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New insights could lead to lasting improvement of stem cell therapy in horses

Stem cells have been used therapeutically in horses for many years as a treatment option for tendon and joint injuries. These cells are commonly obtained surgically from bone marrow or fat tissue. Researchers have now for the first time managed to harvest stem cells from the mucous membrane of the equine uterus. By taking stem cells from the uterus without the need for surgical intervention, the procedure provides an alternative with reduced pain and stress for the animals.

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Innovative genetic, cellular techniques help identify multiple disease targets

Research released today highlights advances in the use of CRISPR-Cas9 and human induced pluripotent stem cell technologies to identify novel therapeutic targets for neurological disorders such as schizophrenia and addiction. The studies were presented at Neuroscience 2017, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

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Inner ear stem cells may someday restore hearing

Want to restore hearing by injecting stem cells into the inner ear? Well, that can be a double-edged sword. Inner ear stem cells can be converted to auditory neurons that could reverse deafness, but the process can also make those cells divide too quickly, posing a cancer risk, according to a new study.

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Plant substance inhibits cancer stem cells

The plant Ambrosia arborescens grows at a high elevation in large parts of South America, and is traditionally used as a medicinal plant. The researchers have isolated the sesquiterpene lactone damsin from the plant and studied its effect on cancer stem cells in three different breast cancer cell lines. They have also performed similar studies using what is known as an analogue called ambrosin — a substance similar to damsin, but produced synthetically. The results show that they both have an effect on cancer stem cells.

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Umbilical cord stem cells show promise as heart failure treatment

Intravenous stem cell infusion derived from umbilical cords appears to boost heart muscle function in patients with heart failure, according to a small study. In this first-of-its-kind study, patients had ‘significant’ improvement in their hearts’ ability to pump blood and experienced no adverse side effects related to the therapy. The results suggest IV-infused umbilical cord-derived stem cells are a promising avenue to treat heart failure.

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