Induced Oligodendrocyte Precursor Cells

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, inspired by the work of Shinya Yamanaka, have succeeded in transforming skin cells directly into oligodendrocyte precursor cells (direct lineage reprogramming!), the cells that wrap nerve cells in the insulating myelin sheaths that help nerve signals propagate. This could lead, in principle, to cell therapies for diseases like inherited leukodystrophies and multiple sclerosis, as well as spinal cord injuries and disease modeling.

You can read the full article in Nature Biotechnology here or the Science Daily article here.

Adult Stem Cells Isolated from Human Intestinal Tissue

Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) report that for the first time adult stem cells from human intestinal tissue have been isolated. The accomplishment provides a much-needed resource for scientists eager to uncover the true mechanisms of human stem cell biology, they say. It also enables researchers to explore new tactics to treat inflammatory bowel disease or to ameliorate the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, which often damage the gut.

Full article here