Researchers at the Salk Institute of Biological Studies discovered that stem cells in the testes of fruit flies are able to generate their own support cells. This work in flies could help guide researchers hoping to understand the environment surrounding resident populations of human stem cells - called the niche. The niche is difficult to study in humans but is an area of great interest because any therapy based on transplanting stem cells into a tissue will require those cells to be paced in a niche where they will thrive. This work raises the possibility that some transplanted stem cells may be able to produce their own niche.
Nature: July 20, 2008
CIRM funding: Justin Voog (T1-00003)
Related Information: Salk press release, Salk Institute for Biological Studies