Research

Why we make blood cells in our bones

June 13, 2018

Zebrafish help solve an evolutionary puzzle, and may help make blood stem cell transplants safer

HHMI video still: UV light, melanocytes, and stem cells

This still image, from an HHMI video about the work of the Zon laboratory, shows how blood stem cells are protected from ultraviolet radiation in zebrafish.

 

By Jessica Lau

Summary

  • Stem cell scientists at Harvard University and Boston Children’s Hospital have shown that the location of blood stem cells in the body — their 'niche' — evolved to protect them against sunlight.
  • Understanding the blood stem cell niche has the potential to improve the safety of blood stem cell transplants for donors, and for patients with blood disorders and cancers.

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