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Stem Cells

Our tissue's inability to repair itself as we grow older is thought to correlate with the decline in the presence of stem cells. So it follows that if stem cell function can be preserved beyond the norm, it could have implications for the aging process and adverse effects of tissue degeneration, such as cancer. Scientists from the University of Toronto have followed this line of thinking through research on the mammary glands of genetically modified mice, finding that development of the tissue can be manipulated to avoid the effects of aging. Read More
Scientists have developed a blood test using human stem cells that predicts whether new drugs will cause severe side effects. The test, which only requires blood from a single donor, could help prevent catastrophic inflammatory reactions known as a cytokine storm in people participating in drug trials. Read More
Researchers at the University of Cambridge have grown functional "mini-lungs" using stems cells derived from the skin cells of patients with a debilitating lung disease. Not only can the development help them in coming up with effective treatments for specific lung diseases like cystic fibrosis, but the process has the potential to be scaled up to screen thousands of new compounds to identify potential new drugs. Read More
The growing number of biological structures being grown on chips in various laboratories around the world is rapidly replicating the entire gamut of major human organs. Now one of the most important of all – a viable functioning heart – has been added to that list by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley) who have taken adult stem cells and grown a lattice of pulsing human heart tissue on a silicon device. Read More
While well known for its unique electromechanical properties, graphene may also prove key in preventing cancer tumor recurrence. A drawback of traditional cancer treatment with radiation and chemotherapy is that the primary developmental source of future tumors is not eradicated. Cancer stem cells, or CSCs, can survive treatment and give rise to recurring tumors, metatasis, and drug resistance after repeated treatments. Researchers from the University of Manchester and the University of Calabria have discovered that graphene oxides targets and neutralize CSCs in a manner that is not yet fully understood. Read More
Researchers from Cambridge University and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science are claiming a stem cell research breakthrough that would allow a baby to be created from the cells from two adults, no matter their gender. This potentially allows for infertile couples to have their own children without resorting to sperm or egg donors, and may provide the means for same sex couples to produce their own babies. Read More
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a new procedure to increase the length of human telomeres. This increases the number of times cells are able to divide, essentially making the cells many years younger. This not only has useful applications for laboratory work, but may point the way to treating various age-related disorders – or even muscular dystrophy. Read More
While environmental factors and genetics play a role in the development of cancer, scientists at Johns Hopkins University have used statistical modeling to show that two-thirds of adult cancers may be attributable to "bad luck," or random mutations, rather than lifestyle. Read More
Researchers at Harvard University say they have identified two chemical compounds that could replace "bad" fat cells in the human body with healthy fat-burning cells, in what may be the first step toward the development of an effective medical treatment – which could even take the form of a pill – to help control weight gain. Read More
When a bone is severely broken in the human body, or a bone-fused prosthesis is implanted, a bone graft is also often required to ensure a solid mechanical repair. However, a graft that removes bone from another area of the body can be a painful and invasive procedure, and the mechanical stimulation required for continued bone regeneration in post-operative therapy becomes problematic if a patient is severely immobilized. To address these problems, researchers have discovered that coating magnetic nanoparticles with proteins and then directing them magnetically to the site of the injury can help stimulate stem cells to regenerate bone. Read More