Scientists at the Carnegie Institution in Baltimore, MD, have found that certain cells involved in egg development in the fruitfly can be stimulated to revert to fully functioning stem cells. "This finding could lead to new sources of stem cells from other tissues and other animals," commented Dr. Allan Spradling, director of the Carnegie department and co-author of the study published in the March 14 online issue of Nature.
The research conducted by Spradling — a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator — and colleague Dr. Toshie Kai, involved so-called germline stem cells of the female fruitfly. These cells are precursors to eggs and begin their journey as stem cells living in a special environment called a niche. In the niche, a stem cell splits into two daughter cells, one of which leaves the niche to begin its transformation. Through a series of 4 divisions a cluster of 16 cells forms — an immature egg with 15 accompanying nurse cells. The researchers discovered that the cells in clusters of 4 and 8 cells can still return to the stem-cell state under appropriate conditions. Moreover, the reverted stem cells worked as well as normal stem cells. Flies with only reverted stem cells were as fertile as normal flies throughout adult life.
"For most stem cells, it has not been possible yet to determine how quickly their progeny cells lose the ability to function again as stem cells," Spradling noted. "In the fruitfly (Drosophila) ovary we could directly test this and found conditions where the cluster cells reverted to a stem-cell state and functioned throughout the entire life of the adult. We dont know yet if this will be a general result that applies to other stem cells," cautioned Kai. "The progeny of germline stem cells might develop relatively slowly compared with other stem cell progeny, and thus retain their stemness longer."
Dr. Allan Spradling | EurekAlert!
'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells
20.02.2018 | Biophysical Society
New printing technique uses cells and molecules to recreate biological structures
20.02.2018 | Queen Mary University of London
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
20.02.2018 | Life Sciences
20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering
20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy