The latest stem cell news, interviews, blogs and commentary

Origin of Life: stem-cell exhibition in Lausanne

Much of what many people still regard as science fiction is already happening in pilot projects in laboratories all around the world today: printing ears, producing blood and muscles and reconstructing a food pipe using the body’s own tissue. Science has achieved rapid progress in this field in recent years – and the population at large has scarcely noticed it. What is coming next? An entire heart?

Making insulin producing beta cells from stem cells – how close are we?

The unseen world: Insulin-producing cells made from human embryonic stem cellsThe unseen world: Insulin-producing cells made from human embryonic stem cells

Two recent studies have revealed for the first time how to to generate insulin producing cells, that resemble normal beta cells, in the lab from human pluripotent stem cells. This provides a step forward for a potential cell therapy treatment for diabetes. But how alike are these cells to the beta cells found in our bodies? How close are we to testing these cells in diabetics? And what other questions still remain? In this commentary, Henrik Semb tackles these questions providing perspective in this complex and challenging field.

Interview with Henrik Semb: the pancreas, beta cells and diabetes

Professor Henrik Semb is the director of the Danish stem cell center. His research group focuses on how organs are formed and cells acquire their fates in vivo. In particular, they are interested in how processes such as cell shape changes, movement and polarity, not only affect 3D architecture of the developing organ but also what type of cells are made.  In vivo findings from their lab have given insight into coaxing human pluripotent stem cells into functional insulin-producing beta cells as a source for therapy in type 1 diabetes.

Transdifferentiation workshops for secondary students at CRG

The Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona has started the school year with a new workshop for high school students. The workshop is taking place every Thursday in the CRG Teaching and Training Lab facilities, a space specifically designed for the training of new researchers and for outreach activities.

Amazing stem cell questions at Inverkeithing High School

This Stem Cell Awareness Day I joined Richard Axton and Cathy Southworth at Inverkeithing High School in Scotland to share with students the exciting world of stem cell biology and the work of being scientists. Having only just started my PhD, this was a new venture and I was intrigued to discover the thoughts and questions that hearing about the science might provoke.

Making Cell Fate: Journeys to Specialisation

Our latest film looks at how specialized cells develop from stem cells. You can watch the film online, or pre-order a DVD.

Cell Fate: Journeys to Specialisation is available in English now, and by the time the DVD ships in December it will have subtitles in 5 more languages (French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish).

Jump to: screenings | making the film | watch and find out more

Interview with Malin Parmar: cell therapy for Parkinson’s disease

Malin Parmar heads a research group focused on developmental and regenerative neurobiology at Lund University in Sweden. The ultimate goal of her research is to develop cell therapy for Parkinson’s disease.

At this year’s Hydra summer school I spoke to Malin about how she got started in stem cell research, what she’s working on at the moment, and her view of the prospects for treating Parkinson’s disease with stem cells.

Snail fur: an alternative model organism for stem cell research

In this guest blog post Hakima Flici, a postdoctoral researcher at NUIG's Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI), tells us a bit more about her particular area of stem cell research...

I always wanted to contribute to scientific progress in stem cell research. Stem cells are helping us to understand degenerative disease and cancer, and a deep understanding of their basic biology is a pre-requisite for clinical application. My PhD project, at Strasbourg University in France, was about the plasticity (adaptability to change) of brain stem cells in fruit flies. After graduating, I decided to get deeper knowledge, and joined Prof. Uri Frank’s team in 2013, attracted by the model organism used to understand the basic biology of stem cells. 

HumEn at European Researchers Night

Wendy Bickmore and Andrea Venturato flew the flag for HumEn at European Researchers Night last Friday, 26th September.

CRG produces stunning art/science exhibition in Barcelona

The Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Barcelona and partners have produced a stunning and unique art/science exhibition titled "Tree of Life. The complexity of life: from the cell to the living organism".  The exhibition is open to the public at Palau Robert (Passeig de Gràcia, Barcelona) through support by the Banc Sabadell Foundation.  It aims to both share the work done at the CRG, and reveal the beauty and uniqueness of the images, showing the parallels and synergies between art and science.  

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