UCLA stem cell research may benefit diabetics

Ji Won Shim, a UCLA postdoctoral fellow working with Utpal Banerjee, UCLA Professor and Chairman of the Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology department, recently published a study in Nature Cell Biology showing that insulin and nutrition keep blood stem cells from differentiating into mature blood cells. This finding could benefit diabetics, through its implications for studying inflammatory response and blood development in response to dietary changes in humans.

A bird’s song may teach us about human speech disorders

Stephanie White, a UCLA associate professor of Integrative Biology and Physiology is senior author of a new study that found 2,000 genes expressed in a region of the male zebra finch’s brain, that are significantly linked to singing. At least some of these genes are shared by humans, and are likely important for human speech.

UCLA scientists identify a cell signaling pathway that regulates blood stem cells in placenta

Dr. Hanna Mikkola, UCLA associate professor of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology, recently led a study that found a specific cell signaling pathway in the placenta that plays a key role in stopping blood stem cells from differentiating into mature blood cells in the placenta. This is critical to ensure proper blood supply for an individual’s lifetime.