Stem cells have been a boon to biological research, allowing researchers to visualize and develop potential therapies for diseases where intervention has hit a wall. However, not all stem cell therapies are as simple as adding undifferentiated cells to damaged areas, allowing natural biological processes to take hold. For instance, inner ear stem cells can be converted to auditory neurons that could reverse deafness, but the process can also make those cells divide too quickly, posing a cancer risk— this according to recent findings from a study led by investigators at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.              

Results from the new study, published recently in Stem Cell Reports   (“ NEUROG1 Regulates CDK2 to Promote Proliferation in Otic Progenitors ” ), should open up new avenues of research for stem cells and guide potential therapeutic interventions.

“It’s a cautionary tale, ” explained senior study investigator Kevin Kwan, Ph. D., assistant professor in the…