Early Translational

Gene replacement in stem cells made easier

A press release about CIRM grantees at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies contains what might be the truest words in stem cell science:

iPS cell smack down

Pity the iPS cell -- it's had quite a ride this year. On the upside, cells reprogrammed from people with autism, Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia were used to create the first ever models of those diseases in a dish. Those models could provide a way of testing drugs on actual human cells. That's good.

California/Scottish collaboration to heal bones

The good folks at the Scottish Stem Cell Network have pointed out an interesting relationship between CIRM and Scotland. We don't have a formal funding relationship with Scotland (you can read about our collaborative funding agreements here) but we do have a researcher with a foot in both countries.

Reflecting on muscular dystrophy awareness week

This past week was muscular dystrophy awareness week, which seems like a short amount of time to focus on such a heartbreaking disease. One in every 3500 boys in the US develops that debilitating and fatal Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) - the most common and serious form of muscular dystrophy - and there is no cure.

Protein Aids Bone Healing

At the intersection of stem cell research and the world of Harry Potter you'll find new work by CIRM grantees at Stanford University School of Medicine that can speed the rate of bone healing by three times. It's not quite Skele-gro, but it's close, at least in mice.

Small DNA changes, life or death consequences

Two recent papers by CIRM grantees highlight the importance of understanding basic stem cell biology while developing new cures. Both have to do with chemical modifications to the DNA – called epigenetics.

One of the two papers shows that an epigenetic change in DNA, called methylation, changes dramatically as human embryonic stem cells mature into specific cell types; the other shows that even subtle DNA methylation differences alter the way a cell behaves.

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