Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Cell Culture
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Scientists Engineer Human Stem Cells and Move Closer to Mastering Regenerative Medicine

Published: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Researchers have successfully converted human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) cultured in the laboratory to a state that is closer to the cells found in the human blastocyst.

This means that scientists are one step closer to cultivating stem cells for research and potential therapeutic purposes, as well as understanding the processes of early human development. These findings are published in the current issue of the prestigious science journal Cell Stem Cell.

Pluripotent stem cells such as hESCs and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have the remarkable ability to differentiate into various cell types of the adult body while proliferating continuously in culture. In the field of regenerative medicine, these cells are potentially a limitless resource to generate cells of different body parts such as the eye, liver, brain, kidney and pancreas to treat degenerative diseases or replace of worn out organs. Pluripotency is the essential property of the cells of the blastocyst in the early stages of human development. However, when cultured in the laboratory, these cells adopt molecular differences, which limit their use in therapeutic applications or disease modeling.

Using previously established hESCs, the researchers screened for culture conditions that could induce a stable change of cell state. They found that the use of a specific combination of small molecules and growth factors, termed 3iL, converted hESCs to a state that resembled cells within the native blastocysts.

The GIS team’s discovery will empower researchers with a novel resource to tackle existing challenges. “For the past 15 years, scientists could only work on a single hESC state. We now provide a novel cell state for all hESC applications,” said Prof Ng Huck Hui. “The results from the study will open many new possibilities to study human development and disease. The 3iL hESCs will help to overcome some of the obstacles that limit the potential of pluripotent cells in regenerative medicine.”

The researchers also found that many genes which are active in blastocyst cells but inactive in hESCs were turned on again in this novel cell state. These re-activated genes also showed epigenetic differences. “Every cell has a ’memory’, the epigenome, which is a layer on top of the genome that marks active and inactive genes,” explained Dr Jonathan Göke, a bioinformatician from GIS “When we looked into the epigenome of these 3iL cells, we found that this ‘memory’ was dramatically different; the cells appeared to be partly set back to the state of the embryo.”

To demonstrate how these 3iL hESCs can be used to obtain insights into human development, Prof Ng’s team studied the regulatory system that controls these developmental genes. “Studies of basic mechanisms like gene regulation require a large number of cells,” said Dr Chan Yun Shen, co-lead author, and researcher at GIS. “This is the first time that we are able to see how these genes are potentially regulated. While additional experiments will help to fully characterize these 3iL hESCs, we can already see that they provide an unprecedented way to study early human development without the use of any blastocysts.”


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,200+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Mitochondria Shown to Trigger Cell Ageing
An international team of scientists has for the first time shown that mitochondria, the batteries of the cells, are essential for ageing.
Cancer Cells Kill Off Healthy Neighbours
Cancer cells create space to grow by killing off surrounding healthy cells, according to UK researchers working with fruit flies.
Editing of Embryos Approved in the UK
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has approved a research application from the Francis Crick Institute to use new "gene editing" techniques on human embryos.
Microbes Take Their Vitamins
Scientists exploit organisms' needs in order to track 'vitamin mimics' in bacteria.
Machine Learning Uncovers Unknown Bacterial Features
Technique robustly identified characteristic gene expression patterns in response to antibiotics, low oxygen conditions.
CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing Advances Again
UC Berkeley researchers have made a major improvement in CRISPR-Cas9 technology that achieves an unprecedented success rate of 60 percent when replacing a short stretch of DNA with another.
Disrupting Cell’s Supply Chain Freezes Cancer Virus
When the cancer-causing Epstein-Barr virus moves into a B-cell of the human immune system, it tricks the cell into rapidly making more copies of itself, each of which will carry the virus.
Why Do Some Infections Persist?
In preparing for the possibility of an antibiotic onslaught, some bacterial cultures adopt an all-for-one/one-for-all strategy that would make a socialist proud, University of Vermont researchers have found.
ASCB: A CELLebration of Cell Biology
The last major congress of the year, ASCB is less a platform for launching new products, but one for confirming and consolidating the trends that have emerged over the past 12 months.
Squeezing Cells into Stem Cells
EPFL scientists have developed a new method that helps cells turn in usable stem cells. The new approach involves “squeezing” cells with a gel, and paves the way for large-scale production of stem cells for medical purposes.
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!