Heart, heal theyself

A group of researchers from University College London made a splash this week with their work prodding heart muscle to repair itself. This is big news, given both the number of people who have heart attacks (more than 1 million per year in the US) and the number of stem cell scientists working to regenerate the damage (23 awards worth $46 million from CIRM).

CIRM grantees directly create neuronal stem cells for research and therapies

CIRM grantees at the Scripps Research Institute, University of California, San Diego and Sanford-Burnham Research Institute have taken an intriguing step toward producing neural progenitor cells for research or therapies. The team, led by Sheng Ding who has recently moved to the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco, started with mouse skin cells and converted them directly to an early stage of neural cell. The work was published in the April 26 online issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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.
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