Search Results for: mesenchymal

Getting the most of mesenchymal stem cell transplants

Joseph Caputo originally wrote this post for the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI). Vector editor Nancy Fliesler contributed. Stem cell scientists had what first appeared to be an easy win for regenerative medicine when they discovered mesenchymal stem cells several decades ago. These cells, found in the bone marrow, can give rise to bone, fat…

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Could a simple injection fix spina bifida before birth?

Ed. note: This is an update of a post that originally appeared in 2014. The neural tube is supposed to close during the first month of prenatal development, forming the spinal cord and the brain. In children with spina bifida, it doesn’t close completely, leaving the nerves of the spinal cord exposed and subject to…

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Intestine chip models gut function, in disease and in health

The small intestine is much more than a digestive organ. It’s a major home to our microbiome, it’s a key site where mucosal immunity develops and it provides a protective barrier against a variety of infections. Animal models don’t do justice to the human intestine in all its complexity. Attempts to better model human intestinal function…

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2017 pediatric biomedical advances at Boston Children’s Hospital: Our top 10 picks

New tools and technologies fueled biomedicine to great heights in 2017. Here are just a few of our top picks. All are great examples of research informing better care for children (and adults). 1. Gene therapy arrives In 2017, gene therapy solidly shed the stigma of Jesse Gelsinger’s 1999 death with the development of safer…

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Delivered through amniotic fluid, stem cells could treat a range of birth defects

The amniotic fluid surrounding babies in the womb contains fetal mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that can differentiate into many cell types and tissues. More than a decade ago, Dario Fauza, MD, PhD, a surgeon and researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital, proposed using these cells therapeutically. His lab has been exploring these cells’ healing properties ever…

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3D organoids and RNA sequencing reveal the crosstalk driving lung cell formation

To stay healthy, our lungs have to maintain two key populations of cells: the alveolar epithelial cells, which make up the little sacs where gas exchange takes place, and bronchiolar epithelial cells (also known as airway cells) that are lined with smooth muscle. “We asked, how does a stem cell know whether it wants to…

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Bad to the bone: New light on the brain’s venous system… and on craniosynostosis

A recent study rocked the neuroscience world by demonstrating what in retrospect seems obvious: the brain has its own lymphatic system to help remove waste. A new study, from the laboratory of Elizabeth Engle, MD, at Boston Children’s Hospital, sheds light on another critical, little-studied part of the brain’s drainage system: the dural cerebral veins…

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2017 predictions for biomedicine

David Williams, MD, is Boston Children’s Hospital’s newly appointed Chief Scientific Officer. He is also president of the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and director of Clinical and Translational Research at Boston Children’s. Vector connected with him to get his forecast on where biomedical research and therapeutic development will go in the year…

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Inspired research in newborn lung disease: Stella Kourembanas, MD

During the NICU rotation of her clinical training, Stella Kourembanas, MD, sat at the bedside of newborn babies with hypoxia. The newborns weren’t getting enough oxygen and were suffering from pulmonary hypertension — abnormally elevated blood pressure in the lung’s blood vessels. What was triggering these patients’ disease? Kourembanas decided her fellowship research would focus…

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Stem cells and birth defects: Could gastroschisis be treated in utero?

Except when spreading awareness about her condition, 6-year-old Gianna DeCarlo prefers not to wear two-piece bathing suits because of the long vertical scar on her stomach. “Even though nobody’s said anything, she feels like she’ll be made fun of,” says her mother, Danielle. “I do what I can to make her love her body.” Gianna…

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