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How stem cells move

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.

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New cell therapy aids heart recovery — without implanting cells

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.

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3-D human ‘mini-brains’ shed new light on genetic underpinnings of major mental illness

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.

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Cultivating cartilage from stem 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.

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Early stimulation improves performance of bioengineered human heart cells

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.

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