Science In Action - Stem Cells in Living Animals
Scientists have reprogrammed cells to make stem cells in a living animal rather than a test tube. What are its future applications in regenerative medicine?
Reprogramming Adult Cells to Stem Cells Adult cells, like those of the kidney, stomach, intestine and pancreas, all show signs of being reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells within living mice. It was unclear whether the environment within living organisms might be conducive to reprogramming, but the work shows this approach is feasible and may have implications in regenerative medicine. PIG Melting Scientists are about to embark on a mission to one the remotest places on Earth - the Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica. The glacier, nicknamed PIG, drains about 10% of ice sliding off the west of the continent, and has seen a marked thinning and a surge in velocity in recent decades. Its contribution to sea level rise is now greater than any other glacier on the planet. The British Antarctic Survey-led team hopes its iStar project will provide new insights into the PIG's behaviour. Sub-glacial Lake Life British scientists have found evidence of diverse life forms dating back nearly a hundred thousand years in sub-glacial lake sediments of Lake Hodgson on the Antarctic Peninsula. The lake is an emerging sub-glacial lake, and it is giving scientists the opportunity to look for extreme life forms that might exist in the cold and dark lakes hidden kilometres beneath the Antarctic ice sheet. Migrating Marine Life and Climate Velocity The climate velocity, or the rate and direction that climate shifts across a landscape, is a more accurate predictor of species’ responses to climate change than individual characteristics or life histories. Research highlighting species’ responses to climate change has led scientists to believe that marine species are better able to keep pace with climate velocities than their land-based counterparts. (Photo: A scientist holds a petri dish under a microscope © Getty Images)