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NATURE

STRUCTURAL

&MOLECULAR

BIOLOGY

12/2016

Ever since researchers connected the shortening of telomeres—

the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes—to aging and

disease, the race has been on to understand the factors that

govern telomere length. Salk Professor and holder of the Donald

and Darlene Shiley Chair Jan Karlseder, first author Teresa

Rivera and colleagues have found that a balance of elongation

and trimming in stem cells results in telomeres that are, as

Goldilocks would say, not too short and not too long, but just right.

The finding deepens our understanding of stem cell biology and

could help advance stem cell based therapies, especially related

to aging and regenerative medicine.

The Goldilocks effect in aging research

CLOCK

5

INSIDE SALK

SPRING 2017

WWW.SALK.EDU

Findings highlight promise of chimeric

organisms for science and medicine

CELL

01/2017

AS SEEN IN

The word “chimera” originally described mythological creatures

or deities in polytheistic religions. In science, an interspecies

chimera is an organism containing cells from different species.

Rapid advances in the ability to grow cells, tissues and organs

of one species within an organism of another species (forming

“chimeric” organisms) offer an unprecedented opportunity for

tackling longstanding scientific mysteries and addressing

pressing human health problems, particularly the need for

transplantable organs and tissues. The lab of Juan Carlos

Izpisua Belmonte combined cutting-edge gene-editing and

stem cell technologies to grow a rat pancreas, heart and eyes in

a developing mouse, providing proof-of-concept that functional

organs fromone species can be grown in another. The work marks

the first steps toward the generation of transplantable human

organs using large animals.

READ

http://bit.ly/belmonte-stemcells

AGING

See microscopy from

this research on page 44

WATCH

http://www.salk.edu/insidesalk/0417/belmonte-3