Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are the very definition of being full of potential, given that they can become any type of cell in the body. But once they start down the process of turning into a particular type of tissue, they lose their unlimited potential. Assistant Professor Diana Hargreaves, first author Jovylyn Gatchalian and colleagues discovered a new protein complex that keeps the brakes on stem cells, allowing them to maintain their indefinite potential to become any cell type. The new complex, called GBAF, could provide a future target for regenerative medicine.
Research confirms nerve cells made from skin cells are a valid lab model for studying disease
Professor Joseph Ecker, co-first author Chongyuan Luo and collaborators at Stanford University and Baylor College of Medicine showed that cells induced to grow into nerve cells have molecular signatures matching neurons in the brain.
The study opens the door for better ways to model an individual patient’s disease and could help advance research into gene therapies that are derived from a patient’s own cells.Read News Release
- Gerald Shadel explores stressed-out mitochondriaInside Salk sat down with Shadel to find out how he became interested in mitochondria, what he is driven by scientifically and what he has learned about aging along the way.
- The science of agingWhat we know about longevity so far: Minimizing smoking, obesity and overeating while maximizing exercise and social interactions seem to correspond to longer and healthier lives, but not always. While many factors have been touted as panaceas for extending life–everything from adhering to a Mediterranean diet to regularly imbibing red wine–a “fountain of youth” has remained stubbornly elusive.
- Lillian Eichner: Reading the clues to fight cancerEichner began studying cancer while pursuing her PhD at McGill University in Montreal. She was drawn to the Salk Institute for her postdoctoral studies because Reuben Shaw, director of the Salk Cancer Center and a professor in Salk’s Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory, has taken a new approach to cancer by studying the metabolic pathways of deadly tumors.