Latest stem cell news and commentary

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. 

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.

Scottish Stem Cell Stories: extending the reach of Hope beyond Hype

The MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine is about to embark on an ambitious public engagement project. Called ‘Hope Beyond Hype: Scottish Stem Cell Stories’ it aims to give local communities the opportunity to interact face-to-face with scientists working in the regenerative medicine field. Through user led patient and community events, the project will take stem cells all over Scotland, from the Highlands and islands to major summer festivals like T in the Park and the Cowal Highland Gathering.

Unproven stem cell therapy goes to trial

A controversial and unproven stem cell procedure is to be evaluated in a controlled clinical trial, following a vote in the Italian Senate last week.

The Italian Parliament’s Chamber of Deputies had last Monday voted to amend an earlier controversial decree by Italian Senate, which allowed the unproven stem cell method developed by the Stamina Foundation to be used for severely or terminally ill new patients for 18 months.

Spotlight on clinical research for International Clinical Trials Day

Earlier this month our partner ECRIN celebrated International Clinical Trials Day with an event in Warsaw.

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