Feeds

Scientists brew up pure nerve stem cells

UK and Italian team hails breakthrough

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have announced the successful creation - in conjunction with the University of Milan - of nerve stems cells, hailing the breakthrough as a great leap towards possible treatments for diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

The initial application for the cells will be to test the effectiveness of new medicines. Lead boffin professor Austin Smith told the BBC: "We're already talking with the bio-technology and bio-pharmaceutical companies about taking these cells into screening systems for new drugs. Hopefully that will come to pass within two to three years."

The long-term aim, however, is to use the cells for transplantation, although Smith admitted: "In terms of the possibility of using the cells for transplantation, that's a much more difficult and longer term thing and I think there we're talking more of the five to ten year range."

In creating the stem cells, the Edinburgh and Milan scientists overcame the tricky problem of not ending up with dish full of mixed stem and specialized cells. As the uni's blurb explains: "Until now, scientists had not been able to sustain the ability of neural stem cells to produce copies of themselves when grown in a dish. This meant that the population of cells in the dish would always become mixed, with only a few stem cells and many more specialized cells. By changing the growth conditions for the cells, the Edinburgh and Milan labs have for the first time established pure stem cell divisions, thus avoiding the unwanted differentiated cells."

Milan team member Luciano Conti concludes: "We applied techniques developed to control the behaviour of embryonic stem cells to our neural stem cells. The knowledge we already have about embryonic stem cells helped us to understand and control these more specialized stem cells." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.