Stem cells may revolutionize the medical field. Recent research in the subject found that stem cells are effective for treating multiple genetic conditions including cancer and birth defects.
There was been success using stem cells to cure diseases. In clinical trials adult stem cells have had success with heart damage, stroke, sickle cell anemia, spinal cord injury, juvenile diabetes, and retinal/optic nerve disease. For a number of conditions, the use of stem cells have stopped being a clinical trial. For multiple myeloma and leukemias, it has become a normal medical practice. From 2010 to 2014 in the United States, there has been over 30,000 bone marrow and umbilical cord blood transplants done for myeloma.
Researchers from the University of Wollongong in Australia have developed a 3D bioprinter that can replicate human ears for use in reconstructive surgery.The machine is a customized biofabrication 3D printer, which uses a specialized bio-ink to print human ears. The bio-ink uses stem cells to grow human ear cartilage and using the 3D-printing technology, creates a "living ear". Researchers say that this technology brings them a step closer to revolutionizing a complex medical procedure for children with microtia (a condition where the external ear is underdeveloped).
This article reports on any interesting find from U of T researchers. After turning mature cells back to pluripotent stem cells, they discovered that not all the new stem cells were able to divide again or even be successfully reprogrammed. This indicates that only a specific subset of cells are fit enough to be reprogrammed and divide, which will help researchers design better stem cell treatments.
This article talks about how scientists discovered the effect of stem cell stiffness on stem cell transplants. Temporary squishier stem cells can help them enter the blood stream more easily, allowing for a easier harvest. However, the cells need to be stiff to stay put and perform their functions.
This article credits James Till and his colleague, Ernest McCulloch for the discovery of stem cells. They discovered it during an experiment of radiation with mice in 1960. It happened when the mice were injected by multiple number of cells and then the mice had made clone cells indicated in lumps. This astonishing discovery was the discovery of the stem cell!
This article talks about how researchers at the Tufts University School of Medicine have discovered a way to culture olfactory (relating to the sense of smell) stem cells and possibly transplant them into a patient who has nasal damage. Apparently, the nose is a very tricky organ to repair and regrow as once damaged, a protein called P63 is released to protect the nose from further injury. This protein reduces the sense of smell and can completely remove it in extreme cases. The trigger used to fix this was retinoic acid, which has the effect of lowering levels of the protein P63 in the cells, leading to stem cell activation and the ability to regrow cells which can actually smell again thus giving the patient the ability to smell again which is pretty important. Imagine not being able to smell anything!
This article talks about a man who was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. Unfortunately, this man can't access stems cells which could replace unhealthy cells and reducing the likelihood of the cancer returning. This is because the man is half British and half Chinese and stem cells need to have similar genetic makeup to the donor but there are no available donors who fit that description in the national or worldwide registry. Although this is tough for him, he is bringing awareness to need for donors, especially donors of different backgrounds.
This article talks about how the sense of smell can be lost due to things like neurodegenerative disorders (which affect the tissue), aging, and injury. Before, it seemed as if this case couldn't always be treated, but now with stem cells, it's possible to create olfactory tissue, an absolute necessity that controls our ability to sniff things out. With this resounding success, it's possible for other senses (ex. sight and touch) to be cured just as effectively.
A new study shows how the blood vessels of the zebra fish helps control the pigment stem cells (which are formed in the embryonic stage), by playing a crucial part in the stem cell niche. This is the first time blood vessels have been shown to help control pigment stem cells.
This article talks abaout MIT and the University of Tokyo finding a way to boost intestinal stem cells in mice. The toll intestinal stem cells take is due to the aging of the intestines, and a compound known as nicotinamide riboside can stop this.
The totipotent stem cell is the only type of stem cell that can create a whole organism with a single cell. What makes them so special? According to a research conducted in California, a type of microRNA (a substance that helps regulate gene expressions) called miR-34a inhibits the pluripotent and multipotent stem cells from becoming totipotent. By removing miR-34a in mouse cells, scientists were able to revert them back into totipotent stem cells. Would this mean that scientists now have another lead to growing artificial organs?
Stem cells are cells that haven't specialized yet and can turn into any type of cell. I can relate to teenagers because we haven't figured out what we wanted to do yet, so we are still open to what we want to do with our lives.