Medical research

Researchers discover new compound that promotes lung health

A molecule identified by UCLA researchers helps maintain a healthy balance of cells in airway and lung tissue. If the compound, so far only studied in isolated human and mouse cells, has the same effect in people, it may ...

Diabetes

Post-transplant diabetes may be reversible

Post-transplantation diabetes mellitus (PTDM), a common complication of immunosuppressive drugs that are given to prevent transplant rejection, may be reversible and at least partially preventable, researchers at Vanderbilt ...

Stem cell

Stem cells are cells found in most, if not all, multi-cellular organisms. They are characterized by the ability to renew themselves through mitotic cell division and differentiating into a diverse range of specialized cell types. Research in the stem cell field grew out of findings by Canadian scientists Ernest A. McCulloch and James E. Till in the 1960s. The two broad types of mammalian stem cells are: embryonic stem cells that are isolated from the inner cell mass of blastocysts, and adult stem cells that are found in adult tissues. In a developing embryo, stem cells can differentiate into all of the specialized embryonic tissues. In adult organisms, stem cells and progenitor cells act as a repair system for the body, replenishing specialized cells, but also maintain the normal turnover of regenerative organs, such as blood, skin or intestinal tissues.

Stem cells can now be grown and transformed into specialized cells with characteristics consistent with cells of various tissues such as muscles or nerves through cell culture. Highly plastic adult stem cells from a variety of sources, including umbilical cord blood and bone marrow, are routinely used in medical therapies. Embryonic cell lines and autologous embryonic stem cells generated through therapeutic cloning have also been proposed as promising candidates for future therapies.

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