Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Discover Stage At Which An Embryonic Cell Is Fated To Become A Stem Cell

Date:
January 11, 2007
Source:
University of Cambridge
Summary:
Cambridge scientists have discovered the stage at which some of the cells of a fertilized mammalian egg are fated to develop into stem cells and why this occurs. The findings of the study, which overturn the long-held belief that cells are the same until the fourth cleavage (division) of the embryo, are reported in the journal Nature.

Cambridge scientists have discovered the stage at which some of the cells of a fertilised mammalian egg are fated to develop into stem cells and why this occurs. The findings of the study, which overturn the long-held belief that cells are the same until the fourth cleavage (division) of the embryo, are reported in the journal Nature.

After fertilisation, the cells of the embryo at first undergo equal, symmetrical divisions and unequal, asymmetrical ones that direct smaller daughter cells towards the inside of the embryo. These become the inner cell mass of stem cells. Previously, it was believed that the mammalian embryo starts its development with identical cells and only as these inside and outside cells form do differences between cells first emerge.

However, research led by Professor Magdelena Zernicka-Goetz, University of Cambridge, has revealed evidence to suggest that differences between the embryonic cells are already apparent at the 4-cell-stage, before the cells become partitioned between the inside or outside of the embryo. And those differences depend on the orientation and order of the very first cleavage divisions of the embryo.

Professor Zernicka-Goetz said, "Our findings were surprising since they showed that cells of the mammalian embryo first start to differ from each other much earlier in development than previously supposed but also they give us a real clue on how to manipulate embryonic cells so that they will develop with the properties of the natural stem cells of the embryo."

The study also found cell fate and transcription activity is determined by the level of a methylated form of histone H3, one of the basic proteins around which DNA is packaged and which when modified in this way affects gene expression. They found that the higher the levels of this modified form of histone H3, the more predisposed the mammalian embryonic cells were to develop the qualities of inner embryonic cells, a population that have stem-cell-like properties. Thus, their results show that manipulating epigenetic information in this protein in early mouse embryos can influence cell fate determination.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Cambridge. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Cambridge. "Scientists Discover Stage At Which An Embryonic Cell Is Fated To Become A Stem Cell." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070110181217.htm>.
University of Cambridge. (2007, January 11). Scientists Discover Stage At Which An Embryonic Cell Is Fated To Become A Stem Cell. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070110181217.htm
University of Cambridge. "Scientists Discover Stage At Which An Embryonic Cell Is Fated To Become A Stem Cell." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070110181217.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins