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A study to evaluate the prevalence of hypogonadism in Indian males with Type-2 diabetes mellitus. – UroToday

A high prevalence of hypogonadism in men with Type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has been reported worldwide.

To evaluate the prevalence of hypogonadism in Indian males with T2DM and assess the primary and secondary hypogonadism along with androgen deficiency.

In this cross-sectional study, 900 men with T2DM were evaluated using androgen deficiency in aging male questionnaire. They were screened for demographic characteristics, gonadal hormone levels, lipid profile, and glycosylated hemoglobin.

The prevalence of hypogonadism in T2DM patients was found to be 20.7% (186 out of 900). Hypogonadism was of testicular origin (primary) in 48/186 (25.8%) patients, of pituitary or hypothalamic origin (secondary) in 14/186 (7.53%), and remaining 124/186 (66.67%) patients were found to have low testosterone with the inappropriate normal level of luteinizing hormone and Follicle-stimulating hormone. 451/900 (50.1%) patients were only symptomatic but had normal testosterone levels. Further 263 patients out 900 were asymptomatic, of which 51/900 (5.7%) patients had low levels of testosterone and 212/900 (23.5%) patients had normal testosterone level without symptoms. There were no deaths or other serious adverse events except mild pyrexia which was not related to the study.

Hypogonadism diagnosis, at times, might not be validated with the help of androgen deficiency questionnaire or symptoms only. Given the large number of patients of T2DM in India, the incidence of hypogonadism is more in diabetic patients as compared to the general population. Hence, implementation of screening programs in diabetic patients is necessary to understand and detect individuals with low serum total testosterone at any early stage and to supplement testosterone accordingly.

Indian journal of endocrinology and metabolism. 0000 Jan [Epub]

Pankaj Kumar Agarwal, Parminder Singh, Subhankar Chowdhury, S K Sharma, Anirban Majumdar, Parag Shah, Rakesh Sahay, S Vageesh Ayyar, Hemant Phatale, Chandar M Batra, Raeesuddin Syed, Pradeep Shetty

Hormone Care and Research Center, Near St. Mary’s School, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India., Department of Endocrinology, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Civil Lines, Ludhiana, Punjab, India., Department of Endocrinology, IPGME&R and SSKM Hospital, Ronald Ross Building, 4th Floor, 244, A J C Bose Road, Kolkata, West Bengal, India., Thyroid and Endocrine Centre, Near 4 No. ESI Hospital, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India., Thyroid and Hormone Clinic, Dhakuria, Kolkata, West Bengal, India., Gujarat Endocrine Centre, 2nd Floor, Silver Brook B, Opposite Doctor House, Near Parimal Crossing, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India., Department of Endocrinology, Osmania General Hospital, 2nd Floor, Golden Jubilee Block, Afzalgunj, Afzalgunj, Hyderabad, Telangana, India., Department of Endocrinology, St. John’s Medical College and Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India., Samrat Endocrine Institute of Diabetes, Obesity and Thyroid, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India., Department of Endocrinology, Sarita Vihar, Delhi Mathura Road, New Delhi, India., Global Medical Affairs, MSD Pharmaceuticals Private Limited, 10th Floor, Platina Building, C-59, G-Block, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.

PubMed http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28217500

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A study to evaluate the prevalence of hypogonadism in Indian males with Type-2 diabetes mellitus. – UroToday

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Wellness experts use hormone balancing to fight obesity – WNDU-TV

The CDC says about 38 percent of American adults are considered clinically obese and 71 percent are overweight. Research shows that hormone imbalance can have a huge impact on this back-and-forth weight gain and wellness experts are seeing how balancing the hormones can help with weight loss.

In her hormone therapy clinic, Terri DeNeui says the benefits of hormone replacement therapy go beyond increased energy levels, mood and libido.

“After we would get their hormones balanced and some key nutrients in their thyroid, they would come back the next time and say, wow Ive lost ten to 15 pounds and I didnt even try, whats that about,” said DeNeui.

Brandy Prince, a nurse practitioner, had issues such as having no energy, and a pattern of losing and gaining weight over and over.

“I was obese at 208 pounds and I felt terrible, I felt terrible about myself, I got out of bed every morning and everything just hurt,” said Brandy Prince.

Using pellets that are inserted under the skin, brandy got testosterone, which helped her build muscle and her thyroid levels were increased. She slept better and she lost weight, eventually more than 50 pounds.

So the weight loss was not something that i expected or anticipated, but it was definitely a wonderful benefit,” said prince.

“Hormones and whats going on inside the body at the cellular level where metabolism actually happens has got to be a part of any kind of weight loss regime, otherwise you are just gonna be spinning your wheels,” said DeNeui.

Doctors say this type of hormone therapy has minimal risk factors and few side effects, although patients with a history of breast or prostate cancer may need further evaluation and doctors may consider alternate options for those patients.

MEDICAL BREAKTHROUGHS RESEARCH SUMMARY

TOPIC: Hormone Therapy Weight Loss REPORT: MB #4220

BACKGROUND: A person is considered obese when their weight is considered higher than what is healthy for their given height. To determine whether a person is obese or not, a body mass index test, or a BMI, is used. The BMI consist of taking the persons weight in kilograms and dividing it by the square of their height in meters. If the result number is higher than 30.0, then they are in the obese range. According to the CDC, around 36 percent of adults in the United States are obese. Those numbers are higher between 40-59 year olds (40%) and 60 and over year olds (37%), than in young adults between the ages of 20 and 39 (32%).

(Source: https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html)

OBESITY SOLUTIONS: Being obese is a condition that puts you in a higher risk for developing cholesterol problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases and strokes. Furthermore, it can lead to a lower life expectancy. The solution to treating obesity is not an easy one since this is a complex problem. In order to lose the weight people have to understand that psychological, behavioral, social, economic and environmental factors contribute to the overall problem of obesity. One person may be obese because of heredity, while another may be because of the food they choose to eat. The solution for each obesity case will depend on the factors that are contributing to the problem.

(Source: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/16/solutions-dealing-americas-obesity-problem/)

HORMONE THERAPY: Hormones are important in determining how your body functions. The reduction of certain hormones leads to a slower metabolism, increased abdominal fat and less energy for exercising, which results in weight being gained. Hormone therapy is a type of therapy that allows for the hormone imbalance to be restored. As a result, this therapy can help people who suffer from being overweight or obese because of hormonal problems. The therapy consists of using pellets that are inserted under the skin to receive the hormone that is needed for each body. The intake of hormones like testosterone, estrogen and progesterone can help with abdominal fat, thyroid levels, appetite, sugar cravings and insulin resistance.

(Source: http://thebiostation.com/resource-center/hormone-replacement-therapy-rc/gain-insight-on-how-hormone-replacement-therapy-can-help-you-lose-weight/ & Terri DeNeui)

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS REPORT, PLEASE CONTACT: Tara Vreeland 303-929-8363 tvreeland@promoteonpurpose.com

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The truth about why some men get sleepy after sex | Fox News – Fox News

Kelly Ripa made headlines earlier this month after saying on Live with Kelly that her husband, Mark Consuelos, is mean after sex, and while she backpedaled Wednesday by clarifying he is simply disinterested afterward, the damage had already been done. Ripas Feb. 9 admission, whether in jest or not, has been trending on various news sites, including this one, ever since.

Regardless of Ripas intention, her observations about her husbands post-sex behavior beg the question: Do men really get disinterestedafter sex? And if so, why?

Popular sciences explanation for men rolling over after ejaculation is a hormonal response alone, Dr. Raj Dasgupta, a professor of pulmonary and sleep medicine at the University of Southern California, and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, told Fox News.

THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON PORNOGRAPHY

However, experts argue the answer isnt so simple.

In fact, Dasgupta said, the conditions under which couples have sex often have as much to do with whether men or women get sleepy after sex as do their postcoital hormonal differences.

Its a balance of both, Dasgupta said.

Dasgupta explained that most couples have sex at night, potentially in cool, quiet rooms, likely in a comfortable bed in other words, the perfect environment for sleeping. And for those men who may have sleep apnea, the aforementioned conditions can create the perfect environment for dozing off.

If you have a male who has undiagnosed sleep apnea, theyre gonna be more tired than the average person, so it doesnt take a lot to tip them over, Dasgupta said.

According to data from the Cleveland Clinic, that may be a fair assessment. The hospital estimates nearly 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea a condition marked by shallow breathing that impacts quality sleep, and can lead to drowsiness and fatigue and men over age 40 are primarily at risk.

Hormones may also play a role in human behavior after sex, though.

9 FOODS THAT CAN HELP BOOST YOUR SEX DRIVE NATURALLY

Much of the research surrounding hormonal interactions following sex involve animals, Dasgupta said, but compared to women, men do have more of the hormone prolactin, which secretes after ejaculation and leads to whats called a relative refractory period. That post-stimulated stage is what animal studies have linked with sleepiness.

Also after ejaculation, the stress hormone cortisol decreases, while oxytocin, the feel-good hormone, increases promoting relaxation. And, if youre in a dark room, the hormone melatonin, which promotes sleep, increases, further encouraging men to fall into slumber, Dasgupta said.

At nighttime, the hormone vasopressin, or ADH (antidiuretic hormone) is also secreted after ejaculation. This is the same hormone that prevents us from getting up at night to use the bathroom, Dasgupta said, and it, too, promotes relaxation.

These are hormones that have been associated with ejaculation at night, said Dasgupta, stressing that much of the research does not draw a causative relationship, just a link. They may be some of the answers to why males are more sleepy at night, but its always gonna be a combo of the social aspects and some of the hormones together.

THIS SWEDISH POLITICIAN THINKS WORKERS SHOULD GET PAID SEX BREAKS

Ian Kerner, a licensed psychotherapist and sex counselor, told Fox News the answer may simply lie in the fundamental differences between men and womens sexual response cycle.

When men become aroused, Kerner said, blood surges to the genitals and eventually leads to ejaculation. Upon ejaculation, that blood flows out and men go into the aforementioned refractory period. Some men, usually those who are young, can go back to having sex immediately, while older men may take days, weeks or month until theyre rearing to go again.

But the main thing is, after a man ejaculates, he returns to the pre-aroused state, Kerner explained, and the neurochemical firework festival of orgasm also produces sort of an effect of relaxation and sleepiness.

After women reach orgasm, on the other hand, it takes longer for their blood flow to leave the genitals, so they do not return as quickly as men to a pre-aroused state, Kerner said.

Instead, he explained, They go into a semi-aroused state, and thats why a lot of women have the capacity to experience multiple orgasms, and remain a little more connected, interested and partner-focused after sex.

Meanwhile during orgasm, pent-up muscular stress in men and women gets released, which may lead men and women to drift into a relaxing state. But its the difference in men and womens aroused states that sometimes causes men to appear sleepier than women, Kerner said.

EXPERTS SAY THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO FLIRT

That research, he pointed out, comes from researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson, who studied 10,000 hours of male and female orgasms by watching couples in 1950s. They are best known for their research on the human sexual response, on which they published a book of the same name in 1966.

The hit Showtime production “Masters of Sex” is thought to be based on Masters and Johnson’s lives.

And yet, despite what’s known about how male and female sexual response cycles differ, Kerner said he has counseled couples where the woman will be the one more prone to falling asleep, or either sex taking issue with his or her partner checking email or jumping out of bed after doing the dirty deed.

So I think its gender-based, but its also relationship based, Kerner said.

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These transgender patients now have a place to change their lives all at once – San Angelo Standard Times

Alex Harris, Miami Herald (TNS) 3:00 p.m. CT Feb. 25, 2017

Diana Guevara, 28, touches up her makeup as she visits the new LGBTQ medical center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017.(Photo: PATRICK FARRELL, TNS)

MIAMI She asked her mother for her new name.

Mom, when I was a baby, what would you have named me? If we could reverse all this and I was in your stomach again?

She got her answer: Diana Elizabeth Guevara.

It was the final touch on her new, true self. For everything else, the 28-year-old went to Dr. Christopher Salgado at the University of Miami, the lead surgeon at the hospitals new LGBTQ clinic.

Guevara used to identify as a male Miami-Dade police officer, until she injured herself and left the force. With time on her hands to think, Guevara realized what shed known since she was a third-grader: Shes a woman.

I knew I ticked differently, but I didnt know how, she said. Then I figured it out. Oh! Im trans.

Transgender people the T in LGBTQ are those born with sex organs that dont match their gender identities. Some trans people undergo complex (and expensive) surgeries to change their genitalia, facial features, vocal cords. Others choose to live out their true gender identities without altering their bodies.

For Guevara, changing herself physically was something so powerful and so important.

Word of mouth took her to Salgado, who had been performing the tricky surgeries for a few years by the time she saw him in 2012.

Diana Guevara, 28, gets a follow up exam by her Plastic Surgeon Dr. Christopher Salgado during a visit to the new LGBTQ medical center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017.(Photo: PATRICK FARRELL, TNS)

Even five years ago the surgeries were much less common than they are today, Salgado said during a recent tour of the clinic.

He never saw a single case during his residency in the late 1990s, and when he decided to study the surgery in-depth, his best option was a fellowship in Taiwan.

Much has changed since then.

In 2014, Medicare began covering hormone therapy and sexual reassignment surgery, following the trend set by European insurance companies. With more insurance money available for the costly surgeries, Salgado saw more and more patients. At the same time, media celebrities such as Laverne Cox and Caitlin Jenner raised the profile of trans people in the United States. Equality for and understanding of LGBTQ people became a hot topic.

UM opened its LGBTQ center in January to serve the needs of the growing population. The new clinic brings together specialists in urology, endocrinology and psychiatry, as well as a team of surgeons to accompany the patient into the operating room.

Salgado and other doctors can even perform multiple surgeries on a patient simultaneously, so after a marathon session the patient can emerge with everything done at once.

The university also hired Lauren Foster, a high-profile Miami Beach trans model and activist, as UMs first director of LGBTQ concierge services.

Trans patients live their lives in stealth mode, Foster said, so the clinic focuses on privacy. A lot of patients dont want people to know why theyre here.

Diana Guevara 28, visits the new LGBTQ medical center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017.(Photo: PATRICK FARRELL, TNS)

She said some wealthier patients, primarily from South America and Europe, have even used the hospitals rooftop helicopter pad as a discreet entrance and exit.

In its fledgling state, the clinic focuses primarily on trans patients, but thats rapidly changing.

Foster said other doctors in the hospital are reaching out and offering to integrate their services, like HIV tests, anal pap smears, or PrEP an HIV prevention treatment.

Dr. Wrood Kassira, who focuses on chest surgery and facial feminization, said the clinic sees about four new trans patients a week.

When she walks her patients through the surgery, she said they dont ask for drastic changes. They just want to be comfortable in their own skin.

They tell me, I dont want to be looked at funny. I dont want people to see me as the other gender, Kassira said.

But the power of gender affirmation surgery, as it is sometimes called, goes beyond that of just altering appearances. Research indicates the operation can drastically improve the mental health of trans people, who studies show are much more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.

Salgado likened the surgery to removing a cancerous tumor. Its life saving, he said.

Before the procedures, Guevara said, her life was emotionally draining. Even a quick trip to the mall left her on edge. But the day after her chest reconstruction, she looked in the mirror and cried tears of joy.

I was changing and being myself, she said. It doesnt seem like it should be such a big step, but it is.

Read or Share this story: http://www.gosanangelo.com/story/life/wellness/2017/02/25/these-transgender-patients-now-have-place-change-their-lives-all-once/98410294/

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Heart failure BREAKTHROUGH: Stem cells trial offers hope to millions – Express.co.uk

GETTY

A high-level meeting has paved the way for global trials to begin on hundreds of patients.

British scientists have found a way to use stem cells to repair damaged tissue which could help millions living with heart failure, the UKs leading cause of death.

Scarring due to disease or heart attacks affects more than two million people in Britain.

This would be the biggest breakthrough since the first transplants three decades ago

Professor Steve Westaby

Initial trials involving more than 100 patients are being planned for the autumn at two London hospitals.

World renowned cardiac surgeon Professor Steve Westaby, who helped pioneer the revolutionary technique, said it had been thought that repairing heart damage was impossible.

But results from a long-term trial that began in Greece five years ago have shown that this is not the case.

Preliminary data from this trial showed the engineered stem cells, known as Heartcel, can reverse scarring by up to 79 per cent.

The data, presented at the European Society of Cell and Gene Therapy in Florence, showed an average of 40 per cent reduction in heart damage in those on the treatment.

Last month researchers finalised talks with European and US regulators to discuss the timetable for global trials next year involving 500 people.

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6 early signs of a heart attack

Professor Westaby, from the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, said: I am very excited at the prospect of a trial which will hopefully lead to the availability of this stem cell treatment to thousands of patients annually in the UK.

Other scientists have tried in vain to repair damaged heart muscle using stem cells over the past few decades.

This is the first time scarring has been shown to be reversible. It could herald an end to transplants and lead to a treatment for heart failure within three to five years.

GETTY

Professor Westaby said: This would be the biggest breakthrough since the first transplants three decades ago.

Professor Westaby has been working on the technique for more than a decade and is carrying out the study with Professor Kim Fox, head of the National Heart and Lung Institute, at Imperial College London.

The implanted stem cells were created by medical outfit Celixir, co-founded by Nobel laureate Professor Martin Evans, the first scientist to culture mice embryonic stem cells in a laboratory.

Professor Westaby was inspired to work on the breakthrough in 1999 after a four-month-old baby girls heart healed itself after he carried out a major life-saving operation.

Kirsty Collier, from Swindon, was dying of a serious and rare heart defect. In a last ditch effort Professor Westaby cut away a third of her badly damaged heart.

GETTY

GETTY

Surprisingly it began to beat. Fourteen years later a scan has shown that the heart had healed itself.

Now Kirsty, 18, has a normal one. Professor Westaby said: She was essentially dead and was only resurrected by what I regarded at the time as a completely bizarre operation.

The fact there was no sign of heart damage told me there were foetal stem cells in babies hearts that could remove scarring of heart muscle. That never happens in adults.

Its all down to the clues we got from Kirstys operation.

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Study shows adipose stem cells may be the cell of choice for therapeutic applications – Medical Xpress

February 24, 2017

An international team of researchers, funded by Morris Animal Foundation, has shown that adipose (fat) stem cells might be the preferred stem cell type for use in canine therapeutic applications, including orthopedic diseases and injury.

Researchers at the University of Guelph, University of Western Ontario and Aarhus University, Denmark, ran a battery of tests comparing the physiology characteristics of stem cells derived from adipose tissue versus bone marrow. They found that stem cells from both sources had similar functional properties, including tissue generation and immunomodulating capabilities (ability to adjust immune response), but adipose stem cells grow at a faster rate than bone marrow stem cells. Harvesting adipose stem cells also is less invasive than harvesting bone marrow. The study recently was published in PLoS ONE, an online scientific journal.

In the last decade, the use of stem cell therapy in animals and humans has dramatically increased. In dogs, stem cell therapy is used in the treatment of a variety of orthopedic diseases and injuries. Stem cells are harvested from either fat tissue or bone marrow, purified and grown in culture, then placed back in the patient.

Given the ease of harvesting, adipose tissue has become the site of most stem cell collections in canine patients. But questions persisted regarding the differences between these two sources of stem cells, and which is better suited to therapeutic applications.

“Faster proliferation along with the potential for a less invasive method of their procurement makes them (adipose stem cells) the preferred source for canine mesenchymal stem cells,” concluded the research team.

Explore further: Stem cell therapy trial at Sanford first of its kind in US for shoulder injuries

More information: Keith A. Russell et al, Characterization and Immunomodulatory Effects of Canine Adipose Tissue- and Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells, PLOS ONE (2016). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0167442

Journal reference: PLoS ONE

Provided by: Morris Animal Foundation

An in-depth computational analysis of genetic variants implicated in both schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh points to eight genes that may explain why susceptibility to …

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From the double membrane enclosing the cell nucleus to the deep infolds of the mitochondria, each organelle in our cells has a distinctive silhouette that makes it ideally suited to do its job. How these shapes arise, however, …

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Researchers at the University of Illinois report they can alter blood cell development through the use of biomaterials designed to mimic characteristics of the bone marrow.

In a study led by Barbara Driscoll, PhD, of The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, researchers demonstrate, for the first time that inhaled resveratrol treatments slow aging-related degenerative …

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Durham scientists pioneer innovative stem cell research – Palatinate

By Jacob Dykes

In Durham, a pioneering technology has been developed which is providing a solution to fundamental issues in tissue engineering and stem cell biology. The development of new innovative technology enables the advancement of the research and discovery process and scientific thinking as a whole. For example, its hard to conceive of a biomedical sphere untouched by the blessing of PCR or DNA sequencing. Technological advancements not only offer solutions to existing obstacles, they open up new avenues of research into previously inconceivable areas.

With the current levels of excitement in the research of stem cell biology, you could be forgiven for envisaging a utopian medical scenario where a process akin to science-fiction allows us to generate complex tissues in a Petri-dish, ready for transplantation into the damaged organism. The scientific community has speculated that the nature of stem cells, in their ability to self-renew and produce cell types of any lineage will eventually provide medical solutions to some of our most vilified tissue diseases.

Transitioning speculation to reality requires time, basic research and technology development. A novel product known as Alvetex has been developed by Reinnervate, a Durham University spin-out company, which enables a new routine approach to study stem cells and their ability to form tissues in the laboratory. The product unlocks the potential of stem cell differentiation by mimicking the natural three-dimensional (3D) microenvironment cells encounter in the body, enabling the formation of 3D tissue-like structures.

Cell behaviour, in general, is guided by the complex 3D microenvironment in which they reside. Dispersal of cell-cell interactions and architectural contacts across the surface of the cell are essential for regulating gene expression, the genetic mechanism by which cells change their character and behaviour. Recreation of this microenvironment in the laboratory is essential to studying physiologically relevant behaviour, and the differentiation process by which cells form new cell types. Alvetex is a micro-engineered 3D polystyrene scaffold into which cells can be impregnated for cultivation. Cells grow within a 200-micron thick membrane of the 3D material bathed in culture medium. The microenvironment enables cells to form 3D contacts with neighbouring cells, recreating the more natural interactions found in real tissues. Overall, this affects the structure and function of the cells, enabling them to behave more like their native counterparts, which in turn improves predictive accuracy when working with advanced cell culture models.

We can take progenitor cells from the skin of donors and produce human skin We can take cell lines from the intestine and reproduce the absorptive lining of the intestine. We can take neural progenitors and recapitulate 3D neural networks.

Stefan Przyborski is a Professor of Cell Technology at Durham University and the founder of Reinnervate. He gave us an insight into his technologys applications;

We can take progenitor cells from the skin of donors and produce a full-thickness stratified human skin model (see image). We can take cell lines from the intestine and reproduce the absorptive lining of the intestine. We can take neural progenitors and recapitulate 3D neural networks to simulate aspects of nervous system function. Each of these models can be used to advance basic research, and extend our understanding of tissue development, and simulate aspects of disease.

Such technology is underpinned by well established fundamental principles such as how cellular structure is related to function, which hails way back to Da Vinci himself. It is well known that if you get the structure and the anatomy correct than the physiology will start to follow.

Alvetex technology has already been used in research that has led the publication of over 60 research papers in the field of tissue engineering and cancer biology. One particular group used the technology to successfully test drugs to prevent glioblastoma dispersal, an innovative application in brain oncology. Another has developed a 3D skin model to better study the development of metastatic melanoma, a persistently incurable invasive tumour of the skin. US scientists have used Alvetex on the International Space Station to study the formation of bone tissue in microgravity conditions.

The technology promises to be a cost-effective and ethical solution to current obstacles in cell culturing methods, producing better quality data relevant to man and reducing the need for animal models. Alvetex technology has offered a generational contribution to the process of tissue engineering research, yet the founder has higher ambitions;

What I would like to see in the next few decades is the increased complexity of the tissues that stem cells can be used to generate. If you consider the structure of an organ, the complexity, arrangement and structural organisation of those cell populations, it is far from where we are today. Advances in technology at the interface between disciplines leads to new innovative ideas to solve problems and open up new opportunities.

The development of stem cell research is an incremental process. We have to remain cautious given the potential of stem cell therapy to cause tumour formation, highlighting the need for more stringent models and controls. However, the clinical transplantation of cultured stem cells in bone and cornea repair demonstrates their enormous potential. Laboratory experiments have also demonstrated the potential of stem cells to produce kidney, pancreatic, liver, cardiac and muscle cells. It is hoped that continued research using more physiologically relevant technologies will increase the complexity of these tissues in the lab, and the diversity of their application.

Innovative technological advances play an important role in the process of biomedical science. Scientists at Durham are instrumental in the development of such new technologies that enable the process of new discoveries.

Photograph: Prof Stefan Przyborski, Durham University

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Going Underground: Cheltenham author’s book about cryonics to be used in groundbreaking scheme – Gloucestershire Live

Eagle-eyed city commuters will have the chance to read a Cheltenham author’s book about preserving human life on Monday.

Copies of The Husband Who Refused to Die are being hidden in and around London tube stations as part of the groundbreaking Books On the Underground initiative.

Read: There’s a pub in Gloucestershire where you can buy your dog a pint

The debut novel, with its original, and topical, cryonics premise, has had a great response from readers since its launch in December, with one reviewer describing it as ‘truly a one-of-a-kind read’.

Andrea Darby, a former journalist who lives near Cheltenham, said: “I’m thrilled to be part of this fantastic initiative and hope that the commuters who find my book will enjoy reading it and pass it on.”

Cordelia Oxley, Director of Books on the Underground, said the aim was to get more people reading and sharing books. “Titles are left on seats, benches, station signs and around ticket areas, with finders often keen to share their free discoveries on social media.

“The Book Fairies are excited to be working with Andrea and are looking forward to hiding copies of her amazing book on the London Underground. It’s sure to get a big reaction!”

Read: Foo Fighters announce Glastonbury news at secret gig last night

The Husband Who Refused to Die, which Andrea describes as ‘a story of love, loss, family and friendship’ is about 40-year-old mum Carrie, whose husband Dan dies unexpectedly, just a few years after he revealed his wish to be frozen.

The narrative focuses on the difficult repercussions of this wish for Carrie and her teenage daughter, not least an intrusive media, an interfering sister-in-law and a mystery person with a serious grudge.

The book is available from Waterstones in Cheltenham and Gloucester, the Suffolk Anthology bookshop, as well as from Amazon, WHSmith and other online retailers.

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Going Underground: Cheltenham author’s book about cryonics to be used in groundbreaking scheme – Gloucestershire Live

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‘They want to be literally machines’ : Writer Mark O’Connell on the rise of transhumanists – The Verge

The strangest place writer Mark OConnell has ever been to is the Alcor Life Extension Foundation where dead bodies are preserved in tanks filled with nitrogen, in case they can be revived with future technology. There was a floor with the stainless steel cylinders and all these bodies contained within them and corpses and severed heads, he tells The Verge. That imagery is something that I will take with me to a grave, whether thats a refrigerated cylinder or an actual grave.

OConnell, 37, visited Alcor while writing To Be a Machine, which comes out February 28th. The nonfiction book delves into the world of transhumanists, or people who want to transcend the limits of the human body using technology. Transhumanists want to be stronger and faster; they want to be cyborgs. And they want to solve the problem of death, whether by freezing their bodies through cryonics or uploading their consciousnesses. Transhumanists have been around since at least the 1980s, but have become more visible in the past decade as technology advances have made these ideas seem more feasible and less like sci-fi.

OConnell had known about transhumanists for years, but they stayed in the back of his mind until his son was born and he became more preoccupied by questions of mortality and death. I was looking for a topic that would allow me to write about these things, he says. Even when I was writing specifically about the movement, I was also writing about just how weird it is to be alive in a body thats decaying and dying.

He ended up visiting the Alcor cryonics lab, talking to researchers who want to save us from artificial intelligence, hanging around with biohackers in Pennsylvania, and following transhumanist presidential candidate Zoltan Istvan on his campaign trail. The Verge spoke to OConnell about the philosophy behind the movement, his experiences in the transhumanist world, and whether his own beliefs and hopes for humanity have changed since writing the book.

How exactly do you define transhumanism? Doctors, for example, are interested in extending human life, but you could hardly say that all doctors are transhumanists.

Right, theres a way of defining transhumanism thats so broad that youre almost just describing a scientist. There are lots of different definitions, but for me its someone who thinks that we should incorporate technology into ourselves, to use technological evolution to push forward the evolution of the human animal. These people want to not be human in a very sort of radical and thoroughgoing way. They want to be literally machines.

I can identify with wanting to not die, but I cant with wanting to live indefinitely.

Its a disparate movement with many different beliefs. For example, not all of them buy into cryonics. Its almost like talking to a Catholic who goes, I dont take communion, dont go to Mass, but Im still basically Catholic. They believe in the general principle but dont sign up for all the things along the way. [Then} you get people saying, I should really sign up for Alcor, should get the paperwork done and provide for my future almost like you talk to people of my generation who are like, I really need to get started on a pension.

Its common to be frustrated by what our bodies cant do. But its another thing to implant electronics under your skin, or plan to preserve your body after you die. What drives people who consider themselves transhumanists?

They all have a similar origin story, all came to it in a similar kind of way. When you talk about their childhoods, most of them were already obsessed with not just death, but the sort of general limitations of being human, of the frustrations of not being able to do certain things, not being able to live infinitely, not being able to explore space, not being able to think at the level they wanted. All obsessed with human limitations. And most of them shared a similar moment where they went online, they discovered that there was this whole community of people who had the same concerns and philosophies, and they became transhumanists, even though they were without knowing the name.

Theyre all largely tech people and science people. Its hugely a white male thing and it tells you a lot about privilege. Its very difficult to be concerned that youre going to die someday if youre dealing with structural racism or sexism or just feeding your family. Transhumanism seems to come from a position of privilege. Big proponents like Elon Musk have sort of conquered all the standard human problems through technology, and they have infinite amounts of money to spend.

What were some of the transhumanist ideas that seemed the strangest to you? Did any of that change after writing the book?

When I started to look into what the basic ideas were around transhumanism, the thing that I found most alienating and weird and completely speculative was the idea of becoming disembodied and uploading your brain. Its called whole brain emulation. Its the endpoint of a lot of transhumanist thought.

But then I met Randal Koene [who runs Carboncopies, a foundation that supports research on whole brain emulation]. I find him incredibly charismatic. I was really struck by the tension between what seems to be the complete insanity of what he was saying to me the madness of the idea that he might be able to eventually convert the human mind into code and talking to this normal, really smart guy who was explaining really clearly his ideas and making them seem, if not imminently achievable, quite sensible. I was quite swayed by him and in a weird way Randals work seems like some of the least crazy stuff.

Were you swayed by the overall philosophy? You mention in the book that you dont consider yourself a transhumanist. Why?

When I was with the Grindhouse biohackers in Pittsburgh, one night we were in the basement trying to envision our futures. One of them talked about wanting to become this disembodied infinitely powerful thing that would go throughout the universe and encompass everything.

When you talk to transhumanists, in one way or another, they all aspire to knowing everything and to being gods basically. And I just sort of thought, this is actually something I cant relate to at all. The idea of being that all-powerful and omnipresent, its almost indistinguishable from not existing and I cant quite justify that.

Theyd say, youve got Stockholm syndrome of the human body. But that kind of idea is very unappealing to me. I cant see why that would be your idea of your ultimate human value. I was always trying to come to grips with these ideas and come to grips with what it meant for these people to be post-human, and just wind up getting more confused about what it meant to be a human at all in the first place. I can identify with wanting to not die, but I cant with wanting to live indefinitely.

Hanging out with all these people and spending time with all these weird ideas about mechanism and human bodies forced me into a position [to identify myself] as not even a human, but as an animal, a mammal. To me, what it means to be human is inextricably bound with the condition of being a mammal, being frail and weak and loving other people for their frailty and weakness.

Speaking of limitations of the human body, what about disability? When youre so focused on transcending the human body and its limitations, does that mean denigrating disability?

Transhumanists see disability in a completely opposite way. The people I talked to said, Look, were all disabled in one way or another. For example, there was a proposal to make Los Angeles cities more wheelchair accessible. And [transhumanist presidential candidate] Zoltan Istvan wrote this bizarre, wrongheaded editorial about how this was a crazy use of public funds, which should be putting it into making all humans superhuman. What he was getting at was that being physically disabled should not be a barrier to being superhuman anyway, so whole-body prostheses should be the thing that were investing money into. A huge number of people in the disability community were horribly offended and he couldnt quite see why.

Do you think transhumanist ideas are going to gain credence and become a lot more mainstream?

I have no crystal ball, so I dont know any more about the future now than when I started looking into this. But I can see that maybe human life will change so radically in the future that all of this will come to pass. And it wont have come to pass because of transhumanists agitating for it but just because technology has this internal momentum that keeps moving, and theres nothing we can do about it.

Writing the book felt like writing about a very particular cultural moment. Its a very specific cultural phenomenon that has gained quite a foothold in Silicon Valley for reasons that seem quite obvious. My sense is that there are a lot of people out there who would never call themselves transhumanists but share a lot of these ideas about the possibilities for the human future. Silicon Valley has generated this amazing amount of money and cultural power and this sense of possibility around technology. We think we can fix anything with technology, so the idea that we would be able to solve death the human condition seems to be the natural outflow of that.

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‘They want to be literally machines’ : Writer Mark O’Connell on the rise of transhumanists – The Verge

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Hopsital apologises to mother for parking fines caused by faulty system – View News

YEOVIL Hospital has apologised to the mother of disabled girl who keeps getting fined by a faulty car parking system as she takes her daughter for treatment.

Nicky Fordon regularly drives daughter Rebecca to the hospital as she has learning disabilities and suffers from the rare condition diabetes insipidus and hypopituitarism.

Nicky visits Yeovil Hospital more than once a week to make sure Rebeccas sodium levels are sufficient because she cant retain liquids.

Nicky, 52, has a blue badge and her car registration is registered with the hospital yet she has racked up fines of 400 in the last two months.

On each occasion she has protested and the ticket has been cancelled but only after she has had to make yet another journey to the hospital to deal with it in person. The hospitals cameras monitoring the car parking entrance keep registering her as parking there and not in a disabled parking bay.

Mum-of-three Nicky said: Its stressful, time-consuming and completely unnecessary.

When I had the first one I was really worried I couldnt work out what Id done. It showed my car and registration and it said Id stopped there for an hour and a half but it could only have been for a few seconds while I waited for a parking bay to be free or to let someone out. I was in the car and the brake lights were on.

I feel like I spend my life at the hospital so its a real pain to have to go back with the tickets. Theres no number you can phone to talk to anyone, Ive got to go in person.

I think there must be loads of elderly people who just pay without questioning it.

A Yeovil Hospital spokeswoman said: We would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused to this lady who has received these fines in error.

The spaces out of the front of the hospital are controlled by ParkingEye, which uses number-plate recognition cameras.

We have assisted with dealing with each ticket on an individual basis but this issue will now be escalated to Parking Eye for them to investigate.

This is an unusual case and we would encourage this lady to get back into contact with us so we can address her concerns.

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Hopsital apologises to mother for parking fines caused by faulty system – View News

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Fundraiser Sunday to benefit Creek infant – Daily Union

JOHNSON CREEK That Jackson Piskula is alive today already is a miracle. But keeping him here and healthy is going to take a lot of work and support.

Jackson, 8 months old, of Johnson Creek, has been diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Oral Facial Digital Syndrome, which kills almost all of the boys who are born with it.

In fact, Jackson initially was a twin, but his sibling, likely a brother, died in the womb at just 16 weeks gestation, probably because of this disorder.

Nicole Piskula said that when Jackson was born, he seemed like a perfectly healthy baby. She and husband Randy were ecstatic and so happy to add this little guy to their growing family, which includes Jacksons 5-year-old brother Noah, who lives with them, and stepbrother Robert, 9, who joins the family on weekends.

However, it soon became apparent that something wasnt right with little Jackson.

His parents noticed that Jacksons eyes were misaligned most of the time, which was different from what theyd experienced with their older children.

Jackson initially was diagnosed with Sixth Nerve Palsy and required surgery.

When doctors did a brain scan, they found he had a defective pituitary gland, leading to a condition called Hypopituitarism. Right now, the gland is functioning fine, but as he grows, it will have trouble, and even with lifelong hormone therapies, it is not expected to be able to function normally.

Jackson also has a hole in his heart. A lot of people have this condition and are able to function just fine, but with all of Jacksons other challenges, its just another troubling factor.

Were just taking it one day at a time, Nicole said.

In addition, doctors found Jackson had a couple of tumors, which are common with his main diagnosis. Ones on his tongue and is not causing much trouble, but the other, in his brain, could be life-threatening.

The tumor, located on the hypothalamus, is connected to the pituitary stem and is inoperable. Jackson is expected to undergo laser treatments his whole life to shrink it. The treatment is harsh and causes multiple and other undesirable effects, but is necessary to save his life.

This little guy has had one successful operation, with many more in his future, Nicole said.

Meanwhile, Jackson is experiencing seizures and is under heavy medication to try to get those under control.

When the Daily Union talked with Nicole on Wednesday, the family had just returned from a several-day stay at Childrens Hospital of Wisconsin in the Milwaukee area.

We thought we had the seizures under control, but I had to take him into the ER a couple of times in the last week. There was one time he stopped breathing and was unresponsive, Nicole said.

On Friday, Jackson was admitted to Childrens Hospital of Wisconsin, where a team of specialists has been overseeing his case.

This disorder is usually lethal to males, Nicole said. Our doctors are searching worldwide to see if there is any case we can base his treatment on for a better outcome.

With intensive treatment and high doses of medication, doctors were able to stabilize Jackson and bring him back to normal.

As of Wednesday, he had not suffered a seizure since Sunday, Nicole said.

Hes on two medications, pretty high doses, but he is back to himself, she said. Hes tired, but hes back home and doing pretty well.

The Piskula family has lived in Johnson Creek for the past year-and-a-half and Nicole said they have found the little Crossroads community to be very warm and welcoming.

Due to Jacksons medical problems, Nicole is focusing all her energy on being a stay-at-home mom right now, while her husband, Randy, works long hours at the Tools Inc. machining business in Sussex.

Nicole also is expecting their daughter, Charlotte, is due to be born in two months and she is doing everything she can to stay healthy for the entire family.

As one can imagine, the Piskulas medical bills are pretty high.

Insane, is what Nicole calls them. Family and friends have started a Go Fund Me page to raise money for Jacksons care. Recently, her cousin, Jenny Meinders, joined with Kades Klassic President Jill Donnelly to set up a fundraiser that will take place this Sunday afternoon at the Johnson Creek Community Center, located at 417 Union St. in Johnson Creek.

Donnelly, who runs the Kades Klassic nonprofit based in Elkhorn, said that her organization usually puts on a golf outing once a year for a deserving family.

When she heard about Jackson, his situation didnt quite fit the bill for what Kades Klassic usually does, but it was urgent and she wanted to help on an individual basis.

So she worked with Meinders to help coordinate Sundays fundraiser.

Donnelly is coordinating the silent auction and raffle, while Meinders is pulling together a spaghetti dinner.

The event will run from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, with all-you-can eat dinners going for $10 for adults or $5 for children age 12 and under.

We (Kades Klassic) have all the stuff to put on a raffle and silent auction, so there was no need for anyone to go out and buy something, Donnelly said.

In the meantime, supporters have donated tons of food and other materials for the spaghetti dinner, meaning the costs of putting on the event will be less, and there will be more proceeds.

All proceeds will go directly to the Piskula family to offset Jacksons medical costs, Donnelly said.

Meinders said that all of the community support coordinators already have seen has been great. Nicole said their neighbors and community members have been really wonderful, as well.

People around town know us, and I get a lot of comments on the little helmet that Jackson wears, Nicole said.

The best thing about this whole thing is all of the people who have reached out to us to express their support or to help in whatever way they can, the mom said. Whether its locally or online, Ive heard from a lot of people. They share their own stories. Theyre praying for Jackson in church …

Nicole had special praise for the local emergency medical technicians, who have gotten to know Jackson through his trials, coming out to assist a couple of times just in the past week.

The Johnson Creek EMT team is awesome, Nicole said. They brought equipment just his size. They knew just what to do, and they worked with me and accommodated our familys needs.

Meanwhile, coordinators said they hope to see a lot of people come out to the Johnson Creek Community Center Sunday to support the Piskula family and raise money for Jacksons care.

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Fundraiser Sunday to benefit Creek infant – Daily Union

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Testosterone treatment and coronary artery plaque volume in older men with low testosterone – Pharmacy Today, American Pharmacists Association,…

A new study suggests that treatment with testosterone is linked with a significantly higher increase in coronary artery noncalcified plaque volume in older men with symptomatic hypogonadism. The placebo-controlled trial, conducted at nine academic medical centers in the United States, included 138 men aged 65 years or older with an average of 2 serum testosterone levels lower than 275 ng/dL and symptoms suggestive of hypogonadism in the primary analysis. Of those men, 73 received testosterone treatment and 65 received placebo; and 70 overall had a coronary artery calcification score indicative of severe atherosclerosis. For the primary outcome, testosterone treatment was associated with a significantly greater increase in noncalcified plaque volume from baseline to 1 year, compared with placebo. Additionally, treatment was associated with increased total plaque volume, though not with changes in coronary artery calcium score. No major adverse cardiovascular events occurred in either of the groups. To better understand the clinical implications of the findings, the researchers note that larger studies are needed.

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Testosterone treatment and coronary artery plaque volume in older men with low testosterone – Pharmacy Today, American Pharmacists Association,…

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Cardiac injury, recovery is topic of Osher lecture – Stowe Today

Dr. Jeffrey Spees, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Vermonts College of Medicine, will present Rescue and Repair of Cardiac Tissue After Injury: Turning Star Trek into Sesame Street, on Wednesday, March 1, at the Town and Country Resort, 876 Mountain Road, Stowe. Doors open at 1 p.m. and the lecture begins promptly at 1:30 p.m. This is the eighth Osher Lifelong Learning Institute lecture of the winter series.

Spees earned his Ph.D. in physiological and molecular ecology at the University of California, Davis. At UVM he teaches courses in developmental neurobiology, human structure and function and stem cells and regenerative medicine.

Spees has directed the Stem Cell Core in UVMs Department of Medicine and was one of the founding members of the New England Stem Cell Consortium. Spees and his colleagues have developed and applied for a patent for a therapy using a protein complex that is highly protective and keeps cells alive. He will discuss this research and its role in repairing cardiac tissue to improve cardiac function after a heart attack.

Vermont musicologist Joel Najman will present the final lecture of the winter series, Rock n Roll: From Elvis to Lady Gaga, on Wednesday, March 8.

The lecture is $5 and refreshments will be served after the talk. To check on weather cancellations, listen to WDEV 550 AM or WLVB 93.9 FM or call Town and Country Resort at 253-7595. To sponsor a lecture, a series or refreshments, call Dick Johannesen, 253-8475. Information: learn.uvm.edu/osher.

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Cardiac injury, recovery is topic of Osher lecture – Stowe Today

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Nanostraw doesn’t destroy cells as it samples their guts – Futurity – Futurity: Research News

Cells within our bodies divide and change over time, with thousands of chemical reactions occurring within each cell daily. This makes it difficult for scientists to understand whats happening inside. New nanostraws offer a non-disruptive way to find out.

A problem with the current method of cell sampling, called lysing, is that it ruptures the cell. Once the cell is destroyed, it cant be sampled from again. This new sampling system relies on tiny tubes 600 times smaller than a strand of hair that allow researchers to sample a single cell at a time. The nanostraws penetrate a cells outer membrane, without damaging it, and draw out proteins and genetic material from the cells salty interior.

Its like a blood draw for the cell, says Nicholas Melosh, an associate professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford University and senior author of a paper describing the work in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The nanostraw sampling technique, according to Melosh, will significantly impact our understanding of cell development and could lead to much safer and effective medical therapies because the technique allows for long term, non-destructive monitoring.

What we hope to do, using this technology, is to watch as these cells change over time and be able to infer how different environmental conditions and chemical cocktails influence their developmentto help optimize the therapy process, Melosh says.

If researchers can fully understand how a cell works, then they can develop treatments that will address those processes directly. For example, in the case of stem cells, researchers are uncovering ways of growing entire, patient-specific organs. The trick is, scientists dont really know how stem cells develop.

For stem cells, we know that they can turn into many other cell types, but we do not know the evolutionhow do they go from stem cells to, say, cardiac cells? There is always a mystery. This sampling technique will give us a clearer idea of how its done, says Yuhong Cao, a graduate student and first author on the paper.

The sampling technique could also inform cancer treatments and answer questions about why some cancer cells are resistant to chemotherapy while others are not.

With chemotherapy, there are always cells that are resistant, says Cao. If we can follow the intercellular mechanism of the surviving cells, we can know, genetically, its response to the drug.

The sampling platform on which the nanostraws are grown is tinyabout the size of a gumball. Its called the Nanostraw Extraction (NEX) sampling system, and it was designed to mimic biology itself.

In our bodies, cells are connected by a system of gates through which they send each other nutrients and molecules, like rooms in a house connected by doorways. These intercellular gates, called gap junctions, are what inspired Melosh six years ago, when he was trying to determine a non-destructive way of delivering substances, like DNA or medicines, inside cells. The new NEX sampling system is the reverse, observing whats happening within rather than delivering something new.

Its a super exciting time for nanotechnology, Melosh says. Were really getting to a scale where what we can make controllably is the same size as biological systems.

Building the NEX sampling system took years to perfect. Not only did Melosh and his team need to ensure cell sampling with this method was possible, they needed to see that the samples were actually a reliable measure of the cell content, and that samples, when taken over time, remained consistent.

When the team compared their cell samples from the NEX with cell samples taken by breaking the cells open, they found that 90 percent of the samples were congruous. Meloshs team also found that when they sampled from a group of cells day after day, certain molecules that should be present at constant levels remained the same, indicating that their sampling accurately reflected the cells interior.

With help from collaborators Sergiu P. Pasca, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and Joseph Wu, professor of radiology, Melosh and coworkers tested the NEX sampling method not only with generic cell lines, but also with human heart tissue and brain cells grown from stem cells. In each case, the nanostraw sampling reflected the same cellular contents as lysing the cells.

The goal of developing this technology, according to Melosh, was to make an impact in medical biology by providing a platform that any lab could build. Only a few labs across the globe, so far, are employing nanostraws in cellular research, but Melosh expects that number to grow dramatically.

We want as many people to use this technology as possible, he says.

Funding for the work came from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, Stanford Bio-X, the Progenitor Cell Biology Consortium, the National Institute of Mental Health, an MQ Fellow award, the Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Foundation, and the Child Health Research Institute.

Source: Jackie Flynn forStanford University

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Nanostraw doesn’t destroy cells as it samples their guts – Futurity – Futurity: Research News

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The US is wrong to ban pay for bone-marrow donors – Standard-Examiner

(c) 2017, Bloomberg View.

Two years ago, Doreen Flynn of Lewiston, Maine, won her case against the U.S. government, successfully arguing that bone-marrow donors should be able to receive compensation.

Flynn, a mother of three girls who are afflicted with a rare, hereditary blood disease called Fanconis anemia, has a strong interest in bone-marrow transplantation. At the time of the court ruling, her oldest daughter, Jordan, 14, had already received a transplant, and one of the younger twins, Jorja, was expected to need one in a few years.

Locating a marrow donor is often a needle-in-a-haystack affair. The odds that two random individuals will have the same tissue type are less than 1 in 10,000, and the chances are much lower for blacks. Among the precious few potential donors who are matched, nearly half dont follow through with the actual donation. Too often, patients dont survive the time it takes to hunt for another donor.

Allowing compensation for donations could enlarge the pool of potential donors and increase the likelihood that compatible donors will follow through. So the ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was promising news for the 12,000 people with cancer and blood diseases currently looking for a marrow donor. (James F. Childress, an ethicist at the University of Virginia, and I submitted an amicus brief in the case.)

Soon after the verdict, Shaka Mitchell, a lawyer in Nashville, Tennessee, and co-founder of the nonprofit MoreMarrowDonors.org, began collecting funds to underwrite $3,000 donor benefits, which were to be given as scholarships, housing allowances or gifts to charity.

Mitchell also invited a team of economists to evaluate the effects of the ruling on peoples willingness to join a registry and to donate when they are found to be a match. The researchers were to specifically assess whether cash payments would be any more or less persuasive than noncash rewards or charitable donations.

Now comes the bad news. On Oct. 2, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed a new rule that would overturn the Ninth Circuits decision. The government proposes designating a specific form of bone marrow — circulating bone-marrow stem cells derived from blood — as a kind of donation that, under the 1984 National Organ Transplant Act, cannot be compensated. If this rule goes into effect (the public comment period ends today), anyone who pays another person for donating these cells would be subject to as much as five years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

The problem with this rule is that donating bone marrow is not like donating an essential organ. Indeed, the Ninth Circuit based its decision on the fact that modern bone-marrow procurement, a process known as apheresis, is more akin to drawing blood. In the early 1980s, when the transplant act was written, the process was more demanding, involving anesthesia and the use of large, hollow needles to extract marrow from a donors hip. But today, more than two-thirds of marrow donations are done via apheresis. Blood is taken from a donors arm, the bone-marrow stem cells are filtered out, and the blood is then returned to the donor through a needle in the other arm.

The Ninth Circuit panel held that these filtered stem cells are merely components of blood — no different from blood-derived plasma, platelets and clotting factors, for which donor compensation is allowed.

The strongest opposition to compensation comes from the National Marrow Donor Program, the Minneapolis-based nonprofit that maintains the nations largest donor registry. Michael Boo, the programs chief strategy officer, says of reimbursement, Is that what we want people to be motivated by?

The problem with this logic is that altruism has proven insufficient to motivate enough people to give marrow and, as a result, people die.

HHS is presumably under pressure from the National Marrow Donor Program. The department does not otherwise explain its proposed rule except to claim that compensation runs afoul of the transplant acts intent to ban commodification of human stem cells and to curb opportunities for coercion and exploitation, encourage altruistic donation and decrease the likelihood of disease transmission.

But how could such concerns plausibly apply to marrow stem cells and not to blood plasma? The process of collecting plasma is safe: No serious infection has been transmitted in plasma-derived products in nearly two decades, according to the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association. Strenuous screening and testing in a robust regulatory environment, coupled with voluntary industry standards and sophisticated manufacturing processes, have created what has been called the safest blood product available today.

Outlawing compensation for stem blood cells but not mature blood cells might even violate the constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the law, according to Jeff Rowes, a lawyer at the Institute for Justice, which represented Flynn.

HHS should withdraw its proposal. Ideally, Congress should thwart future regulatory mischief by amending the National Organ Transplant Act to stipulate that marrow stem cells are not organs.

Each year, 2,000 to 3,000 Americans in need of marrow transplants die waiting for a match. Altruism is a virtue, but clearly it is not a dependable motive for marrow donation.

Satel, a psychiatrist and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is a co-author of Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience. To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mary Duenwald at mduenwald@bloomberg.net.

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The US is wrong to ban pay for bone-marrow donors – Standard-Examiner

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Adoring gran who will die without bone marrow transplant desperate to see granddaughter go to school – Mirror.co.uk

As a devoted gran, Sipy Howard looks forward to watching her grandkids grow up.

In two years’ time, the 65-year-old hopes to proudly look on as her youngest granddaughter, Sienna, goes off to school .

But devastatingly, she doesn’t know if she’ll be able to do so – because she urgently needs a bone marrow transplant to survive.

Sipy, a “warm and adoring” gran, was diagnosed with leukaemia on December 15 last year – which also happened to be her birthday.

Although she has been undergoing intense chemotherapy, she is in need of a bone marrow and stem cell transplant to save her life.

Now, her daughters, Emma, 34, Jolene, 32, and Sammy, 26, have launched a desperate online campaign to find a donor for her.

The heart-wrenching campaign, dubbed #SavingSipy , aims to encourage potential donors to sign up to the bone marrow register.

It stresses how simple it is to register as a donor online.

Sipy, married to husband Eli, told Mirror Online she is “moved” by the support she has received from her loved ones – as well as strangers.

“We really need as many people as possible to sign up to the register,” said the mum of three, from Kenton, northwest London.

She added: “I want to see my grandchildren growing up and my youngest granddaughter going to school.”

Sipy was devastated to be diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, an aggressive blood cancer, on her 65th birthday.

Her daughters were also shocked by the diagnosis.

Emma said: “You can never prepare yourself for hearing that a loved one has cancer.

“You are suddenly filled with fear and a desperation you have never quite experienced.

“I felt like I had been hit by a car when my dad broke the news to me on my mum’s birthday.

“Keeping yourself emotionally together each day becomes your only goal.”

She added that her mum is currently “struggling through” her second, gruelling round of chemotherapy.

“It’s the knowing that she needs us more than ever that keeps us going, keeps us fighting,” she said.

“We won’t give up on her and our goal of finding a match for her.”

Sipy, described as “bubbly, always laughing and generally a bit nuts”, is a gran to two-year-old Sienna and four-year-old Sofia.

A member of the Jewish community, she has an “open house policy” and “cares for everyone she meets”, according to her family.

Her daughters are hoping that the community – specifically the Sephardi community – could help to save her life.

Sammy said: “One of the hardest things about the situation is knowing there may be someone in the world who is a match for my mum, but because they have not registered to be on the bone marrow register, they can’t save her.

“This is why we are desperately trying to reach out to everyone we can and get our message across.

“We urgently need people to register now and unfortunately we don’t have much time.”

Jolene added: “Awareness is key.”

The campaign is being supported by the charity DKMS, which aims to help blood cancer patients find matching donors.

For details of how to register as a donor online, you can visit the #SavingSipy Facebook page here or DKMS’s website here .

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Adoring gran who will die without bone marrow transplant desperate to see granddaughter go to school – Mirror.co.uk

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New antiviral drug cuts cytomegalovirus infection and improves survival in patients – ScienceBlog.com (blog)

Orlando- In a significant advance in improving the safety of donor stem cell transplants, a major clinical trial led by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Womens Hospital (BWH) has shown that a novel agent can protect against the most common viral infection that patients face after transplantation.

The results represent a breakthrough in a decade-long effort to identify an effective drug for the prevention of CMV infection in transplant patients that doesnt produce side effects that negate the benefit of the drug itself, the study authors said.

The findings, from an international phase 3 clinical trial of the drug letermovir for preventing cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in transplant patients, will be presented at the 2017 Bone Marrow Transplant Tandem Meetings of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT) and the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) in Orlando, Florida, February 22, 2017.

The study, which involved 565 adult patients at 67 research centers in 20 countries, compared letermovir to placebo in preventing an active CMV infection following transplant with donor stem cells. The patients, who were undergoing transplant as treatment for blood-related cancers or other disorders, all carried a CMV infection from earlier in life that had been wrestled into dormancy by their immune system. Twenty-four weeks after completing up to 14 weeks of treatment, 61 percent of the patients receiving a placebo had developed a CMV infection serious enough to require treatment or had discontinued the trial. By contrast, only 38 percent of those treated with letermovir developed that level of CMV infection or did not complete the trial.

Unlike other drugs able to forestall active CMV infection in stem cell transplant patients, letermovir did so without producing unacceptable toxicities. Most of the side effects associated with letermovir were tolerable, including mild cases of nausea or vomiting, and some swelling, investigators found. Letermovir also conferred a survival benefit: at the 24-week mark, 15 percent of the placebo patients had died, compared to 10 percent of those receiving letermovir.

For the first time, we seem to have a drug that is a true safe and effective preventive for CMV infection in stem cell transplant patients, said the studys lead author, Francisco Marty, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Dana-Farber and BWH. Letermovir will allow many patients to avoid infection, usually with no or mild side effects, and seems to provide a survival benefit in the first six months post-transplant.

Transplantation of donor hematopoietic stem cells which give rise to all types of blood cells, including white blood cells of the immune system is used to treat blood-related cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma, as well as several types of non-cancerous blood disorders. Patients typically receive chemotherapy to wipe out or reduce the bone marrow, where blood cells are formed, followed by an infusion of donor stem cells to rebuild their blood supply and reconstitute their immune system.

While refinements in transplant techniques have sharply improved the safety of the procedure, the reactivation of CMV infection following a transplant has been a longstanding problem.

Infection with CMV, a type of herpes virus, is one of the most common viral infections in the world. In the United States, its estimated that over 50 percent of people are infected before adulthood. In other parts of the world, infection rates can be significantly higher. The effects of CMV infection can range from no symptoms to a flu-like fever or mononucleosis (mono) syndrome. Once the immune system has brought the infection under control, the virus persists unobtrusively in the body.

The jolt of a stem cell transplant the rapid erasure or diminishment of the immune system produced by pre-transplant chemotherapy, as well as measures to prevent graft-versus-host disease can give CMV a chance to reawaken and run amok before the newly reconstituted immune system takes hold. In the early years of bone marrow transplant therapy, 60 to 70 percent of transplant recipients developed CMV infection, Marty recounts. Of those, 20 to 30 percent contracted CMV pneumonia, and of those, 80 percent died of the disease.

In previous clinical trials, several drugs aimed at preventing CMV infection in stem cell transplant patients either were not effective or produced intolerable side effects. In the absence of safe preventive drugs, physicians worked out a surveillance approach in which they provide treatment only when patients develop CMV infection, and only for a short period of time. This strategy has largely been a success: patients now have just a 2 or 3 percent chance of getting CMV disease affecting the lungs or other organs. Still, the often harsh side effects of current drugs were reason to continue the search for a useful preventive agent.

Letermovir works by a different mechanism from previously tested agents, which block an enzyme known as DNA polymerase, which viruses use to duplicate their DNA. (Human cells use the same process to replicate their own DNA.) By contrast, letermovir blocks a process by which CMV is packaged inside infected cells a wrapping that allows it to go on and infect other cells. The fact that this process does not occur in human cells may explain in part why letermovir usually gives rise to only mild side effects, researchers say.

In the trial, patients received letermovir or a placebo beginning an average of nine days after transplant. The goal was to suppress the virus before it has a chance to become active, Marty remarked. The results of this trial offer encouragement that letermovir can offer a new strategy for donor stem cell transplant patients in preventing the emergence of CMV infection following transplant.

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Bone regeneration trial under way to identify nonunion solutions – Healio


Healio
Bone regeneration trial under way to identify nonunion solutions
Healio
Significant debate exists about the origin of stem cells (bone marrow, adipose tissue, umbilical cord or other). It is also unclear how many cells are required, from the thousands obtained with bone marrow concentration to the millions that require

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Steenblock Research Institute Announces New Method of Obtaining … – PRUnderground (press release)

The treatment of chronic diseases and medical conditions using a patients own stem cells is an exciting, dynamic area of medicine that is enjoying unprecedented success thanks to a combination of new discoveries and impressive patient responses. Here in the US, over 600 private clinics are doing stem cell therapies, most using stem cells taken from a patients own bone marrow or fat tissue.

Unfortunately, many ailing people are reluctant or unable to undergo the harvesting of bone marrow or fat tissue. With this in mind, physician David Steenblock, president of the nonprofit Steenblock Research Institute (SRI), asked the scientists at his research institute to come up with a way of getting enough stem cells from a patients blood sample to treat their health issues.

The scientists at SRI went on to develop an FDA compliant method for winding up with as many stem cells in 2 small tubes of blood (drawn from a patient) as are normally obtained from much larger quantities of bone marrow or fat tissue. The blood is exposed to heat, cold, light and electromagnetics which yields 100 million stem cells, an amount which is ten times the minimum of 10 million cells needed to produce a clinical response.

SRIs new method has beenauthorized for use byonly one clinic: Personalized Regenerative Medicine Clinic of San Clemente, California.

Adds Dr. Steenblock, Stem Cell Therapy is experimental and thus is not covered by any insurance plan. This new method is also only available to patients of Personalized Regenerative Medicine Clinic.

Those interested in learning more are invited to call Personalized Regenerative Medicine Clinic (PRMC) at 1-949-367-8870 from 9 am to 4 pm Pacific Time, Monday through Friday. Individuals who enroll as new patients are being offered an initial office visit for free with PRMCs Dr. Donna Hanna.

About David A. Steenblock, D.O., Inc.

Dr. David Steenblock and his Personalized Regenerative Medicine Clinic are both committed to and passionate about advancing medicine. They do this, in part, by creating customized treatment regimens for patients which often includes the use of stem cells and FDA approved stem cell mobilizers and activators. In addition, Dr. Steenblock brings to the table finely honed diagnostic skills as well as a wealth of knowledge, experience, and insight plus the courage to explore, experiment and innovate in a private clinical setting.

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Thanks to Stem Cell Therapy, Thinning Hair May Be a Thing of the Past – W Magazine

Call me a creature of habit, or just plain boring, but Ive been wearing my hair long, blonde, straight, and side-parted for more than 15 years. The only thing thats really changed is how much of it I have left. Whether the result of bleach, blowouts, stress, hormones, genetics, or all of the above, Ive been shedding like a cheap angora sweater since the age of 30. And, to make matters worse, the hair I do have is fine, fragile, and flyaway.

It wasnt always so. Flipping through old photo albums, I found evidence not only of my natural color (a long-forgotten brown) but also of the graphic, blunt bob I sported in my early 20s. I had oodles of hair back then and would smooth it to my head with pomade and push it behind my earsmuch like Guido Palau did on some of the models in Pradas spring runway show, I noted smugly.

Efforts in the ensuing years to save my ever-sparser strands have been all but futile. You name it, Ive tried it: platelet-rich plasma (PRP), treatments in which your own blood is spun down to platelets and injected into your scalp; mesotherapy (painful vitamin shots, also in the scalp); oral supplements; acupuncture; massage; herbal remedies; and high-tech hair products. Ive even resorted to wearing a silly-looking helmet that bathed my head in low-level laser light and was said to stimulate failing follicles. At this point, I would soak my mane in mares milk under the glow of a waxing supermoon if I thought it would help.

Since hair regeneration is one of the cosmetics-research worlds holiest grails (read: potential multibillion-dollar industry), Ive always hoped that a bona fide breakthrough was around the corner, and prayed it would arrive well ahead of my dotage. As it turns out, it might actually be a five-hour flight from New Yorkand around $10,000away.

It was the celebrity hairstylist Sally Hershberger who whispered the name Roberta F. Shapiro into my ear. You have to call her, she said. She is on to something, and it could be big. Shapiro, a well-respected Manhattan pain-management specialist, treats mostly chronic and acute musculoskeletal and myofascial conditions, like disc disease and degeneration, pinched nerves, meniscal tears, and postLyme disease pain syndromes. Her patient list reads like a whos who of the citys power (and pain-afflicted) elite, and her practice is so busy, she could barely find time to speak with me. According to Shapiro, a possible cure for hair loss was never on her agenda.

But thats exactly what she thinks she may have stumbled upon in the course of her work with stem cell therapy. About eight years ago, she started noticing a commonality among many of her patientsevidence of autoimmune disease with inflammatory components. Frustrated that she was merely palliating their discomfort and not addressing the underlying problems, Shapiro began to look beyond traditional treatments and drug protocols to the potential healing and regenerative benefits of stem cellsspecifically, umbilical cordderived mesenchymal stem cells, which, despite being different from the controversial embryonic stem cells, are used in the U.S. only for research purposes. After extensive vetting, she began bringing patients to the Stem Cell Institute, in Panama City, Panama, which she considers the most sophisticated, safe, and aboveboard facility of its kind. Its not a spa, or a feel-good, instant-fix kind of place, nor is it one of those bogus medical-tourism spots, she says. Lori Kanter Tritsch, a 55-year-old New York architect (and the longtime partner of Este Lauder Executive Chairman William Lauder) is a believer. She accompanied Shapiro to Panama for relief from what had become debilitating neck pain caused by disc bulges and stenosis from arthritis, and agreed to participate in this story only because she believes in the importance of a wider conversation about stem cells. If it works for hair rejuvenation, or other cosmetic purposes, great, but that was not at all my primary goal in having the treatment, Kanter Tritsch said.

While at the Stem Cell Institute, Kanter Tritsch had around 100 million stem cells administered intravenously (a five-minute process) and six intramuscular injections of umbilical cord stem cellderived growth factor (not to be confused with growth hormone, which has been linked to cancer). In the next three months, she experienced increased mobility in her neck, was able to walk better, and could sleep through the night. She also lost a substantial amount of weight (possibly due to the anti-inflammatory effect of the stem cells), and her skin looked great. Not to mention, her previously thinning hair nearly doubled in volume.

As Shapiro explains it, the process of hair loss is twofold. The first factor is decreased blood supply to hair follicles, or ischemia, which causes a slow decrease in their function. This can come from aging, genetics, or autoimmune disease. The second is inflammation. One of the reasons I think mesenchymal stem cells are working to regenerate hair is that stem cell infiltration causes angiogenesis, which is a fancy name for regrowing blood vessels, or in this case, revascularizing the hair follicles, Shapiro notes. Beyond that, she says, the cells have a very strong anti-inflammatory effect.

For clinical studies shes conducting in Panama, Shapiro will employ her proprietary technique of microfracturing, or injecting the stem cells directly into the scalp. She thinks this unique delivery method will set her procedure apart. But, she cautions, this is a growing science, and we are only at the very beginning. PRP is like bathwater compared with amniotic- or placenta-derived growth factor, or better yet, umbilical cordderived stem cells.

Realizing that not everyone has the money or inclination to fly to Panama for a treatment that might not live up to their expectations, Hershberger and Shapiro are in the process of developing Platinum Clinical, a line of hair products containing growth factor harvested from amniotic fluid and placenta. (Shapiro stresses that these are donated remnants of a live birth that would otherwise be discarded.) The products will be available later this year at Hershbergers salons.

With follicular salvation potentially within reach, I wondered if it might be time to revisit the blunt bob of my youth. I call Palau, and inquire about that sleek 1920s do he created for Prada. Fine hair can actually work better for a style like this, he says. In fact, designers often prefer models with fine hair, so the hairstyle doesnt overpower the clothing. Then he confides, Sometimes, if a girl has too much hair, we secretly braid it away. Say what? I know, its the exact opposite of what women want in the real world. But models are starting to realize that fine hair can be an asset. Look, at some point you have to embrace what you have and work with it. Wise words, perhaps, and proof that, like pretty much everything else, thick hair is wasted on the young.

From the Minimalist to the Bold, the 5 Best Hair Trends of New York Fashion Week

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Thanks to Stem Cell Therapy, Thinning Hair May Be a Thing of the Past – W Magazine

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Genetic data show mainly men migrated from the Pontic steppe to … – Science Daily


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Genetic data show mainly men migrated from the Pontic steppe to …
Science Daily
A new study, looking at the sex-specifically inherited X chromosome of prehistoric human remains, shows that hardly any women took part in the extensive …

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Thousands of horsemen may have swept into Bronze Age Europe, transforming the local population – Science Magazine

A Yamnaya skeleton from a grave in the Russian steppe, which was the homeland of men who migrated to Europe.

XVodolazx/Wikimedia Commons

By Ann GibbonsFeb. 21, 2017 , 12:00 PM

Call it an ancient thousand man march. Early Bronze Age men from the vast grasslands of the Eurasian steppe swept into Europe on horseback about 5000 years agoand may have left most women behind. This mostly male migration may have persisted for several generations, sending men into the arms of European women who interbred with them, and leaving a lasting impact on the genomes of living Europeans.

It looks like males migrating in war, with horses and wagons, says lead author and population geneticist Mattias Jakobsson of Uppsala University in Sweden.

Europeans are the descendants of at least three major migrations of prehistoric people. First, a group of hunter-gatherers arrived in Europe about 37,000 years ago. Then, farmers began migrating from Anatolia (a region including present-day Turkey) into Europe 9000 years ago, but they initially didnt intermingle much with the local hunter-gatherers because they brought their own families with them. Finally, 5000 to 4800 years ago, nomadic herders known as the Yamnaya swept into Europe. They were an early Bronze Age culture that came from the grasslands, or steppes, of modern-day Russia and Ukraine, bringing with them metallurgy and animal herding skills and, possibly,Proto-Indo-European, themysterious ancestral tonguefrom which all of todays 400 Indo-European languages spring. Theyimmediately interbred with local Europeans, who were descendants of both the farmers and hunter-gatherers. Within a few hundred years, the Yamnaya contributed to at least half of central Europeans genetic ancestry.

To find out why this migration of Yamnaya had such a big impact on European ancestry, researchers turned to genetic data from earlier studies of archaeological samples. They analyzed differences in DNA inherited by 20 ancient Europeans who lived just after the migration of Anatolian farmers (6000 to 4500 years ago) and 16 who lived just after the influx of Yamnaya (3000 to 1000 years ago). The team zeroed in on differences in the ratio of DNA inherited on their X chromosomes compared with the 22 chromosomes that do not determine sex, the so-called autosomes. This ratio can reveal the proportion of men and women in an ancestral population, because women carry two X chromosomes, whereas men have only one.

Europeans who were alive from before the Yamnaya migration inherited equal amounts of DNA from Anatolian farmers on their X chromosome and their autosomes, the team reports today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This means roughly equal numbers of men and women took part in the migration of Anatolian farmers into Europe.

But when the researchers looked at the DNA later Europeans inherited from the Yamnaya, they found that Bronze Age Europeans had far less Yamnaya DNA on their X than on their other chromosomes. Using a statistical method developed by graduate student Amy Goldberg in the lab of population geneticist Noah Rosenberg at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, the team calculated that there were perhaps 10 men for every woman in the migration of Yamnaya men to Europe (with a range of five to 14 migrating men for every woman). That ratio is extremeeven more lopsided than the mostly male wave of Spanish conquistadores who came by ship to the Americas in the late 1500s, Goldberg says.

Such a skewed ratio raises red flags for some researchers, who warn it is notoriously difficult to estimate the ratio of men to women accurately in ancient populations. But if confirmed, one explanation is that the Yamnaya men were warriors who swept into Europe on horses or drove horse-drawn wagons; horses had been recently domesticated in the steppe and the wheel was a recent invention. They may have been more focused on warfare, with faster dispersal because of technological inventions says population geneticist Rasmus Nielsen of the University of California, Berkeley, who is not part of the study.

But warfare isnt the only explanation. The Yamnaya men could have been more attractive mates than European farmers because they had horses and new technologies, such as copper hammers that gave them an advantage, Goldberg says.

The finding that Yamnaya men migrated for many generations also suggests that all was not right back home in the steppe. It would imply a continuing strongly negative push factor within the steppes, such as chronic epidemics or diseases, says archaeologist David Anthony of Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York, who was not an author of the new study. Or, he says it could be the beginning of cultures that sent out bands of men to establish new politically aligned colonies in distant lands, as in later groups of Romans or Vikings.

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Life Extension Science Live Forever and Don’t Pay Taxes – Nanalyze

They say there are only two things in life you cant avoid taxes and death. For our U.S. readers, you can actually avoid taxes by staying out of the country for 335 days or more. Its called a Foreign Earned Income Exclusionand it gives you about100K in tax-free income every single year. Youre welcome. As for death, we cant tell you how to avoid that yet but were going to let you know when that nut gets cracked becauselife extension science is the hip thing for billionaires to invest in at the moment.

In an article last year, we touched on the topic of aging which is an easier theme to discuss than death, but we didnt quite get into the bigger picture of extending life. There is actually a field on extending life called life extension science in which anti-aging is one of just many broad themes. Life extension sciencecomes in many names such as anti-aging medicine, experimental gerontology, biomedical gerontology, and indefinite life extension. Heres the textbook definition:

Life extension science is the study of reversing or slowing down the processes of aging to extend the average or maximum lifespan.

According to Zion Market Research, the global demand for the anti-aging marketwas valued at $140.3 billion in 2015, and is expected to reach $216.52 billion by 2021. Medical experts, however, declared that the use of these products has not proven to have any effect on the aging process, a reason medical practitioners do not want to equate life extension science to the anti-aging industry identified closely with cosmetics and dermatology.

There seem to be two major schools of thoughts on dealing with prolonging life expectancy: life prior to death and life after clinical death. Life prior to death seem to have the most investment support, probably because its easier to invest in andwrite a check yourself while youre still alive. There are many ways to approach life extension including the following:

Curing age-related diseases or attacking the root cause of aging seem to hold the most promise because of the recent advances in genetics. Curing cancer is still in the detection and diagnostic era with a real cure still years to go. There will likely never be a single cure for cancer, but many different advancements such as earlier detection which reduces the mortality rate by up to 90% for some cancers. In the future, your smart toilet will read your urine in the morning and detect the cancer while your smart smoothie maker will automatically mixin aproper prescription so that by the time you get to work fire up your virtual reality simulator, youll be cured.

Digging deeper into nanotechnology, cloning, genetic modification, and SENS, you will realize, it is all about attacking the challenge of aging at the molecular or cellular level. (The exception is cyborg technology where you replace partly or wholly the human body with robotic technology). Were going to just dive right into 7 companies that are attacking the root cause of aging.

We last wrote about Human Longevity (HLI)in April of last year when they officially became a unicorn after taking in a $220 million Series B round bringing their total funding to $300 million. Last month they hired Cynthia Collins as their new Chief Executive Officer replacing Craig Venter, Ph.D., Co-founder and former CEO, who will remain at HLI as Executive Chairman and will continue to guide scientific vision and strategy. HLI unveiled their genome search engine last October 2016, in which they were exploringindividual human genomes in great detail. At that time, they had already sequenced 10,545 human genomesand went on to state:

The 10,545 human genomes are part of the HLIs database, which currently contains more than 30,000 high-quality genomic and phenotypic integrated health records. HLIs goal is to have one million integrated health records in the database by 2020.

With $300 million, theyre well on their way to building the worlds largest and most comprehensive database of whole genome, phenotype and clinical data.

Just last month, Google Alphabet took in a whopping $800 million investment into their life sciences branch Verily which makes us feel better about the fact that we havent heard squat lately from Calico. We first discussed theCalifornia Life Company (Calico) back in 2014 and since then this stealth mode startup has murmured very little about what they are doing with the staggering $1.5 billion in funding they have on hand. Since Larry Page of Google, its main advocate, is more driven by the technical challenge of solving the mysteries of ROI rather than aging, informing the public of Calicos progress isnt really on the top of his agenda.

One interesting anti-aginglife extension science company we covered before wasElysium Health. Unfortunately,the only news this startup is turning out lately isbad news. The only supplier of the two key ingredients (pterostilbene and nicotinamide riboside) in Elysiums anti-aging pill, Basis, just filed a lawsuit against Elysium this January 2017, for failing to make payments and for breach of royalties and trademark agreements. Added to this is a growing public criticism of Elysiums general marketing campaign which consumers believe ismisleading. Apparently, Basis which seem to be the only unique value proposition for Elysium is not the only company marketing pills containing the key ingredients pterostilbene and Nicotinamide Riboside (NR). ChromaDex, Elysiums only supplier of these ingredients, is also a supplier (probably the only supplier) of these same ingredients to dozens of other anti-aging brands under the trademark NIAGEN. Since they have 30 of the worlds top scientists on staff they should be able to think of a wayto clean this mess up.

Unity Biotechnology, Inc., a startup incorporated in 2009, is in the business of preventing, reversing, and halting the various diseases attributed to aging by working on senescent cells. Heres how they describe it:

Cellular senescence is a biological emergency brake cells use to stop dividing. Its an important anti-tumor mechanism, because it prevents cells from multiplying out of control. But after this brake has been pulled, senescent cells remain in the body, accumulating with age. And unlike normal cells, these cells secrete inflammatory molecules that harm neighboring cellsand tissues

And heres their pipeline:

The Company completed a Series B funding of $116 millionin October 2016 so they have plenty of funds to execute. Not surprisingly,Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPalis an investor alongside some big names like Fidelity, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, and Paul Allen of Microsoft.

SENS Research Foundation or Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) Research Foundation is not actually a business startup but a 501(c)(3) public charity founded in 2009 by Aubrey de Grey. Peter Thielputs in $600,000 a year, while its founder and chief science officer, Aubrey de Grey, provides $5 million annually for this research foundation. SENS Foundations research emphasizes the use of regenerative medicine to age-related disease, with the intention of repairing damage to our bodys tissues, cells, and molecular processes.

Speaking of Peter Thiel, we all know whathes been up to and it makes some people question just how groundedthe man really is. Hes all over the news because of something thats downright uncomfortable for us to think about. Thats right, Peter Thiel is said to be thinking about getting blood transfusions from young men to help stop the effects of aging. Its a life extension science called parabiosis which is currently being investigated by at least two startups.

Mr. Thiel presently sits on the board of a startup called Alkahest which is studying the effects of parabiosis. $4.5 billion Spanish plasma company Grifols (NASDAQ:GRFS) owns 45% of the Company so theres a way for retail investors to get a bit of exposure. Theyre operating in stealth mode so not a lotof information available except for recent news that they appointed a Chief Medical Officer.

Alkahest isnt the only startupexploring parabiosis. According to an article by Vice Magazine, a Silicon Valley company called Ambrosia is working on human clinical trials. They charge $8,000 for the privilege of participating in the study and apparently at least 600 people signed up.Sounds like those young bloodshave something to offer us after all.

So there weve given you 7solid companies looking to extend your life span. Maybe you should slap some dollars in a robo-advisor like Betterment just in case you live to be 130 because soon thats going to happen. Of course this opens up a whole can of worms about sustainability of our planet. For those of you who are going to be nice and just die so the rest of us can live longer with more resources, we will still hook you up.

There are those who believe the possibility of life after you are clinically dead. These are advocates who put up companies that build facilities for cryonics and for uploading your mind into some machine. Mind uploading is an exciting space to explore because of the possible merging of current technologies such as brain activity mapping, AI, BCI, and machine learning. Still, there are companies catering to those who simply believe in being remembered and having a purpose even after death such as Bios for its environmentally friendly burial urns and Capsula Mundi for its burial pods. That whole mind uploading thing sounds amazing so we may have to cover that in a future article. Stay tuned and enjoy all those tax-free $$$.

Looking to buy shares in companies before they IPO?A company called Motif Investing lets you buy pre-IPO shares in companies that are led by JP Morgan. You can open an account with Motif with no deposit required so that you are ready to buy pre-IPO shares when they are offered.

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Life Extension Science Live Forever and Don’t Pay Taxes – Nanalyze

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Perth doctor Amish Dwarka Singh guilty over weight loss, bodybuilding prescriptions – ABC Online

Updated February 23, 2017 15:53:59

A Perth doctor with 25 years’ experience has been found guilty of professional misconduct for prescribing large amounts of steroids and other drugs to patients for weight loss and bodybuilding.

Amish Dwarka Singh was found by the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) to have “acted carelessly, incompetently and improperly” for prescribing the drugs for “no proper therapeutic reason” between 2008 and 2014.

Singh also ordered iron and fresh frozen plasma infusions for patients when they were not necessary for any treatment.

He also was found to have “engaged in a general practice of prescribing Human Growth Hormone”.

The SAT found that in some cases, there were adverse effects from the drugs one male patient who was prescribed steroids over two years required surgery to remove enlarged breast tissue.

In the case of another patient, Singh prescribed steroids after diagnosing them with “body dysmorphia with an overlap of binge eating disorder”, but the tribunal found that “was simply a cover” to prescribe drugs for bodybuilding.

He also was found to have acted unprofessionally towards another doctor, who treated one of his supposed bodybuilding patients in hospital after they had suffered a seizure, believed to be related to drug withdrawal.

Singh was found to have kept “inadequate” medical records, but he told the hearing he did not take notes on some of his patients because they were high-profile people and they did not want him to.

Singh denied the allegations against him, but the SAT found much of his evidence to be “deliberately untrue”.

“The ultimate findings of this tribunal reflect a tragic fall from grace of a very well educated and experienced physician,” it said.

Singh’s penalty is yet to be determined.

Topics: courts-and-trials, doctors-and-medical-professionals, perth-6000, wa

First posted February 23, 2017 15:16:57

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Balancing hormones and weight loss – UPMatters.com

The CDC says about 38 percent of American adults are considered clinically obese and 71 percent are overweight.

Research shows that hormone imbalance can have a huge impact on this back-and-forth weight gain. Now wellness experts are seeing how balancing the hormones can help with weight loss.

In her hormone therapy clinic, Terri Deneui says the benefits of hormone replacement therapy go beyond increased energy levels, mood and libido. She is a nurse practitioner with Evexias Medical Centers and says, “After we would get their hormones balanced and some key nutrients in their thyroid, they would come back the next time and say, ‘Wow I’ve lost ten to 15 pounds and I didn’t even try, what’s that about.'”

That’s what happened to brandy, a nurse practitioner, who had no energy, and a pattern of losing and gaining weight over and over.

Brandy Prince says, “I was obese at 208 pounds and I felt terrible, I felt terrible about myself, I got out of bed every morning and everything just hurt.”

Using pellets that are inserted under the skin, Brandy got testosterone, which helped her build muscle and her thyroid levels were increased. She slept better and she lost weight, eventually more than 50 pounds.

Prince says, “So the weight loss was not something that i expected or anticipated, but it was definitely a wonderful benefit.”

Deneui says, “Hormones and what’s going on inside the body at the cellular level where metabolism actually happens has got to be a part of any kind of weight loss regime, otherwise you are just gonna be spinning your wheels.”

Prince says, “It’s not just my physical size, but my entire confidence, and my self-esteem has changed. I’m not the same person.”

Doctors say this type of hormone therapy has minimal risk factors and few side effects, although patients with a history of breast or prostate cancer may need further evaluation and doctors may consider alternate options for those patients.

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