Scientists have found a way to efficiently engineer new thyroid cells from stem cells. The discovery, performed in mice, is the first step toward engineering new human thyroid cells in order to better study and treat thyroid diseases.
A report on the work – led by Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) in Massachusetts – is published in the journal Stem Cell Reports.
The thyroid is a gland in the middle of the lower neck. Although only small, it produces hormones that reach every cell, organ, and tissue to help control metabolism – the rate at which the body makes energy from nutrients and oxygen.
Thyroid diseases are common conditions in which the gland is either overactive and produces too much hormone (hyperthyroidism), or underactive and produces too little (hypothyroidism).
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