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Stem cells

Bone cells on demand

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Researchers have come up with a simple recipe for making bone from stem cells.

Embryonic stem cells can form every type of tissue in the body, but methods for forcing these and other pluripotent stem cells to differentiate into a specific type can be inefficient and costly. A team led by Shyni Varghese at the University of California, San Diego, added a chemical called adenosine — which occurs naturally in the body — to human stem-cell cultures and produced bone-making cells called osteoblasts in under three weeks. The cultured osteoblasts generated calcified bone, and scaffolds that had been coated with the osteoblasts and implanted into mice repaired skull defects.

Sci. Adv. 2, e1600691 (2016)

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Bone cells on demand. Nature 537, 141 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/537141c

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