Scientists Discover How to Grow Life-Saving Blood Stem Cells

Scientists just made a giant leap forward in the study of stem cells.

4. 29. 16 by June Javelosa
Getty
Image by Getty

Meet Musashi-2

Scientists from McMaster University’s Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute have announced a significant discover in their study of stem cells in the human blood system.

According to the team, a key protein that can control and regenerate rare and life-saving blood stem cells, called Musashi-2, could prove to be useful for those suffering from blood-based disorders such as aplastic anemia, sickle cell disease, leukemia, and lymphoma.

“We’ve really shone a light on the way these stem cells work. We now understand how they operate at a completely new level, and that provides us with a serious advantage in determining how to maximize these stem cells in therapeutics. With this newfound ability to control over the regeneration of these cells, more people will be able to get the treatment they need,” says senior author of the study, Kristin Hope.

Kristin Hope of McMaster University. Image Credit: McMaster University

Cord Blood

For the study, researchers looked into stem cells from umbilical cord blood—a proven source of stem cells, which has largely been under-utilized, especially for the treatment of adult blood cancers.

Advertisement

Cord blood cells contain properties such as accessibility and adaptability that make them easier for transplantation, ultimately making the process safer and more effective. Unfortunately, these cord blood cells are in short supply. Only five percent of samples will contain enough cells that can be used for transplantation.

The team’s research revealed that the protein is capable of expanding the number of stem cells contained in individual samples, thus significantly lowering the stem cell shortage, which would ultimately translate to lower healthcare costs and speed up treatment.

It is an amazing step forward in the treatment of disease.


As a Futurism reader, we invite you join the Singularity Global Community, our parent company’s forum to discuss futuristic science & technology with like-minded people from all over the world. It’s free to join, sign up now!

Advertisement

Share This Article

Keep up.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter to keep in touch with the subjects shaping our future.
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement and Privacy Policy

Advertisement

Copyright ©, Singularity Education Group All Rights Reserved. See our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Futurism. Fonts by Typekit and Monotype.