A Glance at Basic Stem Cell Research

A release at Newswise is indicative of the sort of progress presently underway in the study of stem cell biochemistry. Piece by piece, scientists are uncovering the knowledge needed to fully control our cells, and thereby regenerate damage on demand: "A newly discovered small molecule called IQ-1 plays a key role in preventing embryonic stem cells from differentiating into one or more specific cell types, allowing them to instead continue growing and dividing indefinitely ... This discovery takes scientists another step closer to being able to grow embryonic stem cells without the 'feeder layer' of mouse fibroblast cells that is essential for maintaining the pluripotency of embryonic stem cells ... Such a layer is needed because it is currently the only proven method to provide the stem cells with the necessary chemical signals that prompt them to stay undifferentiated and to continue dividing over and over. ... Stem cells that grow on feeders are contaminated with mouse glycoproteins markers. If you use them into humans, you'd potentially have a horrible immune response. ... If we can create a totally chemically defined system for growing human embryonic stem cells without any risk of contamination, it would make life much easier for scientists than it is at the moment. And that's our goal."

Link: http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/528206/

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