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  • Conversation: Switch discovered to convert blood vessels to blood stem cells in embryonic development

    • March 21, 2018 9:52 AM GMT
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      Switch discovered to convert blood vessels to blood stem cells in embryonic development

      A switch has been discovered that instructs blood vessel cells to become blood stem cells during embryonic development in mice. Using single-cell technology, researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Cambridge and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Rome discovered that two sets of specific factors in the cells work against each other, and when the balance of these changes, the vascular tube cells convert to free blood cells.
      Reported in eLife, these findings could pave the way for further research into creating new blood cells for transplants and for understanding cancer development.
      Blood vessels and blood cells develop from stem cells in the embryo. In fact, the blood stem cells, responsible for the generation of all blood cell types, develop from the vascular cells which line the walls of blood vessels. This process happens in fish, birds and mammals, and is critical for the formation of blood cells. However how these vascular cells decide when to transform into blood stem cells was unknown.
      Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180320084320.htm

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