The Physicians Committee

Breaking Research News - stem cell

Neurons Created in a Laboratory Could Provide Insight into the Progression of Chronic Pain

Researchers in Brazil (D’Or Institute for Research & Education), in conjunction with scientists at L’Oréal, successfully differentiated human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) into peripheral sensory neurons—or the neurons that innervate our arms, legs, fingers, and toes—in the presence of skin cells. The cells were responsive to pain-causing irritants, such as capsaicin, resiniferatoxin, anandamide, bradykinin, potassium solution, and hydrogen peroxide.

New Stem Cell Resource Created to Accelerate Human-based Research

Researchers from the Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Initiative ( recently produced and characterized 711 stem cell lines derived from 301 healthy individuals to demonstrate that up to 46 percent of the differences observed between the functional traits of these cell lines can be explained by variations among normal individuals.

Miniature Brains in Dish Offer Insight into Brain Development

Researchers converted skin cells from patients with Miller-Dieker disorder, a rare brain development condition, into stem cells which were then grown in a dish to form partial brain tissues.

Stem Cell Model Identifies Eating Disorder Gene

Using skin cells isolated from patients with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, researchers created a new stem cell model of this condition and identified a novel gene (tachykinin 1 receptor) involved in this disorder.

Plants Structures Help Grow Human Heart Tissues

By removing plant cells from plant structures, like a spinach leaf, researchers discovered that the remaining vascular network structure can be used to grow functional, beating human heart cells from stem cells and is capable of delivering fluids and small molecules to these cells.

Organ-on-a-Chip Offers Treatment Insights for Aging Blood Vessels

Using stem cells derived from healthy donors and patients with Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (a rare disease characterized by premature aging of the blood vessels and heart attacks in childhood), researchers created a new miniature device to mimic the stretching and straining that occurs in the smooth muscle cells of blood vessels during blood flow.

Rapid Screening of Heart-Related Drug Toxicity Using Stem Cells

Researchers used patient-derived cells to generate stem cells capable of producing various cell types in the human heart and used them to test the heart-related toxicity of a class of drugs used for treating cancer.

Human Mini-Brain Used to Study Micronutrients in Brain Development

An interdisciplinary group of scientists collaborated to develop a mini-brain model using human stem cells to understand the composition and distribution of micronutrients and minerals (e.g., phosphorus, sulfur, potassium, calcium, iron, and zinc) during human fetal brain formation using X-rays.  

Bipolar Patient Stem Cells Expand Human-Based Research

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh converted skin cells donated by patients with bipolar disorder, a mood disorder, into stem cells and made them available to scientists worldwide through the European Bank for induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (EBiSC).

New Method for Culturing Stem Cells Brings Technology Closer to the Clinic

Researchers from Dr. Huey-Ching Wang’s group at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research reported on a human protein called vitronectin, which makes up part of the matrix that cells move on, is capable of allowing iPSCs to grow and remain as stem cells in long-term cultures without animal product contamination.

Stem Cell Technology May Restore Cancer-Fighting Power to Immune Cells

Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells are toxic immune cells that serve as important regulators of immune responses to fight off cancer cells. The function and quantity of iNKT cells are often suppressed in cancer patients. In an attempt to restore the function of these weakened iNKT cells, researchers from Kyoto University and the National Cancer Center in Japan reprogrammed iNKT cells isolated from patients to create induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which have the capability to generate any cell in the body.

Reassuring Genetic Changes in Stem Cells Generated from Humans

Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) serve as alternatives to animal-based models of human diseases while also serving as promising therapeutic candidates for many degenerative or chronic conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.

3-D-Printed Liver Model Creates Opportunity for Personalized Drug Screening

The liver serves many essential functions including synthesis of vital proteins, breakdown of metabolic products, and detoxification of harmful substances. It has been challenging to develop a synthetic experimental model of the liver outside of organisms given its complex 3-D architecture and unique cellular niche microenvironments.

In Vitro Human Nerve Cell Model May Help Develop Treatments for Vision Disorders

For the first time, scientists at Johns Hopkins University have developed human retinal ganglion cells from human pluripotent stem cells using a gene modification/genome editing tool.

Biomedical Research Should Focus on Nonanimal Methods

In recent years, toxicology and regulatory testing have progressively moved away from the use of animals to test toxicant effects toward the use and implementation of human-based, animal-free approaches.

Human Kidney Model to Help Predict Drug-Induced Toxicity

Scientists from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) in Singapore have recently developed a new platform combining cell cultures of renal cells obtained from human induced pluripotent stem cells and a machine learning algorithm.

Kidney Organoids Could Further Kidney Failure Research

Kidneys play key roles in the human body, such as filtration of toxins from the blood and regulation of blood pressure and bone density. Kidney failure, as a consequence of poisoning, infections, or other diseases, represents a serious health concern, and to date the only two available therapeutic options are kidney transplantation or dialysis.

Using Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells to Discover New Drugs

Human induced pluripotent stem cell models seem promising for the discovery of novel drugs suitable for the treatment of human pathologies.

Brain Developed in Dish Will Enable Ethical, Accurate Drug Testing

Scientists at the Ohio State University have recently developed a human fetal brain in a dish, engineered from adult human skin cells.

New Method Transforms Stem Cells into Muscle Cells

Researchers have developed new technology to turn stem cells into mature muscle cells, an advancement that may aid disease-fighting cell replacement therapies.

Could Miniature “Brains” Aid Autism Research?

Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine have used human skin cells to develop miniature “brains” that could help gather insights into the development of autism.

Cardiac Tissue Model Helps Study Heart Development and Test Drugs

Induced pluripotent stem cells derived from humans are currently used to generate new promising cellular models suitable to study human cell and tissue biology and test new drugs in vitro. Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have generated a beating cardiac tissue obtained from human induced pluripotent stem cells.

A Novel Model Will Help Investigate Neuronal Connectivity In Vitro

Modeling the complex neuronal interconnections found in the human brain in vitro is a challenging task. But recently, a group of scientists have been able to successfully culture in vitro different neuronal cell types, forming complex brain structures.

Mammary Glands-in-a-Dish Will Help Define Breast Cancer Cell Biology

By using healthy tissue derived from women undergoing aesthetic breast reduction, German scientists have recently developed a new in vitro mammary gland system that can grow and function like normal breast stem cells.

3-D Cultures of Human Neuronal Cells for Parkinson's Disease Drug Discovery

Dopaminergic neurons-the main source of the hormone dopamine-are known to be progressively lost in Parkinson's disease, a neurodegenerative condition causing tremor and motor impairment. A new system utilizing 3-D dopaminergic neuronal cells could allow researchers to discover new drugs for Parkinson's disease, according to a recent publication in Lab on a Chip.

Stem Cells Offer New Insights into Genetic Causes of Heart Disease

According to a recent publication in Science Translational Medicine, patient stem cells are being used to study a genetic mutation associated with increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and complications arising from type 2 diabetes.

Human Neurons Used to Study Mental Illness

Stem-cell-derived neurons could be useful for studying the chemistry underlying brain disorders.

3-D Human Brain Cultures Could Improve Central Nervous System Research

Researchers have recently established a method for generating brain "organoids" from human stem cells, according to a new publication in Nature Protocols.

Technique for Studying Human Genes Improves Disease Research

Researchers have developed a new technique for manipulating genes in human cells obtained from stem cells.

Human Serum Could Help Pave Way for Future Liver Cell Transplants

liver supports the growth of stem-cell derived liver cells in vitro

Stem Cells from Patients with Lou Gehrig's Disease Provide Novel Insights into Disease Mechanisms

According to a new report in Cell Stem Cell, researchers recently discovered new mechanisms behind nerve cell dysfunction in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease

Human Liver Cells Further Hepatitis C Research

new model for studying hepatitis C infection

Human Stem Cells Advance Retinal Tissue Cultures

Human stem cells can assemble into 3-dimensional retinal tissue cultures

Stem Cell-Based in Vitro Technology for Studying Heart Conditions

Patient stems cells, genetic tools, and heart-on-chip technology provide new insight into possible treatment strategies for a genetic heart condition