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July 2012
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September 2012

Stem cells can become anything -- but not without this protein, U-M scientists find

In the current issue of the prestigious journal Cell Stem Cell, researcher Yali Dou, Ph.D., and her team show the crucial role of a protein called Mof in preserving the ‘stem-ness’ of stem cells, and priming them to become specialized cells in mice.

Their results show that Mof plays a key role in the “epigenetics” of stem cells -- that is, helping stem cells read and use their DNA. One of the key questions in stem cell research is what keeps stem cells in a kind of eternal youth, and then allows them to start “growing up” to be a specific type of tissue.

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Red blood cells converted into chemical sensors

20 Aug 2012 by Daniel Cressey

Chemists have turned red blood cells into long lived sensors that could be put back into circulation to monitor the make up of patients’ blood in real time.

Many patients require monitoring of their blood, such as diabetics who must prick themselves with needles to elicit blood for determining their glucose levels. But extracting blood is both invasive and provides only a one-off measurement. At the American Chemical Society meeting in Philadelphia on Sunday, Xiaole Shao explained how her team have built sensors that may one day allow both non-invasive and long-term monitoring of crucial aspects of blood chemistry.

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