Ever since researchers connected the shortening of telomeres— the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes—to aging and disease, the race has been on to understand the factors that govern telomere length. Salk Professor and holder of the Donald and Darlene Shiley Chair Jan Karlseder, first author Teresa Rivera and colleagues have found that a balance of elongation and trimming in stem cells results in telomeres that are, as Goldilocks would say, not too short and not too long, but just right. The finding deepens our understanding of stem cell biology and could help advance stem cell based therapies, especially related to aging and regenerative medicine.Read News Release
The word “chimera” originally described mythological creatures or deities in polytheistic religions. In science, an interspecies chimera is an organism containing cells from different species. Rapid advances in the ability to grow cells, tissues and organs of one species within an organism of another species (forming “chimeric” organisms) offer an unprecedented opportunity for tackling longstanding scientific mysteries and addressing pressing human health problems, particularly the need for transplantable organs and tissues. The lab of Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte combined cutting-edge gene-editing and stem cell technologies to grow a rat pancreas, heart and eyes in a developing mouse, providing proof-of-concept that functional organs from one species can be grown in another. The work marks the first steps toward the generation of transplantable human organs using large animals.
- A Masterful DesignMaintaining the Salk Institute’s iconic architectural vision.
- Inside the Mind of Ted WaittWhether it’s vital funding, imaginative technology or the perspective of a successful CEO, new Board Chair Ted Waitt says adding a little magic in the right place enables great discoveries.
- Surviving SuperbugsWe’re losing the war with infectious diseases. Ending the arms race with infectious diseases could mean learning to live with them.