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February 06, 2012

Hormel Institute, U of M makes stem cell breakthrough

Here's a little from an interesting press release from Austin's Hormel Institute.

This looks like a good fit for regenerative medicine push underway in Rochester and Mayo Clinic at the Minnesota BioBusiness Center.

This research seems to fit with Cardio3's work, though this is embryonic stem cells and Cardio3 works with stem cells from a patients' bone marrow.

A University of Minnesota-led research team has proposed a mechanism for the control of whether embryonic stem cells continue to proliferate and stay stem cells, or differentiate into adult cells like brain, liver or skin.

Hormel_2The work has implications in two areas. In cancer treatment, it is desirable to inhibit cell proliferation. But to grow adult stem cells for transplantation to victims of injury or disease, it would be desirable to sustain proliferation until a sufficient number of cells have been produced to make a usable organ or tissue.

The study gives researchers a handle on how those two competing processes might be controlled. It was performed at the university's Hormel Institute in Austin, Minn., using mouse stem cells. The researchers, led by Hormel Institute Executive Director Zigang Dong and Associate Director Ann M. Bode, have published a report in the journal Nature: Structure and Molecular Biology.

"This is breakthrough research and provides the molecular basis for development of regenerative medicine," said Dong. "This research will aid in the development of the next generation of drugs that make repairs and regeneration within the body possible following damage by such factors as cancer, aging, heart disease, diabetes, or paralysis caused by traumatic injury."

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