Basic Biology

Heart cells divide again?

One perplexing question in regenerative medicine is why the human heart muscle cells are unable to divide and multiply their numbers. If they could, maybe they'd be able to produce new heart cells to replace those lost after a heart attack. Newts and salamanders can do it, why can't we?

Techniques for tracking stem cells necessary for possible therapies

Last week The Scientist carried a story addressing a topic near and dear to the heart of anyone trying to develop a therapy based on transplanting stem cells, whether they are embryonic, adult, or iPS cells: Where do the cells go once they are transplanted?

iPS cells reveal stem cell origin of disease

A new Nature paper from CIRM grantees at Stanford University once again shows the value of reprogrammed iPS cells in understanding disease. Scientists can't develop a therapy for a disease if they don't know what it is going wrong. In many cases, iPS cells have provided the first ever way of peering into diseased cells and finding which proteins and genes need fixing.

The next big thing -- and how to fund it

Gina Kolata had an interesting piece in today's New York Times about the difficulty of predicting where the next big biomedical breakthrough will come. She, like many people, had predicted big things for gene therapy. She was wrong.

She writes:
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