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Stem Cells

A microscope image of some of the regenerated esophageal tissue

Ordinarily, when patients require a total or partial replacement of their esophagus, tissue from their own stomach or intestine is used. This doesn't always result in a fully-functioning organ, plus it also involves the surgical removal of the needed material. Now, however, scientists have come a step closer to being able to grow a new esophagus from the patient's own stem cells, and in fact have already done so – with rats.  Read More

Scientists have used steroids to enhance the performance of stem cells  (Photo: Shuttersto...

Stem cells are highly promising for the treatment of everything from HIV to leukemia to baldness. In many cases, however, a great number of them must be used in order have a noticeable effect, which makes treatments impractical or expensive. Now, scientists at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital have found that a smaller number of stem cells can still get the job done, if they're first hopped up on steroids.  Read More

The mini heart takes the form of a cuff of cardiac tissue, wrapped around a vein

When someone has chronic venous insufficiency, it means that because of faulty valves in their leg veins, oxygen-poor blood isn't able to be pumped back to their heart. The George Washington University's Dr. Narine Sarvazyan has created a possible solution, however – a beating "mini heart" that's wrapped around the vein, to help push the blood through.  Read More

Researchers have developed a technique that allows stem cells to be created from less than...

Harvesting samples for producing stem cells can be rather painful. Techniques can involve collecting large amounts of blood, bone marrow or skin scrapes. The reality is intrusive measures such as these can be very off-putting. But what if it was as simple as a finger-prick? Such a DIY approach, which is so easy it can be done at home or in the field without medical staff, has been developed by researchers at Singapore's A*STAR Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB).  Read More

Damaged or deformed ears could be rebuilt using the patient's own fat (Photo: Shutterstock...

Researchers at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital aim to grow a human ear via stem cells taken from a patient's fat tissue. Relatively little attention has been given to the reconstruction of damaged cartilage around the cranial area, however the new method is hoped to modernize this area of reconstructive surgery.  Read More

A new technique for producing large amounts of hair-follicle-generating stem cells has imp...

As one of the follically-challenged, any new breakthroughs in the area of hair regeneration will generally get my attention. When stem cells first started to gain widespread media attention I, no doubt like many others, thought a full head of hair was just around the corner. But despite numerous developments, years later my dome is still of the chrome variety. Providing the latest cause for cautious optimism, researchers have now developed a way to generate a large number number of hair-follicle-generating stem cells from adult cells.  Read More

Mouse embryo generated from STAP cells (Image: Riken)

An international research effort has found that mature animal cells can be shocked into an embryonic state simply by soaking them in acid or putting them under physical stress. The fortuitous breakthrough could prove to be massive for many fields of medical research if the method can be replicated using human cells, something researchers are confident will be possible.  Read More

A team of international researchers has turned to stem cells in a quest to find an a more ...

A team of international researchers has turned to stem cells in a quest to find an a more effective treatment for patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis. The new method being investigated involves using the patients’ own bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) to boost immune response and heal damaged tissue.  Read More

Scanning electron microscopy of stem cells (yellow / green) in a scaffold structure (blue)...

European researchers have announced a breakthrough in the development of artificial bone marrow which expands the ability of scientists to reproduce stem cells in the lab and could lead to increased availability of treatment for leukemia sufferers.  Read More

Looking back on a year filled with scientific accomplishment

The close of 2013 gives us an excellent opportunity, though satiated with holiday feasts, to look back on a year that has been filled with scientific accomplishment. So it's time to get comfortable on your Binary Chair, sip your hot cocoa from a phase-change mug while your Foodini prints out a batch of cookies and reflect on science stories of note from the past year.  Read More

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