On the road to pluripotent adult stem cells
January 21, 2014
A recent comparative analysis in immortal and mortal planaria showed that the riboprotein telomerase to be the critical difference. We seek to elucidate the mechanisms that underlie the adult pluripotent stem cells in S. mediterrranea to continually rejuvenate the organism. Unlike conventional work in this field which seeks to understand how neoblast function in regeneration, this project focuses on how aged cells are recognized, removed, and replaced by newly differentiated cells from the organism. Discovery of this mechanism will establish a blueprint for reengineering mammalian cells to have similar capabilities.