With help from the zebrafish, a team of Australian researchers has uncovered how hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) renew themselves, considered by many to be the ‘holy grail’ of stem cell research.
HSCs are a significant type of stem cell present in the blood and bone marrow. These are needed for the replenishment of the body’s supply of blood and immune cells. HSCs already play a part in transplants in patients with blood cancers such as leukemia and myeloma. The stem cells are also studied for their potential to transform into vital cells including muscle, bone, and blood vessels.