Researchers discover switch that converts blood vessels to blood stem cells!

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A team of scientists in the UK and Italy has discovered a switch that instructs vessel cells to become blood during in mice. These findings could aid research into new blood cell creation for .

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 blood stem cells. These findings could pave the way for further research into creating new blood cells for transplants and for understanding cancer development.

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 that line the walls of blood vessels. This process happens in fish, birds and mammals, and is critical for the formation of blood cells. However, the mechanism that these vascular cells use to decide when to transform into blood stem cells was unknown.
 This was the first time that anyone has been able to show how a group of transcription factors causes a vascular cell to choose to develop into a blood stem cell, and demonstrates the power of for characterising really complex systems of transcription factors.
To find out more you can read the full report here.

Post Author: Nicholi Avery

Research, neuroscience, cognitive science, theoretical physics, biology, philosophy, and psychology.

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