Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

U of MN researchers identify genes involved with blood stem cell development

05.07.2005


Discovery has implications for future treatments



Researchers at the University of Minnesota have identified for the first time a group of genes that impact the development and function of blood stem cells, a discovery that brings researchers a step closer to harnessing the power of stem cells for disease treatments.

Every day, blood stem cells divide and differentiate to generate approximately 200 billion new blood cells in the bone marrow of adults. To maintain their numbers over time, blood stem cells also can divide and give rise to new blood stem cells through a process called self-renewal. What was not fully understood is which genes control the self-renewal and differentiation processes, and how these genes could be used to influence, or regulate, these processes.


The research will be published in the July issue of the journal of Public Library of Science Biology.

"If we can find a way to coax blood stem cells to self-renew and thus expand in the laboratory, doctors will have more options in treating diseases such as blood disorders, leukemias, and lymphomas," said Catherine Verfaillie, M.D., director of the University’s Stem Cell Institute.

For example, researchers at the University already perform umbilical cord blood transplants to treat disease. But there are often not enough blood stem cells harvested from a single collection of umbilical cord blood to effectively treat adults and older children. This research provides insight into understanding how to stimulate blood stem cells to multiply so that scientists could generate enough cells from a single umbilical cord to treat more patients.

Importantly, the researchers developed a rapid way to identify genes that regulate the functions of stem cells that give rise to blood cells. They first developed a list of 277 genes that may regulate stem cells that make blood. They then focused on a group of 61 of these genes that had unknown roles in the function of blood stem cells.

Using zebrafish, a small fish that develops red blood cells in a way similar to humans, they "turned off" these genes in the fish embryos and watched to see if the blood formed normally. They found that disrupting the expression of 14 of these genes resulted in defects in how blood cells developed in zebrafish.

The next step is finding out how these 14 genes are involved in the development of blood cells in mammals, as well as how to harness the cells’ ability to self-renew, or multiply. In the future, the techniques developed as a result of this research could be applied to other disciplines, such as neuroscience and diabetes research.

Sara E. Buss | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umn.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water world
20.11.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

nachricht Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activity
20.11.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Antarctic landscape insights keep ice loss forecasts on the radar

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Filling the gap: High-latitude volcanic eruptions also have global impact

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Water world

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>