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A reservoir of stem cells in the intestine

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10 Mar 17

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EFE Agency and other media have echoed the research performed by scientists at IRB Barcelona headed by ICREA researcher Eduard Batlle, leader of the Colorectal Cancer Laboratory. The first author is Francisco Barriga, current postdoctoral fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Published in Cell Stem Cell, the study identifies a new group of intestinal stem cells with very different characteristics to those of the abundant and active stem cells already known in this organ. It is a small group of passive stem cells—quiescent. These cells are activated when needed, such as in situations of stress, like after chemotherapy, in inflammatory processes, and in tissue infections and have the capacity to produce any kind of intestinal cell and are thus relevant for tissue regeneration.

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About IRB Barcelona

Created in 2005 by the Generalitat de Catalunya (Government of Catalonia) and University of Barcelona, IRB Barcelona is a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence, a seal that was awarded in 2011. The institute is devoted to conducting research of excellence in biomedicine and to transferring results to clinical practice, thus improving people’s quality of life, while simultaneously promoting the training of outstanding researchers, technology transfer, and public communication of science. Its 27 laboratories and eight core facilities address basic questions in biology and are orientated to diseases such as cancer, metastasis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and rare conditions. IRB Barcelona is an international centre that hosts 400 employees and more than 30 nationalities. It is located in the Barcelona Science Park. IRB Barcelona is a CERCA center, and a member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).