly, clinical treatments for TBI are few and largely ineff........ Read more »

  • March 20, 2014
  • 01:34 PM

New DIY technique allows induced pluripotent stem cells to be created from a single drop of blood

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

Schematic on finger-prick blood isolation and treatment for cellular reprogramming.(Click to enlarge)Credit: Loh Yuin Han, Jonathan, IMCBResearchers at A*STAR's Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) announced today a new method to generate human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) using a single drop of finger-pricked blood.The method also enables donors to collect their own blood samples that can be then send to a laboratory for further processing. The easy access to blood samp........ Read more »

Tan, H., Toh, C., Ma, D., Yang, B., Liu, T., Lu, J., Wong, C., Tan, T., Li, H., Syn, C.... (2014) Human Finger-Prick Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Facilitate the Development of Stem Cell Banking. Stem Cells Translational Medicine. DOI: 10.5966/sctm.2013-0195  

  • March 20, 2014
  • 08:26 AM

Muscle stem cells treat nerve damage in an animal model of sciatic nerve injury

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

Johnny Huard, PhDCreditAccording to a new study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, stem cells derived from human muscle tissue can be used to repair nerve damage and restore function. The study was carried out in an animal model of sciatic nerve injury.The findings indicate that cell therapy for certain nerve diseases, including multiple sclerosis, might one day be possible.As of now, treatments for damage to peripheral nerves, which are the nerves outside the bra........ Read more »

Lavasani M, Thompson SD, Pollett JB, Usas A, Lu A, Stolz DB, Clark KA, Sun B, Péault B, & Huard J. (2014) Human muscle-derived stem/progenitor cells promote functional murine peripheral nerve regeneration. The Journal of clinical investigation. PMID: 24642464  

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