This weekend’s news in brief

Written by Alexandra Thompson

Our stem cell and regenerative medicine news picks from 24—27th October.

The big news story this weekend was obviously the story that scientists have engineered toxin-secreting stem cells to treat brain tumors in a proof-of-concept study in mouse models of glioblastoma, published in Stem Cells. The bulk of the tumor was removed, and gel-encapsulated stem cells inserted in the resection cavity. The stem cells were engineered to secrete cancer-killing toxins but to be resistant to them themselves, so they could act as cancer-killing factories.

Researchers have developed a new strategy to control cellular identity and fate: loss of a RNA tag known as known as m6A can keep embryonic stem cells in suspended animation. The research, published in Cell Stem Cell, could allow for greater control and manipulation of stem cells.

Anticancer drug bortezomib has been found to be effective against chronic graft-versus-host disease, a common complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

A new method to produce engineered skin, published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine, not only appears to overcome several pitfalls of current skin grafting technologies, it also speeds up the healing process, reduces scarring and produces hair.

Lastly, the Daily Mail has published a rather sensationalist article this weekend on one woman’s use of fetal animal cell injection to treat her broken leg. Although the clinic’s (Villa Medica) website claims there are “more than 2,000 scientific publications and innumerable laboratory experiments” showing that its animal cell therapy (Fresh Cell Therapy) cures, actual links to or information on these publications seem to be lacking.

Are any key news stories missing? Tell us in the comments below.