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Path to Growing Organs from Stem Cells by Proving Control of Embryonic Development in Fish

RATE THIS! +35
Posted in Science on 8th Apr, 2014 12:52 AM by AlexMuller

Scientists at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have overcome one of the greatest challenges in biology and taken a major step toward being able to grow whole organs and tissues from stem cells.

 

By manipulating the appropriate signaling, the U.Va. researchers have turned embryonic stem cells into a fish embryo, essentially controlling embryonic development.

 

The research will have dramatic impact on the future use of stem cells to better the human condition, providing a framework for future studies in the field of regenerative medicine aimed at constructing tissues and organs from populations of cultured pluripotent cells.
 
The researchers were able to identify the signals sufficient for starting the cascade of molecular and cellular processes that lead to a fully developed fish embryo. With this study came an answer to the longstanding question of how few signals can initiate the processes of development: amazingly, only two.
 
The study has shed light on the important roles these two signals play for the formation of organs and full development of a zebrafish embryo. Moreover, the Thisses are now able to direct embryonic development and formation of tissues and organs by controlling signal locations and concentrations.
 
Their next steps will be to attempt to reproduce their findings using mice. They expect molecular and cellular mechanisms will be extremely similar in mice and other mammals, including humans.

Tags: fishstem cellsorgansembryogenetics

Read original article » Back to category

Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-08
+3
Great and hopeful news for regenerative medicine! Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-08
+3
Zebrafish is a very good model organism and the assumption that the findings could be useful for research and application in mammals are well founded- I hope this works! Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-08
+3
Good progress. It is good to identify the minimal set of factors necessary to get uncommitted cells to organize a complete embryo!
4 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-08
+1
This raises the hope that damaged organs could be repaired in patients by reprogramming some of their own adult cells and then encouraging them to generate new tissue. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-08
+0
In principal this could help to repair any kind of damage like in the heart, brain or liver Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-08
+0
Depending on organ donors is a difficult situation for many patients. I hope that this will be an alternative to dependence upon donation Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-04-08
+3
They used here uncommitted cells of the zebrafish blastula - the next big and very significant step would be to use induced pluripotent stem cells - that would be really interesting Reply


 

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