Potential for regenerative medicine and cancer research earns doctoral student Ido Sagi a Kaye Innovation Award
Stem cell research holds huge potential for medicine and human health. In particular, human embryonic stem cells (ESCs), with their ability to turn into any cell in the human body, are essential to the future prevention and treatment of disease.
One set or two? Diploid versus haploid cells
Most of the cells in our body are diploid, which means they carry two sets of chromosomes — one from each parent. Until now, scientists have only succeeded in creating haploid embryonic stem cells — which contain a single set of chromosomes — in non-human mammals such as mice, rats and monkeys. However, scientists have long sought to isolate and replicate these haploid ESCs in humans, which would allow them to work with one set of human chromosomes as opposed to a mixture from both parents.
This milestone was finally reached when Ido Sagi, working as a PhD student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Azrieli Center for Stem Cells and Genetic Research, led research that yielded the first successful isolation and maintenance of haploid embryonic stem cells in humans. Unlike in mice, these haploid stem cells were able to differentiate into many other cell types, such as brain, heart and pancreas, while retaining a single set of chromosomes.
With Prof. Nissim Benvenisty, Director of the Azrieli Center, Sagi showed that this new human stem cell type will play an important role in human genetic and medical research. It will aid our understanding of human development – for example, why we reproduce sexually instead of from a single parent. It will make genetic screening easier and more precise, by allowing the examination of single sets of chromosomes. And it is already enabling the study of resistance to chemotherapy drugs, with implications for cancer therapy.
Diagnostic kits for personalized medicine
Based on this research, Yissum, the Technology Transfer arm of the Hebrew University, launched the company New Stem, which is developing a diagnostic kit for predicting resistance to chemotherapy treatments. By amassing a broad library of human pluripotent stem cells with different mutations and genetic makeups, NewStem plans to develop diagnostic kits for personalized medication and future therapeutic and reproductive products.
The Latest on: Haploid embryonic stem cells
- Healthy mice born to 2 mothers using stem cells, gene editing on October 12, 2018 at 3:48 am
To produce healthy bimaternal mice, the team used haploid embryonic stem cells (ESCs), which contain half the normal number of chromosomes and DNA from only one parent. The researchers then used gene ... […]
- Mouse pups with same-sex parents born in China using stem cells and gene editing on October 11, 2018 at 8:23 am
We have made several findings in the past by combining reproduction and regeneration, so we tried to find out whether more normal mice with two female parents, or even mice with two male parents, coul... […]
- Mice born of two genetic mothers, thanks to stem cells and gene editing on October 11, 2018 at 8:05 am
"We have made several findings in the past by combining reproduction and regeneration, so we tried to find out whether more normal mice with two female parents, or even mice with two male parents, cou... […]
- Haploid Stem Cells Used to Create Human Genome Atlas on May 8, 2018 at 11:26 pm
Sophisticated gene editing technology has been used to create a new embryonic stem cell and atlas of the human genome, data provided sheds light on roles of genes in health and disease, as published i... […]
- Scientists generate an atlas of the human genome using stem cells on April 23, 2018 at 5:35 am
Haploid human embryonic stem cells. Credit: Azrieli Center for Stem Cells and Genetic Research, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have generated an atla... […]
- Hebrew U. Scientists Use Stem Cells to Generate Atlas of Human Genome on April 22, 2018 at 10:34 pm
A colony of haploid embryonic stem cells / Photo credit: Azrieli Center for Stem Cells and Genetic Research, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have gene... […]
- Hebrew U Isolates ‘Haploid’ Human Stem Cells, Changing Future of Medicine on June 29, 2017 at 12:49 am
Most of the cells in our body are diploid, which means they carry two sets of chromosomes — one from each parent. Until now, scientists have only succeeded in creating haploid embryonic stem cells — w... […]
- First 'haploid' human stem cells could change the face of medical research on June 28, 2017 at 5:17 am
Haploid human embryonic stem cells. Credit: Azrieli Center for Stem Cells and Genetic Research at Hebrew University Stem cell research holds huge potential for medicine and human health. In particular ... […]
- Rewiring stem cells on January 8, 2014 at 4:00 pm
This is a set of chromosomes in haploid mouse embryonic stem cells. Credit: Martin Leeb A fast and comprehensive method for determining the function of genes could greatly improve our understanding of ... […]
- Genome engineering of mammalian haploid embryonic stem cells using the Cas9/RNA system on December 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the origi... […]
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