Thursday, March 13, 2008

Method Produces Nerve Cells More Quickly

Researchers at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research have developed a new way of quickly maturing embryonic stem cells into neural cells. Other research groups have worked out lab conditions that encourage embryonic stem cells to mature into various types of nerve cells, but those methods were slow and resulted in early stage nerve cells that were more likely to cause tumors when transplanted into mice. This new method could speed work by researchers who are trying to develop therapies for diseases of the nervous system. As an additional benefit, this work showed that some previously overlooked genes are worth studying as potential regulators of embryonic stem cell maturation.

Cell Death and Differentiation: March 13, 2009
CIRM authors: R Bajpai (T2-00004), Stuart Lipton (RC1-00125), Alexi Terskikh (RS1-00466)

Related Information: Press release, Burnham Institute for Medical Research, Lipton bio, Terskikh bio

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Genetic Factor Influences Heart Muscle Formation from Embryonic Stem Cells

Researchers at the Gladstone Institute for Cardiovascular Disease discovered how two specific tiny genetic factors called microRNAs influence the differentiation of embryonic stem cells into heart muscle. They found that the factors not only drive the versatile cells to become heart, but also actively prevent them from becoming other tissue such as bone adding to their potential to make therapy more specific and targeted for patients.

Cell Stem Cell: March 6, 2008
CIRM funding: Kathey Ivey (T2-00003), E. Hsiao (T2-00003), Deepak Srivastava (RC1-00142)

Related Information: Press release, Gladstone Institute of  Cardiovascular Disease,Srivastava bio