The heart is the first organ to develop in the womb and the first cause of concern for many parents. For expecting mothers, the excitement of pregnancy is often offset by anxiety over medication they require. Parents and doctors often have to consider the mother’s health as well as the potential risk regarding how medication could affect their baby. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires certain drugs to be labeled with pregnancy exposure and risk. Some drugs are labeled to show that testing on animals has failed to demonstrate a risk but there are no adequate and well-controlled studies of pregnant women.
Whether caused by an undetected birth defect or by a heart attack (myocardial infarction), when a heart sustains damage, it can be difficult to repair.
A bone marrow transplant is often the only therapy available to save leukemia patients, but the risk of complications is high. In spite of devoting considerable time and effort to finding a suitable donor, nearly half of all patients experience an unwanted reaction of their immune system, which often attacks their skin and liver and in up to 50% of cases the intestines. Researchers at FAU (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg) have succeeded in deciphering what causes this in some instances life-threatening inflammation of the intestines, possibly opening up new approaches for treatment. They have published the results of their research in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
The proper function of blood vessels is essential to life: blood vessels are responsible for transporting oxygen-rich red blood cells, nutrients, and immune cells throughout the body, to name just a few functions. Defects in blood vessels can correspondingly lead to a variety of life-threatening diseases. Stem cells, which are undifferentiated cells that can generate new tissues, have significant potential in regenerative medicine and treating various disorders. In blood vessels, the existence of tissue-resident stem cells has been intensely debated. A research team centered at Osaka University may now have discovered the elusive stem cell, providing evidence for adult vascular endothelial stem cells (VESCs) capable of generating fully functional blood vessels.
Scientists have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
New research from Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) is among the first to describe how an mRNA modification impacts the life of neural stem cells (NSCs). The study, published in Nature Neuroscience, reveals a novel gene regulatory system that may advance stem cell therapies and gene-targeting treatments for neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and mental health disorders that affect cognitive abilities.
In a scientific first, researchers at the Gladstone Institutes turned skin cells from mice into stem cells by activating a specific gene in the cells using CRISPR technology. The innovative approach offers a potentially simpler technique to produce the valuable cell type and provides important insights into the cellular reprogramming process.
Tuberculosis (TB), an infectious disease which attacks the lungs, claims someone’s life every 20 seconds and 1.5 million lives worldwide every year. A cure has eluded scientists for more than a century but, now, a Montreal team of researchers may have discovered a new weapon to combat this global killer. The team is re-programing — or ‘training’ — immune cells to kill TB. These groundbreaking findings are published online today in the journal Cell.
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.