Blood stem cells produced in vast quantities in the lab
A glue ingredient was the secret to getting the mouse cells to multiply outside the body.
Researchers have managed to grow large numbers of blood-forming stem cells in the lab using a surprisingly simple ingredient found in glue. And when injected into mice, the cells started producing key components of blood.
“The finding is very unexpected and exciting,” says John Dick, a stem-cell biologist at the Prince Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Canada.
If the technique can be applied to humans, it could be used to grow blood stem cells for use in people with blood cancers such as leukaemia whose immune systems have been damaged by chemotherapy. The approach could also provide a safer way to treat people with blood disorders, such as sickle-cell disease, who currently have to undergo a risky procedure before receiving a bone-marrow transplant.
By: David Cyranoski/Nature News