Let’s start with a couple of new pieces on in vivo reprogramming. The idea here is to do something like making iPS cells but doing it inside organisms and not quite pushing cells all the way back to pluripotency. Just younger, healthier cells.
Why do that?
The goal is to achieve a kind of anti-aging via forcing expression of Oct4, Sox2, and Klf4. This has been done in mice and the new manuscripts are entirely in mice, but ultimately it would be done in people.
I’m going to write an entire post on the new studies. I will say that I’m skeptical that this will work in people without triggering tumors. I’m also not so sure the teams systematically looked for the teratoma (even small ones) or other kinds of cancer or pre-cancerous kinds of cell changes that can come along with in vivo reprogramming as a side effect.
The new articles generated a fair amount of hype in the media. Antonio Regalado had a nice piece though including on potential commercialization.
More to come.
- Diverse but unique astrocytic phenotypes during embryonic stem cell differentiation, culturing and development, Comm Bio.
- Neuron-generating stem cells hold promise for multiple sclerosis, Nature. Stem cells may help preserve gray matter. Here’s the original research article in Nature Medicine: Neural stem cell transplantation in patients with progressive multiple sclerosis: an open-label, phase 1 study. Keep in mind that this is a neural stem cell transplant. Another different kind of approach that has generated excitement is HSCT for MS. This is where chemo and then blood stem cells reboot the immune system to no longer be autoreactive. Also, be aware that stem cell clinics selling unproven offerings for MS typically are using MSCs infused into the bloodstream. This MSC idea doesn’t make much sense.
- How to rewind the clock on arthritic cartilage … stat! USC Stem Cell. This is another rewind aging kind of article.
- A conversation with ChatGPT on the role of computational systems biology in stem cell research, Stem Cell Reports.
- And finally just for fun: How can I become a fossil? from the BBC. Want to be immersed in amber? Buried in a giant box of sand at the bottom of a cold river?