Latest Neural crest Stories
Neural crest cells are stem cells that give rise to all manner of tissues, organs, and systems within vertebrates and scientists have long wondered where these cells came from.
More than 140 years ago, Charles Darwin noticed something peculiar about domesticated mammals. Compared to their wild ancestors, domestic species are more tame, and they also tend to display a suite of other characteristic features, including floppier ears, patches of white fur, and more juvenile faces with smaller jaws.
A new study has revealed stem cells found in mouth tissue can heal and relieve various inflammatory disease, as well as become other types of cells.
Biologists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have identified the origin of olfactory nerve cells, finding that neural-crest stem cells – multipotent, migratory cells unique to vertebrates that give rise to many structures in the body – play a key role in building olfactory sensory neurons in the nose.
During the early developmental stages of vertebrates—animals that have a backbone and spinal column, including humans—cells undergo extensive rearrangements, and some cells migrate over large distances to populate particular areas and assume novel roles as differentiated cell types.
Researchers have successfully developed a stable population of neural crest cells derived from mice that can be grown in large quantities in the laboratory and that demonstrates the potential to develop into many different cell types needed throughout the body.
Researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine have found that lack of a specific gene interrupts neural tube closure, a condition that can cause death or paralysis.
In principle, stem cells offer scientists the opportunity to create specific cell types—such as nerve or heart cells—to replace tissues damaged by age or disease.
How is it that a disc-like cluster of cells transforms within the first month of pregnancy into an elongated embryo?
During embryonic development, cells migrate to their eventual location in the adult body plan and begin to differentiate into specific cell types.