In two months, the first of many new Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients will receive a fetal cell transplant. The transplant will mark the end of a voluntary moratorium by many Western nations after complications arose a decade ago. This, combined with news that embryonic stem (ES) cell PD therapies may also near prime-time, made Parkinson’s a big topic at the recent International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) meeting.
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Many promising clinical trials were highlighted at the annual meeting of the International Society of Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). One set of trials highlighted were monogenic gene therapy trials and cancer immunotherapy trials. Also discussed were trials for Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and potential future trials involving cochlear stem cells.
What we currently know about aging is not highly specific; our cells divide many times throughout our lives and eventually cause organs and our bodies to age, break down and fail. New research, however, suggests that how we age might depend on cellular interactions that we inherit from our ancestors, accumulating throughout many generations.
Just as Nature was setting about retracting two famous Riken CDB papers claiming to make “STAP” stem cells from ordinary cells, another Riken researcher said she might suspend a world-first clinical trial of a competing—legitimate—stem cell technique. But within hours, she modified her views, according to Riken.
At 21, MS had Jennifer Molson “wheelchair bound.” But since her stem cell transplant, she has worked, driven, danced at her own wedding. The story had a room of 1,000 professional stem cell scientists sniffling loudly at the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) meeting—said sniffling reaching a crescendo when the quiet, pretty Molson concluded: “I’m living proof stem cells can save lives.”
As Nobel Prize-winning scientist Shinya Yamanaka regaled a New York crowd with advances that may send his Japanese institute to the top of the global stem cell field, investigators in Tokyo said the stem cell division at his sister institute is so wracked with problems it should dismantle—or dramatically revamp.
Everyone loves a grand slam: the crack of the bat, the arc of the ball as it sails over the fence, a tip of the batter’s cap, a triumphal trot around as the bases empty out, but really, it’s the lesser efforts that made it all possible—a double, a single, a walk—it’s the incremental gains that win the game. It’s called Small Ball. This year’s ASCO, absent the heavy hitters, was all about the small ball.
Federal funding for cancer research has diminished over the last ten years, and the negative impact on research is now apparent. There were no blockbuster revelations, no flashy new kid on the block, no miracle cures at this year’s ASCO. Of the four studies selected for the plenary session (where presentations are often THE important findings of the conference), only one is predicted to have a major impact on patient care.
You are what you eat, but researchers are beginning to realize that what and when you eat is controlled by a myriad of underlying biological triggers acting in concert.
The popular “Paleo diet,” oft described as an ancient diet dominated by grasses and modeled after diets from the Paleolithic period, may not quell hunger better than the modern “McDonald’s” diet.
Christofer Toumazou believes he can change the world with his “one chip, one bug – one chip, one drug,” slogan. Nominated for the European Patent Office’s 2014 European Inventor award, he holds a patent for the technology behind a microchip that can analyze DNA within 30 minutes and without a laboratory.
Riken Institute stem cell scientist Haruko Obokata told the Japanese press she would retract the second of her two controversial Nature papers claiming cells can be dedifferentiated to a stem cell state just by stressing them with acid.
The intimate interaction between a plant and its environment has sent some puzzling cues to scientists trying to determine how, at the molecular level, a plant becomes infected by bacteria. At this level, researchers have found that plants sometimes beckon the bacteria in a seemingly counterintuitive action to its health.
3-D printing promises to revolutionize engineering, and many speculate that it could have a huge impact on medicine, too. Many speculate that useful organs grown in the lab three-dimensionally on scaffolds is now closer to fact than fiction.
A futuristic anti-aging approach, variously described and utilized by three different Harvard and Stanford groups this week, may hit the clinic by year’s end. The research all began with “heterochronic parabiosis.” That is, old mice were hooked up to young mice via their circulatory systems— and experienced tissue rejuvenation.
According to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, as many as a million people in the U.S. suffer from Parkinson’s disease, a central nervous system (CNS) disorder resulting from loss of cells in various parts of the brain. Others have difficult-to-treat HIV in the central nervous system. What do these diseases have in common?