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.

Related Articles


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 April 1, 2015 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 April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) — Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) — The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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