Stem-cell scientists redefine how blood is made.
Stem-cell scientists led by Dr. John Dick have discovered a completely new view of how human blood is made, upending conventional dogma from the 1960s.
"Instead, through a series of experiments we have been able to finally resolve how different kinds of blood cells form quickly from the stem cell -- the most potent blood cell in the system -- and not further downstream as has been traditionally thought," says Dr. Dick, who holds a Canada Research Chair in Stem Cell Biology and is also Director of the Cancer Stem Cell Program at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.
The research also topples the textbook view that the blood development system is stable once formed. Not so, says Dr. Dick. "Our findings show that the blood system is two-tiered and changes between early human development and adulthood."
Dr. Dick says: "Our discovery means we will be able to understand far better a wide variety of human blood disorders and diseases -- from anemia, where there are not enough blood cells, to leukemia, where there are too many blood cells. Think of it as moving from the old world of black-and-white television into the new world of high definition."
The findings, published online in the journal Science, prove "that the whole classic 'textbook' view we thought we knew doesn't actually even exist," says principal investigator John Dick, Senior Scientist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network (UHN), and Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto. #science #stemcell #research #blood