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Beefalo – Wikipedia

Beefalo, also referred to as cattalo or the American hybrid, are a fertile hybrid offspring of domestic cattle (Bos taurus), usually a male in managed breeding programs, and the American bison (Bison bison), usually a female in managed breeding programs.[1][2] The breed was created to combine the characteristics of both animals for beef production.

Beefalo are primarily cattle in genetics and appearance, with the breed association defining a full Beefalo as one with three-eighths (37.5%) bison genetics, while animals with higher percentages of bison genetics are called “bison hybrids”.

Accidental crosses were noticed as long ago as 1749 in the southern English colonies of North America. Beef and bison were first intentionally crossbred during the mid-19th century.

The first deliberate attempts to cross breed bison with cattle was made by Colonel Samuel Bedson, warden of Stoney Mountain Penitentiary, Winnipeg, in 1880. Bedson bought eight bison from a captive herd of James McKay and inter-bred them with Durham cattle. The hybrids raised by Bedson were described by naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton:[3]

The hybrid animal is [claimed] to be a great improvement on both of its progenitors, as it is more docile and a better milker than the Buffalo, but retains its hardihood, while the robe is finer, darker and more even, and the general shape of the animal is improved by the reduction of the hump and increased proportion of the hind-quarters.

After seeing thousands of cattle die in a Kansas blizzard in 1886, Charles “Buffalo” Jones, a co-founder of Garden City, Kansas, also worked to cross bison and cattle at a ranch near the future Grand Canyon National Park, with the hope the animals could survive the harsh winters.[4] He called the result “cattalo” in 1888.[5]Mossom Boyd of Bobcaygeon, Ontario first started the practice in Canada, publishing about some of his outcomes in the Journal of Heredity.[6] After his death in 1914, the Canadian government continued experiments in crossbreeding up to 1964, with little success. For example, in 1936 the Canadian government had successfully cross-bred only 30 cattalos.[7] Lawrence Boyd continues the crossbreeding work of his grandfather on a farm in Alberta.[citation needed]

It was found early on that crossing a male bison with a domestic cow would produce few offspring, but that crossing a domestic bull with a bison cow apparently solved the problem. The female offspring proved fertile, but rarely so for the males. Although the cattalo performed well, the mating problems meant the breeder had to maintain a herd of wild and difficult-to-handle bison cows.[citation needed]

In 1965, Jim Burnett of Montana produced a hybrid bull that was fertile. Soon after, Cory Skowronek of California formed the World Beefalo Association and began marketing the hybrids as a new breed. The new name, Beefalo, was meant to separate this hybrid from the problems associated with the old cattalo hybrids. The breed was eventually set at being genetically at least five-eighths Bos taurus and at most three-eighths Bison bison.

A United States Department of Agriculture study[citation needed] found Beefalo meat, like bison meat, to be lower in fat and cholesterol than standard beef cattle. The American Beefalo Association states that Beefalo are better able to tolerate cold and need less assistance calving than cattle, while retaining domestic cattle’s docile nature and fast growth rate. They damage rangeland less than cattle.[8] They also state that Beefalo meat contains 4 to 6% more protein and is more tender, flavorful, and nutritious than a standard steer.[8] Beefalo has significantly less calories, fat, and cholesterol, than beef cattle, chicken, and cod.[9]

The American Beefalo Association states that the “crossbreeds are hardier, are more economical (and less care-intensive) to nurture, and produce meat that’s superior to that of the common cow.”[8]

In 1983, the three main Beefalo registration groups reorganized under the American Beefalo World Registry. Until November 2008, there were two Beefalo associations, the American Beefalo World Registry[10] and American Beefalo International. These organizations jointly formed the American Beefalo Association, Inc., which currently operates as the registering body for Beefalo in the United States.[11]

Most current bison herds are genetically polluted or partly crossbred with cattle.[12][13][14][15] There are only four genetically unmixed American bison herds left, and only two that are also free of brucellosis, the Wind Cave bison herd that roams Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota; and the Henry Mountains herd in the Henry Mountains of Utah.[16] A herd on Catalina island, California is not genetically pure or self-sustaining.

Dr. Dirk Van Vuren, formerly of the University of Kansas, however, points out that “The bison today that carry cattle DNA look exactly like bison, function exactly like bison and in fact are bison. For conservation groups, the interest is that they are not totally pure.”[17]

The term “cattalo” is defined by United States law as a cross of bison and cattle which have a bison appearance;[18] in Canada, however, the term is used for hybrids of all degrees and appearance. In the U.S., cattalo are regulated as “exotic animals”, along with pure bison and deer.

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Beefalo – Wikipedia

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Disclaimer: While we work to ensure that product information is correct, on occasion manufacturers may alter their ingredient lists. Actual product packaging and materials may contain more and/or different information than that shown on our Web site. We recommend that you do not solely rely on the information presented and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before using or consuming a product. For additional information about a product, please contact the manufacturer. Content on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. Contact your health-care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements about products.

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Calico Cats – Community

Some people believe that calico cats are a breed, or that calico refers to a color of a cat. Since all cats are colored, calico refers to the pattern of how the coloring appears on the cat’s coat.

According to a leading expert in Feline Genetics, Dr. Elizabeth A. Oltenacu of the Department of Animal Science at Cornell University:

“Early in its inception, a calico/tortie kitty is formed by a gene known as the white spotting factor. The white spotting factor effectively slows down the migration of cells across the kitten’s body. One X-chromosome in every cell is switched off.

This is a random happenstance, and when a tortoiseshell kitten appears in the litter, you will see a mix of two colors of hair on the kitten.

In a calico kitten, the white spotting factor being present allows patches of cells with the same X chromosome shut-off to develop.

The results are patches of white, orange, and non-orange in the kitten. The more white in a calico, the larger the patches of white, orange and non-orange because the migration of cells in the embryo is slowed. Once the color is in patches, you can see the effect of the tabby genes in the orange patches.”

Calico cats are overwhelmingly female. According to The Cat Fancier’s Association Complete Cat Book; Persian calico cats have been accepted by CFA for years and calico Persians are always female and give birth to black-and-white or red and white bi-colored sons.

Genetically, two X chromosomes are needed to produce a calico coat, which is why the majority of calico cats are females. If the colors are black/orange upon the coat, then the cat is a calico cat. If the colors are blue/cream instead of the standard black/orange, then the cat is a muted calico.

Dr. Oltenacu further explains: “There’s a gene on the X-chromosome that controls orange/non-orange color. One form (allele) determines orange, the other allele non-orange (usually black, but the actual color is determined by other genes on the autosomes). Neither form is dominant to the other, so a cat with one of each is a tortie.

It has to be female, as this requires 2 X-chromosomes. Sometimes an abnormal male is born XXY instead of the usual XY, so can be tortie.

Clearly, this male is the result of inaccurate separation of the chromosomes during egg or sperm formation. Usually, males are orange or non-orange, but not tortie as they have just one X-chromosome.

Now, if the cat also has the white-spotting gene (again autosomal, not on the sex chromosome). This will cause the color to be in patches, rather than the diffuse mix of orange and black in the tortie. Hence the calico.”

If the majority of calico cats are female, then does this make male calicos valuable? For cat lovers, a calico cat, regardless of gender is valuable to the owner. Calico cats are quirky, independent, a tad stubborn and fun to be around.

It is clear that calico cats have captivated hearts of cat fanciers around the world. On October 1, 2001 the state of Maryland was so enamored with this delightful cat that they declared the calico cat as their official state cat.

The author wishes to acknowledge her great appreciation for Dr. Oltenacu’s assistance in preparing this article.

Comments? Leave them using the form below. Questions? Please use the cat forums for those!

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Calico Cats – Community

Recommendation and review posted by simmons

Human skin – Wikipedia

This article is about skin in humans. For other animals, see skin.

The human skin is the outer covering of the body. In humans, it is the largest organ of the integumentary system. The skin has up to seven layers of ectodermal tissue and guards the underlying muscles, bones, ligaments and internal organs.[1] Human skin is similar to that of most other mammals. Though nearly all human skin is covered with hair follicles, it can appear hairless. There are two general types of skin, hairy and glabrous skin.[2] The adjective cutaneous literally means “of the skin” (from Latin cutis, skin).

Because it interfaces with the environment, skin plays an important immunity role in protecting the body against pathogens[3] and excessive water loss.[4] Its other functions are insulation, temperature regulation, sensation, synthesis of vitamin D, and the protection of vitamin B folates. Severely damaged skin will try to heal by forming scar tissue. This is often discolored and depigmented.

In humans, skin pigmentation varies among populations, and skin type can range from dry to oily. Such skin variety provides a rich and diverse habitat for bacteria that number roughly 1000 species from 19 phyla, present on the human skin.[5][6]

Skin has mesodermal cells, pigmentation, such as melanin provided by melanocytes, which absorb some of the potentially dangerous ultraviolet radiation (UV) in sunlight. It also contains DNA repair enzymes that help reverse UV damage, such that people lacking the genes for these enzymes suffer high rates of skin cancer. One form predominantly produced by UV light, malignant melanoma, is particularly invasive, causing it to spread quickly, and can often be deadly. Human skin pigmentation varies among populations in a striking manner. This has led to the classification of people(s) on the basis of skin color.[7]

The skin is the largest organ in the human body. For the average adult human, the skin has a surface area of between 1.5-2.0 square metres (16.1-21.5 sq ft.). The thickness of the skin varies considerably over all parts of the body, and between men and women and the young and the old. An example is the skin on the forearm which is on average 1.3mm in the male and 1.26mm in the female.[8] The average square inch (6.5cm) of skin holds 650 sweat glands, 20 blood vessels, 60,000 melanocytes, and more than 1,000 nerve endings.[9][bettersourceneeded] The average human skin cell is about 30 micrometers in diameter, but there are variants. A skin cell usually ranges from 25-40 micrometers (squared), depending on a variety of factors.

Skin is composed of three primary layers: the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis.[8]

Epidermis, “epi” coming from the Greek meaning “over” or “upon”, is the outermost layer of the skin. It forms the waterproof, protective wrap over the body’s surface which also serves as a barrier to infection and is made up of stratified squamous epithelium with an underlying basal lamina.

The epidermis contains no blood vessels, and cells in the deepest layers are nourished almost exclusively by diffused oxygen from the surrounding air[10] and to a far lesser degree by blood capillaries extending to the outer layers of the dermis. The main type of cells which make up the epidermis are Merkel cells, keratinocytes, with melanocytes and Langerhans cells also present. The epidermis can be further subdivided into the following strata (beginning with the outermost layer): corneum, lucidum (only in palms of hands and bottoms of feet), granulosum, spinosum, basale. Cells are formed through mitosis at the basale layer. The daughter cells (see cell division) move up the strata changing shape and composition as they die due to isolation from their blood source. The cytoplasm is released and the protein keratin is inserted. They eventually reach the corneum and slough off (desquamation). This process is called “keratinization”. This keratinized layer of skin is responsible for keeping water in the body and keeping other harmful chemicals and pathogens out, making skin a natural barrier to infection.

The epidermis contains no blood vessels, and is nourished by diffusion from the dermis. The main type of cells which make up the epidermis are keratinocytes, melanocytes, Langerhans cells and Merkels cells. The epidermis helps the skin to regulate body temperature.

Epidermis is divided into several layers where cells are formed through mitosis at the innermost layers. They move up the strata changing shape and composition as they differentiate and become filled with keratin. They eventually reach the top layer called stratum corneum and are sloughed off, or desquamated. This process is called keratinization and takes place within weeks. The outermost layer of the epidermis consists of 25 to 30 layers of dead cells.

Epidermis is divided into the following 5 sublayers or strata:

Blood capillaries are found beneath the epidermis, and are linked to an arteriole and a venule. Arterial shunt vessels may bypass the network in ears, the nose and fingertips.

The dermis is the layer of skin beneath the epidermis that consists of epithelial tissue and cushions the body from stress and strain. The dermis is tightly connected to the epidermis by a basement membrane. It also harbors many nerve endings that provide the sense of touch and heat. It contains the hair follicles, sweat glands, sebaceous glands, apocrine glands, lymphatic vessels and blood vessels. The blood vessels in the dermis provide nourishment and waste removal from its own cells as well as from the Stratum basale of the epidermis.

The dermis is structurally divided into two areas: a superficial area adjacent to the epidermis, called the papillary region, and a deep thicker area known as the reticular region.

The papillary region is composed of loose areolar connective tissue. It is named for its fingerlike projections called papillae, that extend toward the epidermis. The papillae provide the dermis with a “bumpy” surface that interdigitates with the epidermis, strengthening the connection between the two layers of skin.

In the palms, fingers, soles, and toes, the influence of the papillae projecting into the epidermis forms contours in the skin’s surface. These epidermal ridges occur in patterns (see: fingerprint) that are genetically and epigenetically determined and are therefore unique to the individual, making it possible to use fingerprints or footprints as a means of identification.

The reticular region lies deep in the papillary region and is usually much thicker. It is composed of dense irregular connective tissue, and receives its name from the dense concentration of collagenous, elastic, and reticular fibers that weave throughout it. These protein fibers give the dermis its properties of strength, extensibility, and elasticity.

Also located within the reticular region are the roots of the hair, sebaceous glands, sweat glands, receptors, nails, and blood vessels.

Tattoo ink is held in the dermis. Stretch marks from pregnancy are also located in the dermis.

The hypodermis is not part of the skin, and lies below the dermis. Its purpose is to attach the skin to underlying bone and muscle as well as supplying it with blood vessels and nerves. It consists of loose connective tissue, adipose tissue and elastin. The main cell types are fibroblasts, macrophages and adipocytes (the hypodermis contains 50% of body fat). Fat serves as padding and insulation for the body.

Human skin shows high skin color variety from the darkest brown to the lightest pinkish-white hues. Human skin shows higher variation in color than any other single mammalian species and is the result of natural selection. Skin pigmentation in humans evolved to primarily regulate the amount of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) penetrating the skin, controlling its biochemical effects.[11]

The actual skin color of different humans is affected by many substances, although the single most important substance determining human skin color is the pigment melanin. Melanin is produced within the skin in cells called melanocytes and it is the main determinant of the skin color of darker-skinned humans. The skin color of people with light skin is determined mainly by the bluish-white connective tissue under the dermis and by the hemoglobin circulating in the veins of the dermis. The red color underlying the skin becomes more visible, especially in the face, when, as consequence of physical exercise or the stimulation of the nervous system (anger, fear), arterioles dilate.[12]

There are at least five different pigments that determine the color of the skin.[13][14] These pigments are present at different levels and places.

There is a correlation between the geographic distribution of UV radiation (UVR) and the distribution of indigenous skin pigmentation around the world. Areas that highlight higher amounts of UVR reflect darker-skinned populations, generally located nearer towards the equator. Areas that are far from the tropics and closer to the poles have lower concentration of UVR, which is reflected in lighter-skinned populations.[15]

In the same population it has been observed that adult human females are considerably lighter in skin pigmentation than males. Females need more calcium during pregnancy and lactation and vitamin D which is synthesized from sunlight helps in absorbing calcium. For this reason it is thought that females may have evolved to have lighter skin in order to help their bodies absorb more calcium.[16]

The Fitzpatrick scale[17][18] is a numerical classification schema for human skin color developed in 1975 as a way to classify the typical response of different types of skin to ultraviolet (UV) light:

As skin ages, it becomes thinner and more easily damaged. Intensifying this effect is the decreasing ability of skin to heal itself as a person ages.

Among other things, skin aging is noted by a decrease in volume and elasticity. There are many internal and external causes to skin aging. For example, aging skin receives less blood flow and lower glandular activity.

A validated comprehensive grading scale has categorized the clinical findings of skin aging as laxity (sagging), rhytids (wrinkles), and the various facets of photoaging, including erythema (redness), and telangiectasia, dyspigmentation (brown discoloration), solar elastosis (yellowing), keratoses (abnormal growths) and poor texture.[19]

Cortisol causes degradation of collagen,[20] accelerating skin aging.[21]

Anti-aging supplements are used to treat skin aging.

Photoaging has two main concerns: an increased risk for skin cancer and the appearance of damaged skin. In younger skin, sun damage will heal faster since the cells in the epidermis have a faster turnover rate, while in the older population the skin becomes thinner and the epidermis turnover rate for cell repair is lower which may result in the dermis layer being damaged.[22]

Skin performs the following functions:

The human skin is a rich environment for microbes.[5][6] Around 1000 species of bacteria from 19 bacterial phyla have been found. Most come from only four phyla: Actinobacteria (51.8%), Firmicutes (24.4%), Proteobacteria (16.5%), and Bacteroidetes (6.3%). Propionibacteria and Staphylococci species were the main species in sebaceous areas. There are three main ecological areas: moist, dry and sebaceous. In moist places on the body Corynebacteria together with Staphylococci dominate. In dry areas, there is a mixture of species but dominated by b-Proteobacteria and Flavobacteriales. Ecologically, sebaceous areas had greater species richness than moist and dry ones. The areas with least similarity between people in species were the spaces between fingers, the spaces between toes, axillae, and umbilical cord stump. Most similarly were beside the nostril, nares (inside the nostril), and on the back.

Reflecting upon the diversity of the human skin researchers on the human skin microbiome have observed: “hairy, moist underarms lie a short distance from smooth dry forearms, but these two niches are likely as ecologically dissimilar as rainforests are to deserts.”[5]

The NIH has launched the Human Microbiome Project to characterize the human microbiota which includes that on the skin and the role of this microbiome in health and disease.[23]

Microorganisms like Staphylococcus epidermidis colonize the skin surface. The density of skin flora depends on region of the skin. The disinfected skin surface gets recolonized from bacteria residing in the deeper areas of the hair follicle, gut and urogenital openings.

Diseases of the skin include skin infections and skin neoplasms (including skin cancer).

Dermatology is the branch of medicine that deals with conditions of the skin.[2]

The skin supports its own ecosystems of microorganisms, including yeasts and bacteria, which cannot be removed by any amount of cleaning. Estimates place the number of individual bacteria on the surface of one square inch (6.5 square cm) of human skin at 50 million, though this figure varies greatly over the average 20 square feet (1.9m2) of human skin. Oily surfaces, such as the face, may contain over 500 million bacteria per square inch (6.5cm). Despite these vast quantities, all of the bacteria found on the skin’s surface would fit into a volume the size of a pea.[24] In general, the microorganisms keep one another in check and are part of a healthy skin. When the balance is disturbed, there may be an overgrowth and infection, such as when antibiotics kill microbes, resulting in an overgrowth of yeast. The skin is continuous with the inner epithelial lining of the body at the orifices, each of which supports its own complement of microbes.

Cosmetics should be used carefully on the skin because these may cause allergic reactions. Each season requires suitable clothing in order to facilitate the evaporation of the sweat. Sunlight, water and air play an important role in keeping the skin healthy.

Oily skin is caused by over-active sebaceous glands, that produce a substance called sebum, a naturally healthy skin lubricant.[1] When the skin produces excessive sebum, it becomes heavy and thick in texture. Oily skin is typified by shininess, blemishes and pimples.[1] The oily-skin type is not necessarily bad, since such skin is less prone to wrinkling, or other signs of aging,[1] because the oil helps to keep needed moisture locked into the epidermis (outermost layer of skin).

The negative aspect of the oily-skin type is that oily complexions are especially susceptible to clogged pores, blackheads, and buildup of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin.[1] Oily skin can be sallow and rough in texture and tends to have large, clearly visible pores everywhere, except around the eyes and neck.[1]

Human skin has a low permeability; that is, most foreign substances are unable to penetrate and diffuse through the skin. Skin’s outermost layer, the stratum corneum, is an effective barrier to most inorganic nanosized particles.[25][26] This protects the body from external particles such as toxins by not allowing them to come into contact with internal tissues. However, in some cases it is desirable to allow particles entry to the body through the skin. Potential medical applications of such particle transfer has prompted developments in nanomedicine and biology to increase skin permeability. One application of transcutaneous particle delivery could be to locate and treat cancer. Nanomedical researchers seek to target the epidermis and other layers of active cell division where nanoparticles can interact directly with cells that have lost their growth-control mechanisms (cancer cells). Such direct interaction could be used to more accurately diagnose properties of specific tumors or to treat them by delivering drugs with cellular specificity.

Nanoparticles 40nm in diameter and smaller have been successful in penetrating the skin.[27][28][29] Research confirms that nanoparticles larger than 40nm do not penetrate the skin past the stratum corneum.[27] Most particles that do penetrate will diffuse through skin cells, but some will travel down hair follicles and reach the dermis layer.

The permeability of skin relative to different shapes of nanoparticles has also been studied. Research has shown that spherical particles have a better ability to penetrate the skin compared to oblong (ellipsoidal) particles because spheres are symmetric in all three spatial dimensions.[29] One study compared the two shapes and recorded data that showed spherical particles located deep in the epidermis and dermis whereas ellipsoidal particles were mainly found in the stratum corneum and epidermal layers.[30]Nanorods are used in experiments because of their unique fluorescent properties but have shown mediocre penetration.

Nanoparticles of different materials have shown skins permeability limitations. In many experiments, gold nanoparticles 40nm in diameter or smaller are used and have shown to penetrate to the epidermis. Titanium oxide (TiO2), zinc oxide (ZnO), and silver nanoparticles are ineffective in penetrating the skin past the stratum corneum.[31][32]Cadmium selenide (CdSe) quantum dots have proven to penetrate very effectively when they have certain properties. Because CdSe is toxic to living organisms, the particle must be covered in a surface group. An experiment comparing the permeability of quantum dots coated in polyethylene glycol (PEG), PEG-amine, and carboxylic acid concluded the PEG and PEG-amine surface groups allowed for the greatest penetration of particles. The carboxylic acid coated particles did not penetrate past the stratum corneum.[30]

Scientists previously believed that the skin was an effective barrier to inorganic particles. Damage from mechanical stressors was believed to be the only way to increase its permeability.[33] Recently, however, simpler and more effective methods for increasing skin permeability have been developed. For example, ultraviolet radiation (UVR) has been used to slightly damage the surface of skin, causing a time-dependent defect allowing easier penetration of nanoparticles.[34] The UVRs high energy causes a restructuring of cells, weakening the boundary between the stratum corneum and the epidermal layer.[34][35] The damage of the skin is typically measured by the transepidermal water loss (TEWL), though it may take 35 days for the TEWL to reach its peak value. When the TEWL reaches its highest value, the maximum density of nanoparticles is able to permeate the skin. Studies confirm that UVR damaged skin significantly increases the permeability.[34][35] The effects of increased permeability after UVR exposure can lead to an increase in the number of particles that permeate the skin. However, the specific permeability of skin after UVR exposure relative to particles of different sizes and materials has not been determined.[34]

Other skin damaging methods used to increase nanoparticle penetration include tape stripping, skin abrasion, and chemical enhancement. Tape stripping is the process in which tape is applied to skin then lifted to remove the top layer of skin. Skin abrasion is done by shaving the top 5-10 micrometers off the surface of the skin. Chemical enhancement is the process in which chemicals such as polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), and oleic acid are applied to the surface of the skin to increase permeability.[36][37]

Electroporation is the application of short pulses of electric fields on skin and has proven to increase skin permeability. The pulses are high voltage and on the order of milliseconds when applied. Charged molecules penetrate the skin more frequently than neutral molecules after the skin has been exposed to electric field pulses. Results have shown molecules on the order of 100 micrometers to easily permeate electroporated skin.[37]

A large area of interest in nanomedicine is the transdermal patch because of the possibility of a painless application of therapeutic agents with very few side effects. Transdermal patches have been limited to administer a small number of drugs, such as nicotine, because of the limitations in permeability of the skin. Development of techniques that increase skin permeability has led to more drugs that can be applied via transdermal patches and more options for patients.[37]

Increasing the permeability of skin allows nanoparticles to penetrate and target cancer cells. Nanoparticles along with multi-modal imaging techniques have been used as a way to diagnose cancer non-invasively. Skin with high permeability allowed quantum dots with an antibody attached to the surface for active targeting to successfully penetrate and identify cancerous tumors in mice. Tumor targeting is beneficial because the particles can be excited using fluorescence microscopy and emit light energy and heat that will destroy cancer cells.[38]

Sunblock and sunscreen are different important skin-care products though both offer full protection from the sun.[39][40]

SunblockSunblock is opaque and stronger than sunscreen, since it is able to block most of the UVA/UVB rays and radiation from the sun, and does not need to be reapplied several times in a day. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are two of the important ingredients in sunblock.[41]

SunscreenSunscreen is more transparent once applied to the skin and also has the ability to protect against UVA/UVB rays, although the sunscreen’s ingredients have the ability to break down at a faster rate once exposed to sunlight, and some of the radiation is able to penetrate to the skin. In order for sunscreen to be more effective it is necessary to consistently reapply and use one with a higher sun protection factor.

Vitamin A, also known as retinoids, benefits the skin by normalizing keratinization, downregulating sebum production which contributes to acne, and reversing and treating photodamage, striae, and cellulite.

Vitamin D and analogs are used to downregulate the cutaneous immune system and epithelial proliferation while promoting differentiation.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that regulates collagen synthesis, forms barrier lipids, regenerates vitamin E, and provides photoprotection.

Vitamin E is a membrane antioxidant that protects against oxidative damage and also provides protection against harmful UV rays. [42]

Several scientific studies confirmed that changes in baseline nutritional status affects skin condition. [43]

The Mayo Clinic lists foods they state help the skin: yellow, green, and orange fruits and vegetables; fat-free dairy products; whole-grain foods; fatty fish, nuts.[44]

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Induced pluripotent stem-cell therapy – Wikipedia

In 2006, Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University in Japan was the first to disprove the previous notion that reversible cell differentiation of mammals was impossible. He reprogrammed a fully differentiated mouse cell into a pluripotent stem cell by introducing four genes, Oct-4, SOX2, KLF4, and Myc, into the mouse fibroblast through gene-carrying viruses. With this method, he and his coworkers created induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), the key component in this experiment.[1] Scientists have been able to conduct experiments that show the ability of iPS cells to treat and even cure diseases. In this experiment, tests were run on mice with inherited sickle-cell anemia. Skin cells were turned into cells containing genes that transformed the cells into iPS cells. These replaced the diseased sickled cells, curing the test mice. The reprogramming of the pluripotent stem cells in mice was successfully duplicated with human pluripotent stem cells within about a year of the experiment on the mice.[citation needed]

Sickle-cell anemia is a disease in which the body produces abnormally shaped red blood cells. Red blood cells are flexible and round, moving easily through the blood vessels. Infected cells are shaped like a crescent or sickle (the namesake of the disease). As a result of this disorder the hemoglobin protein in red blood cells is faulty. Normal hemoglobin bonds to oxygen, then releases it into cells that need it. The blood cell retains its original form and is cycled back to the lungs and re-oxygenated.

Sickle cell hemoglobin, however, after giving up oxygen, cling together and make the red blood cell stiff. The sickle shape also makes it difficult for the red blood cell to navigate arteries and causes blockages.[2] This can cause intense pain and organ damage. The sickled red blood cells are fragile and prone to rupture. When the number of red blood cells decreases from rupture (hemolysis), anemia is the result. Sickle cells die in 1020 days as opposed to the traditional 120-day lifespan of a normal red blood cell.

Sickle cell anemia is inherited as an autosomal (meaning that the gene is not linked to a sex chromosome) recessive condition.[2] This means that the gene can be passed on from a carrier to his or her children. In order for sickle cell anemia to affect a person, the gene must be inherited from both the mother and the father, so that the child has two recessive sickle cell genes (a homozygous inheritance). People who inherit one sickle cell gene from one parent and one normal gene from the other parent, i.e. heterozygous patients, have a condition called sickle cell trait. Their bodies make both sickle hemoglobin and normal hemoglobin. They may pass the trait on to their children.

The effects of sickle-cell anemia vary from person to person. People who have the disease suffer from varying degrees of chronic pain and fatigue. With proper care and treatment, the quality of health of most patients will improve. Doctors have learned a great deal about sickle cell anemia since its discovery in 1979. They know its causes, its effects on the body, and possible treatments for complications. Sickle cell anemia has no widely available cure. A bone marrow transplant is the only treatment method currently recognized to be able to cure the disease, though it does not work for every patient. Finding a donor is difficult and the procedure could potentially do more harm than good. Treatments for sickle cell anemia are generally aimed at avoiding crises, relieving symptoms, and preventing complications. Such treatments may include medications, blood transfusions, and supplemental oxygen.

During the first step of the experiment, skin cells (also known as fibroblasts) were collected from infected test mice and put in a culture. The fibroblasts were reprogrammed by infecting them with retroviruses that contained genes common to embryonic stem cells. These genes were the same four used by Yamanaka (Oct-4, SOX2, KLF4, and Myc) in his earlier study. The investigators were trying to produce cells with the potential to differentiate into any type of cell needed (i.e. pluripotent stem cells). As the experiment continued, the fibroblasts multiplied into identical copies of iPS cells. The cells were then treated to form the mutation needed to reverse the anemia in the mice. This was accomplished by restructuring the DNA containing the defective globin gene into DNA with the normal gene through the process of homologous recombination. The iPS cells then differentiated into blood stem cells, or hematopoietic stem cells. The hematopoietic cells were injected back into the infected mice, where they proliferate and differentiate into normal blood cells, curing the mice of the disease.[3][4][verification needed]

To determine whether the mice were cured from the disease, the scientists checked for the usual symptoms of sickle cell disease. They examined the blood for mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and red cell distribution width (RDW) and urine concentration defects. They also checked for sickled red blood cells. They examined the DNA through gel electrophoresis, checking for bands that display an allele that causes sickling. Compared to the untreated mice with the disease, which they used as a control, “the treated animals had marked increases in RBC counts, healthy hemoglobin, and packed cell volume levels”.[5]

Researchers examined “the urine concentration defect, which results from RBC sickling in renal tubules and consequent reduction in renal medullary blood flow, and the general deteriorated systemic condition reflected by lower body weight and increased breathing.”[5] They were able to see that these parts of the body of the mice had healed or improved. This indicated that “all hematological and systemic parameters of sickle cell anemia improved substantially and were comparable to those in control mice.”[5] They cannot say if this will work in humans because a safe way to inject the genes for the induced pluripotent cells is still needed.[citation needed]

The reprogramming of the induced pluripotent stem cells in mice was successfully duplicated in humans within a year of the successful experiment on the mice. This reprogramming was done in several labs and it was shown that the iPS cells in humans were almost identical to original embryonic stem cells (ES cells) that are responsible for the creation of all structures in a fetus.[1] An important feature of iPS cells is that they can be generated with cells taken from an adult, which would circumvent many of the ethical problems associated with working with ES cells. These iPS cells also have potential in creating and examining new disease models and developing more efficient drug treatments.[6] Another feature of these cells is that they provide researchers with a human cell sample, as opposed to simply using an animal with similar DNA, for drug testing.

One major problem with iPS cells is the way in which the cells are reprogrammed. Using gene-carrying viruses has the potential to cause iPS cells to develop into cancerous cells.[1] Also, an implant made using undifferentiated iPS cells, could cause a teratoma to form. Any implant that is generated from using these iPS cells would only be viable for transplant into the original subject that the cells were taken from. In order for these iPS cells to become viable in therapeutic use, there are still many steps that must be taken.[5][7]

In the future, researchers hope that induced pluripotent cells may be used to treat other diseases. Pluripotency is a crucial part of disease treatment because iPS cells are capable of differentiation in a way that is very similar to embryonic stem cells which can grow into fully differentiated tissues. iPS cells also demonstrate high telomerase activity and express human telomerase reverse transcriptase, a necessary component in the telomerase protein complex. Also, iPS cells expressed cell surface antigenic markers expressed on ES cells. Also, doubling time and mitotic activity are cornerstones of ES cells, as stem cells must self-renew as part of their definition. As said, iPS cells are morphologically similar to embryonic stem cells. Each cell has a round shape, a large nucleolus and a small amount of cytoplasm. One day, the process may be used in practical settings to provide a fundamental way of regeneration.

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The pituitary gland produces a number of hormones, which are released into the blood to control other glands in the body (thyroid, adrenal, ovary or testicles). If the pituitary is not producing one or more of these hormones, the condition is called hypopituitarism. If all the hormones produced by the anterior pituitary are decreased, the condition is called panhypopituitarism. Hypopituitarism is most often caused by large benign tumors of the pituitary gland, or of the brain in the region of the hypothalamus. Pituitary underactivity may be caused by the direct pressure of the tumor mass on the normal pituitary or by the effects of surgery or radiotherapy used to treat the pituitary tumors.

Less frequently, hypopituitarism can be caused by infections in or around the brain (such as meningitis) or by severe blood loss, by head injury, or by other rare diseases. Some of the clinical features that may be associated with hypopituitarism include excessive tiredness and decreased energy, irregular periods (oligomenorrhea) or loss of normal menstrual function (amenorrhea), impotence (in men), infertility, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, dry skin, low blood pressure and lightheadedness upon standing (postural hypotension). Treatment of hypopituitarism consists of long-term hormone replacement therapy, since pituitary hormone deficits are rarely reversed after tumor removal.

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Induced stem cells – Wikipedia

Induced stem cells (iSC) are stem cells derived from somatic, reproductive, pluripotent or other cell types by deliberate epigenetic reprogramming. They are classified as either totipotent (iTC), pluripotent (iPSC) or progenitor (multipotentiMSC, also called an induced multipotent progenitor celliMPC) or unipotent(iUSC) according to their developmental potential and degree of dedifferentiation. Progenitors are obtained by so-called direct reprogramming or directed differentiation and are also called induced somatic stem cells.

Three techniques are widely recognized:[1]

In 1895 Thomas Morgan removed one of a frog’s two blastomeres and found that amphibians are able to form whole embryos from the remaining part. This meant that the cells can change their differentiation pathway. In 1924 Spemann and Mangold demonstrated the key importance of cellcell inductions during animal development.[20] The reversible transformation of cells of one differentiated cell type to another is called metaplasia.[21] This transition can be a part of the normal maturation process, or caused by an inducement.

One example is the transformation of iris cells to lens cells in the process of maturation and transformation of retinal pigment epithelium cells into the neural retina during regeneration in adult newt eyes. This process allows the body to replace cells not suitable to new conditions with more suitable new cells. In Drosophila imaginal discs, cells have to choose from a limited number of standard discrete differentiation states. The fact that transdetermination (change of the path of differentiation) often occurs for a group of cells rather than single cells shows that it is induced rather than part of maturation.[22]

The researchers were able to identify the minimal conditions and factors that would be sufficient for starting the cascade of molecular and cellular processes to instruct pluripotent cells to organize the embryo. They showed that opposing gradients of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and Nodal, two transforming growth factor family members that act as morphogens, are sufficient to induce molecular and cellular mechanisms required to organize, in vivo or in vitro, uncommitted cells of the zebrafish blastula animal pole into a well-developed embryo.[23]

Some types of mature, specialized adult cells can naturally revert to stem cells. For example, “chief” cells express the stem cell marker Troy. While they normally produce digestive fluids for the stomach, they can revert into stem cells to make temporary repairs to stomach injuries, such as a cut or damage from infection. Moreover, they can make this transition even in the absence of noticeable injuries and are capable of replenishing entire gastric units, in essence serving as quiescent “reserve” stem cells.[24] Differentiated airway epithelial cells can revert into stable and functional stem cells in vivo.[25]

After injury, mature terminally differentiated kidney cells dedifferentiate into more primordial versions of themselves and then differentiate into the cell types needing replacement in the damaged tissue[26] Macrophages can self-renew by local proliferation of mature differentiated cells.[27][28] In newts, muscle tissue is regenerated from specialized muscle cells that dedifferentiate and forget the type of cell they had been. This capacity to regenerate does not decline with age and may be linked to their ability to make new stem cells from muscle cells on demand.[29]

A variety of nontumorigenic stem cells display the ability to generate multiple cell types. For instance, multilineage-differentiating stress-enduring (Muse) cells are stress-tolerant adult human stem cells that can self-renew. They form characteristic cell clusters in suspension culture that express a set of genes associated with pluripotency and can differentiate into endodermal, ectodermal and mesodermal cells both in vitro and in vivo.[30][31][32][33][34]

Other well-documented examples of transdifferentiation and their significance in development and regeneration were described in detail.[35][36]

Induced totipotent cells can be obtained by reprogramming somatic cells with somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). The process involves sucking out the nucleus of a somatic (body) cell and injecting it into an oocyte that has had its nucleus removed[3][5][37][38]

Using an approach based on the protocol outlined by Tachibana et al.,[3] hESCs can be generated by SCNT using dermal fibroblasts nuclei from both a middle-aged 35-year-old male and an elderly, 75-year-old male, suggesting that age-associated changes are not necessarily an impediment to SCNT-based nuclear reprogramming of human cells.[39] Such reprogramming of somatic cells to a pluripotent state holds huge potentials for regenerative medicine. Unfortunately, the cells generated by this technology, potentially are not completely protected from the immune system of the patient (donor of nuclei), because they have the same mitochondrial DNA, as a donor of oocytes, instead of the patients mitochondrial DNA. This reduces their value as a source for autologous stem cell transplantation therapy, as for the present, it is not clear whether it can induce an immune response of the patient upon treatment.

Induced androgenetic haploid embryonic stem cells can be used instead of sperm for cloning. These cells, synchronized in M phase and injected into the oocyte can produce viable offspring.[40]

These developments, together with data on the possibility of unlimited oocytes from mitotically active reproductive stem cells,[41] offer the possibility of industrial production of transgenic farm animals. Repeated recloning of viable mice through a SCNT method that includes a histone deacetylase inhibitor, trichostatin, added to the cell culture medium,[42] show that it may be possible to reclone animals indefinitely with no visible accumulation of reprogramming or genomic errors[43] However, research into technologies to develop sperm and egg cells from stem cells raises bioethical issues.[44]

Such technologies may also have far-reaching clinical applications for overcoming cytoplasmic defects in human oocytes.[3][45] For example, the technology could prevent inherited mitochondrial disease from passing to future generations. Mitochondrial genetic material is passed from mother to child. Mutations can cause diabetes, deafness, eye disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, heart disease, dementia and other neurological diseases. The nucleus from one human egg has been transferred to another, including its mitochondria, creating a cell that could be regarded as having two mothers. The eggs were then fertilised and the resulting embryonic stem cells carried the swapped mitochondrial DNA.[46] As evidence that the technique is safe author of this method points to the existence of the healthy monkeys that are now more than four years old and are the product of mitochondrial transplants across different genetic backgrounds.[47]

In late-generation telomerase-deficient (Terc/) mice, SCNT-mediated reprogramming mitigates telomere dysfunction and mitochondrial defects to a greater extent than iPSC-based reprogramming.[48]

Other cloning and totipotent transformation achievements have been described.[49]

Recently some researchers succeeded to get the totipotent cells without the aid of SCNT. Totipotent cells were obtained using the epigenetic factors such as oocyte germinal isoform of histone.[50] Reprogramming in vivo, by transitory induction of the four factors Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc in mice, confers totipotency features. Intraperitoneal injection of such in vivo iPS cells generates embryo-like structures that express embryonic and extraembryonic (trophectodermal) markers.[51]

iPSc were first obtained in the form of transplantable teratocarcinoma induced by grafts taken from mouse embryos.[52] Teratocarcinoma formed from somatic cells.[53]Genetically mosaic mice were obtained from malignant teratocarcinoma cells, confirming the cells’ pluripotency.[54][55][56] It turned out that teratocarcinoma cells are able to maintain a culture of pluripotent embryonic stem cell in an undifferentiated state, by supplying the culture medium with various factors.[57] In the 1980s, it became clear that transplanting pluripotent/embryonic stem cells into the body of adult mammals, usually leads to the formation of teratomas, which can then turn into a malignant tumor teratocarcinoma.[58] However, putting teratocarcinoma cells into the embryo at the blastocyst stage, caused them to become incorporated in the inner cell mass and often produced a normal chimeric (i.e. composed of cells from different organisms) animal.[59][60][61] This indicated that the cause of the teratoma is a dissonance – mutual miscommunication between young donor cells and surrounding adult cells (the recipient’s so-called “niche”).

In August 2006, Japanese researchers circumvented the need for an oocyte, as in SCNT. By reprograming mouse embryonic fibroblasts into pluripotent stem cells via the ectopic expression of four transcription factors, namely Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc, they proved that the overexpression of a small number of factors can push the cell to transition to a new stable state that is associated with changes in the activity of thousands of genes.[7]

Reprogramming mechanisms are thus linked, rather than independent and are centered on a small number of genes.[62] IPSC properties are very similar to ESCs.[63] iPSCs have been shown to support the development of all-iPSC mice using a tetraploid (4n) embryo,[64] the most stringent assay for developmental potential. However, some genetically normal iPSCs failed to produce all-iPSC mice because of aberrant epigenetic silencing of the imprinted Dlk1-Dio3 gene cluster.[18]

An important advantage of iPSC over ESC is that they can be derived from adult cells, rather than from embryos. Therefore, it became possible to obtain iPSC from adult and even elderly patients.[9][65][66]

Reprogramming somatic cells to iPSC leads to rejuvenation. It was found that reprogramming leads to telomere lengthening and subsequent shortening after their differentiation back into fibroblast-like derivatives.[67] Thus, reprogramming leads to the restoration of embryonic telomere length,[68] and hence increases the potential number of cell divisions otherwise limited by the Hayflick limit.[69]

However, because of the dissonance between rejuvenated cells and the surrounding niche of the recipient’s older cells, the injection of his own iPSC usually leads to an immune response,[70] which can be used for medical purposes,[71] or the formation of tumors such as teratoma.[72] The reason has been hypothesized to be that some cells differentiated from ESC and iPSC in vivo continue to synthesize embryonic protein isoforms.[73] So, the immune system might detect and attack cells that are not cooperating properly.

A small molecule called MitoBloCK-6 can force the pluripotent stem cells to die by triggering apoptosis (via cytochrome c release across the mitochondrial outer membrane) in human pluripotent stem cells, but not in differentiated cells. Shortly after differentiation, daughter cells became resistant to death. When MitoBloCK-6 was introduced to differentiated cell lines, the cells remained healthy. The key to their survival, was hypothesized to be due to the changes undergone by pluripotent stem cell mitochondria in the process of cell differentiation. This ability of MitoBloCK-6 to separate the pluripotent and differentiated cell lines has the potential to reduce the risk of teratomas and other problems in regenerative medicine.[74]

In 2012 other small molecules (selective cytotoxic inhibitors of human pluripotent stem cellshPSCs) were identified that prevented human pluripotent stem cells from forming teratomas in mice. The most potent and selective compound of them (PluriSIn #1) inhibits stearoyl-coA desaturase (the key enzyme in oleic acid biosynthesis), which finally results in apoptosis. With the help of this molecule the undifferentiated cells can be selectively removed from culture.[75][76] An efficient strategy to selectively eliminate pluripotent cells with teratoma potential is targeting pluripotent stem cell-specific antiapoptotic factor(s) (i.e., survivin or Bcl10). A single treatment with chemical survivin inhibitors (e.g., quercetin or YM155) can induce selective and complete cell death of undifferentiated hPSCs and is claimed to be sufficient to prevent teratoma formation after transplantation.[77] However, it is unlikely that any kind of preliminary clearance,[78] is able to secure the replanting iPSC or ESC. After the selective removal of pluripotent cells, they re-emerge quickly by reverting differentiated cells into stem cells, which leads to tumors.[79] This may be due to the disorder of let-7 regulation of its target Nr6a1 (also known as Germ cell nuclear factor – GCNF), an embryonic transcriptional repressor of pluripotency genes that regulates gene expression in adult fibroblasts following micro-RNA miRNA loss.[80]

Teratoma formation by pluripotent stem cells may be caused by low activity of PTEN enzyme, reported to promote the survival of a small population (0,1-5% of total population) of highly tumorigenic, aggressive, teratoma-initiating embryonic-like carcinoma cells during differentiation. The survival of these teratoma-initiating cells is associated with failed repression of Nanog as well as a propensity for increased glucose and cholesterol metabolism.[81] These teratoma-initiating cells also expressed a lower ratio of p53/p21 when compared to non-tumorigenic cells.[82] In connection with the above safety problems, the use iPSC for cell therapy is still limited.[83] However, they can be used for a variety of other purposes – including the modeling of disease,[84] screening (selective selection) of drugs, toxicity testing of various drugs.[85]

It is interesting to note that the tissue grown from iPSCs, placed in the “chimeric” embryos in the early stages of mouse development, practically do not cause an immune response (after the embryos have grown into adult mice) and are suitable for autologous transplantation[86] At the same time, full reprogramming of adult cells in vivo within tissues by transitory induction of the four factors Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc in mice results in teratomas emerging from multiple organs.[51] Furthermore, partial reprogramming of cells toward pluripotency in vivo in mice demonstrates that incomplete reprogramming entails epigenetic changes (failed repression of Polycomb targets and altered DNA methylation) in cells that drive cancer development.[87]

Determining the unique set of cellular factors that is needed to be manipulated for each cell conversion is a long and costly process that involved much trial and error. As a result, this first step of identifying the key set of cellular factors for cell conversion is the major obstacle researchers face in the field of cell reprogramming. An international team of researchers have developed an algorithm, called Mogrify(1), that can predict the optimal set of cellular factors required to convert one human cell type to another. When tested, Mogrify was able to accurately predict the set of cellular factors required for previously published cell conversions correctly. To further validate Mogrify’s predictive ability, the team conducted two novel cell conversions in the laboratory using human cells and these were successful in both attempts solely using the predictions of Mogrify.[89][90][91] Mogrify has been made available online for other researchers and scientists.

By using solely small molecules, Deng Hongkui and colleagues demonstrated that endogenous “master genes” are enough for cell fate reprogramming. They induced a pluripotent state in adult cells from mice using seven small-molecule compounds.[17] The effectiveness of the method is quite high: it was able to convert 0.02% of the adult tissue cells into iPSCs, which is comparable to the gene insertion conversion rate. The authors note that the mice generated from CiPSCs were “100% viable and apparently healthy for up to 6 months”. So, this chemical reprogramming strategy has potential use in generating functional desirable cell types for clinical applications.[92][93]

In 2015th year a robust chemical reprogramming system was established with a yield up to 1,000-fold greater than that of the previously reported protocol. So, chemical reprogramming became a promising approach to manipulate cell fates.[94]

The fact that human iPSCs capable of forming teratomas not only in humans but also in some animal body, in particular in mice or pigs, allowed to develop a method for differentiation of iPSCs in vivo. For this purpose, iPSCs with an agent for inducing differentiation into target cells are injected to genetically modified pig or mouse that has suppressed immune system activation on human cells. The formed teratoma is cut out and used for the isolation of the necessary differentiated human cells[95] by means of monoclonal antibody to tissue-specific markers on the surface of these cells. This method has been successfully used for the production of functional myeloid, erythroid and lymphoid human cells suitable for transplantation (yet only to mice).[96] Mice engrafted with human iPSC teratoma-derived hematopoietic cells produced human B and T cells capable of functional immune responses. These results offer hope that in vivo generation of patient customized cells is feasible, providing materials that could be useful for transplantation, human antibody generation and drug screening applications. Using MitoBloCK-6[74] and/or PluriSIn # 1 the differentiated progenitor cells can be further purified from teratoma forming pluripotent cells. The fact, that the differentiation takes place even in the teratoma niche, offers hope that the resulting cells are sufficiently stable to stimuli able to cause their transition back to the dedifferentiated (pluripotent) state and therefore safe. A similar in vivo differentiation system, yielding engraftable hematopoietic stem cells from mouse and human iPSCs in teratoma-bearing animals in combination with a maneuver to facilitate hematopoiesis, was described by Suzuki et al.[97] They noted that neither leukemia nor tumors were observed in recipients after intravenous injection of iPSC-derived hematopoietic stem cells into irradiated recipients. Moreover, this injection resulted in multilineage and long-term reconstitution of the hematolymphopoietic system in serial transfers. Such system provides a useful tool for practical application of iPSCs in the treatment of hematologic and immunologic diseases.[98]

For further development of this method animal in which is grown the human cell graft, for example mouse, must have so modified genome that all its cells express and have on its surface human SIRP.[99] To prevent rejection after transplantation to the patient of the allogenic organ or tissue, grown from the pluripotent stem cells in vivo in the animal, these cells should express two molecules: CTLA4-Ig, which disrupts T cell costimulatory pathways and PD-L1, which activates T cell inhibitory pathway.[100]

See also: US 20130058900 patent.

In the near-future, clinical trials designed to demonstrate the safety of the use of iPSCs for cell therapy of the people with age-related macular degeneration, a disease causing blindness through retina damaging, will begin. There are several articles describing methods for producing retinal cells from iPSCs[101][102] and how to use them for cell therapy.[103][104] Reports of iPSC-derived retinal pigmented epithelium transplantation showed enhanced visual-guided behaviors of experimental animals for 6 weeks after transplantation.[105] However, clinical trials have been successful: ten patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa have had their eyesight restoredincluding a woman who had only 17 percent of her vision left.[106]

Chronic lung diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and cystic fibrosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma are leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide with a considerable human, societal and financial burden. So there is an urgent need for effective cell therapy and lung tissue engineering.[107][108] Several protocols have been developed for generation of the most cell types of the respiratory system, which may be useful for deriving patient-specific therapeutic cells.[109][110][111][112][113]

Some lines of iPSCs have the potentiality to differentiate into male germ cells and oocyte-like cells in an appropriate niche (by culturing in retinoic acid and porcine follicular fluid differentiation medium or seminiferous tubule transplantation). Moreover, iPSC transplantation make a contribution to repairing the testis of infertile mice, demonstrating the potentiality of gamete derivation from iPSCs in vivo and in vitro.[114]

The risk of cancer and tumors creates the need to develop methods for safer cell lines suitable for clinical use. An alternative approach is so-called “direct reprogramming” – transdifferentiation of cells without passing through the pluripotent state.[115][116][117][118][119][120] The basis for this approach was that 5-azacytidine – a DNA demethylation reagent – can cause the formation of myogenic, chondrogenic and adipogeni clones in the immortal cell line of mouse embryonic fibroblasts[121] and that the activation of a single gene, later named MyoD1, is sufficient for such reprogramming.[122] Compared with iPSC whose reprogramming requires at least two weeks, the formation of induced progenitor cells sometimes occurs within a few days and the efficiency of reprogramming is usually many times higher. This reprogramming does not always require cell division.[123] The cells resulting from such reprogramming are more suitable for cell therapy because they do not form teratomas.[120] For example, Chandrakanthan et al., & Pimanda describe the generation of tissue-regenerative multipotent stem cells (iMS cells) by treating mature bone and fat cells transiently with a growth factor (platelet-derived growth factorAB (PDGF-AB)) and 5-Azacytidine. These authors claim that: “Unlike primary mesenchymal stem cells, which are used with little objective evidence in clinical practice to promote tissue repair, iMS cells contribute directly to in vivo tissue regeneration in a context-dependent manner without forming tumors” and so “has significant scope for application in tissue regeneration.”[124][125][126]

Originally only early embryonic cells could be coaxed into changing their identity. Mature cells are resistant to changing their identity once they’ve committed to a specific kind. However, brief expression of a single transcription factor, the ELT-7 GATA factor, can convert the identity of fully differentiated, specialized non-endodermal cells of the pharynx into fully differentiated intestinal cells in intact larvae and adult roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans with no requirement for a dedifferentiated intermediate.[127]

The cell fate can be effectively manipulated by epigenome editing. In particular, by directly activating of specific endogenous gene expression with CRISPR-mediated activator. When dCas9 (that has been modified so that it no longer cuts DNA, but still can be guided to specific sequences and to bind to them) is combined with transcription activators, it can precisely manipulate endogenous gene expression. Using this method, Wei et al., enhanced the expression of endogenous Cdx2 and Gata6 genes by CRISPR-mediated activators, thus directly converted mouse embryonic stem cells into two extraembryonic lineages, i.e., typical trophoblast stem cells and extraembryonic endoderm cells.[128] An analogous approach was used to induce activation of the endogenous Brn2, Ascl1, and Myt1l genes to convert mouse embryonic fibroblasts to induced neuronal cells.[129] Thus, transcriptional activation and epigenetic remodeling of endogenous master transcription factors are sufficient for conversion between cell types. The rapid and sustained activation of endogenous genes in their native chromatin context by this approach may facilitate reprogramming with transient methods that avoid genomic integration and provides a new strategy for overcoming epigenetic barriers to cell fate specification.

Another way of reprogramming is the simulation of the processes that occur during amphibian limb regeneration. In urodele amphibians, an early step in limb regeneration is skeletal muscle fiber dedifferentiation into a cellulate that proliferates into limb tissue. However, sequential small molecule treatment of the muscle fiber with myoseverin, reversine (the aurora B kinase inhibitor) and some other chemicals: BIO (glycogen synthase-3 kinase inhibitor), lysophosphatidic acid (pleiotropic activator of G-protein-coupled receptors), SB203580 (p38 MAP kinase inhibitor), or SQ22536 (adenylyl cyclase inhibitor) causes the formation of new muscle cell types as well as other cell types such as precursors to fat, bone and nervous system cells.[130]

The researchers discovered that GCSF-mimicking antibody can activate a growth-stimulating receptor on marrow cells in a way that induces marrow stem cells that normally develop into white blood cells to become neural progenitor cells. The technique[131] enables researchers to search large libraries of antibodies and quickly select the ones with a desired biological effect.[132]

Schlegel and Liu[133] demonstrated that the combination of feeder cells[134][135][136] and a Rho kinase inhibitor (Y-27632) [137][138] induces normal and tumor epithelial cells from many tissues to proliferate indefinitely in vitro. This process occurs without the need for transduction of exogenous viral or cellular genes. These cells have been termed “Conditionally Reprogrammed Cells (CRC)”. The induction of CRCs is rapid and results from reprogramming of the entire cell population. CRCs do not express high levels of proteins characteristic of iPSCs or embryonic stem cells (ESCs) (e.g., Sox2, Oct4, Nanog, or Klf4). This induction of CRCs is reversible and removal of Y-27632 and feeders allows the cells to differentiate normally.[133][139][140] CRC technology can generate 2106 cells in 5 to 6 days from needle biopsies and can generate cultures from cryopreserved tissue and from fewer than four viable cells. CRCs retain a normal karyotype and remain nontumorigenic. This technique also efficiently establishes cell cultures from human and rodent tumors.[133][141][142]

The ability to rapidly generate many tumor cells from small biopsy specimens and frozen tissue provides significant opportunities for cell-based diagnostics and therapeutics (including chemosensitivity testing) and greatly expands the value of biobanking.[133][141][142] Using CRC technology, researchers were able to identify an effective therapy for a patient with a rare type of lung tumor.[143] Engleman’s group[144] describes a pharmacogenomic platform that facilitates rapid discovery of drug combinations that can overcome resistance using CRC system. In addition, the CRC method allows for the genetic manipulation of epithelial cells ex vivo and their subsequent evaluation in vivo in the same host. While initial studies revealed that co-culturing epithelial cells with Swiss 3T3 cells J2 was essential for CRC induction, with transwell culture plates, physical contact between feeders and epithelial cells is not required for inducing CRCs and more importantly that irradiation of the feeder cells is required for this induction. Consistent with the transwell experiments, conditioned medium induces and maintains CRCs, which is accompanied by a concomitant increase of cellular telomerase activity. The activity of the conditioned medium correlates directly with radiation-induced feeder cell apoptosis. Thus, conditional reprogramming of epithelial cells is mediated by a combination of Y-27632 and a soluble factor(s) released by apoptotic feeder cells.[145]

Riegel et al.[146] demonstrate that mouse ME cells isolated from normal mammary glands or from mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-Neuinduced mammary tumors, can be cultured indefinitely as conditionally reprogrammed cells (CRCs). Cell surface progenitor-associated markers are rapidly induced in normal mouse ME-CRCs relative to ME cells. However, the expression of certain mammary progenitor subpopulations, such as CD49f+ ESA+ CD44+, drops significantly in later passages. Nevertheless, mouse ME-CRCs grown in a three-dimensional extracellular matrix gave rise to mammary acinar structures. ME-CRCs isolated from MMTV-Neu transgenic mouse mammary tumors express high levels of HER2/neu, as well as tumor-initiating cell markers, such as CD44+, CD49f+ and ESA+ (EpCam). These patterns of expression are sustained in later CRC passages. Early and late passage ME-CRCs from MMTV-Neu tumors that were implanted in the mammary fat pads of syngeneic or nude mice developed vascular tumors that metastasized within 6 weeks of transplantation. Importantly, the histopathology of these tumors was indistinguishable from that of the parental tumors that develop in the MMTV-Neu mice. Application of the CRC system to mouse mammary epithelial cells provides an attractive model system to study the genetics and phenotype of normal and transformed mouse epithelium in a defined culture environment and in vivo transplant studies.

A different approach to CRC is to inhibit CD47a membrane protein that is the thrombospondin-1 receptor. Loss of CD47 permits sustained proliferation of primary murine endothelial cells, increases asymmetric division and enables these cells to spontaneously reprogram to form multipotent embryoid body-like clusters. CD47 knockdown acutely increases mRNA levels of c-Myc and other stem cell transcription factors in cells in vitro and in vivo. Thrombospondin-1 is a key environmental signal that inhibits stem cell self-renewal via CD47. Thus, CD47 antagonists enable cell self-renewal and reprogramming by overcoming negative regulation of c-Myc and other stem cell transcription factors.[147] In vivo blockade of CD47 using an antisense morpholino increases survival of mice exposed to lethal total body irradiation due to increased proliferative capacity of bone marrow-derived cells and radioprotection of radiosensitive gastrointestinal tissues.[148]

Differentiated macrophages can self-renew in tissues and expand long-term in culture.[27] Under certain conditions macrophages can divide without losing features they have acquired while specializing into immune cells – which is usually not possible with differentiated cells. The macrophages achieve this by activating a gene network similar to one found in embryonic stem cells. Single-cell analysis revealed that, in vivo, proliferating macrophages can derepress a macrophage-specific enhancer repertoire associated with a gene network controlling self-renewal. This happened when concentrations of two transcription factors named MafB and c-Maf were naturally low or were inhibited for a short time. Genetic manipulations that turned off MafB and c-Maf in the macrophages caused the cells to start a self-renewal program. The similar network also controls embryonic stem cell self-renewal but is associated with distinct embryonic stem cell-specific enhancers.[28]

Hence macrophages isolated from MafB- and c-Maf-double deficient mice divide indefinitely; the self-renewal depends on c-Myc and Klf4.[149]

Indirect lineage conversion is a reprogramming methodology in which somatic cells transition through a plastic intermediate state of partially reprogrammed cells (pre-iPSC), induced by brief exposure to reprogramming factors, followed by differentiation in a specially developed chemical environment (artificial niche).[150]

This method could be both more efficient and safer, since it does not seem to produce tumors or other undesirable genetic changes and results in much greater yield than other methods. However, the safety of these cells remains questionable. Since lineage conversion from pre-iPSC relies on the use of iPSC reprogramming conditions, a fraction of the cells could acquire pluripotent properties if they do not stop the de-differentation process in vitro or due to further de-differentiation in vivo.[151]

A common feature of pluripotent stem cells is the specific nature of protein glycosylation of their outer membrane. That distinguishes them from most nonpluripotent cells, although not white blood cells.[152] The glycans on the stem cell surface respond rapidly to alterations in cellular state and signaling and are therefore ideal for identifying even minor changes in cell populations. Many stem cell markers are based on cell surface glycan epitopes including the widely used markers SSEA-3, SSEA-4, Tra 1-60 and Tra 1-81.[153] Suila Heli et al.[154] speculate that in human stem cells extracellular O-GlcNAc and extracellular O-LacNAc, play a crucial role in the fine tuning of Notch signaling pathway – a highly conserved cell signaling system, that regulates cell fate specification, differentiation, leftright asymmetry, apoptosis, somitogenesis, angiogenesis and plays a key role in stem cell proliferation (reviewed by Perdigoto and Bardin[155] and Jafar-Nejad et al.[156])

Changes in outer membrane protein glycosylation are markers of cell states connected in some way with pluripotency and differentiation.[157] The glycosylation change is apparently not just the result of the initialization of gene expression, but perform as an important gene regulator involved in the acquisition and maintenance of the undifferentiated state.[158]

For example, activation of glycoprotein ACA,[159] linking glycosylphosphatidylinositol on the surface of the progenitor cells in human peripheral blood, induces increased expression of genes Wnt, Notch-1, BMI1 and HOXB4 through a signaling cascade PI3K/Akt/mTor/PTEN and promotes the formation of a self-renewing population of hematopoietic stem cells.[160]

Furthermore, dedifferentiation of progenitor cells induced by ACA-dependent signaling pathway leads to ACA-induced pluripotent stem cells, capable of differentiating in vitro into cells of all three germ layers.[161] The study of lectins’ ability to maintain a culture of pluripotent human stem cells has led to the discovery of lectin Erythrina crista-galli (ECA), which can serve as a simple and highly effective matrix for the cultivation of human pluripotent stem cells.[162]

Cell adhesion protein E-cadherin is indispensable for a robust pluripotent phenotype.[163] During reprogramming for iPS cell generation, N-cadherin can replace function of E-cadherin.[164] These functions of cadherins are not directly related to adhesion because sphere morphology helps maintaining the “stemness” of stem cells.[165] Moreover, sphere formation, due to forced growth of cells on a low attachment surface, sometimes induces reprogramming. For example, neural progenitor cells can be generated from fibroblasts directly through a physical approach without introducing exogenous reprogramming factors.

Physical cues, in the form of parallel microgrooves on the surface of cell-adhesive substrates, can replace the effects of small-molecule epigenetic modifiers and significantly improve reprogramming efficiency. The mechanism relies on the mechanomodulation of the cells’ epigenetic state. Specifically, “decreased histone deacetylase activity and upregulation of the expression of WD repeat domain 5 (WDR5)a subunit of H3 methyltranferaseby microgrooved surfaces lead to increased histone H3 acetylation and methylation”. Nanofibrous scaffolds with aligned fibre orientation produce effects similar to those produced by microgrooves, suggesting that changes in cell morphology may be responsible for modulation of the epigenetic state.[166]

Substrate rigidity is an important biophysical cue influencing neural induction and subtype specification. For example, soft substrates promote neuroepithelial conversion while inhibiting neural crest differentiation of hESCs in a BMP4-dependent manner. Mechanistic studies revealed a multi-targeted mechanotransductive process involving mechanosensitive Smad phosphorylation and nucleocytoplasmic shuttling, regulated by rigidity-dependent Hippo/YAP activities and actomyosin cytoskeleton integrity and contractility.[167]

Mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) undergo self-renewal in the presence of the cytokine leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF). Following LIF withdrawal, mESCs differentiate, accompanied by an increase in cellsubstratum adhesion and cell spreading. Restricted cell spreading in the absence of LIF by either culturing mESCs on chemically defined, weakly adhesive biosubstrates, or by manipulating the cytoskeleton allowed the cells to remain in an undifferentiated and pluripotent state. The effect of restricted cell spreading on mESC self-renewal is not mediated by increased intercellular adhesion, as inhibition of mESC adhesion using a function blocking anti E-cadherin antibody or siRNA does not promote differentiation.[168] Possible mechanisms of stem cell fate predetermination by physical interactions with the extracellular matrix have been described.[169][170]

A new method has been developed that turns cells into stem cells faster and more efficiently by ‘squeezing’ them using 3D microenvironment stiffness and density of the surrounding gel. The technique can be applied to a large number of cells to produce stem cells for medical purposes on an industrial scale.[171][172]

Cells involved in the reprogramming process change morphologically as the process proceeds. This results in physical difference in adhesive forces among cells. Substantial differences in ‘adhesive signature’ between pluripotent stem cells, partially reprogrammed cells, differentiated progeny and somatic cells allowed to develop separation process for isolation of pluripotent stem cells in microfluidic devices,[173] which is:

Stem cells possess mechanical memory (they remember past physical signals)with the Hippo signaling pathway factors:[174] Yes-associated protein (YAP) and transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding domain (TAZ) acting as an intracellular mechanical rheostatthat stores information from past physical environments and influences the cells’ fate.[175][176]

Stroke and many neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis need cell replacement therapy. The successful use of converted neural cells (cNs) in transplantations open a new avenue to treat such diseases.[177] Nevertheless, induced neurons (iNs), directly converted from fibroblasts are terminally committed and exhibit very limited proliferative ability that may not provide enough autologous donor cells for transplantation.[178] Self-renewing induced neural stem cells (iNSCs) provide additional advantages over iNs for both basic research and clinical applications.[118][119][120][179][180]

For example, under specific growth conditions, mouse fibroblasts can be reprogrammed with a single factor, Sox2, to form iNSCs that self-renew in culture and after transplantation can survive and integrate without forming tumors in mouse brains.[181] INSCs can be derived from adult human fibroblasts by non-viral techniques, thus offering a safe method for autologous transplantation or for the development of cell-based disease models.[180]

Neural chemically induced progenitor cells (ciNPCs) can be generated from mouse tail-tip fibroblasts and human urinary somatic cells without introducing exogenous factors, but – by a chemical cocktail, namely VCR (V, VPA, an inhibitor of HDACs; C, CHIR99021, an inhibitor of GSK-3 kinases and R, RepSox, an inhibitor of TGF beta signaling pathways), under a physiological hypoxic condition.[182] Alternative cocktails with inhibitors of histone deacetylation, glycogen synthase kinase and TGF- pathways (where: sodium butyrate (NaB) or Trichostatin A (TSA) could replace VPA, Lithium chloride (LiCl) or lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) could substitute CHIR99021, or Repsox may be replaced with SB-431542 or Tranilast) show similar efficacies for ciNPC induction.[182] Zhang, et al.,[183] also report highly efficient reprogramming of mouse fibroblasts into induced neural stem cell-like cells (ciNSLCs) using a cocktail of nine components.

Multiple methods of direct transformation of somatic cells into induced neural stem cells have been described.[184]

Proof of principle experiments demonstrate that it is possible to convert transplanted human fibroblasts and human astrocytes directly in the brain that are engineered to express inducible forms of neural reprogramming genes, into neurons, when reprogramming genes (Ascl1, Brn2a and Myt1l) are activated after transplantation using a drug.[185]

Astrocytesthe most common neuroglial brain cells, which contribute to scar formation in response to injurycan be directly reprogrammed in vivo to become functional neurons that formed networks in mice without the need of cell transplantation.[186] The researchers followed the mice for nearly a year to look for signs of tumor formation and reported finding none. The same researchers have turned scar-forming astrocytes into progenitor cells called neuroblasts that regenerated into neurons in the injured adult spinal cord.[187]

Without myelin to insulate neurons, nerve signals quickly lose power. Diseases that attack myelin, such as multiple sclerosis, result in nerve signals that cannot propagate to nerve endings and as a consequence lead to cognitive, motor and sensory problems. Transplantation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs), which can successfully create myelin sheaths around nerve cells, is a promising potential therapeutic response. Direct lineage conversion of mouse and rat fibroblasts into oligodendroglial cells provides a potential source of OPCs. Conversion by forced expression of both eight[188] or of the three[189] transcription factors Sox10, Olig2 and Zfp536, may provide such cells.

Cell-based in vivo therapies may provide a transformative approach to augment vascular and muscle growth and to prevent non-contractile scar formation by delivering transcription factors[115] or microRNAs[14] to the heart.[190] Cardiac fibroblasts, which represent 50% of the cells in the mammalian heart, can be reprogrammed into cardiomyocyte-like cells in vivo by local delivery of cardiac core transcription factors ( GATA4, MEF2C, TBX5 and for improved reprogramming plus ESRRG, MESP1, Myocardin and ZFPM2) after coronary ligation.[115][191] These results implicated therapies that can directly remuscularize the heart without cell transplantation. However, the efficiency of such reprogramming turned out to be very low and the phenotype of received cardiomyocyte-like cells does not resemble those of a mature normal cardiomyocyte. Furthermore, transplantation of cardiac transcription factors into injured murine hearts resulted in poor cell survival and minimal expression of cardiac genes.[192]

Meanwhile, advances in the methods of obtaining cardiac myocytes in vitro occurred.[193][194] Efficient cardiac differentiation of human iPS cells gave rise to progenitors that were retained within infarcted rat hearts and reduced remodeling of the heart after ischemic damage.[195]

The team of scientists, who were led by Sheng Ding, used a cocktail of nine chemicals (9C) for transdifferentiation of human skin cells into beating heart cells. With this method, more than 97% of the cells began beating, a characteristic of fully developed, healthy heart cells. The chemically induced cardiomyocyte-like cells (ciCMs) uniformly contracted and resembled human cardiomyocytes in their transcriptome, epigenetic, and electrophysiological properties. When transplanted into infarcted mouse hearts, 9C-treated fibroblasts were efficiently converted to ciCMs and developed into healthy-looking heart muscle cells within the organ.[196] This chemical reprogramming approach, after further optimization, may offer an easy way to provide the cues that induce heart muscle to regenerate locally.[197]

In another study, ischemic cardiomyopathy in the murine infarction model was targeted by iPS cell transplantation. It synchronized failing ventricles, offering a regenerative strategy to achieve resynchronization and protection from decompensation by dint of improved left ventricular conduction and contractility, reduced scarring and reversal of structural remodelling.[198] One protocol generated populations of up to 98% cardiomyocytes from hPSCs simply by modulating the canonical Wnt signaling pathway at defined time points in during differentiation, using readily accessible small molecule compounds.[199]

Discovery of the mechanisms controlling the formation of cardiomyocytes led to the development of the drug ITD-1, which effectively clears the cell surface from TGF- receptor type II and selectively inhibits intracellular TGF- signaling. It thus selectively enhances the differentiation of uncommitted mesoderm to cardiomyocytes, but not to vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells.[200]

One project seeded decellularized mouse hearts with human iPSC-derived multipotential cardiovascular progenitor cells. The introduced cells migrated, proliferated and differentiated in situ into cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells to reconstruct the hearts. In addition, the heart’s extracellular matrix (the substrate of heart scaffold) signalled the human cells into becoming the specialised cells needed for proper heart function. After 20 days of perfusion with growth factors, the engineered heart tissues started to beat again and were responsive to drugs.[201]

Reprogramming of cardiac fibroblasts into induced cardiomyocyte-like cells (iCMs) in situ represents a promising strategy for cardiac regeneration. Mice exposed in vivo, to three cardiac transcription factors GMT (Gata4, Mef2c, Tbx5) and the small-molecules: SB-431542 (the transforming growth factor (TGF)- inhibitor), and XAV939 (the WNT inhibitor) for 2 weeks after myocardial infarction showed significantly improved reprogramming (reprogramming efficiency increased eight-fold) and cardiac function compared to those exposed to only GMT.[202]

See also: review[203]

The elderly often suffer from progressive muscle weakness and regenerative failure owing in part to elevated activity of the p38 and p38 mitogen-activated kinase pathway in senescent skeletal muscle stem cells. Subjecting such stem cells to transient inhibition of p38 and p38 in conjunction with culture on soft hydrogel substrates rapidly expands and rejuvenates them that result in the return of their strength.[204]

In geriatric mice, resting satellite cells lose reversible quiescence by switching to an irreversible pre-senescence state, caused by derepression of p16INK4a (also called Cdkn2a). On injury, these cells fail to activate and expand, even in a youthful environment. p16INK4a silencing in geriatric satellite cells restores quiescence and muscle regenerative functions.[205]

Myogenic progenitors for potential use in disease modeling or cell-based therapies targeting skeletal muscle could also be generated directly from induced pluripotent stem cells using free-floating spherical culture (EZ spheres) in a culture medium supplemented with high concentrations (100ng/ml) of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) and epidermal growth factor.[206]

Unlike current protocols for deriving hepatocytes from human fibroblasts, Saiyong Zhu et al., (2014)[207] did not generate iPSCs but, using small molecules, cut short reprogramming to pluripotency to generate an induced multipotent progenitor cell (iMPC) state from which endoderm progenitor cells and subsequently hepatocytes (iMPC-Heps) were efficiently differentiated. After transplantation into an immune-deficient mouse model of human liver failure, iMPC-Heps proliferated extensively and acquired levels of hepatocyte function similar to those of human primary adult hepatocytes. iMPC-Heps did not form tumours, most probably because they never entered a pluripotent state.

These results establish the feasibility of significant liver repopulation of mice with human hepatocytes generated in vitro, which removes a long-standing roadblock on the path to autologous liver cell therapy.

Cocktail of small molecules, Y-27632, A-83-01 (a TGF kinase/activin receptor like kinase (ALK5) inhibitor), and CHIR99021 (potent inhibitor of GSK-3), can convert rat and mouse mature hepatocytes in vitro into proliferative bipotent cells – CLiPs (chemically induced liver progenitors). CLiPs can differentiate into both mature hepatocytes and biliary epithelial cells that can form functional ductal structures. In long-term culture CLiPs did not lose their proliferative capacity and their hepatic differentiation ability, and can repopulate chronically injured liver tissue.[208]

Complications of Diabetes mellitus such as cardiovascular diseases, retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy and peripheral circulatory diseases depend on sugar dysregulation due to lack of insulin from pancreatic beta cells and can be lethal if they are not treated. One of the promising approaches to understand and cure diabetes is to use pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), including embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced PCSs (iPSCs).[209] Unfortunately, human PSC-derived insulin-expressing cells resemble human fetal cells rather than adult cells. In contrast to adult cells, fetal cells seem functionally immature, as indicated by increased basal glucose secretion and lack of glucose stimulation and confirmed by RNA-seq of whose transcripts.[210]

An alternative strategy is the conversion of fibroblasts towards distinct endodermal progenitor cell populations and, using cocktails of signalling factors, successful differentiation of these endodermal progenitor cells into functional beta-like cells both in vitro and in vivo.[211]

Overexpression of the three transcription factors, PDX1 (required for pancreatic bud outgrowth and beta-cell maturation), NGN3 (required for endocrine precursor cell formation) and MAFA (for beta-cell maturation) combination (called PNM) can lead to the transformation of some cell types into a beta cell-like state.[212] An accessible and abundant source of functional insulin-producing cells is intestine. PMN expression in human intestinal “organoids” stimulates the conversion of intestinal epithelial cells into -like cells possibly acceptable for transplantation.[213]

Adult proximal tubule cells were directly transcriptionally reprogrammed to nephron progenitors of the embryonic kidney, using a pool of six genes of instructive transcription factors (SIX1, SIX2, OSR1, Eyes absent homolog 1(EYA1), Homeobox A11 (HOXA11) and Snail homolog 2 (SNAI2)) that activated genes consistent with a cap mesenchyme/nephron progenitor phenotype in the adult proximal tubule cell line.[214] The generation of such cells may lead to cellular therapies for adult renal disease. Embryonic kidney organoids placed into adult rat kidneys can undergo onward development and vascular development.[215]

As blood vessels age, they often become abnormal in structure and function, thereby contributing to numerous age-associated diseases including myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke and atherosclerosis of arteries supplying the heart, brain and lower extremities. So, an important goal is to stimulate vascular growth for the collateral circulation to prevent the exacerbation of these diseases. Induced Vascular Progenitor Cells (iVPCs) are useful for cell-based therapy designed to stimulate coronary collateral growth. They were generated by partially reprogramming endothelial cells.[150] The vascular commitment of iVPCs is related to the epigenetic memory of endothelial cells, which engenders them as cellular components of growing blood vessels. That is why, when iVPCs were implanted into myocardium, they engrafted in blood vessels and increased coronary collateral flow better than iPSCs, mesenchymal stem cells, or native endothelial cells.[216]

Ex vivo genetic modification can be an effective strategy to enhance stem cell function. For example, cellular therapy employing genetic modification with Pim-1 kinase (a downstream effector of Akt, which positively regulates neovasculogenesis) of bone marrowderived cells[217] or human cardiac progenitor cells, isolated from failing myocardium[218] results in durability of repair, together with the improvement of functional parameters of myocardial hemodynamic performance.

Stem cells extracted from fat tissue after liposuction may be coaxed into becoming progenitor smooth muscle cells (iPVSMCs) found in arteries and veins.[219]

The 2D culture system of human iPS cells[220] in conjunction with triple marker selection (CD34 (a surface glycophosphoprotein expressed on developmentally early embryonic fibroblasts), NP1 (receptor – neuropilin 1) and KDR (kinase insert domain-containing receptor)) for the isolation of vasculogenic precursor cells from human iPSC, generated endothelial cells that, after transplantation, formed stable, functional mouse blood vessels in vivo, lasting for 280 days.[221]

To treat infarction, it is important to prevent the formation of fibrotic scar tissue. This can be achieved in vivo by transient application of paracrine factors that redirect native heart progenitor stem cell contributions from scar tissue to cardiovascular tissue. For example, in a mouse myocardial infarction model, a single intramyocardial injection of human vascular endothelial growth factor A mRNA (VEGF-A modRNA), modified to escape the body’s normal defense system, results in long-term improvement of heart function due to mobilization and redirection of epicardial progenitor cells toward cardiovascular cell types.[222]

RBC transfusion is necessary for many patients. However, to date the supply of RBCs remains labile. In addition, transfusion risks infectious disease transmission. A large supply of safe RBCs generated in vitro would help to address this issue. Ex vivo erythroid cell generation may provide alternative transfusion products to meet present and future clinical requirements.[223][224] Red blood cells (RBC)s generated in vitro from mobilized CD34 positive cells have normal survival when transfused into an autologous recipient.[225] RBC produced in vitro contained exclusively fetal hemoglobin (HbF), which rescues the functionality of these RBCs. In vivo the switch of fetal to adult hemoglobin was observed after infusion of nucleated erythroid precursors derived from iPSCs.[226] Although RBCs do not have nuclei and therefore can not form a tumor, their immediate erythroblasts precursors have nuclei. The terminal maturation of erythroblasts into functional RBCs requires a complex remodeling process that ends with extrusion of the nucleus and the formation of an enucleated RBC.[227] Cell reprogramming often disrupts enucleation. Transfusion of in vitro-generated RBCs or erythroblasts does not sufficiently protect against tumor formation.

The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) pathway (which has been shown to be involved in the promotion of cancer cell development) plays an important role in normal blood cell development. AhR activation in human hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPs) drives an unprecedented expansion of HPs, megakaryocyte- and erythroid-lineage cells.[228] See also Concise Review:[229][230] The SH2B3 gene encodes a negative regulator of cytokine signaling and naturally occurring loss-of-function variants in this gene increase RBC counts in vivo. Targeted suppression of SH2B3 in primary human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells enhanced the maturation and overall yield of in-vitro-derived RBCs. Moreover, inactivation of SH2B3 by CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing in human pluripotent stem cells allowed enhanced erythroid cell expansion with preserved differentiation.[231] (See also overview.[230][232])

Platelets help prevent hemorrhage in thrombocytopenic patients and patients with thrombocythemia. A significant problem for multitransfused patients is refractoriness to platelet transfusions. Thus, the ability to generate platelet products ex vivo and platelet products lacking HLA antigens in serum-free media would have clinical value. An RNA interference-based mechanism used a lentiviral vector to express short-hairpin RNAi targeting 2-microglobulin transcripts in CD34-positive cells. Generated platelets demonstrated an 85% reduction in class I HLA antigens. These platelets appeared to have normal function in vitro[233]

One clinically-applicable strategy for the derivation of functional platelets from human iPSC involves the establishment of stable immortalized megakaryocyte progenitor cell lines (imMKCLs) through doxycycline-dependent overexpression of BMI1 and BCL-XL. The resulting imMKCLs can be expanded in culture over extended periods (45 months), even after cryopreservation. Halting the overexpression (by the removal of doxycycline from the medium) of c-MYC, BMI1 and BCL-XL in growing imMKCLs led to the production of CD42b+ platelets with functionality comparable to that of native platelets on the basis of a range of assays in vitro and in vivo.[234] Thomas et al., describe a forward programming strategy relying on the concurrent exogenous expression of 3 transcription factors: GATA1, FLI1 and TAL1. The forward programmed megakaryocytes proliferate and differentiate in culture for several months with megakaryocyte purity over 90% reaching up to 2×105 mature megakaryocytes per input hPSC. Functional platelets are generated throughout the culture allowing the prospective collection of several transfusion units from as few as one million starting hPSCs.[235] See also overview[236]

A specialised type of white blood cell, known as cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), are produced by the immune system and are able to recognise specific markers on the surface of various infectious or tumour cells, causing them to launch an attack to kill the harmful cells. Thence, immunotherapy with functional antigen-specific T cells has potential as a therapeutic strategy for combating many cancers and viral infections.[237] However, cell sources are limited, because they are produced in small numbers naturally and have a short lifespan.

A potentially efficient approach for generating antigen-specific CTLs is to revert mature immune T cells into iPSCs, which possess indefinite proliferative capacity in vitro and after their multiplication to coax them to redifferentiate back into T cells.[238][239][240]

Another method combines iPSC and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)[241] technologies to generate human T cells targeted to CD19, an antigen expressed by malignant B cells, in tissue culture.[242] This approach of generating therapeutic human T cells may be useful for cancer immunotherapy and other medical applications.

Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells have great clinical potential as adjuvants for cancer immunotherapy. iNKT cells act as innate T lymphocytes and serve as a bridge between the innate and acquired immune systems. They augment anti-tumor responses by producing interferon-gamma (IFN-).[243] The approach of collection, reprogramming/dedifferentiation, re-differentiation and injection has been proposed for related tumor treatment.[244]

Dendritic cells (DC) are specialized to control T-cell responses. DC with appropriate genetic modifications may survive long enough to stimulate antigen-specific CTL and after that be completely eliminated. DC-like antigen-presenting cells obtained from human induced pluripotent stem cells can serve as a source for vaccination therapy.[245]

CCAAT/enhancer binding protein- (C/EBP) induces transdifferentiation of B cells into macrophages at high efficiencies[246] and enhances reprogramming into iPS cells when co-expressed with transcription factors Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and Myc.[247] with a 100-fold increase in iPS cell reprogramming efficiency, involving 95% of the population.[248] Furthermore, C/EBPa can convert selected human B cell lymphoma and leukemia cell lines into macrophage-like cells at high efficiencies, impairing the cells’ tumor-forming capacity.[249]

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West Coast Womens Clinic – Vancouver Womens Health Clinic

If you are feeling out of balance, tired and overwhelmed, or your quality of life is being compromised by the symptoms of aging, don’t despair. Your body and hormones are simply trying to give you a wake-up call. There is plenty you can do to feel energetic, vibrant and healthy again.

The medical team at Westcoast Women’s Clinic are specially trained hormone physicians and experts in helping women achieve optimal health and wellness during their midlife years, which can range from their late-30s to mid-60s.

We also offer programs for Young Women and Male patients to optimize hormone health.

Our Comprehensive Hormone Health Program includes state-of-the-art hormone testing, bioidentical hormone therapy, mind/body medicine, nutritional supplements and lifestyle modifications. Every treatment program is fully customized, from the bioidentical hormones to the physical, emotional and spiritual recommendations, to help ensure individual success.

Our Hormone Health program is an effective way to manage:

West Coast Womens Clinic – Vancouver Womens Health Clinic

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Hypopituitarism (Panhypopituitarism): Background …

Causes of pituitary insufficiency include pituitary adenomas or other intrasellar and parasellar tumors, inflammatory and infectious destruction, surgical removal, radiation-induced destruction of pituitary tissue, traumatic brain injury (TBI), subarachnoid hemorrhage, and postpartum pituitary necrosis (Sheehan syndrome). Similar diseases originating in the hypothalamus or pituitary stalk may also result in pituitary insufficiency.

Pituitary tumors, or adenomas, are the most common cause of hypopituitarism in adults, although traumatic brain injury as a cause is being more frequently recognized.

Hypopituitarism resulting from pituitary adenomas is due to impaired blood flow to the normal tissue, compression of normal tissue, or interference with the delivery of hypothalamic hormones via the hypothalamus-hypophysial portal system.

In primary pituitary destruction, the anterior pituitary is destroyed, causing a deficiency in some or all pituitary hormones, including prolactin. Disease involving the hypothalamus or pituitary stalk may cause pituitary hormone deficiency with an elevated serum prolactin. Pituitary tumors, or adenomas, can be secretory or nonsecretory. Approximately 30% of all macroadenomas larger than 10 mm produce at least 1 hormone.

Hypothalamic disease involves destruction of the hypothalamus. This causes a deficiency or loss of hypothalamic regulatory hormone input to the pituitary, which leads to the loss of anterior pituitary hormone secretion, with an elevated serum prolactin level. Loss of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) may have concomitant diabetes insipidus.

Hypersecretion of the secretory pituitary tumor hormone is suggestive of an adenoma. Another indication of a pituitary adenoma is a deficiency in some pituitary hormones with concomitant hyperprolactinemia. Normally, dopamine, produced in the hypothalamus, inhibits prolactin secretion by the anterior pituitary. Compressing the pituitary stalk decreases the inhibitory effect of dopamine and increases prolactin levels.

Longstanding target gland disease may result in hyperplasia of the relevant pituitary cell secreting the tropic hormone, the level of which would be elevated, with an enlarged pituitary gland simulating a mass. Although uncommon, this may appear to be a pituitary adenoma, but the target gland is not hyperfunctioning.

Another common intracranial tumor is craniopharyngioma, a squamous cell tumor that arises from remnants of the Rathke pouch. One third of these tumors extend into the sella, while approximately two thirds remain suprasellar.

Sheehan syndrome occurs with a large volume of postpartum hemorrhage. During pregnancy, the pituitary gland enlarges due to hyperplasia and hypertrophy of the lactotroph cells, which produce prolactin. The hypophyseal vessels, which supply the pituitary, constrict in response to decreasing blood volume, and subsequent vasospasm occurs, causing necrosis of the pituitary gland. The degree of necrosis correlates with the severity of the hemorrhage.

As many as 30% of women experiencing postpartum hemorrhage with hemodynamic instability may develop some degree of hypopituitarism. These patients can develop adrenal insufficiency, hypothyroidism, amenorrhea, diabetes insipidus, and an inability to breastfeed (an early symptom). Lymphocytic hypophysitis occurs most commonly in the postpartum state and may appear as Sheehan syndrome with postpartum hypopituitarism.

Pituitary apoplexy denotes the sudden destruction of the pituitary tissue resulting from infarction or hemorrhage into the pituitary. The most likely cause of the apoplexy is brain trauma; however, it can occur in patients with diabetes mellitus, pregnancy, sickle cell anemia, blood dyscrasias or anticoagulation, or increased intracranial pressure. Apoplexy usually spares the posterior pituitary and solely affects the anterior pituitary. In patients with such underlying diseases, Sheehan syndrome can occur with lesser degrees of postpartum hemorrhage or hypotension.

Head trauma from a motor vehicle accident, a fall, or a projectile can cause hypopituitarism by direct damage to the pituitary or by injuring the pituitary stalk or the hypothalamus. Hypopituitarism may occur immediately, or it may develop months or years later. Recovery is uncommon. Many studies show an incidence of 15-40%, [2] but a study by Kokshoorn et al found the incidence of posttraumatic hypopituitarism to be low. [3]

Other causes of hypopituitarism include empty sella syndrome and infiltrative diseases. Empty sella syndrome occurs when the arachnoid herniates into the sella turcica through an incompetent sellar diaphragm and flattens the pituitary against bone, but resulting pituitary insufficiency is uncommon. Infiltrative diseases, such as Wegener granulomatosis and sarcoidosis, can cause destruction of the anterior pituitary. Lymphocytic hypophysitis is an autoimmune destructive disease that may be directed towards the pituitary or its stalk.

Physiologic or psychological states can influence the hypothalamus by impairing synthesis and secretion of regulating hormones. For example, poor nutrition may impair the hypothalamic secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), resulting in reversible pituitary gonadotropin deficiency. Medications may affect measured hormone levels, such as opioids decreasing serum LH and testosterone.

The degree of hormone deficiency varies greatly and depends on the extent of the process and its location. Some functional causes include emotional disorders, changes in body weight, habitual exercise, anorexia, bulimia, congestive heart failure (CHF), renal failure, and certain medications.

Hypopituitarism occurs in adult patients after cranial radiotherapy performed to treat nonpituitary tumors. Thus, patients who undergo cranial radiotherapy should be periodically assessed for pituitary functions. [4]

Additional causes of hypopituitarism include the following:

With regard to item 9 above, in a study of 435 patients, Fatemi et al found evidence that the likelihood of hypopituitarism development after transsphenoidal adenoma removal is higher when the tumor is larger than 20 mm. [6] In contrast, some with hypopituitarism prior to adenomectomy may have improved pituitary function following surgery, if the cause of the hypopituitarism was increased suprasellar pressure resulting from the mass itself.

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Stem cells from fat outperform those from bone marrow in …

Durham, NC A new study appearing in the current issue of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine indicates that stem cells harvested from fat (adipose) are more potent than those collected from bone marrow in helping to modulate the bodys immune system.

The finding could have significant implications in developing new stem-cell-based therapies, as adipose tissue-derived stem cells (AT-SCs) are far more plentiful in the body than those found in bone marrow and can be collected from waste material from liposuction procedures. Stem cells are considered potential therapies for a range of conditions, from enhancing skin graft survival to treating inflammatory bowel disease.

Researchers at the Leiden University Medical Centers Department of Immunohematology and Blood Transfusion in Leiden, The Netherlands, led by Helene Roelofs, Ph.D., conducted the study. They were seeking an alternative to bone marrow for stem cell therapies because of the low number of stem cells available in marrow and also because harvesting them involves an invasive procedure.

Adipose tissue is an interesting alternative since it contains approximately a 500-fold higher frequency of stem cells and tissue collection is simple, Dr. Roelofs said.

Moreover, Dr. Sara M. Melief added, 400,000 liposuctions a year are performed in the U.S. alone, where the aspirated adipose tissue is regarded as waste and could be collected without any additional burden or risk for the donor.

For the study, the team used stem cells collected from the bone marrow and fat tissue of age-matched donors. They compared the cells ability to regulate the immune system in vitro and found that the two performed similarly, although it took a smaller dose for the AT-SCs to achieve the same effect on the immune cells.

When it came to secreting cytokines the cell signaling molecules that regulate the immune system the AT-SCs also outperformed the bone marrow-derived cells.

This all adds up to make AT-SC a good alternative to bone marrow stem cells for developing new therapies, Dr. Roelofs concluded.

Cells from bone marrow and from fat were equivalent in terms of their potential to differentiate into multiple cell types, said Anthony Atala, M.D., editor of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine and director of Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. The fact that the cells from fat tissue seem to be more potent at suppressing the immune system suggest their promise in clinical therapies.

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Cardiac muscle – Wikipedia

An isolated cardiac muscle cell, beating

Cardiac muscle (heart muscle) is an involuntary, striated muscle that is found in the walls and histological foundation of the heart, specifically the myocardium. Cardiac muscle is one of three major types of muscle, the others being skeletal and smooth muscle. These three types of muscle all form in the process of myogenesis. The cells that constitute cardiac muscle, called cardiomyocytes or myocardiocytes, predominantly contain only one nucleus, although populations with two to four nuclei do exist.[1][2][pageneeded] The myocardium is the muscle tissue of the heart, and forms a thick middle layer between the outer epicardium layer and the inner endocardium layer.

Coordinated contractions of cardiac muscle cells in the heart pump blood out of the atria and ventricles to the blood vessels of the left/body/systemic and right/lungs/pulmonary circulatory systems. This complex mechanism illustrates systole of the heart.

Cardiac muscle cells, unlike most other tissues in the body, rely on an available blood and electrical supply to deliver oxygen and nutrients and remove waste products such as carbon dioxide. The coronary arteries help fulfill this function.

Cardiac muscle has cross striations formed by rotating segments of thick and thin protein filaments. Like skeletal muscle, the primary structural proteins of cardiac muscle are myosin and actin. The actin filaments are thin, causing the lighter appearance of the I bands in striated muscle, whereas the myosin filament is thicker, lending a darker appearance to the alternating A bands as observed with electron microscopy. However, in contrast to skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle cells are typically branch-like instead of linear.

Another histological difference between cardiac muscle and skeletal muscle is that the T-tubules in the cardiac muscle are bigger and wider and track laterally to the Z-discs. There are fewer T-tubules in comparison with skeletal muscle. The diad is a structure in the cardiac myocyte located at the sarcomere Z-line. It is composed of a single T-tubule paired with a terminal cisterna of the sarcoplasmic reticulum. The diad plays an important role in excitation-contraction coupling by juxtaposing an inlet for the action potential near a source of Ca2+ ions. This way, the wave of depolarization can be coupled to calcium-mediated cardiac muscle contraction via the sliding filament mechanism. Cardiac muscle forms these instead of the triads formed between the sarcoplasmic reticulum in skeletal muscle and T-tubules. T-tubules play critical role in excitation-contraction coupling (ECC). Recently, the action potentials of T-tubules were recorded optically by Guixue Bu et al.[3]

The cardiac syncytium is a network of cardiomyocytes connected to each other by intercalated discs that enable the rapid transmission of electrical impulses through the network, enabling the syncytium to act in a coordinated contraction of the myocardium. There is an atrial syncytium and a ventricular syncytium that are connected by cardiac connection fibres.[4] Electrical resistance through intercalated discs is very low, thus allowing free diffusion of ions. The ease of ion movement along cardiac muscle fibers axes is such that action potentials are able to travel from one cardiac muscle cell to the next, facing only slight resistance. Each syncytium obeys the all or none law.[5]

Intercalated discs are complex adhering structures that connect the single cardiomyocytes to an electrochemical syncytium (in contrast to the skeletal muscle, which becomes a multicellular syncytium during mammalian embryonic development). The discs are responsible mainly for force transmission during muscle contraction. Intercalated discs consist of three different types of cell-cell junctions: the actin filament anchoring adherens junctions, the intermediate filament anchoring desmosomes , and gap junctions. They allow action potentials to spread between cardiac cells by permitting the passage of ions between cells, producing depolarization of the heart muscle. However, novel molecular biological and comprehensive studies unequivocally showed that intercalated discs consist for the most part of mixed-type adhering junctions named area composita (pl. areae compositae) representing an amalgamation of typical desmosomal and fascia adhaerens proteins (in contrast to various epithelia).[6][7][8] The authors discuss the high importance of these findings for the understanding of inherited cardiomyopathies (such as arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy).

Under light microscopy, intercalated discs appear as thin, typically dark-staining lines dividing adjacent cardiac muscle cells. The intercalated discs run perpendicular to the direction of muscle fibers. Under electron microscopy, an intercalated disc’s path appears more complex. At low magnification, this may appear as a convoluted electron dense structure overlying the location of the obscured Z-line. At high magnification, the intercalated disc’s path appears even more convoluted, with both longitudinal and transverse areas appearing in longitudinal section.[9]

In contrast to skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle requires extracellular calcium ions for contraction to occur. Like skeletal muscle, the initiation and upshoot of the action potential in ventricular cardiomyocytes is derived from the entry of sodium ions across the sarcolemma in a regenerative process. However, an inward flux of extracellular calcium ions through L-type calcium channels sustains the depolarization of cardiac muscle cells for a longer duration. The reason for the calcium dependence is due to the mechanism of calcium-induced calcium release (CICR) from the sarcoplasmic reticulum that must occur during normal excitation-contraction (EC) coupling to cause contraction. Once the intracellular concentration of calcium increases, calcium ions bind to the protein troponin, which allows myosin to bind to actin and contraction to occur.

Until recently, it was commonly believed that cardiac muscle cells could not be regenerated. However, a study reported in the April 3, 2009 issue of Science contradicts that belief.[10] Olaf Bergmann and his colleagues at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm tested samples of heart muscle from people born before 1955 who had very little cardiac muscle around their heart, many showing with disabilities from this abnormality. By using DNA samples from many hearts, the researchers estimated that a 4-year-old renews about 20% of heart muscle cells per year, and about 69 percent of the heart muscle cells of a 50-year-old were generated after he or she was born.

One way that cardiomyocyte regeneration occurs is through the division of pre-existing cardiomyocytes during the normal aging process.[11] The division process of pre-existing cardiomyocytes has also been shown to increase in areas adjacent to sites of myocardial injury. In addition, certain growth factors promote the self-renewal of endogenous cardiomyocytes and cardiac stem cells. For example, insulin-like growth factor 1, hepatocyte growth factor, and high-mobility group protein B1 increase cardiac stem cell migration to the affected area, as well as the proliferation and survival of these cells.[12] Some members of the fibroblast growth factor family also induce cell-cycle re-entry of small cardiomyocytes. Vascular endothelial growth factor also plays an important role in the recruitment of native cardiac cells to an infarct site in addition to its angiogenic effect.

Based on the natural role of stem cells in cardiomyocyte regeneration, researchers and clinicians are increasingly interested in using these cells to induce regeneration of damaged tissue. Various stem cell lineages have been shown to be able to differentiate into cardiomyocytes, including bone marrow stem cells. For example, in one study, researchers transplanted bone marrow cells, which included a population of stem cells, adjacent to an infarct site in a mouse model. Nine days after surgery, the researchers found a new band of regenerating myocardium.[13] However, this regeneration was not observed when the injected population of cells was devoid of stem cells, which strongly suggests that it was the stem cell population that contributed to the myocardium regeneration. Other clinical trials have shown that autologous bone marrow cell transplants delivered via the infarct-related artery decreases the infarct area compared to patients not given the cell therapy.[14]

Occlusion (blockage) of the coronary arteries by atherosclerosis and/or thrombosis can lead to myocardial infarction (heart attack), where part of the myocardium is injured due to ischemia (not receiving enough oxygen). This occurs because coronary arteries are functional end arteries – i.e. there is almost no overlap in the areas supplied by different arteries (anastomoses) so that if one fails, others cannot adequately perfuse the region, unlike in other tissues.

Certain viruses lead to myocarditis (inflammation of the myocardium). Cardiomyopathies are inherent diseases of the myocardium, many of which are caused by genetic mutations.

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Hypergonadotropic hypogonadism – Wikipedia

Hypergonadotropic hypogonadism (HH), also known as primary or peripheral/gonadal hypogonadism, is a condition which is characterized by hypogonadism due to an impaired response of the gonads to the gonadotropins, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), and in turn a lack of sex steroid production and elevated gonadotropin levels (as an attempt of compensation by the body). HH may present as either congenital or acquired, but the majority of cases are of the former nature.[1][2]

There are a multitude of different etiologies of HH. Congenital causes include the following:[1][3][4]

Acquired causes (due to damage to or dysfunction of the gonads) include ovarian torsion, vanishing/anorchia, orchitis, premature ovarian failure, ovarian resistance syndrome, trauma, surgery, autoimmunity, chemotherapy, radiation, infections (e.g., sexually-transmitted diseases), toxins (e.g., endocrine disruptors), and drugs (e.g., antiandrogens, opioids, alcohol).[1][3][4]

Examples of symptoms of hypogonadism include delayed, reduced, or absent puberty, low libido, and infertility.

Treatment of HH is usually with hormone replacement therapy, consisting of androgen and estrogen administration in males and females, respectively.[3]

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Hypergonadotropic hypogonadism – Wikipedia

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Genetic Testing for Cancer Risk | Cancer.Net

Genetic testing can help estimate your chance of developing cancer in your lifetime. It does this by searching for specific changes in your genes, chromosomes, or proteins. These changes are called mutations.

Genetic tests are available for breast, ovarian, colon, thyroid, and some other cancers. Genetic testing may help:

Predict your risk of a particular disease

Find if you have genes that may pass increased cancer risk to your children

Manage increased cancer risk by having more regular cancer screening or taking steps to lower risk

No genetic test can say you will, certainly, develop cancer. However, a test can tell you if you have a higher risk of developing cancer than most people.

Only some people with a gene mutation will develop cancer. For example, a woman with a 75% chance of breast cancer may never develop the disease. Meanwhile, a woman with a 25% chance may develop breast cancer.

A hereditary cancer is any cancer caused by a gene mutation. The following factors suggest that a person may be at risk:

Family history of cancer. Having 3 or more relatives on the same side of the family with the same or related forms of cancer

Cancer at an early age. Having 2 or more relatives diagnosed with cancer at an early age, which may be different depending on the type of cancer

Multiple cancers. Having 2 or more types of cancer occurring in the same relative

Genetic testing is a personal decision made for various reasons. And its a complex decision best made in collaboration. Engage your family, doctor, and genetic counselor in the process.

ASCO recommends considering genetic testing in the following cases:

You have a personal or family history that suggests a genetic cause of cancer

The test can clearly show a specific genetic change

Results help with diagnosis or management of the genetic condition or cancer(s).For example, you may choose steps to lower your risk. Steps may include surgery, medication, frequent screening, or lifestyle changes.

In addition, ASCO recommends genetic counseling before and after genetic testing. Learn more about ASCO’s latest recommendations on genetic testing for cancer susceptibility.

Genetic testing has limitations and emotional implications.

Depression, anxiety, or guilt. A positive test result means a gene mutation exists. This result may bring difficult emotions. Some people may think of themselves as sick, even if they never develop cancer. Others may experience guilt if family members have a mutation but they dont.

Family tension. A person may feel responsible for telling family members about test results. This information may complicate family dynamics. Learn more about sharing genetic test results with your family.

A false sense of security. A negative result means that a person doesnt have a specific genetic mutation. However, a person with a negative result may still develop cancer. A negative result only means the persons risk is average. Additionally, each persons risk is affected by lifestyle, environmental factors, and medical history.

Unclear results. A gene may have a mutation not linked with cancer risk. This is called a variant of unknown significance. It means its unclear whether the mutation will increase risk. Or, a person may have a mutation that current tests cannot detect. Many cancers are not yet tied to a specific gene. Moreover, some genes may interact unpredictably with other genes or environmental factors. And these interactions may cause cancer. Thus, it may be impossible to calculate the cancer risk.

High cost. Genetic testing can be expensive. Its particularly expensive if insurance doesnt pay for it.

Discrimination and privacy concerns. Some people fear genetic discrimination from test results. Others worry about the privacy of their genetic information. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) protects against employment or health coverage discrimination based on genetic information. Discuss concerns about potential employment, health, or life insurance discrimination with a genetic counselor or doctor.

Before undergoing genetic testing, learn about its risks and limitations. Identify your reasons for wanting a test. And consider how you will cope with test results.

Here are some questions to help you make a decision:

Do Ihave a family history of cancer?

Have Ideveloped cancer at an earlier-than-average age?

Howwill I interpret the results of genetic testing? Who will help me use thisinformation?

Willthe test results affect my medical care or the medical care of my family?

If Ihave a genetic condition, can I lower my cancer risk?

A genetic counselor can help address these questions. This professional is trained to advise about genetic testings risks and benefits. A genetic counselor also helps people through the genetic testing process. Learn more about what to expect when meeting with a genetic counselor.

Understanding Cancer Risk

The Genetics of Cancer

Understanding Statistics Used to Estimate Risk and Recommend Screening

National Human Genome Research Institute: Issues in Genetics

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Genetic Testing for Cancer Risk | Cancer.Net

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Mosaic (genetics) – Simple English Wikipedia, the free …

In genetics, a mosaic (or mosaicism) means the presence of two different genotypes in an individual which developed from a single fertilized egg. As a result, the individual has two or more genetically different cell lines derived from a single zygote.[1]

Mosaicism may result from:

The phenomenon was discovered by Curt Stern. In 1936, he demonstrated that recombination, normal in meiosis, can also take place in mitosis.[2] When it does, it results in somatic (body) mosaics. These are organisms which contain two or more genetically distinct types of tissue.[3]

A genetic chimera is an organism composed of two or more sets of genetically distinct cells. Dispermic chimeras happen when two fertilized eggs fuse together. Mosaics are a different kind of chimerism: they originate from a single fertilized egg.

This is easiest to see with eye colours. When eye colours vary between the two eyes, or within one or both eyes, the condition is called heterochromia iridis (= ‘different coloured iris’). It can have many different causes, both genetic and accidental. For example, David Bowie has the appearance of different eye colours due to an injury that caused one pupil to be permanently dilated.

On this page, only genetic mosaicism is discussed.

The most common cause of mosaicism in mammalian females is X-inactivation. Females have two X chromosomes (and males have only one). The two X chromosomes in a female are rarely identical. They have the same genes, but at some loci (positions) they may have different alleles (versions of the same gene).

In the early embryo, each cell independently and randomly inactivates one copy of the X chromosome.[4] This inactivation lasts the lifetime of the cell, and all the descendants of the cell inactivate that same chromosome.

This phenomenon shows in the colouration of calico cats and tortoiseshell cats. These females are heterozygous for the X-linked colour genes: the genes for their coat colours are carried on the X chromosome. X-inactivation causes groups of cells to carry either one or the other X-chromosome in an active state.[5]

X-inactivation is reversed in the female germline, so that all egg cells contain an active X chromosome.

Mosaicism refers to differences in the genotype of various cell populations in the same individual, but X-inactivation is an epigenetic change, a switching off of genes on one chromosome. It is not a change in the genotype.[6] Descendent cells of the embryo carry the same X-inactivation as the original cells. This may give rise to mild symptoms in female ‘carriers’ of X-linked genetic disorders.[7]

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Mosaic (genetics) – Simple English Wikipedia, the free …

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Medical Weight Loss | Endocrinology & Hormone Replacement

Personalized Solutions For Wellness & Vitality

Hormones control everything in your body. At any age, our hormones can begin to decrease causing low energylevels, fatigue, trouble sleeping, trouble losing weight, mood swings, depression and low libido. Our providers haveover 100 years of combined clinical experience specializing in Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy and Medical Weight LossPrograms.

Do you experience hormone imbalance symptoms such as:

Have you been informed by your doctor that you have normal blood test results or that its all in your head? We want you to have the energy and ability to experience life to its fullness. Natural Bio Healths focus is to help each patient gain control of their individual health. Dont wait this is the first step to getting your life back!

Congratulations on taking charge of your health! The first step is a phone consultation with a wellness consultant who will guide you through the process of becoming part of the Natural Bio Health Family and to schedule your appointment.

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Calico cat – Wikipedia

Calico cats are domestic cats with a spotted or particolored coat that is predominantly white, with patches of two other colors (often, the two other colors are orange and black). Outside North America, the pattern is more usually called tortoiseshell-and-white. In the province of Quebec, Canada, they are sometimes called chatte d’Espagne (French for ‘(female) cat of Spain’). Other names include brindle, tricolor cat, tobi mi-ke (Japanese for ‘triple fur’), and lapjeskat (Dutch for ‘patches cat’); calicoes with diluted coloration have been called calimanco or clouded tiger. Occasionally, the tri-color calico coloration is combined with a tabby patterning. This calico patched tabby is called a caliby.[1]

“Calico” refers only to a color pattern on the fur, not to a breed.[2] Among the breeds whose standards allow calico coloration are the Manx, American Shorthair, British Shorthair, Persian, Japanese Bobtail, Exotic Shorthair, Siberian, Turkish Van, Turkish Angora and Norwegian Forest Cat.

Because genetic determination of coat colors in calico cats is linked to the X chromosome, calicoes are nearly always female, with one color linked to the maternal X chromosome and a second color linked to the paternal X chromosome.[2][3] Because males only have one X chromosome, a male calico would have to have a rare condition where they have three sex chromosomes (two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome) in order to be calico. In addition to other symptoms caused by the condition, these male calicos are often sterile.

There is also a calico cat referred to as a Dilute Calico. Dilute Calicos are not necessarily rare. They are recognized by their grey, silver, and gold colors instead if the traditional white, black, brown or red patched coat of a calico. Dilute calicos are also called light calicos; because they usually have no dark colored fur.

The coat pattern of calico cats does not define any breed, but occurs incidentally in cats that express a range of color patterns; accordingly the effect has no definitive historical background. However, the existence of patches in calico cats was traced to a certain degree by Neil Todd in a study determining the migration of domesticated cats along trade routes in Europe and Northern Africa.[4] The proportion of cats having the orange mutant gene found in calicoes was traced to the port cities along the Mediterranean in Greece, France, Spain and Italy, originating from Egypt.[5]

In genetic terms, calico cats are tortoiseshells in every way, except that in addition they express a white spotting gene. There is however one anomaly: as a rule of thumb the larger the areas of white, the fewer and larger the patches of ginger and dark or tabby coat.[citation needed] In contrast a non-white-spotted tortoiseshell usually has small patches of color or even something like a salt-and-pepper sprinkling. This reflects the genetic effects on relative speeds of migration of melanocytes and X-inactivation in the embryo.[6]

Serious study of calico cats seems to have begun about 1948 when Murray Barr and his graduate student E.G. Bertram noticed dark, drumstick-shaped masses inside the nuclei of nerve cells of female cats, but not in male cats. These dark masses became known as Barr bodies.[7] In 1959, Japanese cell biologist Susumu Ohno determined the Barr bodies were X chromosomes.[7] In 1961, Mary Lyon proposed the concept of X-inactivation: one of the two X chromosomes inside a female mammal shuts off.[7] She observed this in the coat color patterns in mice.[8]

Calico cats are almost always female because the locus of the gene for the orange/non-orange coloring is on the X chromosome. In the absence of other influences, such as color inhibition that causes white fur, the alleles present in those orange loci determine whether the fur is orange or not. Female cats like all female placental mammals normally have two X chromosomes. In contrast, male placental mammals, including chromosomally stable male cats, have one X and one Y chromosome.[2][7][9] Since the Y chromosome does not have any locus for the orange gene, there is no chance that an XY male could have both orange and non-orange genes together, which is what it takes to create tortoiseshell or calico coloring.[citation needed]

One exception is that in rare cases faulty cell division may leave an extra X chromosome in one of the gametes that produced the male cat. That extra X then is reproduced in each of his cells, a condition referred to as XXY, or Klinefelter syndrome. Such a combination of chromosomes could produce tortoiseshell or calico markings in the male, in the same way as XX chromosomes produce them in the female.[citation needed]

All but about one in three thousand of the rare calico or tortoiseshell male cats are sterile because of the chromosome abnormality, and breeders reject any exceptions for stud purposes because they generally are of poor physical quality and fertility. In any event, because the genetic conditions for calico coloring are X linked, a fertile male calico’s coloring would not have any determination in the coloring of any male offspring (who would receive the Y, not the X chromosome from their father).

As Sue Hubble stated in her book Shrinking the Cat: Genetic Engineering before We Knew about Genes,

The mutation that gives male cats a ginger-colored coat and females ginger, tortoiseshell, or calico coats produced a particularly telling map. The orange mutant gene is found only on the X, or female, chromosome. As with humans, female cats have paired sex chromosomes, XX, and male cats have XY sex chromosomes. The female cat, therefore, can have the orange mutant gene on one X chromosome and the gene for a black coat on the other. The piebald gene is on a different chromosome. If expressed, this gene codes for white, or no color, and is dominant over the alleles that code for a certain color (i.e. orange or black), making the white spots on calico cats. If that is the case, those several genes will be expressed in a blotchy coat of the tortoiseshell or calico kind. But the male, with his single X chromosome, has only one of that particular coat-color gene: he can be not-ginger or he can be ginger (although some modifier genes can add a bit of white here and there), but unless he has a chromosomal abnormality he cannot be a calico cat.[5]

It is currently impossible to reproduce the fur patterns of calico cats by cloning. Penelope Tsernoglou wrote “This is due to an effect called x-linked inactivation which involves the random inactivation of one of the X chromosomes. Since all female mammals have two X chromosomes, one might wonder if this phenomenon could have a more widespread impact on cloning in the future.”[10]

Calico cats may have already provided findings relating to physiological differences between male and female mammals. This insight may be one day broadened to the fields of psychology, psychiatry, sociology, biology and medicine as more information becomes available regarding the complete effect of random X-inactivation in female mammals.[7][9][11]

Cats of this coloration are believed to bring good luck in the folklore of many cultures.[12] In the United States, these are sometimes referred to as money cats.[13] A cat of the calico coloration is also the state cat of Maryland in the United States.[14] In the late nineteenth century, Eugene Field published “The Duel”, a beloved poem for children also known as “The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat.” In Japan, the Maneki-Neko figures depict Calico cats, bringing good luck.

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Genetics – Wikipedia

This article is about the general scientific term. For the scientific journal, see Genetics (journal).

Genetics is the study of genes, genetic variation, and heredity in living organisms.[1][2] It is generally considered a field of biology, but it intersects frequently with many of the life sciences and is strongly linked with the study of information systems.

The father of genetics is Gregor Mendel, a late 19th-century scientist and Augustinian friar. Mendel studied “trait inheritance,” patterns in the way traits are handed down from parents to offspring. He observed that organisms (pea plants) inherit traits by way of discrete “units of inheritance.” This term, still used today, is a somewhat ambiguous definition of what is referred to as a gene.

Trait inheritance and molecular inheritance mechanisms of genes are still primary principles of genetics in the 21st century, but modern genetics has expanded beyond inheritance to studying the function and behavior of genes. Gene structure and function, variation, and distribution are studied within the context of the cell, the organism (e.g. dominance), and within the context of a population. Genetics has given rise to a number of sub-fields, including epigenetics and population genetics. Organisms studied within the broad field span the domain of life, including bacteria, plants, animals, and humans.

Genetic processes work in combination with an organism’s environment and experiences to influence development and behavior, often referred to as nature versus nurture. The intra- or extra-cellular environment of a cell or organism may switch gene transcription on or off. A classic example is two seeds of genetically identical corn, one placed in a temperate climate and one in an arid climate. While the average height of the two corn stalks may be genetically determined to be equal, the one in the arid climate only grows to half the height of the one in the temperate climate due to lack of water and nutrients in its environment.

The word genetics stems from the Ancient Greek genetikos meaning “genitive”/”generative”, which in turn derives from genesis meaning “origin”.[3][4][5]

The observation that living things inherit traits from their parents has been used since prehistoric times to improve crop plants and animals through selective breeding.[6] The modern science of genetics, seeking to understand this process, began with the work of Gregor Mendel in the mid-19th century.[7]

Prior to Mendel, Imre Festetics, a Hungarian noble, who lived in Kszeg before Mendel, was the first who used the word “genetics.” He described several rules of genetic inheritance in his work The genetic law of the Nature (Die genetische Gestze der Natur, 1819). His second law is the same as what Mendel published. In his third law, he developed the basic principles of mutation (he can be considered a forerunner of Hugo de Vries.)[8]

Other theories of inheritance preceded his work. A popular theory during Mendel’s time was the concept of blending inheritance: the idea that individuals inherit a smooth blend of traits from their parents.[9] Mendel’s work provided examples where traits were definitely not blended after hybridization, showing that traits are produced by combinations of distinct genes rather than a continuous blend. Blending of traits in the progeny is now explained by the action of multiple genes with quantitative effects. Another theory that had some support at that time was the inheritance of acquired characteristics: the belief that individuals inherit traits strengthened by their parents. This theory (commonly associated with Jean-Baptiste Lamarck) is now known to be wrongthe experiences of individuals do not affect the genes they pass to their children,[10] although evidence in the field of epigenetics has revived some aspects of Lamarck’s theory.[11] Other theories included the pangenesis of Charles Darwin (which had both acquired and inherited aspects) and Francis Galton’s reformulation of pangenesis as both particulate and inherited.[12]

Modern genetics started with Gregor Johann Mendel, a scientist and Augustinian friar who studied the nature of inheritance in plants. In his paper “Versuche ber Pflanzenhybriden” (“Experiments on Plant Hybridization”), presented in 1865 to the Naturforschender Verein (Society for Research in Nature) in Brnn, Mendel traced the inheritance patterns of certain traits in pea plants and described them mathematically.[13] Although this pattern of inheritance could only be observed for a few traits, Mendel’s work suggested that heredity was particulate, not acquired, and that the inheritance patterns of many traits could be explained through simple rules and ratios.

The importance of Mendel’s work did not gain wide understanding until the 1890s, after his death, when other scientists working on similar problems re-discovered his research. William Bateson, a proponent of Mendel’s work, coined the word genetics in 1905.[14][15] (The adjective genetic, derived from the Greek word genesis, “origin”, predates the noun and was first used in a biological sense in 1860.)[16] Bateson both acted as a mentor and was aided significantly by the work of female scientists from Newnham College at Cambridge, specifically the work of Becky Saunders, Nora Darwin Barlow, and Muriel Wheldale Onslow.[17] Bateson popularized the usage of the word genetics to describe the study of inheritance in his inaugural address to the Third International Conference on Plant Hybridization in London, England, in 1906.[18]

After the rediscovery of Mendel’s work, scientists tried to determine which molecules in the cell were responsible for inheritance. In 1911, Thomas Hunt Morgan argued that genes are on chromosomes, based on observations of a sex-linked white eye mutation in fruit flies.[19] In 1913, his student Alfred Sturtevant used the phenomenon of genetic linkage to show that genes are arranged linearly on the chromosome.[20]

Although genes were known to exist on chromosomes, chromosomes are composed of both protein and DNA, and scientists did not know which of the two is responsible for inheritance. In 1928, Frederick Griffith discovered the phenomenon of transformation (see Griffith’s experiment): dead bacteria could transfer genetic material to “transform” other still-living bacteria. Sixteen years later, in 1944, the AveryMacLeodMcCarty experiment identified DNA as the molecule responsible for transformation.[21] The role of the nucleus as the repository of genetic information in eukaryotes had been established by Hmmerling in 1943 in his work on the single celled alga Acetabularia.[22] The HersheyChase experiment in 1952 confirmed that DNA (rather than protein) is the genetic material of the viruses that infect bacteria, providing further evidence that DNA is the molecule responsible for inheritance.[23]

James Watson and Francis Crick determined the structure of DNA in 1953, using the X-ray crystallography work of Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins that indicated DNA has a helical structure (i.e., shaped like a corkscrew).[24][25] Their double-helix model had two strands of DNA with the nucleotides pointing inward, each matching a complementary nucleotide on the other strand to form what look like rungs on a twisted ladder.[26] This structure showed that genetic information exists in the sequence of nucleotides on each strand of DNA. The structure also suggested a simple method for replication: if the strands are separated, new partner strands can be reconstructed for each based on the sequence of the old strand. This property is what gives DNA its semi-conservative nature where one strand of new DNA is from an original parent strand.[27]

Although the structure of DNA showed how inheritance works, it was still not known how DNA influences the behavior of cells. In the following years, scientists tried to understand how DNA controls the process of protein production.[28] It was discovered that the cell uses DNA as a template to create matching messenger RNA, molecules with nucleotides very similar to DNA. The nucleotide sequence of a messenger RNA is used to create an amino acid sequence in protein; this translation between nucleotide sequences and amino acid sequences is known as the genetic code.[29]

With the newfound molecular understanding of inheritance came an explosion of research.[30] A notable theory arose from Tomoko Ohta in 1973 with her amendment to the neutral theory of molecular evolution through publishing the nearly neutral theory of molecular evolution. In this theory, Ohta stressed the importance of natural selection and the environment to the rate at which genetic evolution occurs.[31] One important development was chain-termination DNA sequencing in 1977 by Frederick Sanger. This technology allows scientists to read the nucleotide sequence of a DNA molecule.[32] In 1983, Kary Banks Mullis developed the polymerase chain reaction, providing a quick way to isolate and amplify a specific section of DNA from a mixture.[33] The efforts of the Human Genome Project, Department of Energy, NIH, and parallel private efforts by Celera Genomics led to the sequencing of the human genome in 2003.[34][35]

At its most fundamental level, inheritance in organisms occurs by passing discrete heritable units, called genes, from parents to offspring.[36] This property was first observed by Gregor Mendel, who studied the segregation of heritable traits in pea plants.[13][37] In his experiments studying the trait for flower color, Mendel observed that the flowers of each pea plant were either purple or whitebut never an intermediate between the two colors. These different, discrete versions of the same gene are called alleles.

In the case of the pea, which is a diploid species, each individual plant has two copies of each gene, one copy inherited from each parent.[38] Many species, including humans, have this pattern of inheritance. Diploid organisms with two copies of the same allele of a given gene are called homozygous at that gene locus, while organisms with two different alleles of a given gene are called heterozygous.

The set of alleles for a given organism is called its genotype, while the observable traits of the organism are called its phenotype. When organisms are heterozygous at a gene, often one allele is called dominant as its qualities dominate the phenotype of the organism, while the other allele is called recessive as its qualities recede and are not observed. Some alleles do not have complete dominance and instead have incomplete dominance by expressing an intermediate phenotype, or codominance by expressing both alleles at once.[39]

When a pair of organisms reproduce sexually, their offspring randomly inherit one of the two alleles from each parent. These observations of discrete inheritance and the segregation of alleles are collectively known as Mendel’s first law or the Law of Segregation.

Geneticists use diagrams and symbols to describe inheritance. A gene is represented by one or a few letters. Often a “+” symbol is used to mark the usual, non-mutant allele for a gene.[40]

In fertilization and breeding experiments (and especially when discussing Mendel’s laws) the parents are referred to as the “P” generation and the offspring as the “F1” (first filial) generation. When the F1 offspring mate with each other, the offspring are called the “F2” (second filial) generation. One of the common diagrams used to predict the result of cross-breeding is the Punnett square.

When studying human genetic diseases, geneticists often use pedigree charts to represent the inheritance of traits.[41] These charts map the inheritance of a trait in a family tree.

Organisms have thousands of genes, and in sexually reproducing organisms these genes generally assort independently of each other. This means that the inheritance of an allele for yellow or green pea color is unrelated to the inheritance of alleles for white or purple flowers. This phenomenon, known as “Mendel’s second law” or the “law of independent assortment,” means that the alleles of different genes get shuffled between parents to form offspring with many different combinations. (Some genes do not assort independently, demonstrating genetic linkage, a topic discussed later in this article.)

Often different genes can interact in a way that influences the same trait. In the Blue-eyed Mary (Omphalodes verna), for example, there exists a gene with alleles that determine the color of flowers: blue or magenta. Another gene, however, controls whether the flowers have color at all or are white. When a plant has two copies of this white allele, its flowers are whiteregardless of whether the first gene has blue or magenta alleles. This interaction between genes is called epistasis, with the second gene epistatic to the first.[42]

Many traits are not discrete features (e.g. purple or white flowers) but are instead continuous features (e.g. human height and skin color). These complex traits are products of many genes.[43] The influence of these genes is mediated, to varying degrees, by the environment an organism has experienced. The degree to which an organism’s genes contribute to a complex trait is called heritability.[44] Measurement of the heritability of a trait is relativein a more variable environment, the environment has a bigger influence on the total variation of the trait. For example, human height is a trait with complex causes. It has a heritability of 89% in the United States. In Nigeria, however, where people experience a more variable access to good nutrition and health care, height has a heritability of only 62%.[45]

The molecular basis for genes is deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). DNA is composed of a chain of nucleotides, of which there are four types: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T). Genetic information exists in the sequence of these nucleotides, and genes exist as stretches of sequence along the DNA chain.[46]Viruses are the only exception to this rulesometimes viruses use the very similar molecule RNA instead of DNA as their genetic material.[47] Viruses cannot reproduce without a host and are unaffected by many genetic processes, so tend not to be considered living organisms.

DNA normally exists as a double-stranded molecule, coiled into the shape of a double helix. Each nucleotide in DNA preferentially pairs with its partner nucleotide on the opposite strand: A pairs with T, and C pairs with G. Thus, in its two-stranded form, each strand effectively contains all necessary information, redundant with its partner strand. This structure of DNA is the physical basis for inheritance: DNA replication duplicates the genetic information by splitting the strands and using each strand as a template for synthesis of a new partner strand.[48]

Genes are arranged linearly along long chains of DNA base-pair sequences. In bacteria, each cell usually contains a single circular genophore, while eukaryotic organisms (such as plants and animals) have their DNA arranged in multiple linear chromosomes. These DNA strands are often extremely long; the largest human chromosome, for example, is about 247 million base pairs in length.[49] The DNA of a chromosome is associated with structural proteins that organize, compact, and control access to the DNA, forming a material called chromatin; in eukaryotes, chromatin is usually composed of nucleosomes, segments of DNA wound around cores of histone proteins.[50] The full set of hereditary material in an organism (usually the combined DNA sequences of all chromosomes) is called the genome.

While haploid organisms have only one copy of each chromosome, most animals and many plants are diploid, containing two of each chromosome and thus two copies of every gene.[38] The two alleles for a gene are located on identical loci of the two homologous chromosomes, each allele inherited from a different parent.

Many species have so-called sex chromosomes that determine the gender of each organism.[51] In humans and many other animals, the Y chromosome contains the gene that triggers the development of the specifically male characteristics. In evolution, this chromosome has lost most of its content and also most of its genes, while the X chromosome is similar to the other chromosomes and contains many genes. The X and Y chromosomes form a strongly heterogeneous pair.

When cells divide, their full genome is copied and each daughter cell inherits one copy. This process, called mitosis, is the simplest form of reproduction and is the basis for asexual reproduction. Asexual reproduction can also occur in multicellular organisms, producing offspring that inherit their genome from a single parent. Offspring that are genetically identical to their parents are called clones.

Eukaryotic organisms often use sexual reproduction to generate offspring that contain a mixture of genetic material inherited from two different parents. The process of sexual reproduction alternates between forms that contain single copies of the genome (haploid) and double copies (diploid).[38] Haploid cells fuse and combine genetic material to create a diploid cell with paired chromosomes. Diploid organisms form haploids by dividing, without replicating their DNA, to create daughter cells that randomly inherit one of each pair of chromosomes. Most animals and many plants are diploid for most of their lifespan, with the haploid form reduced to single cell gametes such as sperm or eggs.

Although they do not use the haploid/diploid method of sexual reproduction, bacteria have many methods of acquiring new genetic information. Some bacteria can undergo conjugation, transferring a small circular piece of DNA to another bacterium.[52] Bacteria can also take up raw DNA fragments found in the environment and integrate them into their genomes, a phenomenon known as transformation.[53] These processes result in horizontal gene transfer, transmitting fragments of genetic information between organisms that would be otherwise unrelated.

The diploid nature of chromosomes allows for genes on different chromosomes to assort independently or be separated from their homologous pair during sexual reproduction wherein haploid gametes are formed. In this way new combinations of genes can occur in the offspring of a mating pair. Genes on the same chromosome would theoretically never recombine. However, they do, via the cellular process of chromosomal crossover. During crossover, chromosomes exchange stretches of DNA, effectively shuffling the gene alleles between the chromosomes.[54] This process of chromosomal crossover generally occurs during meiosis, a series of cell divisions that creates haploid cells.

The first cytological demonstration of crossing over was performed by Harriet Creighton and Barbara McClintock in 1931. Their research and experiments on corn provided cytological evidence for the genetic theory that linked genes on paired chromosomes do in fact exchange places from one homolog to the other.[55]

The probability of chromosomal crossover occurring between two given points on the chromosome is related to the distance between the points. For an arbitrarily long distance, the probability of crossover is high enough that the inheritance of the genes is effectively uncorrelated.[56] For genes that are closer together, however, the lower probability of crossover means that the genes demonstrate genetic linkage; alleles for the two genes tend to be inherited together. The amounts of linkage between a series of genes can be combined to form a linear linkage map that roughly describes the arrangement of the genes along the chromosome.[57]

Genes generally express their functional effect through the production of proteins, which are complex molecules responsible for most functions in the cell. Proteins are made up of one or more polypeptide chains, each of which is composed of a sequence of amino acids, and the DNA sequence of a gene (through an RNA intermediate) is used to produce a specific amino acid sequence. This process begins with the production of an RNA molecule with a sequence matching the gene’s DNA sequence, a process called transcription.

This messenger RNA molecule is then used to produce a corresponding amino acid sequence through a process called translation. Each group of three nucleotides in the sequence, called a codon, corresponds either to one of the twenty possible amino acids in a protein or an instruction to end the amino acid sequence; this correspondence is called the genetic code.[58] The flow of information is unidirectional: information is transferred from nucleotide sequences into the amino acid sequence of proteins, but it never transfers from protein back into the sequence of DNAa phenomenon Francis Crick called the central dogma of molecular biology.[59]

The specific sequence of amino acids results in a unique three-dimensional structure for that protein, and the three-dimensional structures of proteins are related to their functions.[60][61] Some are simple structural molecules, like the fibers formed by the protein collagen. Proteins can bind to other proteins and simple molecules, sometimes acting as enzymes by facilitating chemical reactions within the bound molecules (without changing the structure of the protein itself). Protein structure is dynamic; the protein hemoglobin bends into slightly different forms as it facilitates the capture, transport, and release of oxygen molecules within mammalian blood.

A single nucleotide difference within DNA can cause a change in the amino acid sequence of a protein. Because protein structures are the result of their amino acid sequences, some changes can dramatically change the properties of a protein by destabilizing the structure or changing the surface of the protein in a way that changes its interaction with other proteins and molecules. For example, sickle-cell anemia is a human genetic disease that results from a single base difference within the coding region for the -globin section of hemoglobin, causing a single amino acid change that changes hemoglobin’s physical properties.[62] Sickle-cell versions of hemoglobin stick to themselves, stacking to form fibers that distort the shape of red blood cells carrying the protein. These sickle-shaped cells no longer flow smoothly through blood vessels, having a tendency to clog or degrade, causing the medical problems associated with this disease.

Some DNA sequences are transcribed into RNA but are not translated into protein productssuch RNA molecules are called non-coding RNA. In some cases, these products fold into structures which are involved in critical cell functions (e.g. ribosomal RNA and transfer RNA). RNA can also have regulatory effects through hybridization interactions with other RNA molecules (e.g. microRNA).

Although genes contain all the information an organism uses to function, the environment plays an important role in determining the ultimate phenotypes an organism displays. This is the complementary relationship often referred to as “nature and nurture.” The phenotype of an organism depends on the interaction of genes and the environment. An interesting example is the coat coloration of the Siamese cat. In this case, the body temperature of the cat plays the role of the environment. The cat’s genes code for dark hair, thus the hair-producing cells in the cat make cellular proteins resulting in dark hair. But these dark hair-producing proteins are sensitive to temperature (i.e. have a mutation causing temperature-sensitivity) and denature in higher-temperature environments, failing to produce dark-hair pigment in areas where the cat has a higher body temperature. In a low-temperature environment, however, the protein’s structure is stable and produces dark-hair pigment normally. The protein remains functional in areas of skin that are coldersuch as its legs, ears, tail and faceso the cat has dark-hair at its extremities.[63]

Environment plays a major role in effects of the human genetic disease phenylketonuria.[64] The mutation that causes phenylketonuria disrupts the ability of the body to break down the amino acid phenylalanine, causing a toxic build-up of an intermediate molecule that, in turn, causes severe symptoms of progressive intellectual disability and seizures. However, if someone with the phenylketonuria mutation follows a strict diet that avoids this amino acid, they remain normal and healthy.

A popular method for determining how genes and environment (“nature and nurture”) contribute to a phenotype involves studying identical and fraternal twins, or other siblings of multiple births.[65] Because identical siblings come from the same zygote, they are genetically the same. Fraternal twins are as genetically different from one another as normal siblings. By comparing how often a certain disorder occurs in a pair of identical twins to how often it occurs in a pair of fraternal twins, scientists can determine whether that disorder is caused by genetic or postnatal environmental factors whether it has “nature” or “nurture” causes. One famous example is the multiple birth study of the Genain quadruplets, who were identical quadruplets all diagnosed with schizophrenia.[66] However such tests cannot separate genetic factors from environmental factors affecting fetal development.

The genome of a given organism contains thousands of genes, but not all these genes need to be active at any given moment. A gene is expressed when it is being transcribed into mRNA and there exist many cellular methods of controlling the expression of genes such that proteins are produced only when needed by the cell. Transcription factors are regulatory proteins that bind to DNA, either promoting or inhibiting the transcription of a gene.[67] Within the genome of Escherichia coli bacteria, for example, there exists a series of genes necessary for the synthesis of the amino acid tryptophan. However, when tryptophan is already available to the cell, these genes for tryptophan synthesis are no longer needed. The presence of tryptophan directly affects the activity of the genestryptophan molecules bind to the tryptophan repressor (a transcription factor), changing the repressor’s structure such that the repressor binds to the genes. The tryptophan repressor blocks the transcription and expression of the genes, thereby creating negative feedback regulation of the tryptophan synthesis process.[68]

Differences in gene expression are especially clear within multicellular organisms, where cells all contain the same genome but have very different structures and behaviors due to the expression of different sets of genes. All the cells in a multicellular organism derive from a single cell, differentiating into variant cell types in response to external and intercellular signals and gradually establishing different patterns of gene expression to create different behaviors. As no single gene is responsible for the development of structures within multicellular organisms, these patterns arise from the complex interactions between many cells.

Within eukaryotes, there exist structural features of chromatin that influence the transcription of genes, often in the form of modifications to DNA and chromatin that are stably inherited by daughter cells.[69] These features are called “epigenetic” because they exist “on top” of the DNA sequence and retain inheritance from one cell generation to the next. Because of epigenetic features, different cell types grown within the same medium can retain very different properties. Although epigenetic features are generally dynamic over the course of development, some, like the phenomenon of paramutation, have multigenerational inheritance and exist as rare exceptions to the general rule of DNA as the basis for inheritance.[70]

During the process of DNA replication, errors occasionally occur in the polymerization of the second strand. These errors, called mutations, can affect the phenotype of an organism, especially if they occur within the protein coding sequence of a gene. Error rates are usually very low1 error in every 10100million basesdue to the “proofreading” ability of DNA polymerases.[71][72] Processes that increase the rate of changes in DNA are called mutagenic: mutagenic chemicals promote errors in DNA replication, often by interfering with the structure of base-pairing, while UV radiation induces mutations by causing damage to the DNA structure.[73] Chemical damage to DNA occurs naturally as well and cells use DNA repair mechanisms to repair mismatches and breaks. The repair does not, however, always restore the original sequence.

In organisms that use chromosomal crossover to exchange DNA and recombine genes, errors in alignment during meiosis can also cause mutations.[74] Errors in crossover are especially likely when similar sequences cause partner chromosomes to adopt a mistaken alignment; this makes some regions in genomes more prone to mutating in this way. These errors create large structural changes in DNA sequence duplications, inversions, deletions of entire regions or the accidental exchange of whole parts of sequences between different chromosomes (chromosomal translocation).

Mutations alter an organism’s genotype and occasionally this causes different phenotypes to appear. Most mutations have little effect on an organism’s phenotype, health, or reproductive fitness.[75] Mutations that do have an effect are usually detrimental, but occasionally some can be beneficial.[76] Studies in the fly Drosophila melanogaster suggest that if a mutation changes a protein produced by a gene, about 70 percent of these mutations will be harmful with the remainder being either neutral or weakly beneficial.[77]

Population genetics studies the distribution of genetic differences within populations and how these distributions change over time.[78] Changes in the frequency of an allele in a population are mainly influenced by natural selection, where a given allele provides a selective or reproductive advantage to the organism,[79] as well as other factors such as mutation, genetic drift, genetic draft,[80]artificial selection and migration.[81]

Over many generations, the genomes of organisms can change significantly, resulting in evolution. In the process called adaptation, selection for beneficial mutations can cause a species to evolve into forms better able to survive in their environment.[82] New species are formed through the process of speciation, often caused by geographical separations that prevent populations from exchanging genes with each other.[83] The application of genetic principles to the study of population biology and evolution is known as the “modern evolutionary synthesis.”

By comparing the homology between different species’ genomes, it is possible to calculate the evolutionary distance between them and when they may have diverged. Genetic comparisons are generally considered a more accurate method of characterizing the relatedness between species than the comparison of phenotypic characteristics. The evolutionary distances between species can be used to form evolutionary trees; these trees represent the common descent and divergence of species over time, although they do not show the transfer of genetic material between unrelated species (known as horizontal gene transfer and most common in bacteria).[84]

Although geneticists originally studied inheritance in a wide range of organisms, researchers began to specialize in studying the genetics of a particular subset of organisms. The fact that significant research already existed for a given organism would encourage new researchers to choose it for further study, and so eventually a few model organisms became the basis for most genetics research.[85] Common research topics in model organism genetics include the study of gene regulation and the involvement of genes in development and cancer.

Organisms were chosen, in part, for convenienceshort generation times and easy genetic manipulation made some organisms popular genetics research tools. Widely used model organisms include the gut bacterium Escherichia coli, the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the common fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster), and the common house mouse (Mus musculus).

Medical genetics seeks to understand how genetic variation relates to human health and disease.[86] When searching for an unknown gene that may be involved in a disease, researchers commonly use genetic linkage and genetic pedigree charts to find the location on the genome associated with the disease. At the population level, researchers take advantage of Mendelian randomization to look for locations in the genome that are associated with diseases, a method especially useful for multigenic traits not clearly defined by a single gene.[87] Once a candidate gene is found, further research is often done on the corresponding (or homologous) genes of model organisms. In addition to studying genetic diseases, the increased availability of genotyping methods has led to the field of pharmacogenetics: the study of how genotype can affect drug responses.[88]

Individuals differ in their inherited tendency to develop cancer,[89] and cancer is a genetic disease.[90] The process of cancer development in the body is a combination of events. Mutations occasionally occur within cells in the body as they divide. Although these mutations will not be inherited by any offspring, they can affect the behavior of cells, sometimes causing them to grow and divide more frequently. There are biological mechanisms that attempt to stop this process; signals are given to inappropriately dividing cells that should trigger cell death, but sometimes additional mutations occur that cause cells to ignore these messages. An internal process of natural selection occurs within the body and eventually mutations accumulate within cells to promote their own growth, creating a cancerous tumor that grows and invades various tissues of the body.

Normally, a cell divides only in response to signals called growth factors and stops growing once in contact with surrounding cells and in response to growth-inhibitory signals. It usually then divides a limited number of times and dies, staying within the epithelium where it is unable to migrate to other organs. To become a cancer cell, a cell has to accumulate mutations in a number of genes (three to seven) that allow it to bypass this regulation: it no longer needs growth factors to divide, continues growing when making contact to neighbor cells, ignores inhibitory signals, keeps growing indefinitely and is immortal, escapes from the epithelium and ultimately may be able to escape from the primary tumor, cross the endothelium of a blood vessel, be transported by the bloodstream and colonize a new organ, forming deadly metastasis. Although there are some genetic predispositions in a small fraction of cancers, the major fraction is due to a set of new genetic mutations that originally appear and accumulate in one or a small number of cells that will divide to form the tumor and are not transmitted to the progeny (somatic mutations). The most frequent mutations are a loss of function of p53 protein, a tumor suppressor, or in the p53 pathway, and gain of function mutations in the Ras proteins, or in other oncogenes.

DNA can be manipulated in the laboratory. Restriction enzymes are commonly used enzymes that cut DNA at specific sequences, producing predictable fragments of DNA.[91] DNA fragments can be visualized through use of gel electrophoresis, which separates fragments according to their length.

The use of ligation enzymes allows DNA fragments to be connected. By binding (“ligating”) fragments of DNA together from different sources, researchers can create recombinant DNA, the DNA often associated with genetically modified organisms. Recombinant DNA is commonly used in the context of plasmids: short circular DNA molecules with a few genes on them. In the process known as molecular cloning, researchers can amplify the DNA fragments by inserting plasmids into bacteria and then culturing them on plates of agar (to isolate clones of bacteria cells). (“Cloning” can also refer to the various means of creating cloned (“clonal”) organisms.)

DNA can also be amplified using a procedure called the polymerase chain reaction (PCR).[92] By using specific short sequences of DNA, PCR can isolate and exponentially amplify a targeted region of DNA. Because it can amplify from extremely small amounts of DNA, PCR is also often used to detect the presence of specific DNA sequences.

DNA sequencing, one of the most fundamental technologies developed to study genetics, allows researchers to determine the sequence of nucleotides in DNA fragments. The technique of chain-termination sequencing, developed in 1977 by a team led by Frederick Sanger, is still routinely used to sequence DNA fragments.[93] Using this technology, researchers have been able to study the molecular sequences associated with many human diseases.

As sequencing has become less expensive, researchers have sequenced the genomes of many organisms using a process called genome assembly, which utilizes computational tools to stitch together sequences from many different fragments.[94] These technologies were used to sequence the human genome in the Human Genome Project completed in 2003.[34] New high-throughput sequencing technologies are dramatically lowering the cost of DNA sequencing, with many researchers hoping to bring the cost of resequencing a human genome down to a thousand dollars.[95]

Next-generation sequencing (or high-throughput sequencing) came about due to the ever-increasing demand for low-cost sequencing. These sequencing technologies allow the production of potentially millions of sequences concurrently.[96][97] The large amount of sequence data available has created the field of genomics, research that uses computational tools to search for and analyze patterns in the full genomes of organisms. Genomics can also be considered a subfield of bioinformatics, which uses computational approaches to analyze large sets of biological data. A common problem to these fields of research is how to manage and share data that deals with human subject and personally identifiable information. See also genomics data sharing.

On 19 March 2015, a leading group of biologists urged a worldwide ban on clinical use of methods, particularly the use of CRISPR and zinc finger, to edit the human genome in a way that can be inherited.[98][99][100][101] In April 2015, Chinese researchers reported results of basic research to edit the DNA of non-viable human embryos using CRISPR.[102][103]

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Cardiac muscle cell – Wikipedia

Cardiac muscle cells or cardiomyocytes (also known as myocardiocytes[1] or cardiac myocytes[2]) are the muscle cells (myocytes) that make up the cardiac muscle. Each myocardial cell contains myofibrils, which are specialized organelles consisting of long chains of sarcomeres, the fundamental contractile units of muscle cells. Cardiomyocytes show striations similar to those on skeletal muscle cells. Unlike multinucleated skeletal cells, the majority of cardiomyocytes contain only one nucleus, although they may have as many as four.[3] Cardiomyocytes have a high mitochondrial density, which allows them to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP) quickly, making them highly resistant to fatigue.

There are two types of cells within the heart: the cardiomyocytes and the cardiac pacemaker cells. Cardiomyocytes make up the atria (the chambers in which blood enters the heart) and the ventricles (the chambers where blood is collected and pumped out of the heart). These cells must be able to shorten and lengthen their fibers and the fibers must be flexible enough to stretch. These functions are critical to the proper form during the beating of the heart.[4]

Cardiac pacemaker cells carry the impulses that are responsible for the beating of the heart. They are distributed throughout the heart and are responsible for several functions. First, they are responsible for being able to spontaneously generate and send out electrical impulses. They also must be able to receive and respond to electrical impulses from the brain. Lastly, they must be able to transfer electrical impulses from cell to cell.[5]

All of these cells are connected by cellular bridges. Porous junctions called intercalated discs form junctions between the cells. They permit sodium, potassium and calcium to easily diffuse from cell to cell. This makes it easier for depolarization and repolarization in the myocardium. Because of these junctions and bridges the heart muscle is able to act as a single coordinated unit.[6][7]

The cardiomyocytes are about 100 to 150 micrometers long and 15 to 20 micrometers in diameter.[citation needed]

Humans are born with a set number of heart muscle cells, or cardiomyocytes, which increase in size as our heart grows larger during childhood development. Recent evidence suggests that cardiomyocytes are actually slowly turned over as we age, but that less than 50% of the cardiomyocytes we are born with are replaced during a normal life span.[8] The growth of individual cardiomyocytes not only occurs during normal heart development, it also occurs in response to extensive exercise (athletic heart syndrome), heart disease, or heart muscle injury such as after a myocardial infarction. A healthy adult cardiomyocyte has a cylindrical shape that is approximately 100m long and 10-25m in diameter. Cardiomyocyte hypertrophy occurs through sarcomerogenesis, the creation of new sarcomere units in the cell. During heart volume overload, cardiomyocytes grow through eccentric hypertrophy.[9] The cardiomyocytes extend lengthwise but have the same diameter, resulting in ventricular dilation. During heart pressure overload, cardiomyocytes grow through concentric hypertrophy.[9] The cardiomyocytes grow larger in diameter but have the same length, resulting in heart wall thickening.

Cardiac action potential consists of two cycles, a rest phase and an active phase. These two phases are commonly understood as systole and diastole. The rest phase is considered polarized. The resting potential during this phase of the beat separates the ions such as sodium, potassium and calcium. Myocardial cells possess the property of automaticity or spontaneous depolarization. This is the direct result of a membrane which allows sodium ions to slowly enter the cell until the threshold is reached for depolarization. Calcium ions follow and extend the depolarization even further. Once calcium stops moving inward, potassium ions move out slowly to produce repolarization. The very slow repolarization of the CMC membrane is responsible for the long refractory period.[10][11]

Myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack, occurs when the heart’s supplementary blood vessels are obstructed by an unstable build-up of white blood cells, cholesterol, and fat. With no blood flow, the cells die, causing whole portions of cardiac tissue to die. Once these tissues are lost, they cannot be replaced, thus causing permanent damage. Current research indicates, however, that it may be possible to repair damaged cardiac tissue with stem cells,[12] as human embryonic stem cells can differentiate into cardiomyocytes under appropriate conditions.[13]

The cardiomyopathies are a group of diseases characterized by disruptions to cardiac muscle cell growth and / or organization. Presentation can range from asymptomatic to sudden cardiac death.

Cardiomyopathy can be caused by genetic, endocrine, environmental, or other factors.

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Cardiac muscle cell – Wikipedia

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Rejuvenating Skin Serum – Stem Cell Nutrition

In August, 2011 an all natural rejuvenating serum that uses your own adult stem cells to decrease wrinkles and increase moisture retention and elasticity was launched in the United States, and subsequently in Australia. This is a mocha based fusion of the world’s most restorative ingredients and a blend of six cytokines that stimulate the proliferation and migration of the skin’s stem cells by more than 225%.

There are a number of stem cell based serums and skin care products that have appeared on the marketplace over the past few years, and they constitute a novel frontier in skin care. Although many of them are nothing more than simple skin care products with misleading or spurious stem cell claims, a few are legitimate products. The legitimate ones are all based on the use of compounds called cytokines, which are growth factors supporting the functions of stem cells in the skin. Some of them contain an extract from apple stem cells, whose effectiveness really remains to be proven there is an obvious difference between human skin and an apple! Others contained cytokines from human stem cells. The latter are obviously the premium products.

One of the questions the developers of this product asked was: Of all the natural compounds and herbal extracts known to benefit the skin, which do so by supporting the natural role of stem cells in the skin? Are there natural compounds that can support the intrinsic ability of the skin to renew itself? They studied a broad array of plants and herbal extracts for their effect on the proliferation and differentiation of human skin stem cells grown in vitro, and they discovered a handful of natural compounds that have an effect on the very stem cells of your skin. By supporting the natural role of your skins stem cells, you support the process of rejuvenation of your skin from within…….the way nature intended. These compounds include AFA, the same product from which stem cell nutrition is derived.

AFA alone increased the proliferation of skin stem cells by nearly 100% in the study. Other natural ingredients include: Aloe vera (which increased skin stem cell proliferation by 87%) and a proprietary fucoidan that increased proliferation by 55%. When blended together, the effect of these plants on skin stem cell proliferation was further synergistically increased by ingredients like vanilla, maqui berry, cacao, old mans weed and others. All these ingredients taken together constitute the Stem Cell Complex unique to this product with a Stem Cell Index exceeding 250%

Hyaluronic acid is part of the infrastructure (skeleton of the skin) and is one of the main components forming the matrix of the skin. One of the main roles of hyaluronic acid is to retain moisture in the skin. Good hydration is the hallmark of young skin, and it comes from the presence of hyaluronic acid. Recently a group of scientists discovered that as we age, although we continue to produce hyaluronic acid, its structure is less and less branched. The highly branched hyaluronic acid in young skin allows for greater retention of water in the skin. Since these branches are formed of a derivative of glucosamine, scientists discovered that the best results are obtained when this derivative of glucosamine is applied on the skin, instead of hyaluronic acid itself. This product is the first in the US to contain that very derivative of glucosamine, produced by fermentation.

An all-natural formula Of all the stem cell based skin care products, this is the only one that is truly natural ……even though many make the claim. In essence, all skin care products are oils blended with water extracts of various plants. Since oil and water do not mix, it is necessary to use compounds called emulsifiers that can dissolve in both water and in lipids, thereby helping to create an emulsion. There are very few natural emulsifiers and none that are known to be effective at making a cold emulsion which is essential to the preservation of all the delicate actives found in herbal extracts. This is the only skin care product made cold with an all-natural emulsification system. Products like glycerin are relatively natural and can be used as emulsifiers; however, they are known for their drying effect on the skin. There is no glycerin here. Once produced, natural skin care products are essentially food for bacteria, so they need to be preserved. And this is the biggest challenge, as there are virtually no natural preservatives commercially available. Although the best products claim to have none of the dangerous carcinogenic parabens, they have other compounds just as dangerous such as phenoxyethanol and various forms of benzoic acid, all known to be irritants to the skin. The developers asked the question, Where in nature can we find natural antibacterial compounds? They harvested several flowers known to grow in very moist areas while blooming for weeks, unaffected by bacterial or fungal growth, and they extracted their antibacterial power. To this they added a proprietary process called SoniPure that inactivates bacteria by the use of sound waves a breakthrough innovative process. So this skin serum is 100% stable without delivering harmful compounds to your skin.

The developers intention was to create a product to restructure the skin from within in order to increase water retention and skin elasticity, which in turn would naturally reduce wrinkles and fine lines and this is exactly what was demonstrated in an independent clinical trial. It was shown to increase water retention by 30% and skin elasticity by 10% and to reduce wrinkles by an average of 25% in 28 days. Some people saw significant benefits after only 7 days, while others report wrinkle reduction by as much as 75%. In all participants, wrinkle reduction was already statistically significant after 7 days. So you can easily see how both the developmental process and the resulting formula ensure that this product is undeniably second-to-none in stem cell based skin care.

In healthy individuals, skin youthfulness is maintained by epidermal stem cells which self-renew and generate daughter cells that become new skin. Therefore, part of skin aging is caused by impaired adult stem cell mobilization from the bone marrow and the reduced number of adult stem cells able to respond to repair signals. This means that, if we increase the number of circulating adult stem cells, we can affect the epidermal stem cells. Research also shows that topical application of cytokines stimulates the migration and proliferation of skin stem cells.

In much the same way as stem cell nutrition works with adult stem cells to deliver inner wellness, the rejuvenating skin serum applies the benefits of adult stem cell science to the bodys largest organ, the skin, to achieve and maintain outer vibrance! Taking care of this organ the skin, which exposed to the elements on a continual basis is essential. The rejuvenating skin serum assists in our daily process at the skin level, by a proprietary blend of over two dozen natural ingredients found during years of searching worldwide. Each natural ingredient has been selected for its nutrient-rich attributes that fight the appearance of aging, regenerating cells, decreasing fine lines and wrinkles, increasing moisture retention and increasing skin elasticity. In addition, some of the ingredients have natural sun-protecting components.

After using stem cell serum on one side of face only for only 10 days

Your skin’s response to an increase in circulating adult stem cells. The most evident visual response in people’s facial skin a few weeks after taking stem cell nutrition is that – it glows. People notice a smoothness and improvement in color of their skin. Skin may also show improvements in age related and hormonal pigmentation, decreased bruising and increased elasticity and tone.

Before and after using stem cell serum

This product is second to none, and early clinical tests have demonstrated the following dramatic results: Decreased fine line & coarse wrinkles 25% in 28 days Increased moisture retention 30% in 28 days Increased elasticity 10% in 28 days

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Rejuvenating Skin Serum – Stem Cell Nutrition

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Gene therapy – Wikipedia

Gene therapy is the therapeutic delivery of nucleic acid polymers into a patient’s cells as a drug to treat disease.[1] The first attempt at modifying human DNA was performed in 1980 by Martin Cline, but the first successful and approved[by whom?] nuclear gene transfer in humans was performed in May 1989.[2] The first therapeutic use of gene transfer as well as the first direct insertion of human DNA into the nuclear genome was performed by French Anderson in a trial starting in September 1990.

Between 1989 and February 2016, over 2,300 clinical trials had been conducted, more than half of them in phase I.[3]

It should be noted that not all medical procedures that introduce alterations to a patient’s genetic makeup can be considered gene therapy. Bone marrow transplantation and organ transplants in general have been found to introduce foreign DNA into patients.[4] Gene therapy is defined by the precision of the procedure and the intention of direct therapeutic effects.

Gene therapy was conceptualized in 1972, by authors who urged caution before commencing human gene therapy studies.

The first attempt, an unsuccessful one, at gene therapy (as well as the first case of medical transfer of foreign genes into humans not counting organ transplantation) was performed by Martin Cline on 10 July 1980.[5][6] Cline claimed that one of the genes in his patients was active six months later, though he never published this data or had it verified[7] and even if he is correct, it’s unlikely it produced any significant beneficial effects treating beta-thalassemia.[8]

After extensive research on animals throughout the 1980s and a 1989 bacterial gene tagging trial on humans, the first gene therapy widely accepted as a success was demonstrated in a trial that started on September 14, 1990, when Ashi DeSilva was treated for ADA-SCID.[9]

The first somatic treatment that produced a permanent genetic change was performed in 1993.[10]

This procedure was referred to sensationally and somewhat inaccurately in the media as a “three parent baby”, though mtDNA is not the primary human genome and has little effect on an organism’s individual characteristics beyond powering their cells.

Gene therapy is a way to fix a genetic problem at its source. The polymers are either translated into proteins, interfere with target gene expression, or possibly correct genetic mutations.

The most common form uses DNA that encodes a functional, therapeutic gene to replace a mutated gene. The polymer molecule is packaged within a “vector”, which carries the molecule inside cells.

Early clinical failures led to dismissals of gene therapy. Clinical successes since 2006 regained researchers’ attention, although as of 2014, it was still largely an experimental technique.[11] These include treatment of retinal diseases Leber’s congenital amaurosis[12][13][14][15] and choroideremia,[16]X-linked SCID,[17] ADA-SCID,[18][19]adrenoleukodystrophy,[20]chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL),[21]acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL),[22]multiple myeloma,[23]haemophilia[19] and Parkinson’s disease.[24] Between 2013 and April 2014, US companies invested over $600 million in the field.[25]

The first commercial gene therapy, Gendicine, was approved in China in 2003 for the treatment of certain cancers.[26] In 2011 Neovasculgen was registered in Russia as the first-in-class gene-therapy drug for treatment of peripheral artery disease, including critical limb ischemia.[27] In 2012 Glybera, a treatment for a rare inherited disorder, became the first treatment to be approved for clinical use in either Europe or the United States after its endorsement by the European Commission.[11][28]

Following early advances in genetic engineering of bacteria, cells, and small animals, scientists started considering how to apply it to medicine. Two main approaches were considered replacing or disrupting defective genes.[29] Scientists focused on diseases caused by single-gene defects, such as cystic fibrosis, haemophilia, muscular dystrophy, thalassemia and sickle cell anemia. Glybera treats one such disease, caused by a defect in lipoprotein lipase.[28]

DNA must be administered, reach the damaged cells, enter the cell and express/disrupt a protein.[30] Multiple delivery techniques have been explored. The initial approach incorporated DNA into an engineered virus to deliver the DNA into a chromosome.[31][32]Naked DNA approaches have also been explored, especially in the context of vaccine development.[33]

Generally, efforts focused on administering a gene that causes a needed protein to be expressed. More recently, increased understanding of nuclease function has led to more direct DNA editing, using techniques such as zinc finger nucleases and CRISPR. The vector incorporates genes into chromosomes. The expressed nucleases then knock out and replace genes in the chromosome. As of 2014 these approaches involve removing cells from patients, editing a chromosome and returning the transformed cells to patients.[34]

Gene editing is a potential approach to alter the human genome to treat genetic diseases,[35] viral diseases,[36] and cancer.[37] As of 2016 these approaches were still years from being medicine.[38][39]

Gene therapy may be classified into two types:

In somatic cell gene therapy (SCGT), the therapeutic genes are transferred into any cell other than a gamete, germ cell, gametocyte or undifferentiated stem cell. Any such modifications affect the individual patient only, and are not inherited by offspring. Somatic gene therapy represents mainstream basic and clinical research, in which therapeutic DNA (either integrated in the genome or as an external episome or plasmid) is used to treat disease.

Over 600 clinical trials utilizing SCGT are underway in the US. Most focus on severe genetic disorders, including immunodeficiencies, haemophilia, thalassaemia and cystic fibrosis. Such single gene disorders are good candidates for somatic cell therapy. The complete correction of a genetic disorder or the replacement of multiple genes is not yet possible. Only a few of the trials are in the advanced stages.[40]

In germline gene therapy (GGT), germ cells (sperm or eggs) are modified by the introduction of functional genes into their genomes. Modifying a germ cell causes all the organism’s cells to contain the modified gene. The change is therefore heritable and passed on to later generations. Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, Switzerland and the Netherlands[41] prohibit GGT for application in human beings, for technical and ethical reasons, including insufficient knowledge about possible risks to future generations[41] and higher risks versus SCGT.[42] The US has no federal controls specifically addressing human genetic modification (beyond FDA regulations for therapies in general).[41][43][44][45]

The delivery of DNA into cells can be accomplished by multiple methods. The two major classes are recombinant viruses (sometimes called biological nanoparticles or viral vectors) and naked DNA or DNA complexes (non-viral methods).

In order to replicate, viruses introduce their genetic material into the host cell, tricking the host’s cellular machinery into using it as blueprints for viral proteins. Scientists exploit this by substituting a virus’s genetic material with therapeutic DNA. (The term ‘DNA’ may be an oversimplification, as some viruses contain RNA, and gene therapy could take this form as well.) A number of viruses have been used for human gene therapy, including retrovirus, adenovirus, lentivirus, herpes simplex, vaccinia and adeno-associated virus.[3] Like the genetic material (DNA or RNA) in viruses, therapeutic DNA can be designed to simply serve as a temporary blueprint that is degraded naturally or (at least theoretically) to enter the host’s genome, becoming a permanent part of the host’s DNA in infected cells.

Non-viral methods present certain advantages over viral methods, such as large scale production and low host immunogenicity. However, non-viral methods initially produced lower levels of transfection and gene expression, and thus lower therapeutic efficacy. Later technology remedied this deficiency[citation needed].

Methods for non-viral gene therapy include the injection of naked DNA, electroporation, the gene gun, sonoporation, magnetofection, the use of oligonucleotides, lipoplexes, dendrimers, and inorganic nanoparticles.

Some of the unsolved problems include:

Three patients’ deaths have been reported in gene therapy trials, putting the field under close scrutiny. The first was that of Jesse Gelsinger in 1999.[52] One X-SCID patient died of leukemia in 2003.[9] In 2007, a rheumatoid arthritis patient died from an infection; the subsequent investigation concluded that the death was not related to gene therapy.[53]

In 1972 Friedmann and Roblin authored a paper in Science titled “Gene therapy for human genetic disease?”[54] Rogers (1970) was cited for proposing that exogenous good DNA be used to replace the defective DNA in those who suffer from genetic defects.[55]

In 1984 a retrovirus vector system was designed that could efficiently insert foreign genes into mammalian chromosomes.[56]

The first approved gene therapy clinical research in the US took place on 14 September 1990, at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), under the direction of William French Anderson.[57] Four-year-old Ashanti DeSilva received treatment for a genetic defect that left her with ADA-SCID, a severe immune system deficiency. The effects were temporary, but successful.[58]

Cancer gene therapy was introduced in 1992/93 (Trojan et al. 1993).[59] The treatment of glioblastoma multiforme, the malignant brain tumor whose outcome is always fatal, was done using a vector expressing antisense IGF-I RNA (clinical trial approved by NIH n 1602, and FDA in 1994). This therapy also represents the beginning of cancer immunogene therapy, a treatment which proves to be effective due to the anti-tumor mechanism of IGF-I antisense, which is related to strong immune and apoptotic phenomena.

In 1992 Claudio Bordignon, working at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, performed the first gene therapy procedure using hematopoietic stem cells as vectors to deliver genes intended to correct hereditary diseases.[60] In 2002 this work led to the publication of the first successful gene therapy treatment for adenosine deaminase-deficiency (SCID). The success of a multi-center trial for treating children with SCID (severe combined immune deficiency or “bubble boy” disease) from 2000 and 2002, was questioned when two of the ten children treated at the trial’s Paris center developed a leukemia-like condition. Clinical trials were halted temporarily in 2002, but resumed after regulatory review of the protocol in the US, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Germany.[61]

In 1993 Andrew Gobea was born with SCID following prenatal genetic screening. Blood was removed from his mother’s placenta and umbilical cord immediately after birth, to acquire stem cells. The allele that codes for adenosine deaminase (ADA) was obtained and inserted into a retrovirus. Retroviruses and stem cells were mixed, after which the viruses inserted the gene into the stem cell chromosomes. Stem cells containing the working ADA gene were injected into Andrew’s blood. Injections of the ADA enzyme were also given weekly. For four years T cells (white blood cells), produced by stem cells, made ADA enzymes using the ADA gene. After four years more treatment was needed.[citation needed]

Jesse Gelsinger’s death in 1999 impeded gene therapy research in the US.[62][63] As a result, the FDA suspended several clinical trials pending the reevaluation of ethical and procedural practices.[64]

The modified cancer gene therapy strategy of antisense IGF-I RNA (NIH n 1602)[65] using antisense / triple helix anti IGF-I approach was registered in 2002 by Wiley gene therapy clinical trial – n 635 and 636. The approach has shown promising results in the treatment of six different malignant tumors: glioblastoma, cancers of liver, colon, prostate, uterus and ovary (Collaborative NATO Science Programme on Gene Therapy USA, France, Poland n LST 980517 conducted by J. Trojan) (Trojan et al., 2012). This antigene antisense/triple helix therapy has proven to be efficient, due to the mechanism stopping simultaneously IGF-I expression on translation and transcription levels, strengthening anti-tumor immune and apoptotic phenomena.

Sickle-cell disease can be treated in mice.[66] The mice which have essentially the same defect that causes human cases used a viral vector to induce production of fetal hemoglobin (HbF), which normally ceases to be produced shortly after birth. In humans, the use of hydroxyurea to stimulate the production of HbF temporarily alleviates sickle cell symptoms. The researchers demonstrated this treatment to be a more permanent means to increase therapeutic HbF production.[67]

A new gene therapy approach repaired errors in messenger RNA derived from defective genes. This technique has the potential to treat thalassaemia, cystic fibrosis and some cancers.[68]

Researchers created liposomes 25 nanometers across that can carry therapeutic DNA through pores in the nuclear membrane.[69]

In 2003 a research team inserted genes into the brain for the first time. They used liposomes coated in a polymer called polyethylene glycol, which, unlike viral vectors, are small enough to cross the bloodbrain barrier.[70]

Short pieces of double-stranded RNA (short, interfering RNAs or siRNAs) are used by cells to degrade RNA of a particular sequence. If a siRNA is designed to match the RNA copied from a faulty gene, then the abnormal protein product of that gene will not be produced.[71]

Gendicine is a cancer gene therapy that delivers the tumor suppressor gene p53 using an engineered adenovirus. In 2003, it was approved in China for the treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.[26]

In March researchers announced the successful use of gene therapy to treat two adult patients for X-linked chronic granulomatous disease, a disease which affects myeloid cells and damages the immune system. The study is the first to show that gene therapy can treat the myeloid system.[72]

In May a team reported a way to prevent the immune system from rejecting a newly delivered gene.[73] Similar to organ transplantation, gene therapy has been plagued by this problem. The immune system normally recognizes the new gene as foreign and rejects the cells carrying it. The research utilized a newly uncovered network of genes regulated by molecules known as microRNAs. This natural function selectively obscured their therapeutic gene in immune system cells and protected it from discovery. Mice infected with the gene containing an immune-cell microRNA target sequence did not reject the gene.

In August scientists successfully treated metastatic melanoma in two patients using killer T cells genetically retargeted to attack the cancer cells.[74]

In November researchers reported on the use of VRX496, a gene-based immunotherapy for the treatment of HIV that uses a lentiviral vector to deliver an antisense gene against the HIV envelope. In a phase I clinical trial, five subjects with chronic HIV infection who had failed to respond to at least two antiretroviral regimens were treated. A single intravenous infusion of autologous CD4 T cells genetically modified with VRX496 was well tolerated. All patients had stable or decreased viral load; four of the five patients had stable or increased CD4 T cell counts. All five patients had stable or increased immune response to HIV antigens and other pathogens. This was the first evaluation of a lentiviral vector administered in a US human clinical trial.[75][76]

In May researchers announced the first gene therapy trial for inherited retinal disease. The first operation was carried out on a 23-year-old British male, Robert Johnson, in early 2007.[77]

Leber’s congenital amaurosis is an inherited blinding disease caused by mutations in the RPE65 gene. The results of a small clinical trial in children were published in April.[12] Delivery of recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) carrying RPE65 yielded positive results. In May two more groups reported positive results in independent clinical trials using gene therapy to treat the condition. In all three clinical trials, patients recovered functional vision without apparent side-effects.[12][13][14][15]

In September researchers were able to give trichromatic vision to squirrel monkeys.[78] In November 2009, researchers halted a fatal genetic disorder called adrenoleukodystrophy in two children using a lentivirus vector to deliver a functioning version of ABCD1, the gene that is mutated in the disorder.[79]

An April paper reported that gene therapy addressed achromatopsia (color blindness) in dogs by targeting cone photoreceptors. Cone function and day vision were restored for at least 33 months in two young specimens. The therapy was less efficient for older dogs.[80]

In September it was announced that an 18-year-old male patient in France with beta-thalassemia major had been successfully treated.[81] Beta-thalassemia major is an inherited blood disease in which beta haemoglobin is missing and patients are dependent on regular lifelong blood transfusions.[82] The technique used a lentiviral vector to transduce the human -globin gene into purified blood and marrow cells obtained from the patient in June 2007.[83] The patient’s haemoglobin levels were stable at 9 to 10 g/dL. About a third of the hemoglobin contained the form introduced by the viral vector and blood transfusions were not needed.[83][84] Further clinical trials were planned.[85]Bone marrow transplants are the only cure for thalassemia, but 75% of patients do not find a matching donor.[84]

Cancer immunogene therapy using modified anti gene, antisense / triple helix approach was introduced in South America in 2010/11 in La Sabana University, Bogota (Ethical Committee 14.12.2010, no P-004-10). Considering the ethical aspect of gene diagnostic and gene therapy targeting IGF-I, the IGF-I expressing tumors i.e. lung and epidermis cancers, were treated (Trojan et al. 2016). [86][87]

In 2007 and 2008, a man was cured of HIV by repeated Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (see also Allogeneic stem cell transplantation, Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, Allotransplantation) with double-delta-32 mutation which disables the CCR5 receptor. This cure was accepted by the medical community in 2011.[88] It required complete ablation of existing bone marrow, which is very debilitating.

In August two of three subjects of a pilot study were confirmed to have been cured from chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The therapy used genetically modified T cells to attack cells that expressed the CD19 protein to fight the disease.[21] In 2013, the researchers announced that 26 of 59 patients had achieved complete remission and the original patient had remained tumor-free.[89]

Human HGF plasmid DNA therapy of cardiomyocytes is being examined as a potential treatment for coronary artery disease as well as treatment for the damage that occurs to the heart after myocardial infarction.[90][91]

In 2011 Neovasculgen was registered in Russia as the first-in-class gene-therapy drug for treatment of peripheral artery disease, including critical limb ischemia; it delivers the gene encoding for VEGF.[92][27] Neovasculogen is a plasmid encoding the CMV promoter and the 165 amino acid form of VEGF.[93][94]

The FDA approved Phase 1 clinical trials on thalassemia major patients in the US for 10 participants in July.[95] The study was expected to continue until 2015.[96]

In July 2012, the European Medicines Agency recommended approval of a gene therapy treatment for the first time in either Europe or the United States. The treatment used Alipogene tiparvovec (Glybera) to compensate for lipoprotein lipase deficiency, which can cause severe pancreatitis.[97] The recommendation was endorsed by the European Commission in November 2012[11][28][98][99] and commercial rollout began in late 2014.[100]

In December 2012, it was reported that 10 of 13 patients with multiple myeloma were in remission “or very close to it” three months after being injected with a treatment involving genetically engineered T cells to target proteins NY-ESO-1 and LAGE-1, which exist only on cancerous myeloma cells.[23]

In March researchers reported that three of five subjects who had acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) had been in remission for five months to two years after being treated with genetically modified T cells which attacked cells with CD19 genes on their surface, i.e. all B-cells, cancerous or not. The researchers believed that the patients’ immune systems would make normal T-cells and B-cells after a couple of months. They were also given bone marrow. One patient relapsed and died and one died of a blood clot unrelated to the disease.[22]

Following encouraging Phase 1 trials, in April, researchers announced they were starting Phase 2 clinical trials (called CUPID2 and SERCA-LVAD) on 250 patients[101] at several hospitals to combat heart disease. The therapy was designed to increase the levels of SERCA2, a protein in heart muscles, improving muscle function.[102] The FDA granted this a Breakthrough Therapy Designation to accelerate the trial and approval process.[103] In 2016 it was reported that no improvement was found from the CUPID 2 trial.[104]

In July researchers reported promising results for six children with two severe hereditary diseases had been treated with a partially deactivated lentivirus to replace a faulty gene and after 732 months. Three of the children had metachromatic leukodystrophy, which causes children to lose cognitive and motor skills.[105] The other children had Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, which leaves them to open to infection, autoimmune diseases and cancer.[106] Follow up trials with gene therapy on another six children with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome were also reported as promising.[107][108]

In October researchers reported that two children born with adenosine deaminase severe combined immunodeficiency disease (ADA-SCID) had been treated with genetically engineered stem cells 18 months previously and that their immune systems were showing signs of full recovery. Another three children were making progress.[19] In 2014 a further 18 children with ADA-SCID were cured by gene therapy.[109] ADA-SCID children have no functioning immune system and are sometimes known as “bubble children.”[19]

Also in October researchers reported that they had treated six haemophilia sufferers in early 2011 using an adeno-associated virus. Over two years later all six were producing clotting factor.[19][110]

Data from three trials on Topical cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene therapy were reported to not support its clinical use as a mist inhaled into the lungs to treat cystic fibrosis patients with lung infections.[111]

In January researchers reported that six choroideremia patients had been treated with adeno-associated virus with a copy of REP1. Over a six-month to two-year period all had improved their sight.[112][113] By 2016, 32 patients had been treated with positive results and researchers were hopeful the treatment would be long-lasting.[16] Choroideremia is an inherited genetic eye disease with no approved treatment, leading to loss of sight.

In March researchers reported that 12 HIV patients had been treated since 2009 in a trial with a genetically engineered virus with a rare mutation (CCR5 deficiency) known to protect against HIV with promising results.[114][115]

Clinical trials of gene therapy for sickle cell disease were started in 2014[116][117] although one review failed to find any such trials.[118]

In February LentiGlobin BB305, a gene therapy treatment undergoing clinical trials for treatment of beta thalassemia gained FDA “breakthrough” status after several patients were able to forgo the frequent blood transfusions usually required to treat the disease.[119]

In March researchers delivered a recombinant gene encoding a broadly neutralizing antibody into monkeys infected with simian HIV; the monkeys’ cells produced the antibody, which cleared them of HIV. The technique is named immunoprophylaxis by gene transfer (IGT). Animal tests for antibodies to ebola, malaria, influenza and hepatitis are underway.[120][121]

In March scientists, including an inventor of CRISPR, urged a worldwide moratorium on germline gene therapy, writing scientists should avoid even attempting, in lax jurisdictions, germline genome modification for clinical application in humans until the full implications are discussed among scientific and governmental organizations.[122][123][124][125]

Also in 2015 Glybera was approved for the German market.[126]

In October, researchers announced that they had treated a baby girl, Layla Richards, with an experimental treatment using donor T-cells genetically engineered using TALEN to attack cancer cells. Two months after the treatment she was still free of her cancer (a highly aggressive form of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia [ALL]). Children with highly aggressive ALL normally have a very poor prognosis and Layla’s disease had been regarded as terminal before the treatment.[127]

In December, scientists of major world academies called for a moratorium on inheritable human genome edits, including those related to CRISPR-Cas9 technologies[128] but that basic research including embryo gene editing should continue.[129]

In April the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency endorsed a gene therapy treatment called Strimvelis and recommended it be approved.[130][131] This treats children born with ADA-SCID and who have no functioning immune system – sometimes called the “bubble baby” disease. This would be the second gene therapy treatment to be approved in Europe.[132]

In October, Chinese scientists reported they had started a trial to genetically modify T-cells from 10 adult patients with lung cancer and reinject the modified T-cells back into their bodies to attack the cancer cells. The T-cells had the PD-1 protein (which stops or slows the immune response) removed using CRISPR-Cas9.[133][134]

Speculated uses for gene therapy include:

Gene Therapy techniques have the potential to provide alternative treatments for those with infertility. Recently, successful experimentation on mice has proven that fertility can be restored by using the gene therapy method, CRISPR.[135] Spermatogenical stem cells from another organism were transplanted into the testes of an infertile male mouse. The stem cells re-established spermatogenesis and fertility.[136]

Athletes might adopt gene therapy technologies to improve their performance.[137]Gene doping is not known to occur, but multiple gene therapies may have such effects. Kayser et al. argue that gene doping could level the playing field if all athletes receive equal access. Critics claim that any therapeutic intervention for non-therapeutic/enhancement purposes compromises the ethical foundations of medicine and sports.[138]

Genetic engineering could be used to change physical appearance, metabolism, and even improve physical capabilities and mental faculties such as memory and intelligence. Ethical claims about germline engineering include beliefs that every fetus has a right to remain genetically unmodified, that parents hold the right to genetically modify their offspring, and that every child has the right to be born free of preventable diseases.[139][140][141] For adults, genetic engineering could be seen as another enhancement technique to add to diet, exercise, education, cosmetics and plastic surgery.[142][143] Another theorist claims that moral concerns limit but do not prohibit germline engineering.[144]

Possible regulatory schemes include a complete ban, provision to everyone, or professional self-regulation. The American Medical Associations Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs stated that “genetic interventions to enhance traits should be considered permissible only in severely restricted situations: (1) clear and meaningful benefits to the fetus or child; (2) no trade-off with other characteristics or traits; and (3) equal access to the genetic technology, irrespective of income or other socioeconomic characteristics.”[145]

As early in the history of biotechnology as 1990, there have been scientists opposed to attempts to modify the human germline using these new tools,[146] and such concerns have continued as technology progressed.[147] With the advent of new techniques like CRISPR, in March 2015 a group of scientists urged a worldwide moratorium on clinical use of gene editing technologies to edit the human genome in a way that can be inherited.[122][123][124][125] In April 2015, researchers sparked controversy when they reported results of basic research to edit the DNA of non-viable human embryos using CRISPR.[135][148]

Regulations covering genetic modification are part of general guidelines about human-involved biomedical research.

The Helsinki Declaration (Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects) was amended by the World Medical Association’s General Assembly in 2008. This document provides principles physicians and researchers must consider when involving humans as research subjects. The Statement on Gene Therapy Research initiated by the Human Genome Organization (HUGO) in 2001 provides a legal baseline for all countries. HUGOs document emphasizes human freedom and adherence to human rights, and offers recommendations for somatic gene therapy, including the importance of recognizing public concerns about such research.[149]

No federal legislation lays out protocols or restrictions about human genetic engineering. This subject is governed by overlapping regulations from local and federal agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the FDA and NIH’s Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee. Researchers seeking federal funds for an investigational new drug application, (commonly the case for somatic human genetic engineering), must obey international and federal guidelines for the protection of human subjects.[150]

NIH serves as the main gene therapy regulator for federally funded research. Privately funded research is advised to follow these regulations. NIH provides funding for research that develops or enhances genetic engineering techniques and to evaluate the ethics and quality in current research. The NIH maintains a mandatory registry of human genetic engineering research protocols that includes all federally funded projects.

An NIH advisory committee published a set of guidelines on gene manipulation.[151] The guidelines discuss lab safety as well as human test subjects and various experimental types that involve genetic changes. Several sections specifically pertain to human genetic engineering, including Section III-C-1. This section describes required review processes and other aspects when seeking approval to begin clinical research involving genetic transfer into a human patient.[152] The protocol for a gene therapy clinical trial must be approved by the NIH’s Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee prior to any clinical trial beginning; this is different from any other kind of clinical trial.[151]

As with other kinds of drugs, the FDA regulates the quality and safety of gene therapy products and supervises how these products are used clinically. Therapeutic alteration of the human genome falls under the same regulatory requirements as any other medical treatment. Research involving human subjects, such as clinical trials, must be reviewed and approved by the FDA and an Institutional Review Board.[153][154]

Gene therapy is the basis for the plotline of the film I Am Legend[155] and the TV show Will Gene Therapy Change the Human Race?.[156]

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Hormone Replacement Therapy | Born Clinic

What is natural hormone replacment and why consider it an option for you?

Natural hormones are biologically identical to the hormones your body makes. Meaning, the chemical structures of the hormones are identical to those synthesized in your ovaries and other areas of the body. The body sees Prempro and Premarin and considers them foreign substances, but it recognizes bioidentical hormones as familiar and responds to them in natural ways.

Dosages are customized to each patient. One size does not fit all. Each patient is put on a dose specifically chosen according toindividualhormone levels, symptoms, genetic profile, stress level, and overall health assessment.

Since the product is compounded at special pharmacies, any dose of any hormone can be added, subtracted, and adjusted as appropriate. This is individualized hormone replacement therapy, which takes into account the fact that all women and men are not the same.

There are multiple modalities of administering natural hormones: creams, gels, sublingual drops, injections, capsules, hormone pellet implants.

All the benefits of hormone replacement therapymood, sex drive, heart, brain, bone density, and cancer protectionapply to natural hormone replacement without clinical evidence of the well documented side effects of the chemicalized, horse urine, conjuguated estrogens contained in conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

What is the difference between bioidentical and chemical/synthetic hormones?


1.) Mixture of horse urine-based, chemicalized synthetic estrogens (equilin, equilinin, etc.) plus additives and coatings, which are also synthetic.

2). Can remain in the body for as long as 13 weeks.

3.) Potency of synthetic estrogen is approximately 200 times that of natural estrogen.

4.) Contains higher percentage of more aggressive types of estrogen.

5.) One-size-fits-all dosing.

Natural/Bioidentical HRT

1.) Bioidentical replaces instead of substituting an unfamiliar chemical.

2.) Eliminated from the body in a matter of hours, not weeks.

3.) Potency is same or even less than estrogen levels in ovulating women.

4.) Customized treatment program.

5.) Physiologic doses used.

6.) All of the bodys other hormones are evaluated and treated simultaneously, to keep natural balance intact (DHEA, cortisol, testosterone, progesterone, thyroid hormones, insulin, etc.)

7.) Diet /nutrition, exercise, stress control, digestion, and detox are equally important parts of treatment.

Latest Research

Its not the estrogen you take that causes breast cancer , but the estrogen you make. We now know that estrogen converts into other forms (metabolites), which determine the ultimate effects of estrogen on your body.

It appears to be the metabolites of estrogen that determine the risk of developing breast cancer. (Metabolite: The product of the chemical changes a substance undergoes in the tissues.)

There are three signifcant metabolites of estrogen that determine cancer risk:

The first is 2-hydroxy estrone (good for you). It does not stimulate cell division and it attaches to estrogen cell receptors and blocks attachment of more aggressive estrogens.

The second is 16-hydroxy estrone (bad for you). This one strongly attaches to receptors and stimulated DNA synthesis and cell replication. It binds permanently to receptors, while other estrogens attach briefly and are released.

The third metabolite is 4-hydroxy estrone (also bad). May directly damage DNA and can cause mutations that are carcinogenic.

Equine estrogens (Premarin, Prempro) promote metabolism of the 4-hydroxy estrones, causing mutagenic damage (cancer potential) five times more rapidly than human 4-hydroxy estrones.

Too high (or low) doses of ANY type of hormone (hormone imbalance) will cause undesirable sideeffects. Natural HRT is prescribed at the lowest effective doses, and treatment is followed with regular lab tests (blood, saliva, urine), uterine ultrasounds, breast exams, mammograms/thermograms, pap smears, and regular visits to the physicians office.

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Cellular Therapy Training Course – ISCT

The Inaugural ISCT-ASBMT Cell Therapy Training Course One Scholars Experience

Beth Sage MBBS, PhD UCL Respiratory University College London, London, UK

Having been lucky enough to be selected as an international scholar for the inaugural Cell Therapy Training Course I was looking forward to leaving behind the rather disappointing British summer and heading towards the much warmer Houston fall. Having googled my destination and accommodation I boarded the plane with great excitement and hopes of enjoying the Texan heat whilst exploring the cosmopolitan offerings of Americas fourth largest city oh and learning something about cell therapy!

The course, chaired by Dave DiGiusto and John Barrett, was the first of its kind, a joint enterprise between the ISCT and the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Following a competitive selection procedure 12 scholars from all over the world were invited to attend a 5 day intensive workshop with the primary objective of giving junior cell therapy researchers an insight into the process of taking their research project from bench to bedside, including processing, clinical trial design, regulatory requirements, commercialization and ethical research. Alongside didactic lecture based teaching there were tours of good manufacturing practice (GMP) facilities, both academic and commercial, and most anticipated by the scholars was the opportunity to participate in small group discussions, led by experts in the field, dissecting and improving the individual cell therapy projects.

To break the ice on the light first day each scholar gave a short presentation on their project. It was immediately clear that there is a great breadth of exciting, novel cell therapy projects under investigation throughout the world, from the use of modified T-cells in hematological malignancies to the development of a tissue-engineered oesophagus using amniotic fluid stem cells. Projects ranged from early pre-clinical to those embarking on a first in man clinical trial and every stage in between, making the session interesting and varied. Having fought the jet-lag, the session ended with an ice-breaker drinks and dinner before retiring to prepare for the days ahead.

Over the next few days we were exposed to a wealth of information with detailed talks on pre-clinical development of different cell therapies from CD34 cells to mesenchymal stromal cells, quality systems development and one of the most useful from my personal perspective, manufacturing and release testing of different products. We were able to visit different manufacturing facilities and to understand the processes involved in the production of a clinical grade therapy. It made us challenge the protocols we were developing in the lab as we gained an insight into how it would scale up into a commercially viable process a 26 day culture process of autologous cells requiring purification and multiple cytokine stimulations is significantly more challenging (and expensive) than allogeneic cells cultured for 14 days with no manipulation and simple media exchanges.

Once the process development sessions were complete, we switched gears to look at how to conduct cell therapy clinical trials, covering issues of producing products including normal donors that are used to treat multiple recipients, the challenges of pooling donor cells, how to run multicenter studies and most importantly (although I can say almost universally never thought about by the scholars) how to deal with a regulatory body audit. This really was a really informative session that opened our eyes to the challenges and complexities of working in the field of cell therapy trials.

Just when we were beginning to feel that our jobs over the next few years would be focused on clinical trial design, process validation and filling in an endless paper chain of regulatory documents we were brought back to where we all started the excitement of the translational science. This was, for me, a really interesting session on the importance of correlative studies not only to assess clinical trial performance but to provide mechanistic insights into the behavior of cells when delivered to patients with disease. As scientists we can design and perform many experiments to predict how manipulated cells will behave but the most important data of all comes from the patients themselves. For me, the importance of testing a novel therapy is not just to see if it works but how it works and, just as importantly, if it doesnt – why.

To end to course, our wise leaders Dave DiGiusto and John Barrett decided to test whether we had been listening, and each scholar had to deliver a detailed presentation on how their project had developed during the course. Each scholar had to address the potential pitfalls and specific challenges they faced in moving towards the clinic. Whilst many of us stayed up into the small hours worrying about aspects we were previously oblivious to, undoubtedly we found this one of the most rewarding moments. Despite the potential difficulties we were now aware of, we also felt better placed to solve them and could see a clearer path ahead.

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Stem-cell therapy – Wikipedia

This article is about the medical therapy. For the cell type, see Stem cell.

Stem-cell therapy is the use of stem cells to treat or prevent a disease or condition.

Bone marrow transplant is the most widely used stem-cell therapy, but some therapies derived from umbilical cord blood are also in use. Research is underway to develop various sources for stem cells, and to apply stem-cell treatments for neurodegenerative diseases and conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions.

Stem-cell therapy has become controversial following developments such as the ability of scientists to isolate and culture embryonic stem cells, to create stem cells using somatic cell nuclear transfer and their use of techniques to create induced pluripotent stem cells. This controversy is often related to abortion politics and to human cloning. Additionally, efforts to market treatments based on transplant of stored umbilical cord blood have been controversial.

For over 30 years, bone marrow has been used to treat cancer patients with conditions such as leukaemia and lymphoma; this is the only form of stem-cell therapy that is widely practiced.[1][2][3] During chemotherapy, most growing cells are killed by the cytotoxic agents. These agents, however, cannot discriminate between the leukaemia or neoplastic cells, and the hematopoietic stem cells within the bone marrow. It is this side effect of conventional chemotherapy strategies that the stem-cell transplant attempts to reverse; a donor’s healthy bone marrow reintroduces functional stem cells to replace the cells lost in the host’s body during treatment. The transplanted cells also generate an immune response that helps to kill off the cancer cells; this process can go too far, however, leading to graft vs host disease, the most serious side effect of this treatment.[4]

Another stem-cell therapy called Prochymal, was conditionally approved in Canada in 2012 for the management of acute graft-vs-host disease in children who are unresponsive to steroids.[5] It is an allogenic stem therapy based on mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from the bone marrow of adult donors. MSCs are purified from the marrow, cultured and packaged, with up to 10,000 doses derived from a single donor. The doses are stored frozen until needed.[6]

The FDA has approved five hematopoietic stem-cell products derived from umbilical cord blood, for the treatment of blood and immunological diseases.[7]

In 2014, the European Medicines Agency recommended approval of Holoclar, a treatment involving stem cells, for use in the European Union. Holoclar is used for people with severe limbal stem cell deficiency due to burns in the eye.[8]

In March 2016 GlaxoSmithKline’s Strimvelis (GSK2696273) therapy for the treatment ADA-SCID was recommended for EU approval.[9]

Stem cells are being studied for a number of reasons. The molecules and exosomes released from stem cells are also being studied in an effort to make medications.[10]

Research has been conducted on the effects of stem cells on animal models of brain degeneration, such as in Parkinson’s, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.[11][12][13] There have been preliminary studies related to multiple sclerosis.[14][15]

Healthy adult brains contain neural stem cells which divide to maintain general stem-cell numbers, or become progenitor cells. In healthy adult laboratory animals, progenitor cells migrate within the brain and function primarily to maintain neuron populations for olfaction (the sense of smell). Pharmacological activation of endogenous neural stem cells has been reported to induce neuroprotection and behavioral recovery in adult rat models of neurological disorder.[16][17][18]

Stroke and traumatic brain injury lead to cell death, characterized by a loss of neurons and oligodendrocytes within the brain. A small clinical trial was underway in Scotland in 2013, in which stem cells were injected into the brains of stroke patients.[19]

Clinical and animal studies have been conducted into the use of stem cells in cases of spinal cord injury.[20][21][22]

The pioneering work[23] by Bodo-Eckehard Strauer has now been discredited by the identification of hundreds of factual contradictions.[24] Among several clinical trials that have reported that adult stem-cell therapy is safe and effective, powerful effects have been reported from only a few laboratories, but this has covered old[25] and recent[26] infarcts as well as heart failure not arising from myocardial infarction.[27] While initial animal studies demonstrated remarkable therapeutic effects,[28][29] later clinical trials achieved only modest, though statistically significant, improvements.[30][31] Possible reasons for this discrepancy are patient age,[32] timing of treatment[33] and the recent occurrence of a myocardial infarction.[34] It appears that these obstacles may be overcome by additional treatments which increase the effectiveness of the treatment[35] or by optimizing the methodology although these too can be controversial. Current studies vary greatly in cell-procuring techniques, cell types, cell-administration timing and procedures, and studied parameters, making it very difficult to make comparisons. Comparative studies are therefore currently needed.

Stem-cell therapy for treatment of myocardial infarction usually makes use of autologous bone-marrow stem cells (a specific type or all), however other types of adult stem cells may be used, such as adipose-derived stem cells.[36] Adult stem cell therapy for treating heart disease was commercially available in at least five continents as of 2007.[citation needed]

Possible mechanisms of recovery include:[11]

It may be possible to have adult bone-marrow cells differentiate into heart muscle cells.[11]

The first successful integration of human embryonic stem cell derived cardiomyocytes in guinea pigs (mouse hearts beat too fast) was reported in August 2012. The contraction strength was measured four weeks after the guinea pigs underwent simulated heart attacks and cell treatment. The cells contracted synchronously with the existing cells, but it is unknown if the positive results were produced mainly from paracrine as opposed to direct electromechanical effects from the human cells. Future work will focus on how to get the cells to engraft more strongly around the scar tissue. Whether treatments from embryonic or adult bone marrow stem cells will prove more effective remains to be seen.[37]

In 2013 the pioneering reports of powerful beneficial effects of autologous bone marrow stem cells on ventricular function were found to contain “hundreds” of discrepancies.[38] Critics report that of 48 reports there seemed to be just five underlying trials, and that in many cases whether they were randomized or merely observational accepter-versus-rejecter, was contradictory between reports of the same trial. One pair of reports of identical baseline characteristics and final results, was presented in two publications as, respectively, a 578 patient randomized trial and as a 391 patient observational study. Other reports required (impossible) negative standard deviations in subsets of patients, or contained fractional patients, negative NYHA classes. Overall there were many more patients published as having receiving stem cells in trials, than the number of stem cells processed in the hospital’s laboratory during that time. A university investigation, closed in 2012 without reporting, was reopened in July 2013.[39]

One of the most promising benefits of stem cell therapy is the potential for cardiac tissue regeneration to reverse the tissue loss underlying the development of heart failure after cardiac injury.[40]

Initially, the observed improvements were attributed to a transdifferentiation of BM-MSCs into cardiomyocyte-like cells.[28] Given the apparent inadequacy of unmodified stem cells for heart tissue regeneration, a more promising modern technique involves treating these cells to create cardiac progenitor cells before implantation to the injured area.[41]

The specificity of the human immune-cell repertoire is what allows the human body to defend itself from rapidly adapting antigens. However, the immune system is vulnerable to degradation upon the pathogenesis of disease, and because of the critical role that it plays in overall defense, its degradation is often fatal to the organism as a whole. Diseases of hematopoietic cells are diagnosed and classified via a subspecialty of pathology known as hematopathology. The specificity of the immune cells is what allows recognition of foreign antigens, causing further challenges in the treatment of immune disease. Identical matches between donor and recipient must be made for successful transplantation treatments, but matches are uncommon, even between first-degree relatives. Research using both hematopoietic adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells has provided insight into the possible mechanisms and methods of treatment for many of these ailments.[citation needed]

Fully mature human red blood cells may be generated ex vivo by hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which are precursors of red blood cells. In this process, HSCs are grown together with stromal cells, creating an environment that mimics the conditions of bone marrow, the natural site of red-blood-cell growth. Erythropoietin, a growth factor, is added, coaxing the stem cells to complete terminal differentiation into red blood cells.[42] Further research into this technique should have potential benefits to gene therapy, blood transfusion, and topical medicine.

In 2004, scientists at King’s College London discovered a way to cultivate a complete tooth in mice[43] and were able to grow bioengineered teeth stand-alone in the laboratory. Researchers are confident that the tooth regeneration technology can be used to grow live teeth in human patients.

In theory, stem cells taken from the patient could be coaxed in the lab turning into a tooth bud which, when implanted in the gums, will give rise to a new tooth, and would be expected to be grown in a time over three weeks.[44] It will fuse with the jawbone and release chemicals that encourage nerves and blood vessels to connect with it. The process is similar to what happens when humans grow their original adult teeth. Many challenges remain, however, before stem cells could be a choice for the replacement of missing teeth in the future.[45][46]

Research is ongoing in different fields, alligators which are polyphyodonts grow up to 50 times a successional tooth (a small replacement tooth) under each mature functional tooth for replacement once a year.[47]

Heller has reported success in re-growing cochlea hair cells with the use of embryonic stem cells.[48]

Since 2003, researchers have successfully transplanted corneal stem cells into damaged eyes to restore vision. “Sheets of retinal cells used by the team are harvested from aborted fetuses, which some people find objectionable.” When these sheets are transplanted over the damaged cornea, the stem cells stimulate renewed repair, eventually restore vision.[49] The latest such development was in June 2005, when researchers at the Queen Victoria Hospital of Sussex, England were able to restore the sight of forty patients using the same technique. The group, led by Sheraz Daya, was able to successfully use adult stem cells obtained from the patient, a relative, or even a cadaver. Further rounds of trials are ongoing.[50]

In April 2005, doctors in the UK transplanted corneal stem cells from an organ donor to the cornea of Deborah Catlyn, a woman who was blinded in one eye when acid was thrown in her eye at a nightclub. The cornea, which is the transparent window of the eye, is a particularly suitable site for transplants. In fact, the first successful human transplant was a cornea transplant. The absence of blood vessels within the cornea makes this area a relatively easy target for transplantation. The majority of corneal transplants carried out today are due to a degenerative disease called keratoconus.

The University Hospital of New Jersey reports that the success rate for growth of new cells from transplanted stem cells varies from 25 percent to 70 percent.[51]

In 2014, researchers demonstrated that stem cells collected as biopsies from donor human corneas can prevent scar formation without provoking a rejection response in mice with corneal damage.[52]

In January 2012, The Lancet published a paper by Steven Schwartz, at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute, reporting two women who had gone legally blind from macular degeneration had dramatic improvements in their vision after retinal injections of human embryonic stem cells.[53]

In June 2015, the Stem Cell Ophthalmology Treatment Study (SCOTS), the largest adult stem cell study in ophthalmology ( NCT # 01920867) published initial results on a patient with optic nerve disease who improved from 20/2000 to 20/40 following treatment with bone marrow derived stem cells.[54]

Diabetes patients lose the function of insulin-producing beta cells within the pancreas.[55] In recent experiments, scientists have been able to coax embryonic stem cell to turn into beta cells in the lab. In theory if the beta cell is transplanted successfully, they will be able to replace malfunctioning ones in a diabetic patient.[56]

Human embryonic stem cells may be grown in cell culture and stimulated to form insulin-producing cells that can be transplanted into the patient.

However, clinical success is highly dependent on the development of the following procedures:[11]

Clinical case reports in the treatment orthopaedic conditions have been reported. To date, the focus in the literature for musculoskeletal care appears to be on mesenchymal stem cells. Centeno et al. have published MRI evidence of increased cartilage and meniscus volume in individual human subjects.[57][58] The results of trials that include a large number of subjects, are yet to be published. However, a published safety study conducted in a group of 227 patients over a 3-4-year period shows adequate safety and minimal complications associated with mesenchymal cell transplantation.[59]

Wakitani has also published a small case series of nine defects in five knees involving surgical transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells with coverage of the treated chondral defects.[60]

Stem cells can also be used to stimulate the growth of human tissues. In an adult, wounded tissue is most often replaced by scar tissue, which is characterized in the skin by disorganized collagen structure, loss of hair follicles and irregular vascular structure. In the case of wounded fetal tissue, however, wounded tissue is replaced with normal tissue through the activity of stem cells.[61] A possible method for tissue regeneration in adults is to place adult stem cell “seeds” inside a tissue bed “soil” in a wound bed and allow the stem cells to stimulate differentiation in the tissue bed cells. This method elicits a regenerative response more similar to fetal wound-healing than adult scar tissue formation.[61] Researchers are still investigating different aspects of the “soil” tissue that are conducive to regeneration.[61]

Culture of human embryonic stem cells in mitotically inactivated porcine ovarian fibroblasts (POF) causes differentiation into germ cells (precursor cells of oocytes and spermatozoa), as evidenced by gene expression analysis.[62]

Human embryonic stem cells have been stimulated to form Spermatozoon-like cells, yet still slightly damaged or malformed.[63] It could potentially treat azoospermia.

In 2012, oogonial stem cells were isolated from adult mouse and human ovaries and demonstrated to be capable of forming mature oocytes.[64] These cells have the potential to treat infertility.

Destruction of the immune system by the HIV is driven by the loss of CD4+ T cells in the peripheral blood and lymphoid tissues. Viral entry into CD4+ cells is mediated by the interaction with a cellular chemokine receptor, the most common of which are CCR5 and CXCR4. Because subsequent viral replication requires cellular gene expression processes, activated CD4+ cells are the primary targets of productive HIV infection.[65] Recently scientists have been investigating an alternative approach to treating HIV-1/AIDS, based on the creation of a disease-resistant immune system through transplantation of autologous, gene-modified (HIV-1-resistant) hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (GM-HSPC).[66]

On 23 January 2009, the US Food and Drug Administration gave clearance to Geron Corporation for the initiation of the first clinical trial of an embryonic stem-cell-based therapy on humans. The trial aimed evaluate the drug GRNOPC1, embryonic stem cell-derived oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, on patients with acute spinal cord injury. The trial was discontinued in November 2011 so that the company could focus on therapies in the “current environment of capital scarcity and uncertain economic conditions”.[67] In 2013 biotechnology and regenerative medicine company BioTime (NYSEMKT:BTX) acquired Geron’s stem cell assets in a stock transaction, with the aim of restarting the clinical trial.[68]

Scientists have reported that MSCs when transfused immediately within few hours post thawing may show reduced function or show decreased efficacy in treating diseases as compared to those MSCs which are in log phase of cell growth(fresh), so cryopreserved MSCs should be brought back into log phase of cell growth in invitro culture before these are administered for clinical trials or experimental therapies, re-culturing of MSCs will help in recovering from the shock the cells get during freezing and thawing. Various clinical trials on MSCs have failed which used cryopreserved product immediately post thaw as compared to those clinical trials which used fresh MSCs.[69]

Research currently conducted on horses, dogs, and cats can benefit the development of stem cell treatments in veterinary medicine and can target a wide range of injuries and diseases such as myocardial infarction, stroke, tendon and ligament damage, osteoarthritis, osteochondrosis and muscular dystrophy both in large animals, as well as humans.[70][71][72][73] While investigation of cell-based therapeutics generally reflects human medical needs, the high degree of frequency and severity of certain injuries in racehorses has put veterinary medicine at the forefront of this novel regenerative approach.[74] Companion animals can serve as clinically relevant models that closely mimic human disease.[75][76]

There is widespread controversy over the use of human embryonic stem cells. This controversy primarily targets the techniques used to derive new embryonic stem cell lines, which often requires the destruction of the blastocyst. Opposition to the use of human embryonic stem cells in research is often based on philosophical, moral, or religious objections.[110] There is other stem cell research that does not involve the destruction of a human embryo, and such research involves adult stem cells, amniotic stem cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells.

Stem-cell research and treatment was practiced in the People’s Republic of China. The Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China has permitted the use of stem-cell therapy for conditions beyond those approved of in Western countries. The Western World has scrutinized China for its failed attempts to meet international documentation standards of these trials and procedures.[111]

Since 2008 many universities, centers and doctors tried a diversity of methods; in Lebanon proliferation for stem cell therapy, in-vivo and in-vitro techniques were used, Thus this country is considered the launching place of the Regentime[112] procedure. The regenerative medicine also took place in Jordan and Egypt.[citation needed]

Stem-cell treatment is currently being practiced at a clinical level in Mexico. An International Health Department Permit (COFEPRIS) is required. Authorized centers are found in Tijuana, Guadalajara and Cancun. Currently undergoing the approval process is Los Cabos. This permit allows the use of stem cell.[citation needed]

In 2005, South Korean scientists claimed to have generated stem cells that were tailored to match the recipient. Each of the 11 new stem cell lines was developed using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) technology. The resultant cells were thought to match the genetic material of the recipient, thus suggesting minimal to no cell rejection.[113]

As of 2013, Thailand still considers Hematopoietic stem cell transplants as experimental. Kampon Sriwatanakul began with a clinical trial in October 2013 with 20 patients. 10 are going to receive stem-cell therapy for Type-2 diabetes and the other 10 will receive stem-cell therapy for emphysema. Chotinantakul’s research is on Hematopoietic cells and their role for the hematopoietic system function in homeostasis and immune response.[114]

Today, Ukraine is permitted to perform clinical trials of stem-cell treatments (Order of the MH of Ukraine 630 “About carrying out clinical trials of stem cells”, 2008) for the treatment of these pathologies: pancreatic necrosis, cirrhosis, hepatitis, burn disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, critical lower limb ischemia. The first medical institution granted the right to conduct clinical trials became the “Institute of Cell Therapy”(Kiev).

Other countries where doctors did stem cells research, trials, manipulation, storage, therapy: Brazil, Cyprus, Germany, Italy, Israel, Japan, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, India, and many others.

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Suzy’s story – hypopituitarism | The Pituitary Foundation

You are here:

When I was between five and six, I attended balletclasses. One day the ballet teacher was observing myarm positions and could not understand why my rightarm did not look the correct shape in certain positions.

The ballet teacher decided to ask my mum if I had anyproblems with it i.e. had I broken it at any time? My mumwas not aware of any problems and had not noticed it.

My mum and dad took me to our local GP, who afterlooking at my arm, decided to refer me to a bonespecialist at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital inLondon. I remember thinking it was fun, as I got to goon a train, a few x-rays were taken and afterwards Iwas diagnosed with Ollier disease (discondroplasia ofthe bone) this was managed by a yearly appointment tocheck things had not changed.

At around age of 11 to 12, they found that I also had itin my left ankle. We were told if they did not correct thetwisted ankle it would cause problems when I got olderwith walking.I went into hospital when I was 13 years old. This was ahard thing to deal with but luckily the hospital I went intoStanmore RNOH, Edgware was brilliant. My mum wasable to stay with me as there were parents housing onsite but it was hard on my sisters as my mum was awayfrom home a lot.

I was in hospital for nearly four months, as I caught amajor infection in the wound following surgery. It tookhold quickly. The plaster cast that they put on in theatresuddenly turned yellow; they took me into the treatmentroom, my dad came in and when they took the plaster offthey undone the stitches and the wound spilled infectioneverywhere; I remember my dad saying he could seethe bone beneath – it was bad!

I was put on IV antibiotics, but my veins kept collapsingwhich was very painful, and it would always happen lateat night. I had a fantastic friend; she sat with me everytime they needed to change the needle and she wassuch a wonderful person; she had gone through herown trauma by losing her leg due to cancer, but shewas such a strong person.

The nurses, doctors and domestic staff made my timein there enjoyable I made some good friends who I wishI had stayed in touch with but I was young and thoughtit did not matter.About a year or so after that surgery, I was back inhospital having my leg lengthened as the first surgeryhad left me with a 2 inch limp, so that I would notdevelop a back problem; they made the decision to lengthenit.

I went into surgery and had an external fixate attachedto my right tibia. I stayed in hospital for 3 months.Again, it was made fun but this time I was studying formy GCSEs so I had to do a lot more schooling, but itpassed the time as we had a giggle. We had some roughtimes too, but because most of the kids in there werenot poorly and as it was corrective surgery, we were allable bodied, so we would all take our wheelchairs downto the hospital shop; some would be on crutches, but wewere allowed our own space.

I saw a lot in my time in that hospital but it made methe person I am, because when you witness somebodyelses pain and it is greater than your own, you realisethat there is always someone worse off than yourself.I came home with the fixator still attached and went backto school; they were very supportive and my friendsthere were great, but I got a lot of attention as kids hadnot seen this device before, so they were curious butnever cruel.I lengthened it millimetre by millimetre, so it took alongtime, but once it was done I had no limp and things wereback to normal.

Once all that was finished with I then got on with myschooling; passed my GCSEs and left school. I thenmet my husband; I was age 16 and he lived in Harlow,Essex and I commuted to Harlow every weekend;during the week I worked in a bakery and went to nightcollege to learn cake decorating.

My consultant decided to lengthen my ulna bone as it wasshort. So once again I was in Stanmore hospital havinga fixator attached to my arm; once the lengthening wascomplete I had an op to take bone from my hip, as newbone had not grown between the gap; this was painfulas the removal of bone from the hip has to be chiselled.

Then, in early 1999 I was at work and my face suddenlystarted to tingle and went very red and numb in thespace of a couple of hours. I stayed at work and thoughtit was just an infection of some sort but as the daywent on I decided to go to my GP where by he gaveme antibiotics and said it could be the trigeminal nerve,I took them but the problem continued over the nextcouple of weeks and I was back and forward to my GP.When I was pregnant with my son (1997) I had to havea grommet fitted in my ear as it blocked up.

As the GP doc could not think what could be causingthe numbness, he sent me back to Dr OMalley at MiltonKeynes hospital; I went for the appointment and thedoctor decided to order an MRI scan. I had the scanand then went back to see Dr OMalley; I took my dadwith me and we were stunned by what we were beingshown – a tumour growing from the base of my skull thesize of an orange. It had grown up and into the opticnerve and damaged the nerves surrounding the rightside of my face; that is why I had numbness, rednessand a few painful headaches.

I was then referred from there to Oxford hospital where Isaw a Dr Kerr; they did not want to do a biopsy but theybrought in a specialist on tumours connected to Ollierdisease – a Dr Cadu Hudson. I was diagnosed witha chondrosarcoma, which is the rare form of maffuccisyndrome; these two diseases run side by side but itsrare to have both.

They talked us through the steps of how they weregoing to go about sorting the problem as the tumourwas very close to the carotid artery, so it was going tobe difficult to remove.The doctors thought it had been growing for about tenyears; as they are slow growing tumours they did not wantto rush in.

I had a Robbie Williams concert to go to in the September,Neil had brought me the tickets for Christmas; I loveRobbie and really wanted to go, so Dr Kerr said wewould hold off until after then as he knew the op wouldbe difficult – he implied I was to do and experience asmuch as I could. The only trouble was that the tumourwas not going to hold off, so in the May, I was rushed intoOxford hospital with a major headache. I was in over theweekend and Neil had gone home for the weekend asit was my mums 50th party and their 25th anniversary.It was hard for Neil and my family to celebrate it withoutme with them.

Over the weekend the headache got worse. ComeMonday morning, I had had a really bad night and theteam thought the tumour could have been bleeding!! Nopainkiller was working and I was given IV morphine. Iwas in so much pain in the morning, Dr Cadu Hudsonhad to come in as Dr Kerr was on holiday and theywanted to do surgery early that morning; Neil wascalled and he was on his way. They told me the risksthat were involved but I would not let them take medown to surgery until Neil arrived. My mum and dadwere not told how bad it was due to them being away,so I wanted him there to help me make some important decisions. I was so scared and confused; the consultantwas phoning Neil to find out how far away he was as itwas getting harder to hold off.

When Neil arrived, I then felt I could have the surgeryas I could relay things to him and say what I needed tosay to him and Ryan. I had the surgery; it went well butthe damage was already done to my eye, eye lid andface and I was in intensive care for three days – thesedays I dont remember. It took only ten days after that torecover and I went home to recover further.Once again, I had very good help and treatment atOxford from the nurses and doctors and I think theworld of Dr Cadu Hudson and Dr Kerr; they are veryclever people and special surgeons.I made it to the Robbie concert, three months aftersurgery and it was fantastic.I was kept a very close eye on at the clinic but theydecided a course of radiation would be needed to makesure that the tumour had stopped growing; but thething was, the radiation could not be done with normal radiation, I had to go to Paris for Proton and Photontherapy, at the IGR hospital Paris. The governmentwould pay for treatment but we had to fund the eightweek stay so family, friends, work friends and the localpaper helped find the money by fund raising, so I couldbe comfortable out there and that our son could belooked after while Neil was with me.

It was a hard time as we were away from our four yearold son, in a foreign country trying to communicate ourproblems when I did not speak French; Neil knew somebut only the kind of stuff for holiday visits, not hospitaltranslation. We had help from a lovely multilingual manin the hospital but it was very hard having radiation andnot being able to understand the instructions.Again the treatment and care we received was fantastic;we had two hospitals to visit- one that gave me theProton therapy at the IGR, and then we moved to thesecond hotel so I could have the second part of theradiation Photon therapy.

When I got back from Paris I was then referred to the endocrinology unit at the Churchill Radcliffe hospitalwhere I was kept a close eye on, as I was developingsymptoms of pituitary gland failure. They diagnosedhypopituitarism and I was gradually put on the relevanttablets for each part of pituitary shutdown.I am now on thyroxin, hydrocortisone, Premique HRTand growth hormone. I have a neck problem also due tothe radiation, so I am on pregabalin and ranitidine dueto the side effects of the pregabalin.Living with this pituitary problem is harder thandealing with the tumour itself and with my bonedisease put together, I am a different person. When Igot married to Neil six years ago, I was not well, butI weighed 10 stones 3lbs. Now I have no control overmy weight and I am 16 stones and 10lbs. You mightsay (and often I hear people say) But you are alive!!Yes I am, but its easy for them to say that as they are not inmy situation. It is a daily battle to remember to take mydrugs and to stay positive; deep depression, fatigue,keeping up with my son and not being able to get aboutdue to muscle fatigue. As I have low levels of growthhormone, this is being replaced slowly due to thepressure in my brain increasing the first time round.I am not a person to sit around and feel sorry for myself;I have continued to work with the help of my employerand friends, but have just been made redundant soam worried now if any employer will employ me. Mypositivity has come hugely from my husband Neil; hehas had to go through a lot of changes with me and stillhe is here supporting me.

I would like my story to be told as I feel I havebeen through a lot, but I still keep smiling, fundraising, working and generally staying positiveand as I said before There is always someonein more pain than you.If I can bring awareness and support, any research intoall of the diseases I have I will work to do that.

Original post:
Suzy’s story – hypopituitarism | The Pituitary Foundation

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