New clinical applications in regenerative medicine are motivating an intense interest in easily accessible sources for producing human stem cells. The 2007 breakthrough showing that induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) could be generated directly from adult cells has been a boon to the industry. Since that time, there has been a steady refinement of the cell culture techniques that guide the cell reprogramming process.
Researchers find that extracellular vesicles derived from bone marrow stem cells can lead to osteoblast activation and bone regeneration.
While the idea of regenerating organs such as hearts, lungs and kidneys in the laboratory is still purely experimental and a long way from being used for treatment procedures in patients, everyday scientists are inching closer to that dream. This time, the success is with bone tissue re-engineering, as scientists discover that extracellular vesicles from bone marrow stem cells can regulate osteoblast activity and lead to bone regeneration.
The Prkci gene maintains the stem cells homeostasis in the adult body
One of the striking features of stem cells is their ability to make copies of themselves whenever it is required, a property known as 'self-renewal'. This process keeps cell division under control, which is required for continuous regeneration in the human body. It is very important to keep proliferation under check; otherwise, an excess of symmetric division can lead to teratoma formation, but also an insufficient number may inhibit the repair and maintenance of the body. In a nutshell, stem cells play a very crucial role in maintaining the homeostasis of the adult body.
A study performed on the NASA space shuttle Discovery showed that microgravity inhibits the regenerative potential of embryonic stem cells.
Since the discovery of stem cells, NASA researchers have been interested in how they are influenced by space travel. Exposure to microgravity often causes the breakdown of tissue and function, which poses serious challenges to the health of astronauts in space. Astronauts experience muscle atrophy, bone density loss, and slower heart rates in orbit. Affected tissues often rely on tissue-specific stem cells for regeneration and repair. Thus, studies examining the maintenance of tissue regenerative health during spaceflight are critical.
Stem cells were instrumental in creating new functional diaphragm
The diaphragm is a one of the vital organs of the body; it is responsible for several important functions including its very critical role in respiration. During the process of breathing, the diaphragm contracts to add volume to the thoracic cavity, which enables the lungs to make room for more air. It also separates the thoracic and abdominal cavities. The malfunction of the diaphragm can lead to several life threatening conditions, which can be acquired or congenital. Congenital diaphragmatic hernias (CDH) are one of the most common birth defects (1:2500) caused by a malformation, or hole, in the diaphragm.