Although all the cells in a colony of blood cells may look alike, they may have different functions. Tools to track and analyse individual stem cells within a cell population like this can help us better understand how the blood system works, and may have implications for cancer research.
Scientists at DanStem, the Danish Stem Cell Centre, University of Copenhagen have identified one mechanism that explains how some stem cells choose to become a given cell type: the cells combine specific sets of proteins at precise positions along the DNA. When these particular groups of proteins are combined, the gates are opened so that certain groups of genes can now be used, driving the cells towards a new identity.
In recent years there has been a growing interest in so-called stem cell ‘tourism’ - where a person (often companied by their carer/family) travels to another country for a purported stem cell treatment that is not available in their home country. Many advertised treatments are clinically unproven, with little or no evidence for their safety and efficacy in specific conditions.
Professor Graziella Pellegrini is one of the principal scientists on the ground breaking, corneal repair system Holoclar ®. Working throughout Italy over the past 27 years she is now based at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine “Stefano Ferrari” at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.
Michele de Luca began his stem cell research career working in Boston in the 80s, after training as an endocrinologist. Alongside Professor Howard Green he worked with epithelial stem cells for the treatment of patients with burns to the skin, before moving back to Italy. He is director of the Centre for Regenerative Medicine "Stefano Ferrari" at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.
Researchers at the Hubrecht Institute and Utrecht University have developed a revolutionary and effective way of introducing molecular tools into cells. According to Dr. Niels Geijsen, who headed the research team, this discovery brings us one step closer to treating genetic diseases:
“The difficulty of treating genetic (inherited) diseases is that we, thus far, are unable to safely transport large therapeutic compounds, for example, proteins, into cells,” explains Geijsen. “ With our new technology, we’ve found that we can do this very efficiently.”
The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) has launched a new website to help patients and their families make informed decisions about stem cell treatments, clinics and their health.
Stem Cells Australia's Megan Munsie, chairperson of the ISSCR task force responsible for the website expansion, describes the revamped site as “a direct channel from researchers to the public.”
UniStem Day is an event for the dissemination and outreach of stem cell science and research, conceived at the University of Milan. It is targeted to high school students and involves the collaboration of Universities as organising Entities.
Hundreds of young people had an opportunity to meet researchers from the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute over the course of this year’s Cambridge Science Festival.
Every year, we use ideas and resources from EuroStemCell to develop new and hands-on ways of engaging young scientists.