X-Message-Number: 15767
From: "Mark Plus" <>

Subject: "Scientists Improve Techniques For Identifying Elusive And Highly 
Valuable Stem"
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 09:44:11 -0800



Source:   University Of California, Los Angeles (http://www.ucla.edu/)

Date:   Posted 2/28/2001

Scientists Improve Techniques For Identifying Elusive And Highly Valuable 
Stem Cells At The Genetic Level

A new study led by Dr. Daniel Geschwind, assistant professor of neurology at 
UCLA, and Dr. Harley Kornblum, assistant professor of pharmacology and 
pediatrics at UCLA, increases our understanding of how to pinpoint the 
elusive and highly valuable stem cells in the human body.
Stem cells, which can develop into any type of cell, hold tremendous promise 
for treating a wide variety of illnesses and injuries. Neural stem cells can 
develop into any type of nervous system tissue, and in some cases, can 
develop into non-neural tissues.

"Our study represents a very basic but important initial step toward the 
eventual goal of improving treatments for spinal cord injuries, stroke, 
Alzheimer's and other conditions where neural transplantation may be an 
option to consider," said Geschwind, who directs the university's 
neurogenetics program. Their research appears in the February issue of the 
journal Neuron.

Through a sophisticated laboratory analysis, the researchers identified gene 
expression patterns that are greatly increased in stem cells. In the 
process, they identified 19 previously unknown genes. This knowledge at the 
genetic level will serve as a resource for scientists who are trying to 
purify and grow such cells in hopes of achieving medical breakthroughs.

Geschwind, who completed his internship, residency and post-doctoral work at 
the UCLA School of Medicine, received the Frontiers of Science Award from 
UCLA in 1998. Other honors include the McDonnell-Pew Foundation Award in 
Cognitive Neuroscience in 1995-98.

Kornblum, a pediatric neurologist, also completed clinical and postdoctoral 
training at UCLA and works in the field of neural stem cells and neural 
repair. Kornblum's honors include the PRIME/Howard Hughes Award, Department 
of Pediatrics, UCLA, in 1996, 2000 and 2001.

The study in Neuron is entitled "A Genetic Analysis of Neural Progenitor 
Differentiation," and was supported by the Shapiro Foundation and the 
National Institute of Mental Health.


Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by University 
Of California, Los Angeles for journalists and other members of the public. 
If you wish to quote from any part of this story, please credit University 
Of California, Los Angeles as the original source. You may also wish to 
include the following link in any citation:


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