Using reprogrammed skin cells, researchers have for the first time used stem cell techniques to grow fully functional assemblies of the cells that line airways leading to the lungs. The lab-grown airway tissue can now be used to study the molecular basis for lung diseases—from rare genetic disorders to common afflictions like asthma and emphysema—and test new drugs to treat the diseases.
Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have, for the first time, taken chimpanzee and bonobo skin cells and turned them into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), a type of cell that has the ability to form any other cell or tissue in the body.
The finding is related to the team's identification of a new rare genetic disease, called "severe dermatitis, multiple allergies, and metabolic wasting," or SAM, caused by mutations in the molecule desmoglein 1.
A new study has mapped in detail the reprogramming of skin cells to stem cells. The results will hopefully lead to more efficient means of producing these cells, which the researchers hope to be able to use to treat diseases such as Parkinson's and MS in the future.
For the first time, Wisconsin researchers have taken skin from patients and, using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology, turned them into a laboratory model for an inherited type of macular degeneration.
New research suggests that just one or two individual herpes virus particles attack a skin cell in the first stage of an outbreak, resulting in a bottleneck in which the infection may be vulnerable to medical treatment. Unlike most viruses that spread to new cells by bombarding them with millions of particles, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) — a virus that causes cold sores and genital lesions — requires just one or two viral particles to infect a skin cell in the first stage of cold sore formation, Princeton University researchers reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.