‘Coaxing’ stem cells to form new bone tissue

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New research has identified a possible way to manipulate certain stem cells to generate new bone tissue. The results of this investigation could vastly improve the outcome for people with skeletal injuries or conditions such as osteoporosis.

A new study looks at how to encourage stem cells to form new bone tissue rather than other types of tissue.

Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have the potential to specialize and undertake any function.

Much recent research has focused on how best to use stem cells for therapeutic purposes. Researchers are particularly interested in how to manipulate them to create new tissue that can successfully replace damaged sets of cells or those that are no longer functional.

In a new study from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD, Dr. Aaron James and his team have looked into the mechanisms that allow certain types of stem cell, which are known as “perivascular stem cells,” to form new bone tissue.

These stem cells tend to turn into either fat tissue or bone tissue. To date, it has been unclear what, exactly, determines their fate.

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