The Promise of Stem Cell Research
In fall 2013, the Natural Sciences Journal Club will focus on papers dealing with Stem Cells.
The Natural Sciences Journal Club in now meeting each Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in Timken Science 251.
Note: we have switched out meetings from Friday to Thursday.
At the remaining meeting this semester (11/7, 11/14, 11/21, & 12/5) we will be discussing
Vascularized and functional human liver from an iPSC-derived organ bud transplant
by Takebe et al. that was published in the July 25, 2013 issue of Nature.
This semester we will be using information from the NIH stem cell website. The excerpt below discusses some of the basic information about stem cells.
Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. In addition, in many tissues they serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential either to remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell.
Stem cells are distinguished from other cell types by two important characteristics. First, they are unspecialized cells capable of renewing themselves through cell division, sometimes after long periods of inactivity. Second, under certain physiologic or experimental conditions, they can be induced to become tissue- or organ-specific cells with special functions. In some organs, such as the gut and bone marrow, stem cells regularly divide to repair and replace worn out or damaged tissues. In other organs, however, such as the pancreas and the heart, stem cells only divide under special conditions.
Below are links to resources available to learn about stem cells.