Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Auckland scientists discover new stem cell in human skin

Auckland scientists discover new stem cell in human skin

Auckland scientists have discovered new cells with stem cell properties in human skin, opening the door to a range of new treatments for skin diseases and unhealed wounds.

Auckland scientists have discovered new cells with stem cell properties in human skin, opening the door to a range of new treatments for skin diseases and unhealed wounds.

The scientists, Professor Rod Dunbar, Dr Vaughan Feisst, Dr Anna Brooks and Jenni Chen, are members of the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery, and the research was carried out in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland.

They identified mesenchymal progenitor cells (MPCs) in the dermis, the middle layer of skin, and discovered that these could turn themselves into fat cells. This signals that they can probably become other types of cells that repair and regenerate tissue, like similar stem cells found in fat and bone marrow.

“Nobody has identified these cells before, so this opens the door to advances in both skin healing and skin diseases,” says Professor Dunbar. “Every time you find new cells with stem cell-like properties, you know you’re onto something that could have major implications.”

“It’s a really exciting discovery,” he adds. “We try to avoid getting too carried away about our results because we’re constitutionally cautious – but this discovery is a pretty fundamental finding.”

The team hopes that its research, which started in 2011, could eventually lead to treatments for conditions that severely thicken the skin such as keloid scarring, in which tough, irregularly-shaped scars grow and spread. The team also suspects loss of these MPC cells may prevent proper healing, when, for example, radiation treatment for cancer has damaged the skin.

The tissue used in the research came from men and women who had undergone procedures such as liposuction, abdominoplasty or breast reduction with Auckland surgeons Ms Michelle Locke, Mr Jonathan Wheeler and Mr Julian Lofts. All patients consented to their tissue being used for the study.

The research involved sorting many millions of cells – “like sorting mixed-up flocks of sheep into their different breeds”, says Professor Dunbar – with a laser-based technology called flow cytometry.

The research is published this week as the cover article in the March 2014 edition of the international journal Stem Cells and Development.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Royal Society: Review Finds Community Water Fluoridation Safe And Effective

A review of the scientific evidence for and against the efficacy and safety of fluoridation of public water supplies has found that the levels of fluoridation used in New Zealand create no health risks and provide protection against tooth decay. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Croxley Calls Time On NZ Production In Face Of Cheap Imports

Croxley Stationery, whose stationery brands include Olympic, Warwick and Collins, plans to cease manufacturing in New Zealand because it has struggled to compete with lower-cost imports in a market where the printed word is giving way to electronic communications. More>>

ALSO:

Prefu Roundup: Forecasts Revised, Surplus Intact

The National government heads into the election with its Budget surplus target broadly intact, delivering a set of economic and fiscal forecasts marginally revised from May to reflect weaker commodity prices and a lower tax take. More>>

ALSO:

Convention Centre: Major New SkyCity Hotel And Laneway For Auckland

Today SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited revealed plans to build a new hotel and pedestrian laneway of bars, restaurants and boutique shopping on land it owns in the Nelson and Hobson Streets block, expanding the SKYCITY Entertainment Precinct. More>>

ALSO:

Igniting The Spark: Bringing The Digital Enabler To Life

Changing a name is, relatively speaking, the easy part of a re-invention. Changing a culture, getting all the ducks in a row, turning yourself inside-out to become customer-inspired is a much bigger challenge. More>>

ALSO:

Ebola And NZ: Targeted Screening At Airport But Risk Low

The risk of any cases of Ebola in New Zealand remains very low, but health and border authorities are well prepared... anyone arriving in New Zealand who in the last three weeks has visited countries affected will be screened for symptoms of the disease. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Brewer Seeking Crowd-Funding Cancels Shareholders’ Dividends

Shareholders in Renaissance Brewing company, the first business to seek equity through crowd-funding in New Zealand, have cancelled their claim on $147,000 of accumulated earnings “to make Renaissance a more attractive investment opportunity.” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news