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Scientists successfully expand bone marrow-derived stem cells in culture. KANSAS CITY, MO—All stem cells—regardless of their source—share the remarkable capability to replenish themselves by undergoing self-renewal.

scientists successfully expand bone marrow-derived stem cells in culture

Yet, so far, efforts to grow and expand scarce hematopoietic (or blood-forming) stem cells in culture for therapeutic applications have been met with limited success. Now, researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research teased apart the molecular mechanisms enabling stem cell renewal in hematopoietic stem cells isolated from mice and successfully applied their insight to expand cultured hematopoietic stem cells a hundredfold. Their findings, which will be published in the Sept. 15, 2011, edition of Genes & Development, demonstrate that self-renewal requires three complementary events: proliferation, active suppression of differentiation and programmed cell death during proliferation.

Pigs could grow human organs in stem cell breakthrough. Where can I get more information? For a more detailed discussion of stem cells, see the NIH's Stem Cell Reports.

Where can I get more information?

Check the Frequently Asked Questions page for quick answers to specific queries. The navigation table at left can connect you to the information you need. The following websites, which are not part of the NIH Stem Cell Information site, also contain information about stem cells. What are the unique properties of all stem cells? Stem cells differ from other kinds of cells in the body.

What are the unique properties of all stem cells?

All stem cells—regardless of their source—have three general properties: they are capable of dividing and renewing themselves for long periods; they are unspecialized; and they can give rise to specialized cell types. Stem cells are unspecialized. One of the fundamental properties of a stem cell is that it does not have any tissue-specific structures that allow it to perform specialized functions. For example, a stem cell cannot work with its neighbors to pump blood through the body (like a heart muscle cell), and it cannot carry oxygen molecules through the bloodstream (like a red blood cell). Stem Cell Cosmetic Surgery. Public Stem Cell Companies. - Neural Stem Cell Institute. International Society for Stem Cell Research. International Stem Cell Corporation.