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Archive for the ‘Skin Stem Cells’ Category

Baldness treatment discovered at UCSF – The Mercury News

The late actor Telly Savalas said it best: Were all born bald, baby.

And bald CAN be beautiful.

But for many follicly-challenged folks, news out of UC San Francisco this week offers some hope of finally having a bad hair day.

In experiments in mice, researchers there have discovered that regulatory T cells (Tregs; pronounced tee-regs), a type of immune cell associated with controlling inflammation, directly trigger stem cells in the skin to promote healthy hair growth.

Without these immune cells as partners, the researchers found, the stem cells cannot regenerate hair follicles, leading to baldness.

Our hair follicles are constantly recycling: when a hair falls out, the whole hair follicle has to grow back, said Dr. Michael Rosenblum, an assistant professor of dermatology at UCSF and senior author on the new paper.

This has been thought to be an entirely stem cell-dependent process, but it turns out Tregs are essential. If you knock out this one immune cell type, hair just doesnt grow.

In other words: no Tregs, no tresses.

The new study appeared online Friday in Cell, a journal that publishes peer-reviewed articles reporting findings of unusual significance in any area of experimental biology.

For 35 million U.S. men and 21 million women who are experiencing hair loss, according to Statistic Brain Research Institute,the UCSF report would probably qualify as significant.

The study suggests that defects in Tregs could be responsible for alopecia areata, a common autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss, and could potentially play a role in other forms of baldness, including male pattern baldness, Rosenblum said.

And since the same stem cells are responsible for helping heal the skin after injury, the researchers note, the study raises the possibility that Tregs may play a key role in wound repair as well.

Normally, the researchers say, Tregs act as peacekeepers and diplomats, informing the rest of the immune system of the difference between friend and foe. When Tregs dont function properly, people may develop allergies to harmless substances like peanut protein or cat dander, or suffer from autoimmune disorders in which the immune system turns on the bodys own tissues.

Like other immune cells, most Tregs reside in the bodys lymph nodes, but some live permanently in other tissues, where researcher say they seem to have evolved to assist with local metabolic functions as well as playing their normal anti-inflammatory role. In the skin, for example, Rosenblum and colleagues have previously shown that Tregs help establish immune tolerance to healthy skin microbes in newborn mice, and these cells also secrete molecules that help heal wounds into adulthood.

Rosenblum wanted to better understand the role of these resident immune cells in skin health. To do this, he and his team developed a technique for temporarily removing Tregs from the skin. But when they shaved patches of hair from these mice to make observations of the affected skin, they made a surprising discovery.

We quickly noticed that the shaved patches of hair never grew back, and we thought, Hmm, now thats interesting, Rosenblum said. We realized we had to delve into this further.

The researchers including UCSF postdoctoral fellow and first author Niwa Ali believe a betterunderstanding of Tregs critical role in hair growth could lead to improved treatments for hair loss more generally and have implications for alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes patients to lose hair in patches from their scalp, eyebrows, and faces.

For many other baldly confident folks, however, Fridays findings may just warrant a shrug.As they say, No hair, dont care.

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Baldness treatment discovered at UCSF – The Mercury News

Researchers identify ‘signal’ crucial to stem cell function in hair follicles – Medical Xpress

May 24, 2017 by Collene Ferguson Jeff Biernaskies research identifies a factor essential for dermal stem cells to continuously divide during tissue regeneration. Credit: Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

Stem cell researchers at the University of Calgary have found another piece of the puzzle behind what may contribute to hair loss and prevent wounds from healing normally.

Jeff Biernaskie’s research, published recently in the scientific journal npj Regenerative Medicine identifies a key signalling protein called platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). This protein is critical for driving self-renewal and proliferation of dermal stem cells that live in hair follicles and enable their unique ability to continuously regenerate and produce new hair.

“This is the first study to identify the signals that influence hair follicle dermal stem cell function in your skin,” says Biernaskie, an associate professor in comparative biology and experimental medicine at the University of Calgary’sFaculty of Veterinary Medicine, and Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society Chair in Skin Regeneration and Wound Healing. Biernaskie is also a member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute.

“What we show is that in the absence of PDGF signalling hair follicle dermal stem cells are rapidly diminished because of their inability to generate new stem cells and produce sufficient numbers of mature dermal cells within the hair follicle.”

Biernaskie and his team of researchers study dermal stem cells located within hair follicles. They are looking to better understand dermal stem cell function and find ways to use these cells to develop novel therapies for improved wound healing after injury, burns, disease or aging.

This study, co-authored byRaquel Gonzalez and Garrett Moffatt,shows that PDGF is key to maintaining a well-functioning stem cell population in skin. And in normal skin, if you don’t have enough of it the stem cell pools start to shrink, meaning eventually the hair will no longer grow and wounds will not heal as well.

“It’s an important start in terms of how we might modulate these cells towards developing future therapies that could regenerate new dermal tissue or maintain hair growth” says Biernaskie.

Biernaskie’s lab is looking at the potential role of stem cells in wound healing and the potential to stimulate these cells to improve skin regeneration, as opposed to forming scars.

Explore further: Using stem cells to grow new hair

More information: Raquel Gonzlez et al. Platelet-derived growth factor signaling modulates adult hair follicle dermal stem cell maintenance and self-renewal, npj Regenerative Medicine (2017). DOI: 10.1038/s41536-017-0013-4

In a new study from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham), researchers have used human pluripotent stem cells to generate new hair. The study represents the first step toward the development of a cell-based …

If the content of many a situation comedy, not to mention late-night TV advertisements, is to be believed, there’s an epidemic of balding men, and an intense desire to fix their follicular deficiencies.

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have identified the cells that directly give rise to hair as well as the mechanism that causes hair to turn gray findings that could one day help identify possible treatments …

Researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have determined the role of a key growth factor, found in skin cells of limited quantities in humans, which helps hair follicles form and regenerate …

Changing the natural electrical signaling that exists in cells outside the nervous system can improve resistance to life-threatening bacterial infections, according to new research from Tufts University biologists. The researchers …

In experiments in mice, UC San Francisco researchers have discovered that regulatory T cells (Tregs; pronounced “tee-regs”), a type of immune cell generally associated with controlling inflammation, directly trigger stem …

(Medical Xpress)A team of researchers with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York has found that giving a certain antibody to menopausal mice resulted in less weight gain and reduced bone loss. In their …

A new study has uncovered a molecular mechanism in the prion protein, a protein responsible for neurodegenerative diseases, which may explain why nerve cells degenerate in these disorders.

(Medical Xpress)A European team of researchers working at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet has found evidence that suggests that humans have an olfactory defense against contagious diseases. In their paper published in Proceedings …

A 12-month study mapping bacterial diversity within a hospitalwith a focus on the flow of microbes between patients, staff and surfacesshould help hospitals worldwide better understand how to encourage beneficial microbial …

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Researchers identify ‘signal’ crucial to stem cell function in hair follicles – Medical Xpress

Stem cell ‘plaster’ could help heart failure patients – The Christian Institute

The new research showed that adult stem cells could help beat heart failure.

A sticking plaster made from adult stem cells could be a significant step towards combatting heart failure, scientists say.

Researchers discovered that stem cells taken from a patients thigh and transplanted onto the heart led to improved heart function after one year.

Heart failure is thought to affect between 500,000 to 900,000 people in the UK. It occurs when the heart becomes too weak to efficiently pump blood around the body.

The authors of the study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, said the therapy was potentially a long-term solution to the problem.

They said that, promising results in the safety and functional recovery warrant further clinical follow-up and larger studies, which they hope will confirm the treatments potential.

Professor Metin Avkiran, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, hailed the exciting breakthrough.

He said: Heart failure is a cruel and debilitating illness affecting more than half a million people across the UK. Currently, heart failure is incurable, but stem cell-based treatments may offer new hope to people suffering from the disease.

He echoed the call for further research, saying: The study involved only a small number of patients. In order to establish the long-term safety and benefits of the exciting new treatment we would need larger studies.

Heart failure often leaves sufferers struggling for breath and exhausted while carrying out simple everyday tasks, such as eating or getting dressed.

It can be caused by several issues including heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, but can also be the result of an unhealthy lifestyle.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that a remarkable new technique allows adult stem cells to be used to treat burn victims.

Taking a sample of skin stem cells and spraying them onto a victims burn caused new layers of skin to form over the burn, potentially healing even severe burns within weeks.

And in January, scientists released findings showing that synthetic cardiac stem cells could be used to treat patients who had suffered a heart attack by repairing the heart muscle damage.

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Stem cell ‘plaster’ could help heart failure patients – The Christian Institute

New baldness cause accidentally discovered by scientists could lead to hair loss treatment – The Independent

A new cause of baldness has been accidentally discovered by scientists in the US in a breakthrough that could help develop a way to regrow hair.

The researchers were investigating the role played by anti-inflammatory immune cells called Tregs in skin health generally.

They found a way to temporarily remove the Tregs from the skin of laboratory mice, who had been shaved to allow the effects to be observed.

But the scientists then noticed something unexpected the hairfailed to grow back.

Previously it was thought that stem cells cause hairs to regrow after they fall out, but the team discoveredthat this only happens if Tregs are present.

One of the scientists, Professor Michael Rosenblum, an immunologist and dermatologist at University of California San Francisco, said: Our hair follicles are constantly recycling. When a hair falls out, the whole hair follicle has to grow back.

This has been thought to be an entirely stem cell-dependent process, but it turns out Tregs are essential.

If you knock out this one immune cell type, hair just doesn’t grow.

Its as if the skin stem cells and Tregs have co-evolved, so that the Tregs not only guard the stem cells against inflammation but also take part in their regenerative work.

The stem cells rely on the Tregs completely to know when it’s time to start regenerating.

The researcher believe that defects in Tregs could be responsible for the immune disease, alopecia areata, which causes hair to fall out in patches and possibly also play a part in other kinds of baldness.

The same stem cells that regrow hair are also involved in healing damage to the skin, so Tregs may also be involved in this process.

Tregs role as previously understood was mainly to regulate the immune system, helping it tell what to attack and what to leave alone.

When they malfunction it can lead to allergies to peanuts and other harmless substances or cause the immune system to attack the body.

Professor Rosenblum and colleagues had previously showed that Tregs help the immune systems of baby mice learn which skin microbes are not harmful and also that they secrete molecules that help heal wounds.

They were investigating these effects further when they noticed that patches of shaved hair on the lab mice were not regrowing.

We thought, Hmm, now thats interesting, Professor Rosenblum said. We realised we had to delve into this further.

Using sophisticated imaging techniques, the researchers were able to show that Tregs gathered around follicle stem cells at the start of the process to regrow a hair.

When Tregs were removed from the skin, this prevented the regrowth of hair but only if this was done within three days of the hair being shaved. After this time, the hair would regrow normally despite the absence of Tregs.

The cause of alopecia is poorly understood, but previous studies have showed genes associated with the condition are mostly related to Tregs. Boosting Treg function has been found to help.

Professor Rosenblum suggested further research into Tregs role could lead to improved treatments for hair loss generally and better understanding of their role in wound healing.

We think of immune cells as coming into a tissue to fight infection, while stem cells are there to regenerate the tissue after it’s damaged, he said.

But what we found here is that stem cells and immune cells have to work together to make regeneration possible.

The research was described in the journal Cell.

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New baldness cause accidentally discovered by scientists could lead to hair loss treatment – The Independent

‘Signal’ Crucial to Stem Cell Function in Hair Follicles Identified – Technology Networks

Stem cell researchers at the University of Calgary have found another piece of the puzzle behind what may contribute to hair loss and prevent wounds from healing normally.

Jeff Biernaskies research, published recently in the scientific journal npj Regenerative Medicine identifies a key signalling protein called platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). This protein is critical for driving self-renewal and proliferation of dermal stem cells that live in hair follicles and enable their unique ability to continuously regenerate and produce new hair.

This is the first study to identify the signals that influence hair follicle dermal stem cell function in your skin, says Biernaskie, an associate professor in comparative biology and experimental medicine at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, and Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society Chair in Skin Regeneration and Wound Healing. Biernaskie is also a member of the Alberta Childrens Hospital Research Institute.

What we show is that in the absence of PDGF signalling hair follicle dermal stem cells are rapidly diminished because of their inability to generate new stem cells and produce sufficient numbers of mature dermal cells within the hair follicle.

Biernaskie and his team of researchers study dermal stem cells located within hair follicles. They are looking to better understand dermal stem cell function and find ways to use these cells to develop novel therapies for improved wound healing after injury, burns, disease or aging.

This study, co-authored by Raquel Gonzalez and Garrett Moffatt, shows that PDGF is key to maintaining a well-functioning stem cell population in skin. And in normal skin, if you dont have enough of it the stem cell pools start to shrink, meaning eventually the hair will no longer grow and wounds will not heal as well.

Its an important start in terms of how we might modulate these cells towards developing future therapies that could regenerate new dermal tissue or maintain hair growth says Biernaskie.

Biernaskies lab is looking at the potential role of stem cells in wound healing and the potential to stimulate these cells to improve skin regeneration, as opposed to forming scars.

The research is funded by a grant from Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) and the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society.

This article has been republished frommaterialsprovided bythe University of Calgary. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

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‘Signal’ Crucial to Stem Cell Function in Hair Follicles Identified – Technology Networks

Trendy Skin Care Ingredients Are Being Added to Hair Care Products – Allure Magazine

Beauty elicits a deep, instinctive need to share from an early age. In fact, we defy you to find a more generous creature than a 7-year-old with a sparkly, new lip gloss in her backpack. Cooties be damned, she will prettify every second grader in sight. And we get it: weve built careers on swapping beauty secrets (and, okay, maybe a gloss or two).

We see this same communal spirit, shall we say, within the industry. Across brands and categories, this borrowing of ideas and technologies sparks trends and spawns knock-offs. In 2017, cosmetic ingredients flow freely, breaking all boundaries: Those once reserved for creams find their way into compacts . The same earthy clay and charcoal that purify pores can also whiten teeth and degrease roots.

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And were all for spreading the love when the science is legit. But the latest take-over hair-care companies co-opting buzzy skin-care actives, like peptides, stem cells, and antioxidants has us questioning just how translatable such technology truly is. Are we going too far in attempting to anti-age and revitalize something thats technicallydead?

Because, facts, after all: While skin and hair are composed of similar proteins and fats, living (innervated, blood-perfused) skin cells are in a constant state of renewal, rising up, plump and fresh, from the basal layer before eventually flattening out and sloughing off, says cosmetic chemist Randy Schueller . When injured or damaged, skin has the capacity to heal itself through normal biological processes, adds cosmetic chemist Jim Hammer . Hair, on the other hand, is dead at least the grown-out lengths of which we see and style and twirl. Hairs only vital part is nestled deep within the scalp: The cells of the hair follicles reproduce rapidly, pushing out hair fibers in the process, explains Melissa Piliang, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic. But once sprouted from the scalp, those strands possess no living cells or repair mechanisms.

These distinctions have long dictated product goals: Skin care aims to affect biological processes, such as boosting cell turnover, increasing collagen synthesis, and inhibiting pigment production, says cosmetic chemist NiKita Wilson. Knowing this, we obsess over penetration can those actives actually get into the skin to do their good work? and chemists devise deep-diving delivery systems and penetration enhancers to guarantee performance. For hair, there really isnt much that can be done on a biological front short of improving the condition of the scalp to promote healthier strands, adds Wilson. It makes sense, then, that the majority of hair potions are designed to work on the surface, moisturizing and sealing hair to make it glassy, smooth, and full, while minimizing friction and breakage. While certain perfectly sized and shaped hydrators and proteins can seep past the hairs outer cuticle layer, into the deeper cortex, says Wilson, their effect is short-lived. Only chemicals like hair dyes and relaxers can alter hair in a lasting way.

So what of these new skin-inspired #hairgoals were hearing about, like anti-aging, anti-pollution, and high-tech hydration? Most of this is marketing driven with maybe a kernel of truth underneath, says Schueller. That kernel could be a single lab test showing a specific active, when dripped on cells in a glass dish, has some sort of effect which, by the way, doesnt mean it will work when delivered in final products on real people, he notes. Or perhaps a company finds a common water contaminant causes some degree of hair damage and then concocts an antioxidant to combat it. Even if the trauma to hair is miniscule compared to ordinary wear and tear, theyve now got enough data to make an antipollution claim and a new line of products to go with it, Schueller says. Across beauty lines, science sells: How do you make hair care more innovative? By using skin-care ingredients that elevate the level of sophistication, says cosmetic chemist Ginger King.

A successful tactic, judging from the proliferation of skin-inspired shampoos and serums on shelves, real and virtual. But why are we so eager to buy? Our population is aging, of course; yearning to maintain a healthy appearance, to look as young as we feel, says psychologist and marketing consultant Vivian Diller, PhD. Any product that promotes youth, well being, and vitality will be enormously appealing.

According to Rachel Anise, a communication studies professor at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, CA, there may also be social-psychology constructs at work here. People, on the whole, are largely swayed by what she calls the halo effect: We see stem cells, for example, as good at a basic level, and thereby extend their goodness to everything else in which they may be included, even if that reasoning is fundamentally flawed. And then theres the way we process advertising claims, she says, quickly and effortlessly, without thinking critically about them. Instead of questioningif or whyantioxidants may work on hair as they do skin, we’ll just see a model with beautiful hair, acknowledge from past experience that antioxidants benefit skin, and automatically make the connection in two seconds, no less that they’ll give our hair a youthful edge as well, says Anise.

Lucky for you, beauty analysis is sort of our jam. Here, we reality-check three adapted-for-hair-care claims:

THE CLAIM: Slowing down the aging process

WHAT IT MEANS FOR HAIR: The way hair ages has a lot to do with genetics and overall health, says dermatologist Lindsey Bordone. Hair tends to become finer over time as follicles miniaturize after menopause, she adds. It may turn coarse and brittle, and as pigment production wanes, fade to gray. On the scalp, cell turnover slows, giving rise to oil and flakes. UV rays a main cause of skin aging can degrade hairs proteins and color, but youd need a lot of concentrated sun exposure for that to be a real problem, says Schueller.

WHAT WORKS: Collagen and elastin proteins can cling to hairs surface, plumping and softening but only until your next shampoo. Plant-based stem cells essentially serve as antioxidants, curbing free radical damage, but their ability to thicken hair (or skin for that matter) is largely unproven. Surprisingly, peptides, which rev up collagen production, do show promise for aging hair. On the face, they plump skin to delay wrinkles and sagging. When applied to the scalp in a leave-on formula, they aid in anchoring the follicles to help strands remain firmly planted for a thicker head of hair, says Wilson. According to dermatologist Jeannette Graf , peptides are especially beneficial for thinning hair, which results from weakened scalp skin and circulation. Alongside peptides, she suggests looking for essential oils of lavender, orange, sage, and lemon peel to improve microcirculation, and enhance the delivery of nutrients to the hair bulb for healthier strands. As for sun care, hats trump UV filters. Think about how much sunscreen you need to put on skin to truly protect it, Schueller says. Its the same for hair and scalp: Youd need a tremendous amount, and whos going to apply that heavy of a coating?

THE CLAIM: Combatting pollution

WHAT IT MEANS FOR HAIR: Every day, our hair, like our skin, is exposed to free radical-inciting pollutants in the air and water. According to dermatologist Michelle Henry, all types of pollution, including particulate matter, dust, smoke, nickel, lead, and sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide [emitted from vehicles and power plants] can settle on the scalp and hair causing significant inflammation, dryness, dullness, even hair loss.If that werent devastating enough, ground-level smog, which contains high levels of ozone, can bleach our hair color, says Hammer. Other contaminants may rob it completely: Premature graying is seen more in smokers than non-smokers as a result of oxidative stress, says dermatologist Nicole Rogers, adding that free radicals from all sources not just cigarettes can affect the follicles’ ability to repigment. That said, pollutions precise toll on hair is unknown. I havent seen a ton of research proving its a major threat, says Schueller. Of all the things that can harm hair chemicals, brushing, heat Id imagine free radicals are low on the list.

WHAT WORKS: With thinning and graying as potential consequences, why take chances? While only a diet rich in free radical-quelching antioxidants can truly defend hair at a follicular level, certain products and practices can help safeguard strands from the environment. For starters, washing your hair thoroughly, and with sufficient frequency for your hair type, is key to curbing the scalp inflammation that contributes to hair loss, says Henry.Shampoos with chelating agents, like EDTA, will gently extract heavy metals (found in car exhaust, cigarette smoke, hard water). Youll also want to look for leave-ins with concentrated doses of antioxidants (think: vitamins, tea extracts, idebenone, resveratrol) to neutralize free radicals, and strand-coating silicones, proteins, and polymers, which provide a physical barrier, walling off hair from pollutants, says Hammer.

THE CLAIM: Healing hydration

WHAT IT MEANS FOR HAIR: With a rich blood supply and an abundance of oil glands, the scalp is an extension of our skin, says dermatologist Francesca Fusco . It shares the same lipids and humectants, and is equally prone to dryness and irritation. Hair suffers from dehydration, too, particularly when its cuticle is eroded (by water, heat, and chemicals).

WHAT WORKS: Hyaluronic acid, a water-binding humectant, and ceramides, moisture-retaining lipids, are both found naturally in the skin (and in countless creams and serums). Since they improve the functioning of skin cells, making them more resilient and efficient, both can help keep the scalp in peak condition. When applied to hair (again, leave-on products work best), they coat strands to lock in moisture while also shielding from heat and styling damage, says Rogers, noting a 2002 study in which ceramides were shown to bind to African hair, helping to reduce breakage. Coconut oil and panthenol (a B vitamin) also nourish the scalp, and unlike most other ingredients, can penetrate inside the hair shaft, hydrating from within to enhance pliability, and keeping the cuticle tight and intact.

Bottom Line: The secret to beautiful hair is a healthy scalp. When the scalp is out of whack meaning theres poor circulation, an oil imbalance, or a build-up of cells we see not only flakes and inflammation, but hair that looks and feels unhealthy, and may even shed before its time, says Fusco. Seek out proven actives that take aim at the scalp (many of which do hail from the skin realm): dandruff-fighting pyrithione zinc (in Doves new DermaCare Scalp collection); clays that absorb excess oil and calm irritation (like those in LOral Paris Extraordinary Clay Pre-Shampoo Mask ); exfoliating salicylic acid or willowbark extract, which keep cells shedding at a normal clip to prevent pile-ups; and the aforementioned hydrators to soothe and replenish dry, depleted follicles.

Check out the best new drugstore beauty products of 2017:

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Trendy Skin Care Ingredients Are Being Added to Hair Care Products – Allure Magazine

UCalgary researchers identify ‘signal’ crucial to stem cell function in hair follicles – UCalgary News

Stem cell researchers at the University of Calgary have found another piece of the puzzle behind what may contribute to hair loss and prevent wounds from healing normally.

Jeff Biernaskies research, published recently in the scientific journal npj Regenerative Medicine identifies a key signalling protein called platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). This protein is critical for driving self-renewal and proliferation of dermal stem cells that live in hair follicles and enable their unique ability to continuously regenerate and produce new hair.

This is the first study to identify the signals that influence hair follicle dermal stem cell function in your skin, says Biernaskie, an associate professor in comparative biology and experimental medicine at the University of Calgary’sFaculty of Veterinary Medicine, and Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society Chair in Skin Regeneration and Wound Healing. Biernaskie is also a member of the Alberta Childrens Hospital Research Institute.

What we show is that in the absence of PDGF signalling hair follicle dermal stem cells are rapidly diminished because of their inability to generate new stem cells and produce sufficient numbers of mature dermal cells within the hair follicle.

Biernaskie and his team of researchers study dermal stem cells located within hair follicles. They are looking to better understand dermal stem cell function and find ways to use these cells to develop novel therapies for improved wound healing after injury, burns, disease or aging.

This study, co-authored byRaquel Gonzalez and Garrett Moffatt,shows that PDGF is key to maintaining a well-functioning stem cell population in skin. And in normal skin, if you dont have enough of it the stem cell pools start to shrink, meaning eventually the hair will no longer grow and wounds will not heal as well.

Its an important start in terms of how we might modulate these cells towards developing future therapies that could regenerate new dermal tissue or maintain hair growth says Biernaskie.

Biernaskies lab is looking at the potential role of stem cells in wound healing and the potential to stimulate these cells to improve skin regeneration, as opposed to forming scars.

The research is funded by a grant from Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) and the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society.

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UCalgary researchers identify ‘signal’ crucial to stem cell function in hair follicles – UCalgary News

Mice embryos from skin cells and by 2037 human embryos from skin cells – Next Big Future

By 2027 to 2037 scientists will likely be able to create a baby from human skin cells that have been coaxed to grow into eggs and sperm and used to create embryos to implant in a womb.

The process, in vitro gametogenesis, or I.V.G., so far has been used only in mice. But stem cell biologists say it is only a matter of time before it could be used in human reproduction opening up mind-boggling possibilities.

With I.V.G., two men could have a baby that was biologically related to both of them, by using skin cells from one to make an egg that would be fertilized by sperm from the other. Women with fertility problems could have eggs made from their skin cells, rather than go through the lengthy and expensive process of stimulating their ovaries to retrieve their eggs.

IVF (Invitro fertilization) produces 70,000, or almost 2 percent, of the babies born in the United States each year. Worldwide there been more than 6.5 million babies born worldwide through I.V.F. and related technologies.

I.V.G. requires layers of complicated bioengineering. Scientists must first take adult skin cells other cells would work as well or better, but skin cells are the easiest to get and reprogram them to become embryonic stem cells capable of growing into different kinds of cells.

Then, the same kind of signaling factors that occur in nature are used to guide those stem cells to become eggs or sperm.

Last year, researchers in Japan, led by Katsuhiko Hayashi, used I.V.G. to make viable eggs from the skin cells of adult female mice, and produced embryos that were implanted into female mice, who then gave birth to healthy babies.

Nature Reconstitution in vitro of the entire cycle of the mouse female germ line

The female germ line undergoes a unique sequence of differentiation processes that confers totipotency to the egg. The reconstitution of these events in vitro using pluripotent stem cells is a key achievement in reproductive biology and regenerative medicine. Here we report successful reconstitution in vitro of the entire process of oogenesis from mouse pluripotent stem cells. Fully potent mature oocytes were generated in culture from embryonic stem cells and from induced pluripotent stem cells derived from both embryonic fibroblasts and adult tail tip fibroblasts. Moreover, pluripotent stem cell lines were re-derived from the eggs that were generated in vitro, thereby reconstituting the full female germline cycle in a dish. This culture system will provide a platform for elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying totipotency and the production of oocytes of other mammalian species in culture.

Scientists could make an egg out of skin cells from women who cant produce viable eggsor who have other fertility problems, or who dont want to go through the difficult process of surgical removal of their eggs for IVF. Or men with fertility problems involving their sperm. Two women could make a child that was truly theirs, with eggs from one and sperm made from skin cells of the other. Or two men, vice-versa.

Mouse oocytes created from embryonic stem cells. Credit: Katsuhiko Hayashi, Kyushu Univ

In a couple of decades, Greely predicts, it will be possible to examine and select an embryo not just for a particular genetic disease but also for other traits, ranging from hair color to musical ability to potential temperament.

Greely concedes that Easy PGD will be mostly available in rich countries, but he also thinks it will be widely available in those countries because it will be free. Preventing the birth of people with genes that increase their risk of serious (and expensive) disease will save health care systems so much money that Easy PGD will be convincingly cost-effective.

That will be a powerful incentive to encourage prospective parents to further decouple procreation from sexual intercourse, and make it easy for them to drop off their skin cells at a lab. The lab will then generate a big supply of embryos containing the couples genes, embryos that can be examined for desirable characteristics as well as disease genes. The winner of this elimination contest will, presumably, be selected for implantation.

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Mice embryos from skin cells and by 2037 human embryos from skin cells – Next Big Future

Growing an entire baby from skin cells could happen in a decade … – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Nearly 40 years after the world was jolted by the birth of the first test-tube baby, a new revolution in reproductive technology is on the horizon and it promises to be far more controversial than in vitro fertilization ever was.

Within a decade or two, researchers say, scientists will likely be able to create a baby from human skin cells that have been coaxed to grow into eggs and sperm and used to create embryos to implant in a womb.

The process, in vitro gametogenesis, or I.V.G., so far has been used only in mice. But stem cell biologists say it is only a matter of time before it could be used in human reproduction opening up mind-boggling possibilities.

With I.V.G., two men could have a baby that was biologically related to both of them, by using skin cells from one to make an egg that would be fertilized by sperm from the other. Women with fertility problems could have eggs made from their skin cells, rather than go through the lengthy and expensive process of stimulating their ovaries to retrieve their eggs.

It gives me an unsettled feeling because we dont know what this could lead to, said Paul Knoepfler, a stem cell researcher at UC Davis. You can imagine one man providing both the eggs and the sperm, almost like cloning himself. You can imagine that eggs becoming so easily available would lead to designer babies.

Some scientists even talk about what they call the Brad Pitt scenario when someone retrieves a celebritys skin cells from a hotel bed or bathtub. Or a baby might have what one law professor called multiplex parents.

There are groups out there that want to reproduce among themselves, said Sonia Suter, a George Washington University law professor who began writing about I.V.G. even before it had been achieved in mice. You could have two pairs who would each create an embryo, and then take an egg from one embryo and sperm from the other, and create a baby with four parents.

Three prominent academics in medicine and law sounded an alarm about the possible consequences in a paper published this year.

I.V.G. may raise the specter of embryo farming on a scale currently unimagined, which might exacerbate concerns about the devaluation of human life, Dr. Eli Y. Adashi, a medical science professor at Brown; I. Glenn Cohen, a Harvard Law School professor; and Dr. George Q. Daley, dean of Harvard Medical School, wrote in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Still, how soon I.V.G. might become a reality in human reproduction is open to debate.

I wouldnt be surprised if it was five years, and I wouldnt be surprised if it was 25 years, said Jeanne Loring, a researcher at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla who, with the San Diego Zoo, hopes to use I.V.G. to increase the population of the nearly extinct northern white rhino.

Loring said that when she discussed I.V.G. with colleagues who initially said it would never be used with humans, their skepticism often melted away as the talk continued. But not everyone is convinced that I.V.G. will ever become a regularly used process in human reproduction even if the ethical issues are resolved.

People are a lot more complicated than mice, said Susan Solomon, chief executive of the New York Stem Cell Foundation. And weve often seen that the closer you get to something, the more obstacles you discover.

I.V.G. is not the first reproductive technology to challenge the basic paradigm of baby-making. Back when in vitro fertilization was beginning, many people were horrified by the idea of creating babies outside the human body. And yet, I.V.F. and related procedures have become so commonplace that they now account for about 70,000, or almost 2 percent, of the babies born in the United States each year. According to the latest estimate, there have been more than 6.5 million babies born worldwide through I.V.F. and related technologies.

Of course, even I.V.F. is not universally accepted. The Catholic Church remains firm in its opposition to in vitro fertilization, in part because it so often leads to the creation of extra embryos that are frozen or discarded.

I.V.G. requires layers of complicated bioengineering. Scientists must first take adult skin cells other cells would work as well or better, but skin cells are the easiest to get and reprogram them to become embryonic stem cells capable of growing into different kinds of cells.

Then, the same kind of signaling factors that occur in nature are used to guide those stem cells to become eggs or sperm. (Cells taken from women could be made to produce sperm, the researchers say, but the sperm, lacking a Y chromosome, would produce only female babies.)

Last year, researchers in Japan, led by Katsuhiko Hayashi, used I.V.G. to make viable eggs from the skin cells of adult female mice, and produced embryos that were implanted into female mice, who then gave birth to healthy babies.

The process strikes some people as inherently repugnant.

There is a yuck factor here, said Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at New York University. It strikes many people as intuitively yucky to have three parents, or to make a baby without starting from an egg and sperm. But then again, it used to be that people thought blood transfusions were yucky, or putting pig valves in human hearts.

Whatever the social norms, there are questions about the wisdom of tinkering with basic biological processes. And there is general agreement that reproductive technology is progressing faster than consideration of the legal and ethical questions it raises.

We have come to realize that scientific developments are outpacing our ability to think them through, Adashi said. Its a challenge for which we are not fully prepared. It would be good to be having the conversation before we are actually confronting the challenges.

Some bioethicists take the position that while research on early stages of human life can deepen the understanding of our genetic code, tinkering with biological mechanisms that have evolved over thousands of years is inherently wrongheaded.

Basic research is paramount, but its not clear that we need new methods for creating viable embryos, said David Lemberg, a bioethicist at National University in California. Attempting to apply what weve learned to create a human zygote is dangerous, because we have no idea what were doing, we have no idea what the outcomes are going to be.

Lewin writes for The New York Times.

Originally posted here:
Growing an entire baby from skin cells could happen in a decade … – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Lab-grown blood stem cells produced at last – Nature.com

Rio Sugimura

Researchers made these blood stem cells and progenitor cells from human induced pluripotent stem cells.

After 20 years of trying, scientists have transformed mature cells into primordial blood cells that regenerate themselves and the components of blood. The work, described today in Nature1, 2, offers hope to people with leukaemia and other blood disorders who need bone-marrow transplants but cant find a compatible donor. If the findings translate into the clinic, these patients could receive lab-grown versions of their own healthy cells.

One team, led by stem-cell biologist George Daley of Boston Childrens Hospital in Massachusetts, created human cells that act like blood stem cells, although they are not identical to those found in nature1. A second team, led by stem-cell biologist Shahin Rafii of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, turned mature cells from mice into fully fledged blood stem cells2.

For many years, people have figured out parts of this recipe, but theyve never quite gotten there, says Mick Bhatia, a stem-cell researcher at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, who was not involved with either study. This is the first time researchers have checked all the boxes and made blood stem cells.

Daleys team chose skin cells and other cells taken from adults as their starting material. Using a standard method, they reprogrammed the cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which are capable of producing many other cell types. Until now, however, iPS cells have not been morphed into cells that create blood.

The next step was the novel one: Daley and his colleagues inserted seven transcription factors genes that control other genes into the genomes of the iPS cells. Then they injected these modified human cells into mice to develop. Twelve weeks later, the iPS cells had transformed into progenitor cells capable of making the range of cells found in human blood, including immune cells. The progenitor cells are tantalizingly close to naturally occurring haemopoetic blood stem cells, says Daley.

Bhatia agrees. Its pretty convincing that George has figured out how to cook up human haemopoetic stem cells, he says. That is the holy grail.

By contrast, Rafiis team generated true blood stem cells from mice without the intermediate step of creating iPS cells. The researchers began by extracting cells from the lining of blood vessels in mature mice. They then inserted four transcription factors into the genomes of these cells, and kept them in Petri dishes designed to mimic the environment inside human blood vessels. There, the cells morphed into blood stem cells and multiplied.

When the researchers injected these stem cells into mice that had been treated with radiation to kill most of their blood and immune cells, the animals recovered. The stem cells regenerated the blood, including immune cells, and the mice went on to live a full life more than 1.5 years in the lab.

Because he bypassed the iPS-cell stage, Rafii compares his approach to a direct aeroplane flight, and Daleys procedure to a flight that takes a detour to the Moon before reaching its final destination. Using the most efficient method to generate stem cells matters, he adds, because every time a gene is added to a batch of cells, a large portion of the batch fails to incorporate it and must be thrown out. There is also a risk that some cells will mutate after they are modified in the lab, and could form tumours if they are implanted into people.

But Daley and other researchers are confident that the method he used can be made more efficient, and less likely to spur tumour growth and other abnormalities in modified cells. One possibility is to temporarily alter gene expression in iPS cells, rather than permanently insert genes that encode transcription factors, says Jeanne Loring, a stem-cell researcher at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. She notes that iPS cells can be generated from skin and other tissue that is easy to access, whereas Rafiis method begins with cells that line blood vessels, which are more difficult to gather and to keep alive in the lab.

Time will determine which approach succeeds. But the latest advances have buoyed the spirits of researchers who have been frustrated by their inability to generate blood stem cells from iPS cells. A lot of people have become jaded, saying that these cells dont exist in nature and you cant just push them into becoming anything else, Bhatia says. I hoped the critics were wrong, and now I know they were.

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Lab-grown blood stem cells produced at last – Nature.com

Cells Responsible for Hair Growth Discovered – Wall Street Pit

Its one of those times when serendipity went to work. As a team of UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers were studying a rare form of genetic cancer called Neurofibromatosis Type 1 that causes tumors to grow on nerves, what they discovered instead were hair progenitor cells. Essentially, these are the cells that cause hair to grow. With this new information on hand, the path towards managing hair growth problems, including hair discoloration (a.k.a greying of hair) now seems to have become clearer.

As explained by Dr. Lu Le, one of the researchers and currently an Associate Professor of Dermatology: With this knowledge, we hope in the future to create a topical compound or to safely deliver the necessary gene to hair follicles to correct these cosmetic problems.

Prior to this discovery, researchers were already aware that skin stem cells located in the bulge on bottom of hair follicles were involved, in one way or another, in the growth of hair. What they didnt know was how these skin cells turn into hair cells, specifically, what happens after those cells move down to the bulb or the base of hair follicles. This also meant they had no idea what to do to stimulate and manipulate their growth.

As they were studying the nerve cells and how tumors formed on them, they discovered a protein that differentiates the skin stem cells from other types of cells. The protein is called KROX20 and as far as they knew, this protein was more commonly associated with nerve development. In the hair follicles of their mice test subjects, however, they found out that KROX20 becomes activated in the skin cells which eventually turn into hair shafts that cause hair to grow. That said, though, its not as simple as that.

It turned out that KROX20 works in tandem with another protein called SCF (short for stem cell factor) and without either one, hair growth happens abnormally, or not at all.

When KROX20 turns on in a skin cell, it causes the cell to produce SCF. With both proteins now active, they move up the hair bulb, interact with melanocyte cells (the cells that produce pigment), and grow into healthy, colored hairs.

When the team removed the KROX20-producing cells, the mice did not grow any hair, meaning, they became bald. And when they removed the SCF gene, the mices hair started out as gray-colored, then turned white with age.

From these results, the obvious way forward is to backtrack whats happening, possibly try to figure out why and how aging affects KROX20 protein production. Another aspect that will also be looked at is the reason why the SCF gene stops functioning, thereby resulting in gray hair production. The findings could also help provide answers on why hair loss and graying of hair are among the first indications of aging.

The research was recently published in the journal Genes & Development.

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Cells Responsible for Hair Growth Discovered – Wall Street Pit

renovacareinc.com – The Christian Institute

The new technique heals burns much faster and more effectively than traditional skin grafting.

Burn victims may no longer be forced to undergo painful skin grafts, thanks to a revolutionary piece of technology that uses adult stem cells.

Instead of taking skin from one part of the body and transplanting it onto the burned area, a stem-cell spraying device simply covers the affected area with the victims own stem cells.

By taking adult stem cells from a healthy section of skin, placing them in a solution, and spraying the solution onto the wound, the patients own skin grows back and heals naturally.

The procedure has been in development for some time, and is not yet commercially available, but its capability was publicised in the press earlier this month.

The technology was featured in the Journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries, and showed incredible before and after images of the horrific injuries, and the victims almost full recoveries.

Patients who have benefitted from early treatments say their new skin is virtually indistinguishable from the rest of their body.

Commenting on the journals research, Thomas Bold, CEO of RenovaCare a company developing this technology said, the skin that regrows looks, feels and functions like the original skin.

By using adult stem cells, the healing process of the victims was also vastly accelerated.

While a skin graft treatment can take weeks or even months, and leave scarring, these patients were able to grow healthy skin in as little as four days.

In one case, a man who had suffered electrical burns to over a third of his body after touching a live wire had 24 million adult stem cells harvested and then sprayed back onto his body.

The process itself lasted only 90 minutes, and within four days, he had regrown a thin layer of skin over his arms and chest, where the burns were least severe.

After 20 days, all of the areas treated by the stem cell grafting process were described as completely healed.

RenovaCare is applying for a licence to use the technology in routine practice in Europe.

In January, it was revealed that a new technique allowed adult stem cells to be used in the treatment of heart problems.

The technique involves implanting synthetic cardiac stem cells which repair heart muscle. It has been praised as both an ethical and less risky alternative to other treatments.

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renovacareinc.com – The Christian Institute

Can Skin Cells Create a Baby? – National Catholic Register

Nation | May. 19, 2017

New and controversial potential fertility technology called in vitro gametogenesis has caused pushback from some critics.

WASHINGTON Within the next 10-20 years, a new and controversial potential fertility technology called in vitro gametogenesis (IVG) could make it possible to manipulate skin cells into creating a human baby.

However, this groundbreaking research has caused pushback from some critics, like Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, director of education at the National Catholic Bioethics Center, who says IVG would turn procreation into a transaction.

IVG extends the faulty logic of IVF [in vitro fertilization] by introducing additional steps to the process of manipulating the origins of the human person, in order to satisfy the desires of customers and consumers, Father Pacholczyk told CNA in an email interview.

The technology also offers the possibility of introducing further fractures into parenthood, distancing children from their parents by multiplying the number of those involved in generating the child, so that three-parent embryos, or even more parents, may become involved, he continued.

IVG has been successfully tested by Japanese researchers on mice, which produced healthy babies derived from skin cells.

The process begins by taking the skin cells from the mouses tail and reprograming them to become induced pluripotent stem cells. These manipulated cells are able to grow into different kinds of cells and are then used to grow eggs and sperm, which are then fertilized in the lab. The resulting embryos are then implanted in a womb.

Although similar to in vitro fertilization, IVG eliminates the step of needing pre-existing egg and sperm and instead creates these gametes.

But many experts in the reproductive field are skeptical of potential outcomes and ethical compromises.

It gives me an unsettled feeling because we dont know what this could lead to, Paul Knoepfler, a stem-cell researcher at the University of California, Davis,told The New York Times.

Knoepfler noted that some of the potential repercussions of IVG could turn into cloning or designer babies. Other dangers could include the Brad Pitt scenario, in which celebritys skin cells retrieved from random places, like hotel rooms, could be used to create a baby.

Potentially anyones skin cells could be used to create a baby, even without their knowledge or consent.

Inan issue ofScience Translational Medicineearlier this year, a trio of academics a Harvard Law professor, the dean of Harvard Medical School and a medical science professor at Brown University wrote that IVG may raise the specter of embryo farming on a scale currently unimagined, which might exacerbate concerns about the devaluation of human life.

They added that refining the science of IVG to the point of clinical use will involve the generation and likely destruction of large numbers of embryos from stem cellderived gametes, and the process may exacerbate concerns regarding human enhancement.

Father Pacholczyk also pointed to further concerns, saying IVG disrupts the uniqueness of every individuals sex cells.

IVG raises additional concerns because of the way it manipulates human sex cells. Our sex cells, or gametes, are special cells. They uniquely identify us, Father Pacholczyk stated.

It is most unfortunate that overwhelming parental desires are being permitted to trump and distort the right order of transmitting human life, he continued.

Father Pacholczyk said that processes like IVG enable a consumerist mentality that holds that children are projects to be realized through commercial transactions and laboratory techniques of gamete manipulation.

The Catholic Church teaches that IVF and similar reproductive technologies are morally illicit for several reasons, including their separation of procreation from the conjugal act and the creation of embryos which are discarded.

Pope Francis recently spoke out against the destruction of human embryos, saying that no good result from research can justify the destruction of embryos.

Some branches of research use human embryos, inevitably causing their destruction. But we know that no ends, even noble in themselves such as a predicted utility for science, for other human beings or for society can justify the destruction of human embryos,the Holy Father said May 18.

Although IVG has proven successful in mice, human testing is likely years away.

However, Father Pacholczyk hopes that potential parents will come to realize that children should not be viewed as products that can be ordered or purchased by consumers, but seen as a gift.

Turning commercial laboratories to create children on our behalf is an unethical step in the direction of treating our offspring as objects to be planned and created in the pursuit of parental gratification, rather than gifts received from the Lord.

Read more from the original source:
Can Skin Cells Create a Baby? – National Catholic Register

Babies from skin cells? Advance unsettles experts – The Hindu


The Hindu
Babies from skin cells? Advance unsettles experts
The Hindu
It gives me an unsettled feeling because we don't know what this could lead to, said Paul Knoepfler, a stem cell researcher at the University of California, Davis. You can imagine one man providing both the eggs and the sperm, almost like cloning

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Babies from skin cells? Advance unsettles experts – The Hindu

This new technology could produce babies from skin cells. And that’s bad. – Catholic News Agency

Washington D.C., May 18, 2017 / 03:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Within the next 10-20 years, a new and controversial fertility technology called in vitro gametogenesis could make it possible to manipulate skin cells into creating a human baby.

However, this groundbreaking research has caused push-back from some critics, like Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, director of education at the National Catholic Bioethics Center, who says IVG would turn procreation into a transaction.

IVG extends the faulty logic of IVF by introducing additional steps to the process of manipulating the origins of the human person, in order to satisfy the desires of customers and consumers, Fr. Pacholczyk told CNA in an email interview.

The technology also offers the possibility of introducing further fractures into parenthood, distancing children from their parents by multiplying the number of those involved in generating the child, so that 3-parent embryos, or even more parents, may become involved, he continued.

IVG has been successfully tested by Japanese researchers on mice, which produced healthy babies derived from skin cells.

The process begins by taking the skin cells from the mouses tail and re-programing them to become induced pluripotent stem cells. These manipulated cells are able to grow different kinds of cells, and are then used to grow eggs and sperm, which are then fertilized in the lab. The resulting embryos are then implanted in a womb.

Although similar to in vitro fertilization, IVG eliminates the step of needing pre-existing egg and sperm, and instead creates these gametes.

But many experts in the reproductive field are skeptical of its potential outcomes and ethical compromises.

It gives me an unsettled feeling because we dont know what this could lead to, Paul Knoepfler, a stem cell researcher at the University of California, Davis, told the New York Times.

Knoepfler noted that some of the potential repercussions of IVG could turn into cloning or designer babies. Other dangers could include the Brad Pitt scenario, in which celebritys skin cells retrieved from random places, like hotel rooms, could be used to create a baby.

Potentially anyones skin cells could be used to create a baby, even without their knowledge or consent.

In an issue of Science Translational Medicine earlier this year, a trio of academics a Harvard Law professor, the dean of Harvard Medical School, and a medical science professor at Brown wrote that IVG may raise the specter of embryo farming on a scale currently unimagined, which might exacerbate concerns about the devaluation of human life.

They added that refining the science of IVG to the point of clinical use will involve the generation and likely destruction of large numbers of embryos from stem cellderived gametes and the process may exacerbate concerns regarding human enhancement.

Fr. Pacholczyk also pointed to further concerns, saying IVG disrupts the uniqueness of every individuals sex cells.

I.V.G raises additional concerns because of the way it manipulates human sex cells. Our sex cells, or gametes, are special cells. They uniquely identify us, Fr. Pacholczyk stated.

It is most unfortunate that overwhelming parental desires are being permitted to trump and distort the right order of transmitting human life, he continued.

Fr. Pacholczyk said that processes like IVG enable a consumerist mentality that holds that children are projects to be realized through commercial transactions and laboratory techniques of gamete manipulation.

The Catholic Church teaches that IVF and similar reproductive technologies are morally illicit for several reasons, including their separation of procreation from the conjugal act and the creation of embryos which are discarded.

Pope Francis recently spoke out against the destruction of human embryos, saying that no good result from research can justify the destruction of embryos.

Some branches of research use human embryos, inevitably causing their destruction. But we know that no ends, even noble in themselves such as a predicted utility for science, for other human beings or for society can justify the destruction of human embryos, the Holy Father said May 18.

Although IVG has proven successful in mice, there are still some wrinkles that need to be ironed out before it is tested on humans, and will entail years more of tedious bioengineering.

However, Fr. Pacholczyk hopes that potential parents will come to realize that children should not products that can be ordered or purchased by consumers, and should rather be seen as a gift.

Turning commercial laboratories to create children on our behalf is an unethical step in the direction of treating our offspring as objects to be planned and created in the pursuit of parental gratification, rather than gifts received from the Lord.

See the rest here:
This new technology could produce babies from skin cells. And that’s bad. – Catholic News Agency

Babies From Skin Cells? Prospect Is Unsettling to Some Experts – New York Times


New York Times
Babies From Skin Cells? Prospect Is Unsettling to Some Experts
New York Times
But stem cell biologists say it is only a matter of time before it could be used in human reproduction opening up mind-boggling possibilities. With I.V.G., two men could have a baby that was biologically related to both of them, by using skin cells

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Babies From Skin Cells? Prospect Is Unsettling to Some Experts – New York Times

Skin regeneration, universal donor stem cells and new SMA treatment approach – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Injured skin repairs itself with the help of stem cells, but how this process works isnt well understood. A new study proposes that differentiated skin cells turn back into stem cells to heal the wound.

The process is regulated by a protein called Gata6 made by sebaceous duct cells. In response to injury, these cells migrate out into the skin and de-differentiate into stem cells, which then give rise to replacement skin, according to researchers led by Fiona Watt of Kings College London.

The study was published in Nature Cell Biology. When placed online, the study, Wounding induces dedifferentiation of epidermal Gata6 cells and acquisition of stem cell properties, can be found at j.mp/skincells. Watt was senior author. Giacomo Donati, also of Kings College London, was senior author.

Our data not only demonstrate that the structural and functional complexity of the junctional zone is regulated by Gata6, but also reveal that dedifferentiation is a previously unrecognized property of post-mitotic, terminally differentiated cells that have lost contact with the basement membrane, the study stated.

This resolves the long-standing debate about the contribution of terminally differentiated cells to epidermal wound repair.

One of the most-anticipated results of stem cell research would be generation of replacement tissues for those lost by disease or injury. But the potential for immune rejection limits this potential. While immune-matching can be achieved through patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells, this process takes time and is costly.

Immune-tolerant allogenic stem cells have been produced in a study reported Monday in Nature Biotechnology. These cells were produced by making them express minimally variant human leukocyte antigen class E molecules. Production of these molecules causes a self response that inhibits attack by NK natural killer cells.

When published, the study, HLA-E-expressing pluripotent stem cells escape allogeneic responses and lysis by NK cells, can be found online at j.mp/allogenic. David W Russell was senior author and Germn Gornalusse was first author. Both are of University of Washington, Seattle.

A study conducted in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy suggests that symptoms might be reduced by increasing the activity of synapses between sensory and motor neurons. It suggests there may be more than one path to improving or preserving muscle function in SMA patients.

SMA is caused by the deterioration and eventual death of spinal motor neurons. The only treatment shown to affect the underlying course of the disease, Spinraza, was researched by Ionis Pharmaceuticals in Carlsbad and brought to market in a partnership with Biogen.

The study was published Monday in Nature Neuroscience. George Z Mentis was the senior author and Emily V Fletcher was first author. Both are of Columbia University in New York. When placed online, the study, Reduced sensory synaptic excitation impairs motor neuron function via Kv2.1 in spinal muscular atrophy, can be found at j.mp/smanew.

Researchers treated the mice with kainate, which restored near-normal synaptic functioning and improved motor functioning. While the chemical induces seizures, the mice were given doses lower than the seizure threshold.

Because of kainates seizure-inducing potential, the researchers are looking for safer chemicals to stimulate the synaptic connections.

bradley.fikes@sduniontribune.com

(619) 293-1020

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Skin regeneration, universal donor stem cells and new SMA treatment approach – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Skin Cell Discovery Could Lead to Possible Treatments for Balding … – Sci-News.com

A team of scientists at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has identified the cells that directly give rise to hair as well as the mechanism that causes hair to turn gray. The research is published in the journal Genes & Development.

Layers of the skin. Image credit: M.Komorniczak / Madhero / CC BY-SA 3.0.

With this knowledge, we hope in the future to create a topical compound or to safely deliver the necessary gene to hair follicles to correct these cosmetic problems, said senior author Dr. Lu Le, an associate professor of dermatology with the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Dr. Le and colleagues found that a protein called KROX20 (also termed EGR2), more commonly associated with nerve development, turns on in skin cells that become the hair shaft.

These hair precursor cells then produce a protein called stem cell factor (SCF) that the researchers showed is essential for hair pigmentation.

When the authors deleted the SCF gene (KITLG gene) in the hair progenitor cells in mouse models, the animals hair turned white.

When they deleted the KROX20-producing cells, no hair grew and the mice became bald.

We uncovered this explanation for balding and hair graying while studying a disorder called Neurofibromatosis Type 1, a rare genetic disease that causes tumors to grow on nerves, Dr. Le said.

Scientists already knew that stem cells contained in a bulge area of hair follicles are involved in making hair and that SCF is important for pigmented cells.

What they did not know in detail is what happens after those stem cells move down to the base, or bulb, of hair follicles and which cells in the hair follicles produce SCF or that cells involved in hair shaft creation make the KROX20 protein.

If cells with functioning KROX20 and SCF are present, they move up from the bulb, interact with pigment-producing melanocyte cells, and grow into pigmented hairs.

But without SCF, the hair in mouse models was gray, and then turned white with age. Without KROX20-producing cells, no hair grew.

We will now try to find out if the KROX20 in cells and the SCF gene stop working properly as people age, leading to the graying and hair thinning seen in older people as well as in male pattern baldness, Dr. Le said.

_____

Chung-Ping Liao et al. Identification of hair shaft progenitors that create a niche for hair pigmentation. Genes & Development, published online May 2, 2017; doi: 10.1101/gad.298703.117

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Skin Cell Discovery Could Lead to Possible Treatments for Balding … – Sci-News.com

Stem Cell Tourism Is the Controversial Subject of a New Cannes Documentary – Vogue.com

A fascinating documentary that is making the rounds at film festivals like Tribeca and Cannes gives a rare view of a controversial treatment that more and more Americans are paying up to $50,000 to receive. Stem cell therapy is widely considered to be the next big hope in medicine, with researchers everywhere from Stanford to Johns Hopkins investigating the technologys potential to treat seemingly every ailment known to mankindAlzheimers, cancer, joint injuries, even basic signs of aging. The only hitch: With one tiny exception, it isnt legal in the United States.

We all know the stem cell revolution is occurring outside the U.S., says Brian Mehling, M.D., a Manhattan-based orthopedic surgeon who is certainly doing his part to foment the insurgency. A coproducer of the film, as well as its charismatic recurring subject, Mehling is bringing stem cell tourism into the spotlight and determined to lift the curtain on a medical field that remains mysterious to most. His Blue Horizon medical clinics, with locations in China and Slovakiaand three more set to open in Mexico, Israel, and Jamaicacater to American tourists looking to cutting-edge therapy for help when traditional medicine fails.

Stem cells are the undifferentiated cells that abound in newborns and have the ability to transform into blood, nerve, or muscle cells and aid the body in self-repair. Proselytizers like Mehling say they constitute the latest in holistic medicine, allowing the body to healwithout drugs, surgery, or side effects. At clinics such as Mehlings, doctors either inject the cells, which are generally obtained from umbilical cords during C-sections, into a patients spinal cord (much like an epidural), or administer them via IV drip. The process is alarmingly quick, and patients can typically check out of the facility by the end of the day. One of the few stem-cell therapies approved for use in the United States is one used to treat the blood disease known as beta thalassemia; in that instance, the treatment replaces damaged blood in the immune system and saves tens of thousands of lives each year. Few other stem cell applications, however, have been proven effective in the rigorous clinical trials the Food and Drug Administration requires before signing off on any treatment.

In fact, stem cell clinics remain completely unregulated, and there have been incidents of related troubles. In one recent report , Jim Gass, a resident of San Diego who traveled to stem cell clinics in Mexico, China, and Argentina to help recover from a stroke, later discovered a sizable tumor on his spinal columnand the cancerous cells belonged to somebody else. Troubling cases also emerged at a loosely regulated clinic in Sunrise, Florida where, earlier this spring, three women suffering macular degeneration reported further loss of vision after having stem cells, extracted from their belly fat via liposuction, injected into their eyes. Though, on the whole, reports of treatments at clinics gone awry remain relatively few.

In his film, Stem Cells: The Next Frontier , which is set to appear at Cannes Film Festival this month, Mehling offers a persuasive side of the story, with rapturous testimonials from patients, some of whom who have regained the ability to walk after their stem cell vacations. Added bonus: They come home with better skin, bigger sex drive, and (in the case of at least one balding patient) more hair.

However compelling, there is scant evidence that the injections actually make a difference, and most American doctors caution against buying into the hype. Stem cell researcher Jaime Imitola, M.D. and Ph.D, director of the progressive multiple sclerosis clinic research program at Ohio State University, says he is impressed by the evidence that stem cells can help with neurological disorders in animals. But the question is how can you translate it into clinical trials? We still dont know what were doing when we put stem cells in people.

David Scadden, a professor of medicine and stem cell and regenerative biology at Harvard, and the director of Harvards Stem Cell Institute, says that stem cell tourism is a waste of money for the time being. A world-renowned expert in stem cell science, he remains optimistic about its future applications. Researchers are currently looking into reprogramming, for instance, which effectively converts a mature cell into a stem cell. You rewind its history so it forgets its a blood cell or a skin cell and it rewinds back in time and it can become any cell type, he says. Youd be able to test drugs on these cells, and it could be used to reverse Type 1 diabetes.

For now, though, he does not recommend experimenting with stem cells before we understand them well enough to properlyand safelyharness their benefits. People call me about it all the timethey say, I have this knee thats bugging me, Im going to one of these clinics, he says. His response? For the most part they dont do harm. But nobody Ive spoken with has come back to me and said, You Harvard docs have to get on this . . . . Not yet.

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Stem Cell Tourism Is the Controversial Subject of a New Cannes Documentary – Vogue.com

This Gun Sprays Stem Cells, Helps Burn Victims Grow Skin in Days – Men’s Health


Men’s Health
This Gun Sprays Stem Cells, Helps Burn Victims Grow Skin in Days
Men’s Health
A revolutionary new technique is enabling burn victims to heal quicker, less painfully, and with more normal skin. And it's all thanks to a gun. The SkinGun sprays stem cells onto wounds and allows patients to grow a new, healthy layer of skin in as

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This Gun Sprays Stem Cells, Helps Burn Victims Grow Skin in Days – Men’s Health

Scientists unveil the UK’s largest resource of human stem cells from healthy donors – Science Daily

Scientists unveil the UK's largest resource of human stem cells from healthy donors
Science Daily
The Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Initiative (HipSci) project used standardised methods to generate iPSCs on a large scale to study the differences between healthy people. Reference sets of stem cells were generated from skin biopsies donated by …

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Scientists unveil the UK’s largest resource of human stem cells from healthy donors – Science Daily

Stem cells in plants and animals behave surprisingly similarly – Phys.Org

May 12, 2017

A new study from Lund University in Sweden shows that the behaviour of stem cells in plants and animals is surprisingly similar. The researchers were able to produce mathematical equations that reveal very small differences in the behaviour of the proteins. The results can hopefully be used in stem cell research involving humans.

“The plant and animal kingdoms were separated through evolution more than 1.6 billion years ago. It is surprising that the interactions between the handful of key genes that control the fate of each stem cell are so similar in both cases”, says Carsten Peterson, professor at the Faculty of Science at Lund University.

Carsten Peterson is one of the researchers behind the recent study on differences and similarities between animal and plant stem cells. With a background in theoretical physics, he and his colleagues have tackled the stem cells from a different perspective, which proved successful.

By formulating mathematical equations, the researchers have performed a detailed study of the proteins that are central to the stem cells in mammals and plants. The proteins are linked to the genes that control the stem cells. In particular, the researchers have studied how these proteins mutually affect one another through interaction as the cells evolve.

“Although the proteins in mammalian and plant stem cells are very different when studied separately, there are major similarities in the ways in which they interact, that is, how they strengthen or weaken each other”, says Carsten Peterson.

Stem cells are a hot topic in medical contexts, especially when it comes to cancer and autoimmune diseases. A stem cell is capable of evolving into several different types of cells and is thus a sort of mother cell to all of the body’s specialised cell types. In animals, these specialised cells can never return to a stem cell state on their own. In plants, however, they can.

“Specialised cells of plants can return to being stem cells without external manipulation. In the plant world, there is a natural reprogramming process”, says Carsten Peterson.

The mathematical equations show that very small differences are sufficient to explain why plant cells are so flexible while cells of mammals require artificial reprogramming to return to a stem cell state.

“When cells are influenced externally artificially for animals or naturally for plants the minor differences in interaction play a greater role, and the differences appear to be of greater significance”, says Carsten Peterson.

He believes that a lot of work remains with regard to the efficiency of reprogramming of animal cells and therefore hopes that insights from the plant world can contribute. The current study provides clues about why it is so much easier to make a cell go back to being a stem cell in plants compared to mammals.

Reprogramming is a frequently used word in stem cell contexts today, ever since the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology in 2012. One of the prize winners, Shinya Yamanaka, had demonstrated how to externally manipulate cells to return to an embryonic stem cell state by increasing the concentration of certain proteins. Turning back the clock this way has enormous potential in clinical contexts. For example, on an individual basis, skin cells can be reprogrammed into embryonic stem cells, and be made into desired cell types by manipulating certain proteins. This process is known as regenerative medicine.

The study was recently published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE.

Explore further: Study shows adipose stem cells may be the cell of choice for therapeutic applications

More information: Victor Olariu et al. Different reprogramming propensities in plants and mammals: Are small variations in the core network wirings responsible?, PLOS ONE (2017). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0175251

Journal reference: PLoS ONE

Provided by: Lund University

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 …

Freiburg plant biologist Prof. Dr. Thomas Laux and his research group have published an article in the journal Developmental Cell presenting initial findings on how shoot stem cells in plants form during embryogenesis, the …

Scientists have discovered the gene essential for chemically reprogramming human amniotic stem cells into a more versatile state similar to embryonic stem cells, in research led by UCL and Heinrich Heine University.

A protein that stays attached on chromosomes during cell division plays a critical role in determining the type of cell that stem cells can become. The discovery, made by EPFL scientists, has significant implications for …

Researchers from the Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Research Institute of Physical Chemical Medicine and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) have concluded that reprogramming does not create differences …

Stem cells are typically thought to have the intrinsic ability to generate or replace specialized cells. However, a team of biologists at NYU showed that regenerating plants can naturally reconstitute their stem cells from …

University of Dundee scientists have solved a mystery concerning one of the most fundamental processes in cell biology, in a new discovery that they hope may help to tackle cancer one day.

Leading hospital “superbugs,” known as the enterococci, arose from an ancestor that dates back 450 million yearsabout the time when animals were first crawling onto land (and well before the age of dinosaurs), according …

A recent research paper in the Journal of Heredity reveals that there are three sub-species of snow leopard. Until now, researchers had assumed this species, Panthera uncia, was monotypic.

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Stem cells in plants and animals behave surprisingly similarly – Phys.Org

UK’s Largest Resource of Human Stem Cells from Healthy Donors Unveiled – Technology Networks


Technology Networks
UK's Largest Resource of Human Stem Cells from Healthy Donors Unveiled
Technology Networks
The Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Initiative (HipSci) project used standardised methods to generate iPSCs on a large scale to study the differences between healthy people. Reference sets of stem cells were generated from skin biopsies donated by …

and more »

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UK’s Largest Resource of Human Stem Cells from Healthy Donors Unveiled – Technology Networks

An exhausted Jonathan Pitre will soon learn if his stem cell transplant has worked – Ottawa Citizen

Jonathan Pitre was exhausted on Tuesday, but he found some strength while watching the Ottawa Senators close out the New York Rangers in Game 6 of their second-round playoff series. –

His white blood cell count rising slowly, Jonathan Pitre will have a medical test Thursday to answer a crucial question: Are the new cells in his bloodstream genetically different?

The answer will reveal whether his second stem cell transplant has taken root in his bone marrow.

I want to be excited but Im holding back until we know for sure, said Pitres mother, Tina Boileau, who has been at his side in Minnesota since the transplant one month ago. Once we know, it seems like well be able to put one foot in front of the other and move on.

The family is taking a cautious approach since Pitres first transplant ended in disappointment in October when doctors learned that his own stem cells had recolonized his bone marrow.

Thursdays test will determine the source of Pitres new cells by isolating his white blood cells and examining the DNA they contain. All of Pitres cells will have a pair of X and Y chromosomes, but doctors will be hoping to find cells with a pair of X chromosomes since those cells can only come from his mother.

Such a discovery would provide evidence that the stem cells donated by Boileau have taken root in her sons bone marrow, and have started to produce new blood cells.

Im really hoping for a positive outcome; I think were due for good news, said Boileau, who expects to learn the results on Monday.

Pitre, who turns 17 next month, has seen his white blood cell count climb recently from 0.0 to 0.4, which remains well below the normal range of 4.0 to 11.0. He continues to suffer fevers, pain and profound exhaustion.

On Tuesday night, he watched the Ottawa Senators close out the New York Rangers while his mother applied fresh dressings and gauze after his bath. It was the first time in his life, Boileau said, that her son did not have the strength to stand during the procedure.

We had the game on and I have to say it really helped us get through it, said Boileau. Jonathan got a bit of strength from the excitement, and it was just enough to help me finish his dressings.

Pitre told his mother Tuesday night that hes not sure if he can see this one through.

I said, Youre going to have to because theres no way Im going home without you,’ Boileau said. He managed to crack a little smile and said, OK, mom.

The University of Minnesota Masonic Childrens Hospital is theonly facility in the world that offers a blood and marrow transplant as a treatment for those with severe epidermolysis bullosa (EB). If Pitres transplant is successful, his new stems cells will have the power to deliver to his injured skin cells that can secrete a missing protein essential to the development of collagen.

Collagen is the glue that gives skin its strength and structure, and those with Pitres disease, recessive dytstrophic EB, are missing it. The treatment holds the potential to dramatically improve Pitres skin and make his disease more manageable.

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An exhausted Jonathan Pitre will soon learn if his stem cell transplant has worked – Ottawa Citizen

Scientists unveil the UK’s largest resource of human stem cells from healthy donors – Medical Xpress

May 10, 2017 Eye stem cells. Credit: University of Southampton

Reported in Nature today, one of the largest sets of high quality human induced pluripotent stem cell lines from healthy individuals has been produced by a consortium involving the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Comprehensively annotated and available for independent research, the hundreds of stem cell lines are a powerful resource for scientists studying human development and disease.

With collaborative partners from King’s College London, the European Bioinformatics Institute, the University of Dundee and the University of Cambridge, the study also investigates in unprecedented detail the extensive variation between stem cells from different healthy people.

Technological advancements have made it possible to take an adult cell and use specific growth conditions to turn back the clock – returning it to an early embryonic state. This results in an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC), which can develop into any type of cell in the body. These iPSCs have huge scientific potential for studying the development and the impact of diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease.

However, the process of creating an iPSC is long and complicated and few laboratories have the facilities to characterise their cells in a way that makes them useful for other scientists to use.

The Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Initiative (HipSci) project used standardised methods to generate iPSCs on a large scale to study the differences between healthy people. Reference sets of stem cells were generated from skin biopsies donated by 301 healthy volunteers, creating multiple stem cell lines from each person.

The researchers created 711 cell lines and generated detailed information about their genome, the proteins expressed in them, and the cell biology of each cell line. Lines and data generated by this initiative are available to academic researchers and industry.

Dr Daniel Gaffney, a lead author on the paper, from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, said: “We have created a comprehensive, high quality reference set of human induced pluripotent stem cell lines from healthy volunteers. Each of these stem cell lines has been extensively characterised and made available to the wider research community along with the annotation data. This resource is a stepping stone for researchers to make better cell models of many diseases, because they can study disease risk in many cell types, including those that are normally inaccessible.”

By creating more than one stem cell line from each healthy individual, the researchers were able to determine the similarity of stem cell lines from the same person.

Prof Fiona Watt, a lead author on the paper and co-principal investigator of HipSci, from King’s College London, said: “Many other efforts to create stem cells focus on rare diseases. In our study, stem cells have been produced from hundreds of healthy volunteers to study common genetic variation. We were able to show similar characteristics of iPS cells from the same person, and revealed that up to 46 per cent of the differences we saw in iPS cells were due to differences between individuals. These data will allow researchers to put disease variations in context with healthy people.”

The project, which has taken 4 years to complete, required a multidisciplinary approach with many different collaborators, who specialised in different aspects of creating the cell lines and characterising the data.

Dr Oliver Stegle, a lead author on the paper, from the European Bioinformatics Institute, said: “This study was only possible due to the large scale, systematic production and characterisation of the stem cell lines. To help us to understand the different properties of the cells, we collected extensive data on multiple molecular layers, from the genome of the lines to their cell biology. This type of phenotyping required a whole facility rather than just a single lab, and will provide a huge resource to other scientists. Already, the data being generated have helped to gain a clearer picture of what a typical human iPSC cell looks like.”

Dr Michael Dunn, Head of Genetics and Molecular Sciences at Wellcome, said: “This is the fantastic result of many years of work to create a national resource of high quality, well-characterised human induced pluripotent stem cells. This has been a significant achievement made possible by the collaboration of researchers across the country with joint funding provided by Wellcome and the MRC. It will help to provide the knowledge base to underpin a huge amount of future research into the effects of our genes on health and disease. By ensuring this resource is openly available to all, we hope that it will pave the way for many more fascinating discoveries.”

Explore further: Stem cell consortium tackles complex genetic diseases

More information: Helena Kilpinen et al, Common genetic variation drives molecular heterogeneity in human iPSCs, Nature (2017). DOI: 10.1038/nature22403

http://www.yourgenome.org/facts/what-is-a-stem-cell

Reported in Nature today, one of the largest sets of high quality human induced pluripotent stem cell lines from healthy individuals has been produced by a consortium involving the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Comprehensively …

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Scientists unveil the UK’s largest resource of human stem cells from healthy donors – Medical Xpress

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