During the development of an embryo, the initial mass of cells that possess the capacity to constantly divide and give rise to all mature cell types of an organism are referred to as the stem cells. Stem cells have a capacity known as pluripotency, derived from the Latin term plurimus meaning very many and potens that refers to their capacity to differentiate into all cell types.
By Anastasia Stefanidou, Communications Officer, Biochemical Society
In the spirit of this year’s Peer Review Week (11–17 September 2017), the Editors-in-Chief of Portland Press journals, give us their thoughts on the essential role that peer review plays in maintaining scientific quality.
By Rosalind Brown, Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh
Most people will have heard of Alzheimer’s disease, but fewer people are aware of cerebral small vessel disease (SVD), a silently progressing disease of ageing responsible for nearly half of all cases of dementia along with a large percentage of strokes. The global health impact of SVD is huge and while a small number of genetic mutations have been identified as causing some forms, for the majority of cases the cause is uncertain.
It has just been reported that a team of American and South Korean scientists have successfully used CRISPR, a tool that cuts DNA with more precision than any other genome editing technology, to fix a genetic defect in human embryos that can cause serious heart problems. Continue reading “An introduction to gene editing”