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Japanese team develops cardiac tissue sheet from human iPS cells

KYOTO A team of Japanese researchers has successfully created cardiac tissue sheets generated from human induced pluripotent stem cells, according to a study in the online British journal Scientific Reports.

The team said it is the first time iPS cells have produced an integrated cardiac tissue sheet that includes vascular cells as well as cardiac muscle cells and is close to real tissue in structure.

The stem cell team, led by Kyoto University professor Jun Yamashita, hopes the achievement will contribute to the development of new treatments for heart disease, because it has already found evidence that transplanting the sheets into mice with failing hearts improves in their cardiac condition.

The team used a protein called VEGF, which is related to the growth of blood vessels, as a replacement for the Dkk1 protein previously used to create cardiac muscle sheets from iPS cells.

As a result, iPS cells were simultaneously differentiated to become cardiac muscle cells, vascular mural cells, and the endothelial cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels. The cells were cultivated into a sheet about 1 cm in diameter.

Three-layer cardiac tissue sheets were then transplanted into nine mice with dead or damaged heart muscle caused by heart attacks. In four of the mice, blood vessels formed in the area where the sheets were transplanted, leading to improved cardiac function.

The weak point of iPS cells is that there is a risk of developing cancer, but the cells did not become cancerous within two months of transplantation, the team said.

About 72 percent of the cardiac tissue sheet was made of cardiac muscle cells, while 26 percent of it consisted of endothelial cells as well as vascular mural cells. But the sheet contained a small portion of cells that had not changed, leading the team to call attention to the possibility that a cancerous change might take place over the longer term.

Yamashita said in the study that he believed the new form of cardiac sheets attached well.

Oxygen and nourishment were able to reach cardiac muscle through blood because there were blood vessels, he said.

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Japanese team develops cardiac tissue sheet from human iPS cells

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Precious Cells to partner with the NHS to enable cord blood donation for stem cell treatment

The UK healthcare company, Precious Cells, is setting up a program to provide staff at the NHS Trust Croydon with the equipment to enable the collection of cord blood from newborns to aid in stem cell…….

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Stem Cells Grown From Patient's Arm Used To Replace Retina

BarbaraHudson writes: The Globe and Mail is reporting the success of a procedure to implant a replacement retina grown from cells from the patient’s skin. Quoting: “Transplant doctors are stepping gingerly into a new world, one month after a Japanese woman received the first-ever tissue transplant using stem cells that came from her own skin, not an embryo. On Sept. 12, doctors in a Kobe hospital replaced the retina of a 70-year-old woman suffering from macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the developed world. The otherwise routine surgery was radical because scientists had grown the replacement retina in a petri dish, using skin scraped from the patient’s arm.

The Japanese woman is fine and her retinal implant remains in place. Researchers around the world are now hoping to test other stem-cell-derived tissues in therapy. Dr. Jeanne Loring from the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., expects to get approval within a few years to see whether neurons derived from stem cells can be used to treat Parkinson’s disease.”

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Stem Cells Grown From Patient's Arm Used To Replace Retina

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UC San Diego named stem cell 'alpha clinic'

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

23-Oct-2014

Contact: Scott LaFee slafee@ucsd.edu 619-543-6163 University of California – San Diego @UCSanDiego

In a push to further speed clinical development of emerging stem cell therapies, Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at UC San Diego Health System was named today one of three new “alpha clinics” by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state’s stem cell agency.

The announcement, made at a public meeting in Los Angeles of the CIRM Governing Board, includes an award of $8 million for each of three sites. The other alpha grant recipients are the City of Hope hospital near Los Angeles and University of California, Los Angeles.

“A UC San Diego alpha clinic will provide vital infrastructure for establishing a comprehensive regenerative medicine clinical hub that can support the unusual complexity of first-in-human stem cell-related clinical trials,” said Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine, deputy director of the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center, director of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center stem cell program and the alpha clinic grant’s principal investigator.

“The designation is essential in much the same manner that comprehensive cancer center status is an assurance of scientific rigor and clinical quality. It will attract patients, funding agencies and study sponsors to participate in, support and accelerate novel stem cell clinical trials and ancillary studies for a range of arduous diseases.”

The alpha clinics are intended to create the long-term, networked infrastructure needed to launch and conduct numerous, extensive clinical trials of stem cell-based drugs and therapies in humans, including some developed by independent California-based investigators and companies. These trials are requisite before any new drug or treatment can be approved for clinical use.

The clinics will also emphasize public education to raise awareness and understanding of stem cell science in part to combat “stem cell tourism” and the marketing of unproven, unregulated and potentially dangerous therapies and help establish sustainable business models for future, approved stem cell treatments.

“Everything we do has one simple goal, to accelerate the development of successful treatments for people in need,” said C. Randal Mills, PhD, CIRM president and CEO. “Stem cell therapies are a new way of treating disease; instead of managing symptoms, cellular medicine has the power to replace or regenerate damaged tissues and organs. And so we need to explore new and innovative ways of accelerating clinical research with stem cells. That is what we hope these alpha stem cell clinics will accomplish.”

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Fibrocell Science Honored With 2014 Marcum Innovator of the Year Award

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New, faster therapeutic hypothermia techniques

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

23-Oct-2014

Contact: Kathryn Ryan kryan@liebertpub.com 914-740-2100 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News @LiebertOnline

New Rochelle, NY, October 23, 2014Rapid lowering of body temperature following an acute myocardial infarction (MI) can be an effective therapeutic strategy to minimize damage to the heart muscle caused by the loss and restoration of blood flow to the heart. While hypothermia shows clinical promise, current methods to cool the heart are insufficient. Faster, more effective techniques are needed to realize the full cardioprotective potential of this emerging intervention, as described in an article in Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management website at http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/ther.2014.0016 until November 23, 2014.

In the article “Hypothermia in the Setting of Experimental Acute Myocardial Infarction: A Comprehensive Review”, Michael J. Herring and coauthors from Good Samaritan Hospital and Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA) and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (Torrance, CA) examine the benefits and limitations of past and current methods of delivering hypothermia. These include topical regional hypothermia, an open-chest method of cooling the heart; endovascular cooling using a heat exchange balloon catheter to cool the blood that flows through the heart; surface cooling with blankets or convective-immersion therapy; and other methods.

“This timely review on the use of therapeutic hypothermia targeting myocardial necrosis emphasizes the need for additional investigations to maximize the benefits of this experimental therapy in promoting recovery in this patient population,” says W. Dalton Dietrich, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management and Kinetic Concepts Distinguished Chair in Neurosurgery, Professor of Neurological Surgery, Neurology and Cell Biology, University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine.

###

About the Journal

Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management provides a strong multidisciplinary forum covering all aspects of hypothermia and temperature considerations relevant to this exciting field, including its application in cardiac arrest, spinal cord and traumatic brain injury, stroke, and burns. Novel findings from translational preclinical investigations as well as clinical studies and trials are featured in peer-reviewed articles, state-of-the-art review articles, provocative roundtable discussions, clinical protocols, and best practices. Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management is the journal of record, published online with Open Access options and in print. Tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management website at http://www.liebertpub.com/ther.

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Heres How Well Your Genes Can Predict Your Breast Cancer Risk

Researchers say genetic sequencing can predict breast cancer risk better than previously thought

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Heres How Well Your Genes Can Predict Your Breast Cancer Risk

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EU backs drug for rare sun intolerance from Australia's Clinuvel

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Genomics Research Lab Planned For Branford

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is opening a satellite Genetic Testing Lab in Branford, in space formerly occupied by 454 Life Sciences.

The managing director of Mt. Sinai Testing Lab-Connecticut was vice president of research and development at 454, and the director of laboratory operations was the director of the sequencing center at 454.

The Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology announced the move in September, and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy toured the facility Thursday and talked about the government incentives offered to the medical school.

The Department of Economic and Community Development gave it a $9.5 million subsidized loan and, if the institute meets hiring projections and reaches a staff or 142 people over the next five years, $7.25 million of the loan will be forgiven.

454 Life Sciences, the DNA sequencing machine company that had occupied the space, employed about 200 people in 2007, when it was bought by Roche for $155 million. Roche announced a year ago that it would close and lay off 100 employees.

Glenn Farrell, a spokesman for the Icahn genomics institute, said Mt. Sinai has been working for months to renovate the former 454 space and has shipped equipment there. The facility has hired 10 people, and is recruiting for about 10 more, including entry-level technicians, early career technicians, a quality assurance professional, managers and an accessioning specialist. He said it should open in December.

Currently, the Genetic Testing Lab in New York employs about 100 people. The largest part of its work is doing genetic screening for couples planning to have a child. The lab also does more comprehensive screening for patients whose illness is a mystery and cancer target-specific gene testing.

The Institute had 340 employees at the end of last year in New York, including 188 staff, 87 professors and 65 post-doctorate researchers. It has been aggressively expanding in all those areas, and in its 2013 annual report, boasted of recruiting a Yale University professor. Mt. Sinai’s medical school is ranked in the top 20 nationally, and its genetics specialty is ranked 15th.

In New York, it is exploring genetic markers in cancer, autism, schizophrenia, colitis and Crohn’s disease, congenital heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

It outgrew its testing lab space in New York, and Farrell said New York City is a difficult place to find affordable space where you can expand quickly.

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Lady sativa genetics update – Video



Lady sativa genetics update
Knightsbridge og x haze starting to do there thing, ready to be transplanted.

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NewLink Genetics Corporation (NLNK) in Focus: Stock Soars 15.4%

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Myriad Establishes Tumor BRACAnalysis CDx(TM) Laboratory in Europe

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World Stem Cell Summit Announces Exclusive Tour of Three of San Antonio's Science Facilities for Summit Attendees

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In Vivo Gene Therapy for Cystic Fibrosis Part 1 – Video



In Vivo Gene Therapy for Cystic Fibrosis Part 1
In this video we discuss the use of In Vivo gene therapy to treat Cystic Fibrosis.

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In Vivo Gene Therapy for Cystic Fibrosis Part 3 – Video



In Vivo Gene Therapy for Cystic Fibrosis Part 3
In this video we discuss the use of In Vivo gene therapy to treat Cystic Fibrosis.

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Plenary Session: Gene Therapy & Gene-Modified Cell Therapies – Video



Plenary Session: Gene Therapy Gene-Modified Cell Therapies
This session will bring together several of the leading in-vivo and ex-vivo gene therapy companies in addition to pharma companies making a large bet in gene…

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Japanese researchers create cardiac tissue sheet with vascular cells from iPS

A team of Japanese researchers has successfully created cardiac tissue sheets generated from human induced pluripotent stem cells, according to a study published in the online British journal Scientific Reports.

The team said it is the first time iPS cells have produced an integrated cardiac tissue sheet that includes vascular cells as well as cardiac muscle cells and is close to real tissue in structure.

The stem cell researchers, led by Kyoto University professor Jun Yamashita, hopes its achievement may contribute to treatments for heart disease, as it has already found evidence that transplanting the sheets into mice with failing hearts improves in their cardiac condition.

The team used a protein called VEGF, which is related to the growth of blood vessels, as a replacement for the Dkk1 protein previously used to create cardiac muscle sheets from iPS cells.

As a result, iPS cells were simultaneously differentiated to become cardiac muscle cells, vascular mural cells, and the endothelial cells which line the interior surface of blood vessels. The cells were cultivated into a sheet about 1 cm in diameter.

Three-layer cardiac tissue sheets were then transplanted into nine mice with dead or damaged heart muscle due to cardiac infarction. In four of the mice, blood vessels formed in the area where the sheets were transplanted, leading to improved cardiac functioning.

The weak point of iPS cells is that there is a risk of developing cancer, but the cells did not become cancerous within two months of transplantation, the team said.

About 72 percent of the cardiac tissue sheet was made of cardiac muscle cells, while 26 percent consisted of endothelial cells and vascular mural cells. But the sheet contained a small portion of cells that had not changed, leading the team to call attention to the possibility of a cancerous change over the longer term.

Yamashita said in the study that he believed the cardiac sheets attached well.

Oxygen and nourishment were able to reach cardiac muscle through blood because there were blood vessels, he said.

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Japanese researchers create cardiac tissue sheet with vascular cells from iPS

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107.26 /$ (5 p.m.)

A team of Japanese researchers has successfully created cardiac tissue sheets generated from human induced pluripotent stem cells, according to a study published in the online British journal Scientific Reports.

The team said it is the first time iPS cells have produced an integrated cardiac tissue sheet that includes vascular cells as well as cardiac muscle cells and is close to real tissue in structure.

The stem cell researchers, led by Kyoto University professor Jun Yamashita, hopes its achievement may contribute to treatments for heart disease, as it has already found evidence that transplanting the sheets into mice with failing hearts improves in their cardiac condition.

The team used a protein called VEGF, which is related to the growth of blood vessels, as a replacement for the Dkk1 protein previously used to create cardiac muscle sheets from iPS cells.

As a result, iPS cells were simultaneously differentiated to become cardiac muscle cells, vascular mural cells, and the endothelial cells which line the interior surface of blood vessels. The cells were cultivated into a sheet about 1 cm in diameter.

Three-layer cardiac tissue sheets were then transplanted into nine mice with dead or damaged heart muscle due to cardiac infarction. In four of the mice, blood vessels formed in the area where the sheets were transplanted, leading to improved cardiac functioning.

The weak point of iPS cells is that there is a risk of developing cancer, but the cells did not become cancerous within two months of transplantation, the team said.

About 72 percent of the cardiac tissue sheet was made of cardiac muscle cells, while 26 percent consisted of endothelial cells and vascular mural cells. But the sheet contained a small portion of cells that had not changed, leading the team to call attention to the possibility of a cancerous change over the longer term.

Yamashita said in the study that he believed the cardiac sheets attached well.

Oxygen and nourishment were able to reach cardiac muscle through blood because there were blood vessels, he said.

Original post:
107.26 /$ (5 p.m.)

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More than 900 Physicians Converge on Buenos Aires for Global Stem Cells Groups First International Symposium on Stem …

MIAMI (PRWEB) October 22, 2014

More than 900 physicians researchers and regenerative medicine experts from around the world attended the First International Symposium on Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina Oct. 2-4, 2014.

The event, hosted by Global Stem Cells Group in partnership with Julio Ferreira, M.D., President of the South American Academy Cosmetic Surgery, offered an opportunity for many of the worlds most respected authorities on stem cell and regenerative medicine to showcase advancements in research and therapies on a global level.

An interdisciplinary team of leading international stem cell experts provided a full day of high-level scientific lectures geared to medical professionals. Pioneers and luminaries in stem cell medicine who served as featured speakers at the event included:

Lord David Harrell, PhD., a scientific leader recognized nationally, internationally recognized expert in neuroscience and regenerative medicine and a member of the Global Stem Cells Group Advisory Board spoke on spoke on the cellular composition of bone marrow with a focus on stem and progenitor cell activities of bone marrow stem and progenitor cells.

Joseph Purita, M.D., Director of The Institute of Regenerative and Molecular Orthopedics in Boca Raton, Florida, member of the Global Stem Cells Group Advisory Board and a pioneer in the use of stem cells and platelet rich plasma for a variety of orthopedic conditions, spoke about the use of PRP and stem cell injections for treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. He detailed cutting-edge treatments he now offers to his clinic patients, including extensive use of platelet-rich plasma in conjunction with bone marrow stem cells (BMAC), adipose stem cells (SVF) and fat grafts.

Vasilis Paspaliaris, M.D., CEO of Adistem, Ltd., a member of the Global Stem Cells Group Advisory Board and a thought-leading and highly experienced clinical pharmacologist and medical scientist discussed the proven differences in efficacy between the mesenchyme stem cells (MSCs) of a young donor and those of an aging donor, primarily due to the younger donor cells ability to secrete more trophic factors.

According to Benito Novas, Global Stem Cells Group CEO, the world-class event was well received at a time when the field of regenerative medicine is on the verge of changing medical science forever.

We wanted the symposium to help clear up old misconceptions and change outdated attitudes by educating people on the wide range of illnesses and injuries stem cell therapies are already treating and curing, Novas says. We set out to establish a dialogue between researchers and practitioners in order to help move stem cell therapies from the lab to the physicians office and I believe we achieved our goals with this symposium.

Our objective is to open a dialogue among the worlds medical and scientific communities in order to advance stem cell technologies and translate them into point-of-care medical practices.

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Human Skin Cells Reprogrammed Directly Into Brain Cells

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Newswise Scientists have described a way to convert human skin cells directly into a specific type of brain cell affected by Huntingtons disease, an ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disorder. Unlike other techniques that turn one cell type into another, this new process does not pass through a stem cell phase, avoiding the production of multiple cell types, the studys authors report.

The researchers, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, demonstrated that these converted cells survived at least six months after injection into the brains of mice and behaved similarly to native cells in the brain.

Not only did these transplanted cells survive in the mouse brain, they showed functional properties similar to those of native cells, said senior author Andrew S. Yoo, PhD, assistant professor of developmental biology. These cells are known to extend projections into certain brain regions. And we found the human transplanted cells also connected to these distant targets in the mouse brain. Thats a landmark point about this paper.

The work appears Oct. 22 in the journal Neuron.

The investigators produced a specific type of brain cell called medium spiny neurons, which are important for controlling movement. They are the primary cells affected in Huntingtons disease, an inherited genetic disorder that causes involuntary muscle movements and cognitive decline usually beginning in middle-adulthood. Patients with the condition live about 20 years following the onset of symptoms, which steadily worsen over time.

The research involved adult human skin cells, rather than more commonly studied mouse cells or even human cells at an earlier stage of development. In regard to potential future therapies, the ability to convert adult human cells presents the possibility of using a patients own skin cells, which are easily accessible and wont be rejected by the immune system.

To reprogram these cells, Yoo and his colleagues put the skin cells in an environment that closely mimics the environment of brain cells. They knew from past work that exposure to two small molecules of RNA, a close chemical cousin of DNA, could turn skin cells into a mix of different types of neurons.

In a skin cell, the DNA instructions for how to be a brain cell, or any other type of cell, is neatly packed away, unused. In past research published in Nature, Yoo and his colleagues showed that exposure to two microRNAs called miR-9 and miR-124 altered the machinery that governs packaging of DNA. Though the investigators still are unraveling the details of this complex process, these microRNAs appear to be opening up the tightly packaged sections of DNA important for brain cells, allowing expression of genes governing development and function of neurons.

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Ageless Derma Introduces Their Latest Age-Defying Facial Mask Developed Using Exotic Apple Stem Cells

Irvine, California (PRWEB) October 23, 2014

Ageless Derma is one of the most highly esteemed providers of anti-aging and everyday skin care products. They are proud to introduce their latest innovation in the facial mask arena with their Antioxidant Apple Stem Cell Hydrating Mask. This facial product uses stem cell technology derived from a rare Swiss apple known for its long and healthy shelf life. The additional all natural ingredients in this mask make it a potent antidote to dry, dull skin that craves moisture and revitalization.

The Antioxidant Apple Stem Cell Hydrating Mask uses PhytoCellTecTM technology to cultivate cells from the exotic Swiss apple, Malus Domestica. This apple variety has the ability to stay fresh for extended periods of time without the accompanying shriveling that occurs with other fruit varieties. Its acidic flavor, however, prevented farmers from growing it widely for consumer consumption. Its scientific advantages were taken note of and the stem cells are put to powerful use in Ageless Dermas Antioxidant Apple Stem Cell Hydrating Mask. This liposomal formulation has been incorporated into the effective facial mask for smoothing wrinkles and keeping skin looking younger through its antioxidant activity.

Other ingredients strategically placed in the Antioxidant Apple Stem Cell Hydrating Mask include natural enzymes for softening the skin. Aloe Barbadenis Leaf Juice heals, protects and hydrates skin. Sunflower Seed Oil is also a protectant and deep moisturizer. The natural Kaolin Clay is what extracts toxins, grime and impurities from the skin, making the complexion clear, smooth, and feeling revitalized.

The key antioxidants also used in Antioxidant Apple Stem Cell Hydrating Mask are green tea and pomegranate. They fight the damage caused by free radicals and also protect skin against the suns UV damage, a major cause of fine lines, wrinkles and irritated skin.

The developers at Ageless Derma Skin Care know they are making something remarkable happen in the skin care world. Their line of physician-grade skin repair products incorporates an invaluable philosophy: supporting overall skin health by delivering the most cutting-edge biotechnology and pure, natural ingredients to all of the skin’s layers. This approach continues to resonate even today with the companys founder, Dr. Farid Mostamand, who close to a decade ago began his journey to deliver the best skin care alternatives for those who want to have healthy and beautiful looking skin at any age. About this latest Ageless Derma mask, Dr. Mostamand says, The Antioxidant Apple Stem Cell Hydrating Mask is an extraordinary development in our Ageless Derma product line. Its potent ingredients work in synergy to bring moisture and radiance back to the complexion by using natures own antioxidants.

Ageless Derma products are formulated in FDA-approved Labs. All ingredients are inspired by nature and enhanced by science. Ageless Derma products do not contain parabens or any other harsh additives, and they are never tested on animals. The company has developed five unique lines of products to address any skin type or condition.

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NYSCF Research Institute announces largest-ever stem cell repository

14 hours ago

The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute, through the launch of its repository in 2015, will provide for the first time the largest-ever number of stem cell lines available to the scientific research community. Initially, over 600 induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell lines and 1,000 cultured fibroblasts from over 1,000 unique human subjects will be made available, with an increasing number available in the first year. To collect these samples, NYSCF set up a rigorous human subjects system that protects patients and allows for the safe and anonymous collection of samples from people interested in participating in research.

A pilot of over 200 of NYSCF’s iPS cell lines is already searchable on an online database. The pilot includes panels of iPS cell lines generated from donors affected by specific diseases such as type 1 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis, as well as a diversity panel of presumed healthy donors from a wide range of genetic backgrounds representing the United States Census. These panels, curated to provide ideal initial cohorts for studying each area, include subjects ranging in age of disease onset, and are gender matched. Other panels that will be available in 2015 include Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, Juvenile Batten disease, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.

“NYSCF’s mission is to develop new treatments for patients. Building the necessary infrastructure and making resources available to scientists around the world to further everyone’s research are critical steps in accomplishing this goal,” said Susan L. Solomon, CEO of The New York Stem Cell Foundation.

NYSCF has developed the technology needed to create a large collection of stem cell lines representing the world’s population. This platform, known as the NYSCF Global Stem Cell ArrayTM, is an automated robotic system for stem cell production and is capable of generating 200 iPS cell lines a month from patients with various diseases and conditions and from all genetic backgrounds. The NYSCF Global Stem Cell ArrayTM is also used for stem cell differentiation and drug screening.

Currently available in the online database that was developed in collaboration with eagle-i Network, of the Harvard Catalyst, is a pilot set of approximately 200 iPS cell lines and related information about the patients. This open source, open access resource discovery platform makes the cell lines and related information available to the public on a user-friendly, web-based, searchable system. This is one example of NYSCF’s efforts to reduce duplicative research and enable even broader collaborative research efforts via data sharing and analysis. NYSCF continues to play a key role in connecting the dots between patients, scientists, funders, and outside researchers that all need access to biological samples.

“The NYSCF repository will be a critical complement to other existing efforts which are limited in their ability to distribute on a global scale. I believe that this NYSCF effort wholly supported by philanthropy will help accelerate the use of iPS cell based technology,” said Dr. Mahendra Rao, NYSCF Vice President of Regenerative Medicine.

To develop these resources, NYSCF has partnered with over 50 disease foundations, academic institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and government entities, including the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), PersonalGenomes.org, the Beyond Batten Disease Foundation, among several others. NYSCF also participates in and drives a number of large-scale multi stakeholder initiatives including government and international efforts. One such example is the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Stem Cell Consortium, a group consisting of six institutions, including NYSCF, directly investigating, for the first time, brain cells in petri dishes from individual patients who have the common sporadic form of Alzheimer’s disease.

“We are entering this next important phase of using stem cells to understand disease and discover new drugs. Having collaborated with NYSCF extensively over the last five years on the automation of stem cell production and differentiation, it’s really an exciting moment to see these new technologies that NYSCF has developed now being made available to the entire academic and commercial research communities,” said Dr. Kevin Eggan, Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University and Principal Investigator of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

NYSCF’s unique technological resources have resulted in partnerships with companies to develop both stem cell lines and also collaborative research programs. Over the past year, NYSCF has established collaborations with four pharmaceutical companies to accelerate the translation of basic scientific discoveries into the clinic. Federal and state governments are also working with NYSCF to further stem cell research in the pursuit of cures. In 2013, NYSCF partnered with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undiagnosed Disease Program (UDP) to generate stem cell lines from 100 patients in the UDP and also collaborate with UDP researchers to better understand and potentially treat select rare diseases.

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Cardio3 Biosciences Appoints Dr. Warren Sherman as Chief Medical Officer

Cardio3 BioSciences (C3BS) (Euronext Brussels and Paris: CARD), a leader in the discovery and development of regenerative, protective and reconstructive therapies, announces today the appointment of Dr. Warren Sherman as Chief Medical Officer, effective as of 1 November 2014. In this new role, Dr. Sherman will leverage his deep expertise in the cardiovascular and cell therapy fields to support …

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University Of Pennsylvania's T-Cell Therapy Shows Promising Results

By C. Rajan, contributing writer

The University of Pennsylvania has announced promising results of its novel chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) therapy for cancer.

In the study involving 25 children and five adults with end-stage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), there was an impressive 90 percent response rate with complete remission.

Twenty-seven of the 30 patients went into complete remission after receiving the investigational therapy (called CTL019), and 78 percent of the patients were alive six months after treatment. The longest remission among the patients has lasted almost three years.

The patients who participated in these trials had relapsed as many as four times, including 60 percent whose cancers came back even after stem cell transplants. Their cancers were so aggressive they had no treatment options left, said the studys senior author, Stephan Grupp, MD, PhD, at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The durable responses we have observed with CTL019 therapy are unprecedented.

The ongoing study is being conducted by researchers at the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). The CAR trial program enrolling children with leukemia is also expanding to nine other pediatric centers.

The experimental CAR therapy received FDAs breakthrough designation in July for the treatment of relapsed and refractory adult and pediatric ALL. The novel treatment was pioneered by Penn researchers and then supported by Novartis. Penn entered an exclusive global research and licensing agreement with Novartis in 2012 to develop and commercialize personalized CAR T-cell therapies for cancers.

“This represents a really powerful therapy for ALL,” Penn oncologist David Porter says. “We’ve treated enough patients to confirm that. It’s time to start multi-center trials.”

A CAR is a genetically engineered marker protein that is grafted onto T cells, which are part of the immune system. The CAR activates the T cell to attack tumor cells that express specific markers; in this case, the target is a protein called CD19.

The treatment procedure involves removing patients’ T cells via an apheresis process and then genetically reprogramming them to hunt tumor cells. When injected back into patients bodies, these new hunter cells multiply and attack tumor cells expressing CD19. The hunter cells can grow, creating 10,000+ new cells in the body for each single engineered cell injected into the patients.

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University Of Pennsylvania's T-Cell Therapy Shows Promising Results

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Maynooth University research team involved in evolution breakthrough

Sully Vent in the Main Endeavour Vent Field, NE Pacific

Evolutionary leaps in the world of microorganisms have resulted in dramatic changes in how life on the planet evolved, according to recent breakthrough research conducted by a team of researchers from Maynooth University andscientists from Germany and New Zealand.

The research, which has just been published in the journal Nature,analyses horizontal gene transfer (HGT), the phenomenon whereby prokaryotes (tiny cells that lack a cell nucleus) transfer genetic material far across their species boundaries, taking ownership of neighbouring genes and transferring them into their offspring. Over time, this transforms one microbial species into another, a process which in nature is similar to artificial genetic modification carried out in controlled laboratory settings.

Although scientists have known about HGT since the middle of the last century, until recently biologists thought HGT was limited to special categories of highly selected genes, such as those for antibiotic resistance. However, thisnew research has found that HGT is a major force in the evolution of life, and transformed many major groups of archaebacterial, the most primitive microbes known. The research proposes thatevolution occurred by sudden leaps and bounds, with whole genes for new traits changing hands, not just point mutations.

Discussing his teams research,Professor James McInerney, an evolutionary biologist atMaynooth University Department of Biology, said we are constantly learning more about the evolution of life on Earth. We have known about HGT for many years, hesaid.

However, the closer we look, the more of it we see. We are ata tipping point in our understanding of evolution, where the old idea that vertical transmission of DNA from ancestors to direct descendants is giving way to a viewpoint that, among microbes, horizontal transfers of DNA are just as important.

We are not saying that the previous picture of evolution is not true, simply that it did not give enough credit to a particular evolutionary mechanism and our study shows that this mechanism is hugely important. Had Darwin known about the curious patterns of characters that microbes share across broad taxonomic boundaries, he surely would have been relieved that HGT was responsible, and that his theory is alive and well today, but with new twists among microbes.

Our work is not the first to show that HGT has happened during the evolution of organisms, butit shows that an enormous group of microorganisms owe a significant amount of their uniqueness to this process,Professor McInerney said.

The team used extensive computer clusters to study the evolutionary history of the genes of archaea. The sequences of these genes can be compared with all other life forms and the evolutionary relationships for each gene were worked out based on the sequences. The research showed that significant numbers of genes were not native to the archaea studied, but rather those genes were acquired at specific time points during microbial evolution. The team found that for microscopic life HGT is more important than point mutation in generating diversity within and between populations. The events that the researchers identified entail, in some case, hundreds of genes at once hopping from one species to another.

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Maynooth University research team involved in evolution breakthrough

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