Bone marrow derived stem cells can give rise to heart muscle cells. This plasticity concept – the ability of bone marrow cell to transdifferentiate into heart muscle cell – is supported by experimental and clinical data. Another possibility is to replace the missing function by causing transdifferentiation of existing cells. Transdifferentiation means converting one sort of cell, e.g. fibroblast, into another, e.g. muscle cell. There is real hope that we may be able to control this unique phenomenon to produce many heart cells to create a new heart muscle based on cells harvested from the patient himself.
These plasticity concepts have challenged the traditional dogma of tissue specific stem cell differentiation in adults and have raised hot debate. Many scientists have suggested alternative interpretations for plasticity research findings. Furthermore, recently, the debate regarding bone marrow and other adult stem cell plasticity has moved into the political and public zone. Opponents of human embryonic stem cell research see the plasticity of adult cells as a means of avoiding the use of human blastocysts (embryos a few days old) that is required to obtain pluripotent embryonic stem cells.
Despite the plasticity controversy and our limited understanding of stem cell plasticity, we hope that if we can control this process we may be able to use adult cells to produce new heart tissue for transplant and heart repair. J Leor (TEl Hashomer, IL)
Camilla Dormer | alfa
Electrical 'switch' in brain's capillary network monitors activity and controls blood flow
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24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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