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Stem cell therapy may help reverse effects of premature menopause, restore fertility

Young women with premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) may be able to use their own bone marrow stem cells to rejuvenate their ovaries and avoid the effects of premature menopause, new research suggests. The preliminary results from the ongoing ROSE clinical trial will be presented Tuesday at ENDO 2018, the 100th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, in Chicago, Ill.

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3-D tissue model of developing heart could help drug safety testing for pregnant women

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.

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Minimizing risks of transplants

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.

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Adult endothelial stem cells can make fully functional blood vessels

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.

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Discovery may advance neural stem cell treatments for brain disorders

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.

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Researchers create first stem cells using CRISPR genome activation

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.

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Re-programming innate immune cells to fight tuberculosis

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.

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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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