A Gutsy Scientific Breakthrough - Cincinnati Children's Blog

A Gutsy Scientific Breakthrough

A new breakthrough in stem cell research at Cincinnati Children’s is a critical first step to one day being able to grow new intestinal tissue that can be transplanted into patients with gastrointestinal disease.

Published online Dec. 12 by the journal Nature, the study opens the door to new studies exploring the use of highly multi-purpose stem cells (called pluripotent) that can be generated from a person’s own skin cells. A key advantage to generating the cells from a patient’s own cells is that it eliminates the risk of rejection by the body’s immune system.

The study was a large team effort involving several scientists lead by the senior investigator, James Wells, PhD., a researcher in the division of Developmental Biology, and first author Jason Spence, PhD., a member of Wells’ laboratory.

The scientists were able to generate in the laboratory intestinal tissue that was three dimensional in its structure – a first in biomedical science – and that matured, absorbed nutrients and secreted chemicals that aid in digestion.

For more information on the study, please visit http://bit.ly/fScNsT

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Nick Miller

About the Author: Nick Miller

Nick is the science writer at Cincinnati Children’s and a former journalist. A newspaper reporter and editor for 20 years, Miller developed a knack for writing about cops, criminals, courts, the environment, and – of all things – decommissioning nuclear weapons plants. Miller left journalism to become a media relations and communications manager in the aviation industry. The career change was just in time for him to personally experience one of the worst industry downturns in the history of powered flight. His focus today is uncovering and telling stories about the amazing science coming out of the research laboratories of Cincinnati Children’s. He thinks the world should know more about the work of the medical center’s dedicated scientists – people who spend countless hours pursuing the discoveries of today, which may become the cures of tomorrow. When not haunting the halls of the research foundation, Nick spends his time preserving historic buildings and neighborhoods. He also works with local organizations trying to build bicycle/pedestrian trails, preserve green space and promote active lifestyles

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