Tag: Stem Cells + Therapeutic Cloning

Precision gene targeting in stem cells corrects disease-causing mutations

July 14, 2011

Using two distinct methods, Whitehead Institute researchers have successfully and consistently manipulated targeted genes in both human embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells (adult cells that have been reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell-like state).

Image of epithelial and mesenchymal cells

Signaling pathways point to vulnerability in breast cancer stem cells

June 9, 2011

Whitehead Institute researchers have identified signals impinging on breast epithelial cells that can induce those cells to acquire and stably display migratory and self-renewing characteristics.

Image of a planarian

Pluripotent adult stem cells power planarian regeneration

May 12, 2011

Whitehead Institute researchers have determined that the planarian flatworm regenerates missing tissues by using pluripotent adult stem cells. Until now, scientists could not determine whether the dividing cells in planarians, called neoblasts, are a mixture of specialized stem cells that each regenerates specific tissues, or if individual neoblasts are pluripotent and able to regenerate all tissues.

Ancient gene gives planarians a heads-up in regeneration

May 12, 2011

A little-studied gene known as notum plays a key role in the planarian’s regeneration decision-making process, according to Whitehead Institute scientists. At head-facing (anterior) wounds, the gene notum acts as a dimmer switch to dampen the Wnt pathway—an ancient signaling circuit that operates in all animals—and promote head regeneration.

Scientists identify a surprising new source of cancer stem cells

April 11, 2011

Certain differentiated cells in breast tissue can spontaneously convert to a stem-cell-like state, according to Whitehead Institute researchers. Until now, scientific dogma has stated that differentiation is a one-way path; once cells specialize, they cannot return to the flexible stem-cell state on their own.

Human embryonic stem cells and reprogrammed cells virtually identical

August 5, 2010

Human embryonic stem (ES) cells and adult cells reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell-like state—so-called induced pluripotent stem or iPS cells—exhibit very few differences in their gene expression signatures and are nearly indistinguishable in their chromatin state, according to Whitehead Institute researchers.

Protein that predicts prognosis of leukemia patients may also be a therapeutic target

July 8, 2010

Researchers at Whitehead Institute and Children’s Hospital Boston have identified a protein, called Musashi 2, that is predictive of prognosis in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients. High levels of Musashi 2 protein is associated with increased cell proliferation, decreased cell maturation, and multiple cancer-related cellular pathways in human leukemias.

Image of purple intestinal epithelial cells extracted from a teratoma seeded by reprogrammed blood cells.

Reprogrammed human blood cells show promise for disease research

July 1, 2010

Cells from frozen human blood samples can be reprogrammed to an embryonic stem-cell-like state, according to Whitehead Institute researchers. These cells can be multiplied and used to study the genetic and molecular mechanisms of blood disorders and other diseases.

Low oxygen levels prevent X chromosome inactivation in human embryonic stem cells

May 13, 2010

Oxygen levels in the lab can permanently alter human embryonic stem (ES) cells, specifically inducing X chromosome inactivation in female cells, according to Whitehead Institute researchers.

Scientists create human embryonic stem cells with enhanced pluripotency

May 3, 2010

Whitehead Institute researchers have converted established human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and human embryonic stem (ES) cells to a base state of greater pluripotency. 

Embryonic stem cells reveal oncogene’s secret growth formula

April 29, 2010

Whitehead Institute researchers have identified the mechanism that the protein c-Myc uses to regulate gene transcription, which affects one-third of the expressed genes in the genome. The work also reveals a general role for this mechanism in gene control, which is called transcriptional pause release.

Image showing wntP-1 concentration at planarian wound site

Figuring out the heads or tails decision in regeneration

September 14, 2009

Wounds trigger regeneration in planaria, a flatworm commonly studied for its regenerative capabilities. Until now, no molecular connection between wounding and the onset of the regeneration of an entire head or tail in planaria had been identified.

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