Feeds

Stem cell trigger pinpointed

The protein that turns back time

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Stem cell scientists have pinpointed a molecule that confers the cells with amazing powers of self-renewal and maintains their ability to develop into any other type of cell in the body.

The discovery could help pave the way for stem cells derived from adult tissues, giving ethical debates over the use of embryos a side-swerve.

A University of Edinburgh team, writing in Nature, reports that the protein Nanog acts as a switch, turning on a host of genes which are responsible for stem cell's much-touted special properties of renewal and repair. It's hoped they will provide treatments for currently incurable conditions such as Parkinson's and spinal cord injury. The stem cells in adult tissues do not have the same breadth of potential as those found in embryos.

The researchers induced mouse cells to produce extra quantities of Nanog. They showed when the Nanog cells were joined with cells previously destined to become nerves they were pushed back in time, regaining the ability to become other tissues. Dr Jose Silva told Reuters: "The effect of Nanog is remarkable. All the hybrid cells became fully converted to embryonic stem cells."

Although not the only controller of stem cells, the team say the work on Nanog - named after the Celtic mythical forever-young land of Tir Nan Og - is an important step to understanding the mysteries of what stops them becoming differentiated tissues.

Harvard recently announced plans to use private cash to fund research into using human embryos as a source of stem cells. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.