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Two-step control mechanism identified in mouse stem cells

Scientists identified two distinct control mechanisms in the developmental transition of undifferentiated stem cells into healthy brain cells. This fundamental research using mice may inform regenerative medicine treatments for neurodegenerative diseases and spinal cord injuries, in the future.

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Next step towards replacement therapy in type 1 diabetes

Scientists have discovered the signals that determine the fate of immature cells in the pancreas. The research shows that they are very mobile and that their destiny is strongly influenced by their immediate environment. This breakthrough published in the journal Nature will facilitate the manufacturing of pancreatic islet cells from stem cells and might help combating type 1 diabetes. Prof. Dr. Henrik Semb who led the study recently joined Helmholtz Zentrum München.

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Citrate-based biomaterial fuels bone healing with less rejection

A material based on a natural product of bones and citrus fruit, called citrate, provides the extra energy that stem cells need to form new bone tissue, according to a team of Penn State bioengineers. Their new understanding of the mechanism that allows citrate to aid in bone regeneration will help the researchers develop slow-release, biodegradable, citrate-releasing scaffolds to act as bone-growth templates to speed up healing in the body.

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Watch a 3D-engineered human heart tissue beat

Researchers have developed a way to grow human heart tissue that can serve as a model for the upper chambers of the heart, known as the atria. The tissue, derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPCSs), beats, expresses genes, and responds to drugs in a manner similar to a real human atrium. The model, described November 8 in the journal Stem Cell Reports, may be useful for evaluating disease mechanisms and drugs for atrial fibrillation — the most common type of arrhythmia.

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Functional salivary gland organoid created

A research group led by scientists from Showa University and the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research in Japan have, for the first time, succeeded in growing three-dimensional salivary gland tissue that, when implanted into mice, produced saliva like normal glands.

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