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  • human skeletal stem cells
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  • News

    Humans have skeletal stem cells that help bones and cartilage grow

    Repairing bones and cartilage may get easier thanks to newly discovered human skeletal stem cells.

    Scientists found the stem cells, which give rise to bones, cartilage and the spongy bone that harbors bone marrow, in fetal bones, adult bones and fat, researchers report online September 20 in Cell. The researchers also reprogrammed adult cells into skeletal stem cells. A ready supply of...

    09/20/2018 - 11:08 Cells
  • News

    Over-the-hill cells may cause trouble in the aging brain

    Cells past their prime may have a role in dementia. Culling these cells protected the brains of mice that were otherwise destined for brain decline, a new study finds.

    Senescent cells, which accumulate with age, are still alive but in a state of suspended animation — they stop doing their jobs and they stop dividing. Getting rid of these cells in the body extends the life spans of mice...

    09/19/2018 - 13:00 Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    How obesity may harm memory and learning

    Obesity can affect brainpower, and a study in mice may help explain how.

    In the brains of obese mice, rogue immune cells chomp nerve cell connections that are important for learning and memory, scientists report September 10 in the Journal of Neuroscience. Drugs that stop this synapse destruction may ultimately prove useful for protecting the brain against the immune cell assault.

    ...

    09/10/2018 - 13:06 Neuroscience
  • It's Alive

    These songbirds violently fling and then impale their prey

    Bite a mouse in the back of the neck and don’t let go. Now shake your head at a frenzied 11 turns per second, as if saying “No, no, no, no, no!”

    You have just imitated a hunting loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), already considered one of North America’s more ghoulish songbirds for the way it impales its prey carcasses on thorns and barbed wire.  

    Once the shrike hoists its...

    09/07/2018 - 06:00 Animals, Evolution
  • News in Brief

    Newfound skull tunnels may speed immune cells’ trek to brain injuries

    Skulls seem solid, but the thick bones are actually riddled with tiny tunnels.

    Microscopic channels cut through the skull bones of people and mice, scientists found. In mice, inflammatory immune cells use these previously hidden channels to travel from the bone marrow of the skull to the brain, the team reports August 27 in Nature Neuroscience. It’s not yet known whether immune cells...

    08/31/2018 - 07:00 Neuroscience
  • Mystery Solved

    How salamanders can regrow nearly complete tails but lizards can’t

    Salamanders and lizards can both regrow their tails, but not to equal perfection.

    While a regenerated salamander tail closely mimics the original, bone and all, a lizard’s replacement is filled with cartilage and lacks nerve cells. That contrast is due to differences between stem cells in the animals’ spinal cords, researchers report online August 13 in Proceedings of the National...

    08/17/2018 - 12:30 Cells, Development, Animals, Evolution
  • News

    A ghost gene leaves ocean mammals vulnerable to some pesticides

    A gene that helps mammals break down certain toxic chemicals appears to be faulty in marine mammals — potentially leaving manatees, dolphins and other warm-blooded water dwellers more sensitive to dangerous pesticides.

    The gene, PON1, carries instructions for making a protein that interacts with fatty acids ingested with food. But that protein has taken on another role in recent decades...

    08/09/2018 - 14:00 Animals, Molecular Evolution, Toxicology
  • News

    Researchers say CRISPR edits to a human embryo worked. But critics still doubt it

    When researchers announced last year that they had edited human embryos to repair a damaged gene that can lead to heart failure, critics called the report into question.

    Now new evidence confirms that the gene editing was successful, reproductive and developmental biologist Shoukhrat Mitalipov and colleagues report August 8 in Nature. “All of our conclusions were basically right,”...

    08/08/2018 - 14:45 Genetics, Science & Society
  • The –est

    This killifish can go from egg to sex in two weeks

    A fish that lives in rain puddles has beaten its own record for the fastest known sexual maturity among vertebrates.

    Turquoise killifish (Nothobranchius furzeri) that hatch after unpredictable deluges in Mozambique can go from hatchling to ready-to-breed adult in 14 days, researchers announce August 6 in Current Biology. Killifish in cushy lab conditions had already grown up faster than...

    08/06/2018 - 15:04 Animals, Evolution
  • News

    Newfound airway cells may breathe life into tackling cystic fibrosis

    Meet the ionocyte. This newly discovered cell may be the star of future cystic fibrosis therapies. Researchers have found that the gene tied to the disease is very active in the cells, which line the air passages of the lungs.

    While the cells are rare, making up only 1 to 2 percent of cells that line the airways, they seem to play an outsized role in keeping lungs clear. The...

    08/01/2018 - 17:06 Health, Cells