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Scientists discover neuron-producing stem cells in the membranes covering the brain

Unexpected cells have been found in the protective membranes that enclose the brain, the so called meninges. These ‘neural progenitors’ — or stem cells that differentiate into different kinds of neurons — are produced during embryonic development. These findings show that the neural progenitors found in the meninges produce new neurons after birth — highlighting the importance of meningeal tissue as well as these cells’ potential in the development of new therapies for brain damage or neurodegeneration.

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Scientists discover neuron-producing stem cells in the membranes covering the brain

Unexpected cells have been found in the protective membranes that enclose the brain, the so called meninges. These ‘neural progenitors’ — or stem cells that differentiate into different kinds of neurons — are produced during embryonic development. These findings show that the neural progenitors found in the meninges produce new neurons after birth — highlighting the importance of meningeal tissue as well as these cells’ potential in the development of new therapies for brain damage or neurodegeneration.

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Taking miniature organs from lab to clinic

Scientists have developed a gel for growing miniaturized body organs that can be used in clinical diagnostics and drug development. Organoids are miniature organs that can be grown in the lab from a person’s stem cells. They can be used to model diseases, and in the future could be used to test drugs or even replace damaged tissue in patients.

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Rebooting the immune system: Blood stem cells in multiple sclerosis therapy

As part of an international clinical trial, researchers at the Sheffield Teaching Hospital recently reported interesting developments in multiple sclerosis therapy. Using the patients’ own blood stem cells, the scientists were able to reboot their immune system, therefore preventing autoreactive immune cells from further attacks on their fragile nervous system.

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