Reprogramming Adult Stem Cells Becomes Easier

What was deemed to be the best break through of 2008 in the science community, has started this year where it left off from last year. Reprogramming adult stem cells is becoming easier because instead of using many viruses to reprogram the cells, it uses just one virus which then turns the Adult Stems into Pluripotent Stem Cells. These cells in turn act like as though they were embryonic stem cells.

“The major milestone the six-member research team, led by Gustavo Mostoslavsky, Boston University Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Gastroenterology Section, achieved was combining the four vectors into a single “stem cell cassette” containing all four genes. The cassette (named STEMCCA) is comprised of a single multicistronic mRNA encoding the four transcription factors using a combination of 2A peptide technology and an internal ribosomal entry site (IRES).”

“With the STEMCCA vector, the researchers were able to generate iPS cells more efficiently — 10 times higher than previously reported studies.” Science Daily

Other news about Adult Stem Cells…

On January 8, 2009 in the Journal of Stem Cell reports that scientists are able to induce more adult stem cells into the blood stream using mice. Bone marrow is vital when it comes to diseases or injury. It gathers different types of stem cells to help repair and then regenerate the tissue. Scientists used a combination of drugs that triggered the extra stem cells.

“This study is the first to selectively mobilize mesenchymal stem cells and endothelial progenitor cells from the bone marrow. Previous studies have only been able to mobilise the haematopoietic type of stem cell, which creates new blood cells. This technique is already used in bone marrow transplants in order to boost the numbers of haematopoietic stem cells in a donor’s bloodstream.”  —SB

It’s not known yet in this study if triggering extra stem cells into the blood stream will help the person heal better or in this case mice. I believe the regulation of different stems cells performed bone marrow is key component in this area not just extra stem cells. Certainly triggering more stem cells is worth more study. Looking forward to more advances in adult stem research!

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