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4 posts from July 2011

July 28, 2011

Cord blood - $27.80 per click!

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July 21, 2011

Cell fate conversion: Bypassing the climb back up Waddington’s hill

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July 18, 2011

Could stem cells be a solution to organ harvesting and donation?

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July 13, 2011

Isolating single human hematopoietic stem cells

by David Kent

For those who followed the Stem Cell Foundation campaign last year, you may have come across the article I wrote about what inspired me to enter the field of stem cell biology. The power of a single blood stem cell to recreate all of the elements of the blood system for the lifetime of a mouse (and beyond) and the ability to isolate them prospectively at near purity in mammals is a luxury primarily limited to the mouse blood stem cell system. With the breast (John Stingl, former SCN trainee under Connie Eaves) and prostate (Owen Witte) fields catching up quickly, scientists are very excited to pursue high-level studies of pure populations in multiple tissues of the mouse.

This week, even more excitement was generated with news from one of the pioneering stem cell labs in Toronto: John Dick and his team of researchers at the Ontario Cancer Institute have achieved this feat in human blood stem cells. In a splendid display of teamwork indicative of the collaborative atmosphere in the Dick lab, the dynamic duo of Faiyaz Notta and Sergei Doutlatov (PhD students and SCN trainees) led the work that demonstrated for the first time, the capacity of single blood cells isolated from a human cord blood sample to make all of the cell types of the blood system for a sufficiently long time post-transplantation to be deemed a bona fide blood stem cell. This is the same pair of students who also recently published the Nature Immunology paper that mapped the various progenitor compartments in the human blood system by phenotype and function – a strategy now widely used to help study the panoply of diseases arising in the blood system.

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