In a study published in Stem Cell Reports, a McGill team of scientists led by Dr. Carl Ernst, researcher at the Douglas Hospital Research Centre, revealed a molecular mechanism that may play a role in the development of autism.
It’s not the amount of fat, but the ability to store fat in the right locations, that equates to good metabolic health in humans. In part, for this to occur, new fat cells must be made “on demand” when the body has an energy surplus.
Scientists from Newcastle University have shown that human embryonic stem cells move by travelling back and forth in a line, much like ants moving along their trails.
The first human corneas have been 3D printed by scientists at Newcastle University, UK. It means the technique could be used in the future to ensure an unlimited supply of corneas.
An automated system that uses robots has been designed to rapidly produce human mini-organs derived from stem cells. Researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle developed the new system.
Researchers tissue-engineered human pancreatic islets in a laboratory that develop a circulatory system, secrete hormones like insulin and successfully treat sudden-onset type 1 diabetes in transplanted mice.
Heart disease is a major global health problem — myocardial infarction annually affects more than one million people in the U.S. alone, and there is still no effective treatment. The adult human heart cannot regenerate itself after injury, and the death of cardiac muscle cells, known as cardiomyocytes, irreversibly weakens the heart and limits its ability to pump blood.
Major mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, severe depression and bipolar disorder share a common genetic link. Studies of specific families with a history of these types of illnesses have revealed that affected family members share a mutation in the gene DISC1. While researchers have been able to study how DISC1 mutations alter the brain during development in animal models, it has been difficult to find the right tools to study changes in humans. However, advancements in engineering human stem cells are now allowing researchers to grow mini-organs in labs, and gene-editing tools can be used to insert specific mutations into these cells.
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Researchers are now able to use induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) to form a model of human adult-like cardiac muscle by introducing electric and mechanical stimulation at an early stage. Since this muscle is similar to the adult heart, it could serve as a better model for testing the effects of drugs and toxic substances than current tissue-engineered heart models. The study, performed by scientists at Columbia University, New York City, and funded by the National Institutes of Health, was published today in Nature.