Latest stem cell news and commentary

What do sea sponges, sunsets and stem cells have in common?

The answer…Hydra IX, the ninth European Summer School on stem cells, which ran from 7-14 September through funding and support by European Commission FP7 funded projects - EuroStemCell, OptiStem, MARRIAGE and CSCTraining.

In a renovated sea sponge factory on the beautiful island of Hydra, Greece, 60 delegates and over 25 prominent stem cells scientists from Europe and beyond, gathered to learn about and discuss stem cell science.  Stem cell paradigms, regulation, disregulation, clinical applications and current challenges were explored. In addition, delegates had the unique opportunity to speak with faculty members in informal, small groups to allow deeper discussions about the science.

News from our partners: September highlights

Our partners have been a busy bunch this month - you may have read about some of them in the news! 

Elena Cattaneo appointed senator for life

First and foremost, we would like to congratulate Elena Cattaneo on her appointment to the Italian senate. We can't think of a more deserving recipient for this honour!

We're sure that Elena will be, as President Giorgio Napolitano stated in announcing the appointment, "an encouragement for many Italians of the new generations who commit themselves, amid difficulties, to scientific research”.



"Regeneration is a swift but volcanic experience, a sort of violent biological eruption in which the body cells are displaced, changed, renewed and rearranged."

- Doctor Who



Writing competition winners announced!

We're truly excited to announce the winners and runners up of our 2013 non-fiction writing competition. Thanks to everyone who entered and who gave our judges an enjoyable and challenging job. Read on to explore the winning entries...

Fancy giving science communication a go? Three opportunities coming up...

Interested in giving science communication a go? We're looking for volunteers to be our roving reporters or simply share their experiences at several upcoming events. Tweet, blog or even make a podcast or interview if the fancy takes you...

Stem cells rock!

Who would have thought that face painting would be a great way of engaging people in chat about stem cells and regenerative medicine? Following a run of events at music festivals in Scotland, the Hope Beyond Hype project has found just that. Cathy Southworth tells us more about the events, plus the launch of a brand new comic, available on - Hope Beyond Hype: Scottish Stem cell Stories.







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.

New strategy for brain repair in multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects over 400,000 people in the EU, causing problems with vision, movement and speech. In MS, the protective layer that surrounds nerves in the brain and spinal cord, called myelin, is destroyed. As the disease progresses, this damage often goes unchecked because the regenerative process for replacing myelin (‘remyelination’) fails. There are currently no approved therapies that tackle this problem by promoting remyelination. Researchers hope a new study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience will contribute to the development of new therapies by helping to explain how remyelination is controlled. The scientists studied immune cells called macrophages, which are involved in remyelination. They found that the macrophages must become anti-infammatory for remyelination to proceed, and identified a protein released by macrophages which encourages remyelination.

Imaginative science writing, graphic non-fiction or poetry: which pathway will you choose?

credit: Sharmin Haidericredit: Sharmin HaideriYou now have just a few days left to get your entries in for our stem cell writing competition.

But don't panic just yet! Barbara Melville has a few tips for a speedy approach to the imaginative writing category over on her blog.

There are more tips for imaginative science writing here, and a whole lot of inspiration across the three competition categories in the storify below.

Global MND Awareness Day

Last Friday 21 June, Global Motor Neurone Disease Awareness Day, was marked worldwide through more than 170 screenings of the powerful documentary film I Am Breathing. This film tells the remarkable true story of Neil Platt, a young father who found out he was dying from motor neurone disease just months after the birth of his son Oscar. 

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