How a single molecule turns one immune cell into another

All it takes is one molecule to reprogram an antibody-producing B cell into a scavenging macrophage. This transformation is possible, new evidence shows, because the molecule (C/EBPa, a transcription factor) "short-circuits" the cells so that they re-express genes reserved for embryonic development. The findings appear July 30 in Stem Cell Reports, the journal of the International Society for Stem Cell Research.

Are quick and easy stem cells on the menu for researchers?

On 30th January, a research group from Japan unveiled a new and seemingly simple method for making stem cells in the lab. Since then, their unusual findings have been met with a mixture of excitement and skepticism. So what exactly did this group do, and what does it mean for stem cell research? Niamh Higgins, a Genetics and Cell Biology student at Dublin City University in Ireland, has been exploring this news for us. Read on to discover what she found.


Stem cells - the future, le futur, die Zukunft, il futuro, nasza przyszłość, el futuro

We're excited to announce that our short film, Stem cells - the future: an introduction to iPS cells, is now available in six languages and with a supporting quiz for the classroom. You can now order a DVD or view the film online and download the quiz, all in your language.





Inside the lab: research news from our partner CRG

Every day, our partners are busy working away in the lab, as well as in science communication or public engagement. There's so much going on that it's sometimes hard to keep up! Our partner in Barcelona, the Centre for Genomic Regulation, recently sent us word of some of their exciting research and we thought you'd all be interested to hear about it to. So read on to find out more, direct from Juan Manuel Sarasua at CRG.

Reprogramming cells: new research reveals a detour on the path to iPS cells

Reprogramming allows us to turn any cell of the body into a stem cell. Since its discovery in 2006 the technique has become widely used in labs around the world. But the process is inefficient and many questions remain about how reprogramming works. PhD student James O'Malley is studying some of these challenging issues. Here he talks about his latest findings, which were published in the journal Nature on 2 June 2013.

New tools for disease research: reprogrammed cells in disease modelling

Last updated:
24 Mar 2016

We need research to understand and fight disease. But research is often limited by access to patients and availability of diseased tissues to study. 'Disease models' can help overcome these problems by enabling scientists to examine diseases in the lab. Stem cells, including reprogrammed or 'iPS' cells, are a new source of cells that can be used as models for diseases which are otherwise difficult to explore.

New stem cell film: an introduction to iPS cells

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012 was awarded jointly to Sir John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent".

STEM CELLS - THE FUTURE: AN INTRODUCTION TO IPS CELLS by Amy Hardie and Clare Blackburn tells the story of this extraordinary scientific discovery that has changed the way we think about human biology.

Stem cells - the future: an introduction to iPS cells [video]

Last updated:
26 Nov 2012

In this compelling and clear 16 minute video, leading scientists tell the story of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) - an extraordinary scientific discovery that changed the way we think about human biology and saw Shinya Yamanaka awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine, with John Gurdon, in 2012.

A new short cut for stem cell programming

Researchers at the University of Bonn artificially derive brain stem cells directly from the connective tissue of mice

Scientists at the Life & Brain Research Center at the University of Bonn, Germany, have succeeded in directly generating brain stem cells from the connective tissue cells of mice. These stem cells can reproduce and be converted into various types of brain cells. To date, only reprogramming in brain cells that were already fully developed or which had only a limited ability to divide was possible. The new reprogramming method presented by the Bonn scientists and submitted for publication in July 2011 now enables derivation of brain stem cells that are still immature and able to undergo practically unlimited division to be extracted from conventional body cells. The results have now been published in the current edition of the prestigious journal Cell Stem Cell.

Ethics and reprogramming: ethical questions after the discovery of iPS cells

Last updated:
5 Nov 2015

Reprogramming allows us to turn any cell of the body into a stem cell. This discovery surprised many scientists and changed the way they think about how cells develop. Does the new technology also change ethical discussions about stem cell research? What new questions does it raise?

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