How Stem Cells Find Damaged Tissue reports on an interesting advance in our understanding of stem cell repair mechanisms: "To regenerate unhealthy tissue, stem cells must first move toward the effected area. It had never been known how stem cells [are] able to home precisely to the site of injury or disease ... Using a simulated stroke model, the collaborators found that the chemokine SDF-1 alpha, secreted by injured or inflamed neural tissue, acts like an SOS signal and summons implanted human neural stem cells to the site of injury ... The stem cells appear to migrate to the site of an injury by engaging in a special kind of movement called 'chain migration' in which the cells slide and guide on top of each other, laying down a path for each other, much like a colony of ants moving from their nest to a source of food."



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