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!
Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines
20.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik
Researchers find social cultures in chimpanzees
20.11.2018 | Universität Leipzig
Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.
Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
19.11.2018 | Event News
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
20.11.2018 | Life Sciences
20.11.2018 | Life Sciences
20.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy