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Stem Cells

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

The University of Queensland mini-kidney

Instead of having to wait for one of the limited number of available donor kidneys, patients in need of a transplant may eventually be able to have a new kidney custom-grown for them. That possibility recently took one step closer to reality, as scientists at Australia's University of Queensland successfully grew a "mini-kidney" from stem cells.  Read More

A US$30,000 grant will see human stem cells sent to the International Space Station (ISS) ...

A drawback for the use of stem cells in medical treatment is their limited supply due to slow rate of growth in conventional laboratories. Dr Abba Zubair of the Cell Therapy Laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Florida believes this problem could be overcome and stem cell generation sped up by conducting the process in space. He will now have the opportunity to put his hypothesis to the test, courtesy of a US$30,000 grant that will see Zubair send human stem cells to the International Space Station (ISS) to observe whether they do in fact grow at a greater rate than on terra firma.  Read More

The BioPen lets surgeons 'draw' live cells and growth factors directly onto the site of an...

Devices like the 3Doodler and SwissPen literally put 3D printing technology in the hands of consumers, but a new BioPen developed at the University of Wollongong in Australia is targeted at more skilled hands. The handheld device is designed to let surgeons "draw" live cells and growth factors directly onto the site of an injury to help accelerate the regeneration of functional bone and cartilage.  Read More

Scientists convert human embryonic stem cells into functional lung epithelial cells (green...

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have transformed human stem cells into functional lung cells, paving the way for ultimately creating bioengineered lungs using the patient's own cells. Besides being able to generate lung tissue for transplants, these cells could also be used to study lung development and potentially find more advanced treatments for lung diseases.  Read More

A cross section of one of the 'mini brains'

Within the past few years, scientists have successfully grown organs such as kidneys and livers in laboratories. It’s possible that some day, such lab-grown organs could be used as transplants, particularly when grown from the recipient’s own cells. Now, a team at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences has succeeded in growing miniature human brains. While no one is suggesting that they could be swapped in for a patient’s existing brain, they could prove to be a boon to the field of medical research.  Read More

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