A team of scientists at the Keck School of Medicine of USC has created what could be a key building block for assembling a synthetic kidney. In a new study in Nature Communications, Zhongwei Li and his colleagues describe how they can generate rudimentary kidney structures, known as organoids, that resemble the collecting duct system that helps maintain the body’s fluid and pH balance by concentrating and transporting urine.
Results could lead to new treatments for airways and lungs damaged by COVID-19, influenza, asthma and cystic fibrosis.
Spinal cord injury often leads to permanent functional impairment. In a new study published in the journal Science researchers at Karolinska Institutet show that it is possible to stimulate stem cells in the mouse spinal cord to form large amounts of new oligodendrocytes, cells that are essential to the ability of neurons to transmit signals, and thus to help repair the spinal cord after injury.
Johns Hopkins Medicine scientists say they have successfully turned back the biological hands of time, coaxing adult human cells in the laboratory to revert to a primitive state, and unlocking their potential to replace and repair damage to blood vessels in the retina caused by diabetes.
All cells in the body contain the same genetic material. The difference between cells therefore depends solely on which genes are expressed or ‘turned on’. Now, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have gained new insights into how genes are turned on and off and how the cells “forget their past” while developing into a specific cell in the body.
Researchers at Columbia University were able to grow fully functional lungs in mouse embryos using transplanted stem cells. The findings suggest that it may be ultimately possible to use the technique to grow human lungs in animals for patients who need transplants and to study new lung treatments.