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Researchers at North Carolina State University have found that the overproduction of a key protein in stem cells causes those stem cells to form cancerous tumors. Their work may lead to new treatments for a variety of cancers. Dr. Jon Horowitz, as...
Investigators have discovered that a protein causing mature cells to commit suicide also helps primitive muscle cells called myoblasts fuse together, allowing them to develop into muscles. The finding of this unexpected new role for the protein, called FKHR, suggests that future research might offer clues to how mutated forms of this molecule cause a form of muscle cancer in children called rhabdomyosarcoma.
Scientists have found a new wrinkle in the developmental biology dogma that cell differentiation occurs irreversibly as stem cells give rise to increasingly specialized types of offspring cells. The researchers have shown that certain mouse cells retain an ability to oscillate between very distinct blood cell types ? B-cells and macrophages ? long after what has been commonly regarded as the point of no return.