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Welcome to USC Stem Cell, a university-wide initiative connecting researchers and highlighting the latest news in regenerative medicine across USC.

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July 19, 2016

What I’m reading: Top picks from stem cell faculty

Andy McMahon: Leigh Turner and Paul Knoepfler present a disturbing report in Cell Stem Cell on the growth of businesses marketing stem cell interventions in the US. Los Angeles is one “stem cell treatment” hotspot. Through their examination of these unproven, potentially unethical and even dangerous treatments, Turner and Knoepfler raise serious concerns about practices that currently avoid rigorous regulatory scrutiny. Science-grounded stem cell therapies need to be distinguished in the public’s mind from treatments based on little else than wishful thinking (and the dollar).

Gage Crump: In the latest issue of Science Translational Medicine, Katja M. Heinemeier and coauthors use “bomb pulse” labeling to provide new insights into cell turnover in our joints. Read more…

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July 14, 2016

Arthritis originated in primordial fish

By Cristy Lytal

We all know someone affected by arthritis—as well as that old dog down the block. But according to a new study in eLife, arthritis is much more widespread in the animal kingdom than previously suspected.

In the study, Amjad Askary and Joanna Smeeton from the USC Stem Cell laboratory of Gage Crump took a close look at the evolutionary origin of the type of lubricated joint, known as “synovial,” that provides mobility yet is highly susceptible to osteoarthritis.

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July 12, 2016

USC Stem Cell scientist Lindsey Barske wins NIH Pathway to Independence Award

By Cristy Lytal

Years ago, Lindsey Barske pulled on a pair of tall rubber boots and began a journey that led from her college research experience on the muddy Alaskan tundra to her current postdoctoral studies in the USC Stem Cell lab of Gage Crump.

Now, she’s arrived at a key turning point, having received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) to help her transition from the postdoctoral to the faculty stage of her career. As the recipient of this nationally competitive award, she will study facial development in zebrafish and mice, in hopes of better understanding human birth defects ranging from cleft palate to prematurely fused skull sutures.

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