Gage

Discoverer of brain stem cells becomes president of ISSCR

The North County Times had a good story yesterday about Fred Gage's new role as the president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research. Gage is a renowned stem cell scientists at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, which also wrote about his new role.

From stem cells to schizophrenia in a dish

Kristen Bren

The confusing (and ongoing) story of iPS vs. embryonic stem cells

It appears we weren't the only people to notice last week's convergence of reprogrammed iPS cell news -- first they are made better, then they are suggested to be worthless. USA Today ran a story summing up several years' worth of such news.

Stem cell model of autism allows testing of new drugs

Back in May 2009, CIRM held a workshop in which leading scientists discussed ways in which stem cell research could benefit people with autism (the autism workshop report from that meeting is available here). I have two friends with children who are on the spectrum and have seen first-hand the toll the disease takes on the families.

Protein protects brain from damage, may prevent neurodegenerative diseases

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have found a protein that protects the brain from the kind of damage that can lead to Parkinson's disease. This protein, called Nurr1, has a long history in Parkinson's disease research. People who carry a mutation in the gene are prone to developing the disease. The new work explains how the protein prevents Parkinson's disease and could also help researchers find ways of treating of preventing the disease.

Embryonic Stem Cells Generate Model for ALS

Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences have grown embryonic stem cells into the motor neurons and support cells that underlie amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Also known as Lou Gherig's Disease, ALS has no cure and no effective treatment. In this disease, the motor neurons slowly degenerate leaving a person paralyzed. Why the neurons die is not known, however the support cells called astrocytes have long appeared to play a role.

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