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UMASS Medical School's human stem cell bank makes available first seven stem cell lines
Date:2/10/2011

WORCESTER, Mass. The first seven stem cell lines grown and banked at the University of Massachusetts Medical School's Human Stem Cell Bank are ready for worldwide distribution to researchers working on discovering new therapeutic treatments for diseases such as cancer, juvenile diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, among others.

Stem cells are different from other cells because they have the ability to not only renew themselves for long periods, but with the right signals, become many different types of cells. Because of these unique properties, scientists are able to use stem cells to learn what makes individual cell types unique, how an organism develops from a single cell to an adult and how healthy cells replace damaged cells in adult organisms.

Developed in partnership with and backed by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the Human Stem Cell Bank provides the biomedical research community with expertly derived and maintained human embryonic stem cell lines for fundamental biological investigation and therapeutic applications. The Bank works with other institutions and researchers to bank and characterize stem cell lines, detailing the cell line and its properties. After the lines are put through rigorous quality control testing by the Bank's experts, they are made available to researchers throughout the country and worldwide.

"This is an important milestone for the Human Stem Cell Bank," said Joseph C. Laning, PhD, senior director of the Human Stem Cell Bank and Registry. "Our goal has always been to provide researchers with the highest quality stem cell lines so they know what they are getting and that the cells they get will perform as described. Having these stem cell lines tested, verified and available frees researchers from the expense and burden of manufacturing cell lines themselves, allowing them instead to focus on their research."

"These are the first stem cell lines in what will be a broad cata
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Contact: Jim Fessenden
james.fessenden@umassmed.edu
508-856-2000
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

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