Reaching for regenerative medicine

In this focus

One could argue that regenerative medicine is more theory than practice: only a handful of therapies such as skin grafts and heart transplants are happening today. However, research on regeneration of mammalian tissues and organs has intensified over the past decade, with the discovery of new ways to isolate and even create stem cells that can restore function, at least in rodents. Now the challenge—a formidable one—is learning what is necessary to make it work in patients. In this web focus, we have brought together content from Nature and Nature Reports Stem Cells to highlight where we are with the basic science, and the challenge of making medicine from stem cells, whether derived from adult tissue, reprogrammed cultured cells or embryos.

Image: Courtesy of R. Passier, L. W. van Laake and C. L Mummery


Regeneration in our bodies


Generation of functional multipotent adult stem cells from GPR125+ germline progenitors

Marco Seandel et al.

Nature 449, 346–350 (20 Sep 2007) doi:10.1038/nature06129


Identification of stem cells in small intestine and colon by marker gene Lgr5

Nick Barker et al.

Nature 449, 1003–1007 (25 Oct 2007) doi:10.1038/nature06196


Cyclic dermal BMP signalling regulates stem cell activation during hair regeneration

Maksim V. Plikus et al.

Nature 451, 340–344 (17 Jan 2008) doi:10.1038/nature06457


DNA repair is limiting for haematopoietic stem cells during ageing

Anastasia Nijnik et al.

Nature 447, 686–690 (7 Jun 2007) doi:10.1038/nature05875


Paths to pluripotency

News Feature

Embryonic stem cells 2.0

Bruce Goldman

Nature Reports Stem Cells (1 May 2008) doi:10.1038/stemcells.2008.67


Reprogramming of human somatic cells to pluripotency with defined factors

In-Hyun Park et al.

Nature 451, 141–146 (10 Jan 2008) doi:10.1038/nature06534

Making the Paper

Personalizing pluripotency

Monya Baker

Nature Reports Stem Cells (10 Jan 2008) doi:10.1038/stemcells.2007.150


Generation of germline-competent induced pluripotent stem cells

Keisuke Okita, Tomoko Ichisaka & Shinya Yamanaka

Nature 448, 313–317 (19 Jul 2007) doi:10.1038/nature05934


In vitro reprogramming of fibroblasts into a pluripotent ES-cell-like state

Marius Wernig et al.

Nature 448, 318–324 (19 Jul 2007) doi:10.1038/nature05944


Producing primate embryonic stem cells by somatic cell nuclear transfer

J. A. Byrne et al.

Nature 450, 497–502 (22 Nov 2007) doi:10.1038/nature06357

News Feature

Monkey embryonic stem cells cloned

Monya Baker

Nature Reports Stem Cells (21 Nov 2007) doi:10.1038/stemcells.2007.119

Inside The Paper

Primate cells cloned by nuclear transfer

Natalie DeWitt

Nature Reports Stem Cells (21 Nov 2007) doi:10.1038/stemcells.2007.118


Conversion of mature B cells into T cells by dedifferentiation to uncommitted progenitors

César Cobaleda, Wolfram Jochum & Meinrad Busslinger

Nature 449, 473–477 (27 Sep 2007) doi:10.1038/nature06159


Reaching for the Clinic


Prepping stem cells for the clinic

Monya Baker

Nature Reports Stem Cells (10 Apr 2008) doi:10.1038/stemcells.2008.59


Therapeutic misconception and stem cell research

Mildred K. Cho & David Magnus

Nature Reports Stem Cells (27 Sep 2007) doi:10.1038/stemcells.2007.88

Meeting Report

Stem-cell banking: lifeline or sub-prime?

Bryn Nelson

Nature Reports Stem Cells (13 Mar 2008) doi:10.1038/stemcells.2008.48


Chinese network to start trials of spinal surgery

David Cyranoski

Nature News 446, 476–477 (29 Mar 2007) doi:10.1038/446476b


Mesoangioblast stem cells ameliorate muscle function in dystrophic dogs

Maurilio Sampaolesi et al.

Nature 444, 574–579 (30 Nov 2006) doi:10.1038/nature05282


Stem-cell biology: A move in the right direction

Jeffrey S. Chamberlain

Nature 444, 552–553 (30 Nov 2006) doi:10.1038/nature05406


Wnt-dependent de novo hair follicle regeneration in adult mouse skin after wounding

Mayumi Ito et al.

Nature 447, 316–320 (17 May 2007) doi:10.1038/nature05766

News Feature

Stem cells for the heart, a new wave of clinical trials

Amy Coombs

Nature Reports Stem Cells (10 Apr 2008) doi:10.1038/stemcells.2008.55



Listen On this week�s Nature Podcast, the latest on the UK�s controversial Embryology Bill and new research shows that Embryonic Stem Cells can self-renew without external instructions.