Forgetful Cells

They say we can't escape our past - no matter how much we change, we still have the memory of what came before. Now, we learn, the same can be said of our cells. Adult cells, such as skin or blood cells, have a cellular "memory," or record of how the cell changes as it develops from an uncommitted embryonic cell into a specialized adult cell. HSCI Principal Faculty member Konrad Hochedlinger in collaboration with scientists from Vienna has identified genes that when suppressed effectively erase a cell's memory, making the cell more susceptible to reprogramming and, consequently, making the process of reprogramming quicker and more efficient. Read the  full story here. 
HSCI Co-Founder Interviewed by CBS

Stem cell clinics were once a problem only in countries with little government oversight. But across the U.S., clinics are popping up offering miracle stem cell "cures" for diseases ranging from Alzheimer's, to chronic lung disease, to spinal cord injuries, to vision problems, and more. The untested treatments and therapies they offer, however, sound more like the snake oil peddled at 19th century medicine shows than they do legitimate medicine. HSCI co-founder and co-director David Scadden speaks out against untested stem cell treatments during an interview with CBS Chicago. Watch the video here. For more information about clinical trials and treatments involving stem cells, please visit ISSCR's A Closer Look at Stem Cells
Seasons Greeting
 
We'd like to take a moment and say thank you for your interest in and support of HSCI throughout 2015. This past year, we've made exciting breakthroughs and seen many important developments, and we look forward to more in the coming year.
 
Happy Holidays from all of us at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.
Research Updates

Discovery Research Group:

HSCI researchers define subgroups of serotonin-producing neurons. 

Media Mentions
12/3
The New York Times and The Scientist report on a meeting convened in Washington DC by the National Academy of Sciences regarding a moratorium on making heritable changes to the human genome. HSCI Executive Committee member George Daily provided expert commentary. 

11/19
The Boston Globe and the Boston Business Journal cover the High Hopes Gala where Doug Melton received a Global Achievement Award. 

11/16
Paola Arlotta turns one type of neuron into another and observes how those neurons communicate with each other. Read more  here.
Learn what HSCI is doing for Kidney Disease (PDF)