Newly-Discovered Tendon Stem Cells Could Accelerate Tendon Healing

A new research finds that tendons stem cells could help in accelerating the process of tendon healing. The same research also points to the possible use of tendon stem cells for bypassing invasive surgeries. The research led by Chen-Ming Fan from Carnegie, is published in Nature Cell Biology. Tendon injuries such as jumper’s knee or torn rotator cuff are painful and take time to heal. Besides, these injuries may also be responsible for secondary tendon rupture. Therefore, it was important for medical researchers to develop a quick-healing and pain-free method for treatment.

 Functions of Tendons

Tendons are responsible for muscle movement, and they tether the muscles to the bones. Furthermore, tendons offer stability to the body by allowing force to transfer from the muscles to the overall limbs. However, the susceptibility of the tendons to injury and damage makes them a critical part of the body. In severe cases of injury, tendons become irreparable, limiting an individual’s movements and subjecting them to excruciating pain. A surgery becomes mandatory in all such cases. Fan reveals that his team studied the various cell types pertaining to the patellar tendon. Their work made a breakthrough in cell research by finding tendon stem cells.

 Refuting the Fallacies

 Since tendon injuries did not recover completely, it was previously assumed that tendon stem cells were inexistent.  However, Fan’s team refuted all such claims after discovering tendon stem cells beneath the kneecap. The team found that tendon stem cells and fibrous scar tissue cells have the same area of origin. The tendon stem cells coexist with fibrous scars near this area, and this explains the difficulties in tendon healing. Tendon stem cells need to outplay the fibrous scars in order to accelerate the process of healing.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem Generates Human Genome Atlas Using Stem Cells

An atlas of the human genome has been generated by Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists with the help of human embryonic stem cells and ultramodern gene editing technology. The Nature Cell Biology journal has reported the findings of the scientists who generated the atlas to illuminate the roles that human genes play in disease and health. Senior author of the study, Prof. Nissim Benvenisty, MD, Ph.D. said that the gene atlas delivers a tool that will modify the way we treat and analyze genetic disorders and cancer. Benvenisty continued pointing out that the atlas gives the means to a new functional view on how the human genome is studied.

Gene Editing Made Simpler with Need to Mutate Only One Copy for Each Gene

One of the important findings of the research is the singling out of a small batch of genes considered to be distinctively crucial for human embryonic stem cells to survive. The individuality of embryonic stem cells is thought to be maintained by these genes while preventing the cells from transforming into adult cell types or becoming cancerous. The paper’s lead author, Dr. Atilgan Yilmaz, Ph.D. said that the study helps to understand how an embryonic stem cell works at the genetic level by creating a new framework.

With an over 180,000 distinct mutations, virtually the human genome’s all human genes were analyzed by the researchers. A new type of embryonic stem cells isolated lately was combined with an advanced gene-editing technology for producing such a massive selection of mutations. Gene editing was made easier as the new stem cells type only harbored the human genome’s single copy.