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Limber Lungs: One Type of Airway Cell Can Regenerate Another Lung Cell Type

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Newswise PHILADELPHIA A new collaborative study describes a way that lung tissue can regenerate after injury. The team found that lung tissue has more dexterity in repairing tissue than once thought. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Duke University, including co-senior authors Jon Epstein, MD, chair of the department of Cell and Developmental Biology, and Brigid L.M Hogan, Duke Medicine, along with co-first authors Rajan Jain, MD, a cardiologist and instructor in the Department of Medicine and Christina E. Barkauskas, also from Duke, report their findings in Nature Communications.

Its as if the lung cells can regenerate from one another as needed to repair missing tissue, suggesting that there is much more flexibility in the system than we have previously appreciated, says Epstein. These arent classic stem cells that we see regenerating the lung. They are mature lung cells that awaken in response to injury. We want to learn how the lung regenerates so that we can stimulate the process in situations where it is insufficient, such as in patients with COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease].

The two types of airway cells in the alveoli, the gas-exchanging part of the lung, have very different functions, but can morph into each other under the right circumstances, the investigators found. Long, thin Type 1 cells are where gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide) are exchanged the actual breath. Type 2 cells secrete surfactant, a soapy substance that helps keep airways open. In fact, premature babies need to be treated with surfactant to help them breathe.

The team showed in mouse models that these two types of cells originate from a common precursor stem cell in the embryo. Next, the team used other mouse models in which part of the lung was removed and single cell culture to study the plasticity of cell types during lung regrowth. The team showed that Type 1 cells can give rise to Type 2 cells, and vice-versa.

The Duke team had previously established that Type 2 cells produce surfactant and function as progenitors in adult mice, demonstrating differentiation into gas-exchanging Type 1 cells. The ability of Type I cells to give rise to alternate lineages had not been previously reported.

We decided to test that hypothesis about Type 1 cells, says Jain. We found that Type 1 cells give rise to the Type 2 cells over about three weeks in various models of regeneration. We saw new cells growing back into these new areas of the lung. Its as if the lung knows it has to grow back and can call into action some Type 1 cells to help in that process.

This is one of the first studies to show that a specialized cell type that was thought to be at the end of its ability to differentiate can revert to an earlier state under the right conditions. In this case, it was not by using a special formula of transcription factors, but by inducing damage to tell the body to repair itself and that it needs new cells of a certain type to do that.

The team is also applying the approaches outlined in this paper to cells in the intestine and skin to study basic ideas of stem cell maintenance and differentiation to relate back to similar mechanisms in the heart. They also hope to apply this knowledge to such other lung conditions as acute respiratory distress syndrome and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, where the alveoli cannot get enough oxygen into the blood.

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Limber Lungs: One Type of Airway Cell Can Regenerate Another Lung Cell Type

Regenestem Network Announces Plans to Attend the 23rd Annual World Congress on Anti-Aging Medicine May 7-9, 2015

Miami, FL (PRWEB) April 06, 2015

Regenestem Network, a subsidiary of the Global Stem Cells Group, has announced plans to attend the 23rd Annual World Congress on Anti-Aging Medicine (a4m) at the Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Fla. Hosted by the American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine, the conference will be attended by physicians and medical practitioners from around the world.

Regenestem Network plans to showcase its upcoming stem cell training course, Adipose Derived and Bone Marrow Stem Cell course, with classes scheduled to be held May 9-10 and June 15-16, 2015 in Miami. The intensive, two-day course covers the latest technology and procedures in adipose and bone marrow stem cell therapies. Participants learn skills that can be used in their own practice and for career advancement.

A4m Conference Keynote speakers include Daniel G. Amen, MD, David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, ABIHM, and Gary Small, MD. All three will focus on disease prevention and optimized health through a proactive treatment approach. These world-renown speakers are scheduled to deliver insightful presentations, the latest research and breakthrough therapies in anti-aging medicine.

To learn more about the 23rd Annual World Congress on Anti-Aging Medicine, visit the a4m website. For more information on the Regenestem Network, visit the website at regenestemnetwork.com. For more information on the stem cell training classes, visit the http://www.stemcelltraining.net website, email bnovas(at)regenestem(dot)com, or call 849.943.2988.

About Regenestem Network:

Regenestem Network, a division of the Global Stem Cells Group, Inc., is an international medical practice association committed to researching and producing comprehensive stem cell treatments for patients worldwide. Having assembled a highly qualified staff of medical specialistsprofessionals trained in the latest cutting-edge techniques in cellular medicineRegenestem continues to be a leader in delivering the latest protocols in the adult stem cell arena. Global Stem Cells Group and Regenestem Network are expanding the companys clinical presence worldwide by partnering with experienced and qualified regenerative medicine physicians to open new clinics licensed and developed under the Regenestem banner. In 2014, Global Stem Cells Group expanded the Regenestem Networks global presence to 20 countries.

Regenestem offers stem cell treatments to help treat a variety of diseases and conditions including arthritis, autism, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, and pain due to injuries at various facilities worldwide. Regenestem Oaxaca will have an international staff experienced in administering the latest in cellular therapies.

Regenestem is certified for the medical tourism market, and staff physicians are board-certified or board-eligible. Regenestem clinics provide services in more than 10 specialties, attracting patients from the United States and around the world.

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Regenestem Network Announces Plans to Attend the 23rd Annual World Congress on Anti-Aging Medicine May 7-9, 2015

‘Open’ stem cell chromosomes reveal new possibilities for diabetes

Researchers map chromosomal changes that must take place before stem cells can be used to produce pancreatic and liver cells

IMAGE:These are pancreatic cells derived from embryonic stem cells. view more

Credit: UC San Diego School of Medicine

Stem cells hold great promise for treating a number of diseases, in part because they have the unique ability to differentiate, specializing into any one of the hundreds of cell types that comprise the human body. Harnessing this potential, though, is difficult. In some cases, it takes up to seven carefully orchestrated steps of adding certain growth factors at specific times to coax stem cells into the desired cell type. Even then, cells of the intestine, liver and pancreas are notoriously difficult to produce from stem cells. Writing in Cell Stem Cell April 2, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered why.

It turns out that the chromosomes in laboratory stem cells open slowly over time, in the same sequence that occurs during embryonic development. It isn't until certain chromosomal regions have acquired the "open" state that they are able to respond to added growth factors and become liver or pancreatic cells. This new understanding, say researchers, will help spur advancements in stem cell research and the development of new cell therapies for diseases of the liver and pancreas, such as type 1 diabetes.

"Our ability to generate liver and pancreatic cells from stem cells has fallen behind the advances we've made for other cell types," said Maike Sander, MD, professor of pediatrics and cellular and molecular medicine and director of the Pediatric Diabetes Research Center at UC San Diego. "So we haven't yet been able to do things like test new drugs on stem cell-derived liver and pancreatic cells. What we have learned is that if we want to make specific cells from stem cells, we need ways to predict how those cells and their chromosomes will respond to the growth factors."

Sander led the study, together with co-senior author Bing Ren, PhD, professor of cellular and molecular medicine at UC San Diego and Ludwig Cancer Research member.

Chromosomes are the structures formed by tightly wound and packed DNA. Humans have 46 chromosomes - 23 inherited from each parent. Sander, Ren and their teams first made maps of chromosomal modifications over time, as embryonic stem cells differentiated through several different developmental intermediates on their way to becoming pancreatic and liver cells. Then, in analyzing these maps, they discovered links between the accessibility (openness) of certain regions of the chromosome and what they call developmental competence - the ability of the cell to respond to triggers like added growth factors.

"We're also finding that these chromosomal regions that need to open before a stem cell can fully differentiate are linked to regions where there are variations in certain disease states," Sander says.

In other words, if a person were to inherit a genetic variation in one of these chromosomal regions and his or her chromosome didn't open up at exactly the right time, he or she could hypothetically be more susceptible to a disease affecting that cell type. Sander's team is now working to further investigate what role, if any, these chromosomal regions and their variations play in diabetes.

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'Open' stem cell chromosomes reveal new possibilities for diabetes

Key mechanism identified in tumor-cell proliferation in pediatric bone cancers

A particular molecular pathway permits stem cells in pediatric bone cancers to grow rapidly and aggressively, according to researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and its Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center.

In normal cell growth, the Hippo pathway, which controls organ size in animals, works as a dam, regulating cell proliferation. What the researchers found is that the transcription factor of a DNA binding protein called sex determining region Y box 2, or Sox2 for short, which normally maintains cell self-renewal, actually releases the floodgates in the Hippo pathway in osteosarcomas and other cancers, permitting the growth of highly aggressive, tumor-forming stem cells.

Results from the study are to be published in the journal Nature Communications online April 2.

"This study is one of the first to identify the mechanisms that underlie how an osteosarcoma cancer stem cell maintains its tumor-initiating properties," says senior study investigator Claudio Basilico, MD, the Jan T. Vilcek Professor of Molecular Pathogenesis at NYU Langone and a member of its Perlmutter Cancer Center.

In the study, the investigators used human and mouse osteosarcomas to pinpoint the molecular mechanisms that inhibit the tumor-suppressive Hippo pathway. The researchers concluded that Sox2 represses the functioning of the Hippo pathway, which, in turn, leads to an increase of the potent growth stimulator Yes Associated Protein, known as YAP, permitting cancer cell proliferation.

"Our research is an important step forward in developing novel targeted therapies for these highly aggressive cancers," says study co-investigator Alka Mansukhani, PhD, an associate professor at NYU Langone and also a member of the Perlmutter Cancer Center. "One possibility is to develop a small molecule that could knock out the Sox2 transcription factor and free the Hippo pathway to re-exert tumor suppression."

Mansukhani adds that the research suggests that drugs such as verteporfin, which interfere with cancer-promoting YAP function, might prove useful in Sox2-dependent tumors.

The study expands on previous work in Basilico's and Mansukhani's molecular oncology laboratories at NYU Langone and on earlier work by Upal Basu Roy, PhD, MPH, the lead study investigator, who found that Sox2 was an essential transcription factor for the maintenance of osteosarcoma stem cells.

The NYU group has shown that, i addition to playing a role in osteosarcoma, Sox2 operates in other tumors, such as glioblastomas, an aggressive type of brain cancer.

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Key mechanism identified in tumor-cell proliferation in pediatric bone cancers

UCI team gets $5 million to create stem cell treatment for Huntington’s disease

Irvine, Calif., March 26, 2015 -- Leslie Thompson of the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center at UC Irvine has been awarded $5 million by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to continue her CIRM-funded effort to develop stem cell treatments for Huntington's disease.

The grant supports her next step: identifying and testing stem cell-based treatments for HD, an inherited, incurable and fatal neurodegenerative disorder. In this project, Thompson and her colleagues will establish an HD therapy employing human embryonic stem cells that can be evaluated in clinical trials.

Over the past seven years, Thompson, a UCI professor of psychiatry & human behavior and neurobiology & behavior, and her team have used CIRM funding to produce stem cell lines "reprogrammed" from the skin cells of individuals carrying the Huntington's genetic mutation in order to study the disease. In addition, they conducted basic and early-stage transitional studies to develop a stem cell-based technique to treat areas of the brain susceptible to HD.

"These stem cells offer a possible long-term treatment approach that could relieve the tremendous suffering experienced by HD patients and their families," said Thompson, who's also affiliated with UCI's Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND). "We appreciate CIRM and the millions of people in the state of California for generously supporting breakthrough stem cell research."

With this award, CIRM has granted Thompson $10.3 million for her HD work. Overall, UCI has received $105 million from the state-funded agency.

Thompson said that her group has identified a highly promising neural stem cell line that shows disease-modifying activity in HD mice. These neural stem cells were grown from human embryonic stem cells at UC Davis. The researchers also will conduct essential preclinical efficacy and safety studies in HD mice with these cells.

Over the span of the 2-year grant, Thompson said, the goal is to finalize work that will lead to a pre-investigational-new-drug meeting with the Food & Drug Administration and a path forward for clinical trials with the neural stem cells.

"This investment will let us further test the early promise shown by these projects," said Jonathan Thomas, chair of the CIRM governing board. "Preclinical work is vital in examining the feasibility, potential effectiveness and safety of a therapy before we try it on people. These projects all showed compelling evidence that they could be tremendously beneficial to patients. We want to help them build on that earlier research and move the projects to the next level."

HD is a devastating degenerative brain disorder with no disease-modifying treatment or cure. Current approaches only address certain symptoms of HD and do not change its course.

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UCI team gets $5 million to create stem cell treatment for Huntington's disease

Sungduan: Growth factors

EVEN without surgery, one can now experience a dramatic improvement and even cure on health concerns such as diabetes, cancer, HIV, and cardiovascular diseases. This is through the stem cell technology and telomere science.

Dr. Marc Lavaro Jr., an expert on general & ocular oncology, general & ocular pharmacology, pediatric ophthalmic medicine, and Science of Epigenetics said these new technology are considered as breakthrough which repairs and rejuvenates the cells.

Lavaro, head of a molecular biology research in Gifu Prefecture, Japan and Osato Research Institute, Tokyo Japan stressed that stem cell is a kind of cell that can duplicate all kinds of cell which is why it can repair a damaged heart for instance.

In his book entitled 278+ Growth Factors which he is set to publish, he also mentioned that there are also certain organs which do not regenerate like the heart and brain but through stem cells it can revitalize.

Growth factors are stem cell stimulators that address medical conditions including diseases. Each growth factor is equivalent to 1 disease. For example, in a tumor kidney problem, stem cells produce growth factors to combat it.

Another technology is the telomere science under science of Epigenetics. Telomere is part of the chromosome and it protects it. It is responsible for the cell division and daily produces new cell to replace the dead cells.

Ang cell natin is designed to last forever but and pag-ikli ng telomere ang cause of sickness. Pero pwede na siyang marepair. Activator enzyme siya kaya reverse telomere rejuvenate cell, Lavaro explained.

The good news is the stem technology is now in the market and it comes in the form of liquid gel, capsule, and syrup. This is produced by Jeunesse , an exclusive patent pending stem cell technology advance technology, science of epigenetics, and stem cell science technology. It is also cheaper compared to the old stem technology wherein one has to pay for at least 700,000 to more than one million pesos per shot.

Jeunesse is a product of medical research conducted by Dr. Nathan Newman, the father of stem cell technology and world renowned for his cosmetic surgery and innovator of stem cell lift cutting edge cosmetic surgery, without cutting.

Dapat conscious tayo sa health natin at alamin ang tinatake natin if nagwowork talaga o hype lamang ng company, Lavaro added.

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Sungduan: Growth factors

Cleveland Clinic Researchers First to Demonstrate Significant Blocking of Opioid Tolerance With Mesenchymal Stem Cell …

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Newswise March 24, 2015, NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. - Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation reduced opioid tolerance and opioid-induced hyperalgesia caused by daily morphine injections in rats, according to new research. The results could herald stem cell transplantation as an innovative, safe, efficacious and cost-effective therapy to treat pain and opioid tolerance, said researchers, who presented results in a Plenary Research Highlight session at the 31st Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.

Not only was opioid tolerance prevented when the rats were transplanted with MSC before repeated morphine injections, but tolerance was reversed when the rats were treated after opioid tolerance had developed, results demonstrated.

MSCs have a remarkable anti-inflammatory effect and a powerful anti-tolerance effect, said the studys principal investigator, Jianguo Cheng, M.D., Ph.D., who led the research team from the Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio. Although clinical trials are still three to five years away, he said, eventually, The results may apply to millions of patients with a wide range of pain states, including cancer pain and other intractable chronic pain that requires long-term opioid therapy.

Furthermore, Cheng characterized the procedure as practical, in light of readily available sources of stem cells, reliable stem cell technology, the simplicity of transplantation procedures and the fact that clinical trials are already underway involving autoimmune and other diseases.

The Institute of Medicine report on pain in America documented millions who suffer with chronic pain (Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research. National Academies Press [US]; 2011). Opioid therapy is a cornerstone component of pain management for many people with severe, ongoing pain; however, side effects such as tolerance and the risks posed by abuse, addiction and drug overdose limit its utility. Tolerance, a physiologic process in which the patients body adjusts to a dose and no longer achieves pain relief, is a common limitation with opioid therapy. The higher doses that result can limit effectiveness and compromise safety.

Glial cells are of growing interest in pain research and have been implicated in the development of tolerance. Glial cell activity also produces pain through the release of products that excite the nervous system, playing an important role in the spinal cord during nerve injury. Furthermore, the opioids used to treat pain, also can induce glial activity, causing pain relief to drop and unwanted opioid effects, including tolerance, dependence, reward and decreased breathing, to grow. A focus of research, then, is to separate the desired effect of pain relief from the unwanted opioid effects (Watkins et al, Trends in Pharmacological Sciences 2009;30(11): 581-91).

Interest in transplant of stem cells is another maturing research avenue (Hsu et al, Cell Transplant 2007;16(2):133-50). MSCs can differentiate into a variety of cell types and have been investigated for potential repair of damaged neural cells and for calming inflammation in the immune system to promote recovery after traumatic brain injury (Zhang et al, J Neuroinflammation 2013;10(1):106).

Following this line of research, the study investigators wondered whether they could create an anti-tolerance therapy by transplanting MSCs into the intrathecal space surrounding the spinal cord. With approval by the Cleveland Clinic Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and funding through the Department of Defenses Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, they compared the withdrawal thresholds of the hind paws in response to painful mechanical and thermal stimuli in two groups of rats that received daily morphine injections. The first group was treated with MSC transplantation and the control group with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS).

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Johns Hopkins Medicine, based in Baltimore, Maryland

Top Features Psychedelic Drug Use Could Reduce Psychological Distress, Suicidal Thinking

A history of psychedelic drug use is associated with less psychological distress and fewer suicidal thoughts, planning, and attempts, according to new research from Johns Hopkins and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have successfully corrected a genetic error in stem cells from patients with sickle cell disease, then used those cells to grow mature red blood cells.

When and why do physicians prescribe costlier brand-name drugs when generic ones are available? Thats the question the Food and Drug Administration has put to a Johns Hopkins team, which has been tapped to conduct a two-year study that will analyze factors that determine underuse of generic drugs.

Even though the ORC protein machinery is crucial to life, we didnt know much about how it works, says James Berger, Ph.D. By learning what it looks like, down to the arrangement of each atom, we can get a sense of where it interacts with DNA and how it does its job.

At noon on Friday, March 20, fourth-year medical students from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and all across the country learned where they will begin residency programs this summer. Meet five remarkable medical students and learn what brought them to call Johns Hopkins their home.

Dr. Saleh Alqahtani discusses the causes, symptoms and treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

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Researcher Hongjun Song introduces the Stem Cell Biology Program, where scientists get an up-close look at diseases by making stem cells with patients' DNA and growing affected cell types in the lab.

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Johns Hopkins Medicine, based in Baltimore, Maryland

stem cell medicine Jakarta tangerang serpong bsd bintaro – Video


stem cell medicine Jakarta tangerang serpong bsd bintaro
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By: Layar Baru DKI

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stem cell medicine Jakarta tangerang serpong bsd bintaro - Video

Global Stem Cells Group to Hold Practical Adipose-Derived Stem Cell Harvesting, Isolation and Re-integration Training …

MIAMI (PRWEB) March 19, 2015

Global Stem Cells Group and its subsidiary, Stem Cells Training, has coordinated with Emil Arroyo, M.D. and Horacio Oliver, M.D. to conduct the first of four stem cell training courses planned for Bolivia in 2015. Devised to meet the increasing demand for regenerative medicine techniques in the region, the first adipose derived harvesting, isolation and re-integration training course will take place April 4 and 5, 2015, in Santa Cruz.

The two-day, hands-on intensive training course was developed for physicians and high-level practitioners to learn the techniques in harvesting and reintegrating stem cells derived from adipose tissue and bone marrow. The objective of the training is to provide physicians with practical stem cell medicine techniques they can use in-office to treat a variety of conditions in their patients.

For more information, visit the Global Stem Cells Group website, email info(at)stemcelltraining(dot)net, or call 305-224-1858.

About Global Stem Cells Group:

Global Stem Cells Group, Inc. is the parent company of six wholly owned operating companies dedicated entirely to stem cell research, training, products and solutions. Founded in 2012, the company combines dedicated researchers, physician and patient educators and solution providers with the shared goal of meeting the growing worldwide need for leading edge stem cell treatments and solutions.

With a singular focus on this exciting new area of medical research, Global Stem Cells Group and its subsidiaries are uniquely positioned to become global leaders in cellular medicine.

Global Stem Cells Groups corporate mission is to make the promise of stem cell medicine a reality for patients around the world. With each of GSCGs six operating companies focused on a separate research-based mission, the result is a global network of state-of-the-art stem cell treatments.

About Stem Cell Training, Inc.:

Stem Cell Training, Inc. is a multi-disciplinary company offering coursework and training in 35 cities worldwide. The coursework offered focuses on minimally invasive techniques for harvesting stem cells from adipose tissue, bone marrow and platelet-rich plasma. By equipping physicians with these techniques, the goal is to enable them to return to their practices, better able to apply these techniques in patient treatments.

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Boston Stem Cell Biotech Start-up Asymmetrex Will Present Essential Technologies for Stem Cell Medical Engineering at …

Boston, MA (PRWEB) March 18, 2015

In the vast flow of new scientific research, discoveries, and information, it is not uncommon for important scientific advances to go unappreciated, or even just unnoticed, for surprisingly long periods of time. The Boston stem cell medicine technology start-up company, Asymmetrex is working to make sure that its growing portfolio of adult tissue stem cell technology patents obtains wide notice, appreciation, and investment.

In late 2014, the company started a digital media campaign to achieve greater visibility for its patented technologies that address the major barriers to greater progress in stem cell medicine. These include technologies for identifying, counting, and mass-producing adult tissue stem cells. The two presentations scheduled for the 5th World Congress on Cell and Stem Cell Research in Chicago continue Asymmetrexs efforts to better inform medical, research, and industrial communities focused on advancing stem cell medicine of the companys vision for implementation of its unique technologies.

Asymmetrex holds patents for the only method described for routine production of natural human tissue stem cells that retain their normal function. The company also holds patents for biomarkers that can be used to count tissue stem cells for the first time. The companys most recently developed technology was invented with computer-simulation leader, AlphaSTAR Corporation. In partnership, the two companies created a first-of-its-kind method for monitoring adult tissue stem cell number and function for any human tissue that can be cultured. This advance is the basis for the two companies AlphaSTEM technology for detecting adult tissue stem cell-toxic drug candidates before conventional preclinical testing in animals or clinical trials. Asymmetrex and AlphaSTAR plan to market the new technology to pharmaceutical companies. The implementation of AlphaSTEM technology would accelerate drug development and reduce adverse drug events for volunteers and patients. At full capacity use, AlphaSTEM could reduce U.S. drug development costs by $4-5 billion each year.

About Asymmetrex (http://asymmetrex.com/)

Asymmetrex, LLC is a Massachusetts life sciences company with a focus on developing technologies to advance stem cell medicine. Asymmetrexs founder and director, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. is an internationally recognized expert on the unique properties of adult tissue stem cells. The companys patent portfolio contains biotechnologies that solve the two main technical problems production and quantification that have stood in the way of successful commercialization of human adult tissue stem cells for regenerative medicine and drug development. In addition, the portfolio includes novel technologies for isolating cancer stem cells and producing induced pluripotent stem cells for disease research purposes. Currently, Asymmetrexs focus is employing its technological advantages to develop facile methods for monitoring adult stem cell number and function in clinically important human tissues.

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Boston Stem Cell Biotech Start-up Asymmetrex Will Present Essential Technologies for Stem Cell Medical Engineering at ...

A Single-Cell Breakthrough: newly developed technology dissects properties of single stem cells

The human gut is a remarkable thing. Every week the intestines regenerate a new lining, sloughing off the equivalent surface area of a studio apartment and refurbishing it with new cells. For decades, researchers have known that the party responsible for this extreme makeover were intestinal stem cells, but it wasn't until this year that Scott Magness, PhD, associate professor of medicine, cell biology and physiology, and biomedical engineering, figured out a way to isolate and grow thousands of these elusive cells in the laboratory at one time. This high throughput technological advance now promises to give scientists the ability to study stem cell biology and explore the origins of inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal cancers, and other gastrointestinal disorders.

But it didn't come easy.

One Step Forward . . .

When Magness and his team first began working with intestinal stem cells some years ago, they quickly found themselves behind the eight ball. Their first technique involved using a specific molecule or marker on the surface of stem cells to make sure they could distinguish stem cells from other intestinal cells. Then Magness's team would fish out only the stem cells from intestinal tissues and grow the cells in Petri dishes. But there was a problem. Even though all of the isolated cells had the same stem cell marker, only one out of every 100 could "self-renew" and differentiate into specialized cells like a typical stem cell should. (Stem cells spawn cells that have specialized functions necessary for any organ to work properly.)

"The question was: why didn't the 99 others behave like stem cells?" Magness said. "We thought it was probably because they're not all the same, just like everybody named Judy doesn't look the same. There are all kinds of differences, and we've been presuming that these cells are all the same based on this one name, this one molecular marker. That's been a problem. But the only way to solve it so we could study these cells was to look at intestinal stem cells at the single cell level, which had never been done before."

Magness is among a growing contingent of researchers who recognize that many of the biological processes underlying health and disease are driven by a tiny fraction of the 37 trillion cells that make up the human body. Individual cells can replenish aging tissues, develop drug resistance, and become vehicles for viral infections. And yet the effects of these singular actors are often missed in biological studies that focus on pooled populations of thousands of seemingly "identical" cells.

Distinguishing between the true intestinal stem cells and their cellular look-a-likes would require isolating tens of thousands of stem cells and tracking the behavior of each individual cell over time. But Magness had no idea how to accomplish that feat. Enter Nancy Allbritton, PhD, chair of the UNC/NCSU Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering. The two professors met one day to discuss Magness joining the biomedical engineering department as an adjunct faculty member. And they did discuss it. And Magness did join. But the meeting quickly turned into collaboration. One of Allbritton's areas of expertise is microfabrication -- the ability to squeeze large devices into very small footprints. During their meeting, Allbritton showed Magness her latest creation, a device smaller than a credit card dotted with 15,000 tiny wells for culturing cells.

"It was like a light bulb went off, and I realized I was looking at the answer to a billion of our problems," Magness said.

Micro Magic

Each microwell is as thick as a strand of hair. By placing individual stem cells into the microwells, Magness and postdoctoral fellow Adam Gracz, PhD, could watch the cells grow into fully developed tissue structures known as mini-guts. Each microwell could be stamped with a specific address, which would allow researchers to track stem cells that were behaving as expected and those that weren't.

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A Single-Cell Breakthrough: newly developed technology dissects properties of single stem cells

BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics to Present at 3rd Annual Regen Med Investor Day on March 25 in New York

HACKENSACK, N.J.and PETACH TIKVAH, Israel, March 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: BCLI), a leading developer of adult stem cell technologies for neurodegenerative diseases, announced today that CEO Tony Fiorino, MD, PhD, will present at the 3rd Annual Regen Med Investor Day to be held Wednesday, March 25, 2015 in New York City.

Organized by the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) and co-hosted with Piper Jaffray, this one-day investor meeting provides institutional, strategic and venture investors with unique insight into the financing hypothesis for advanced therapies-based treatment and tools. The program includes clinical and commercial experts who are on-hand to address specific questions regarding the outlook for these products, as well as offer insight into how advanced therapies could impact the standard of care in key therapeutic areas. In addition to presentations by more than 30 leading companies from across the globe, the event includes dynamic, interactive panels featuring research analysts covering the space, key clinical opinion leaders and top company CEOs. These discussions will explore themes specific to cell and gene therapy such as commercialization, market access and pricing for breakthrough technologies, gene therapy delivery and upcoming milestones in the adoptive T-cell therapy space.

The following are specific details regarding BrainStorm's presentation:

Event:

ARM's Regen Med Investor Day

Date:

March 25, 2015

Time:

4:20 PM EST

Location:

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BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics to Present at 3rd Annual Regen Med Investor Day on March 25 in New York

Global Stem Cells Group to Participate in the 25th Argentine Congress of Aesthetic Medicine in Buenos Aires April 9-10 …

MIAMI (PRWEB) March 17, 2015

GlobalStemCellsGroup.com has announced plans to participate in the 25th annual Argentine Congress of Aesthetic Medicine April 9 and 10 2015. More than 1,000 physicians from around the world will descend on Buenos Aires for the conference to learn and share new findings in aesthetic medicine.

Following the congress, Global Stem Cells Group and Estanislao Janowski, M.D., a plastic surgeon specializing in stem cell application in aesthetic and cosmetic medicine will conduct an intensive, hands-on course on stem cell harvesting, isolation and re-integration, to be held April 11. Janowski, a GSCG faculty member and long-time collaborator is the owner and president of Bioplastica, an aesthetic surgical center featuring the latest stem cell applications in cosmetic and anti-aging medicine.

This will be the third year Global Stem Cells Group participates in the conference, hosted by the Argentina Society of Aesthetic Medicine (SOARME). A soon-to-be-named GSCG faculty member will also deliver a keynote speech to congress attendees.

The international event, which will be held at the Catholic University of Argentina in Buenos Aires, will feature acclaimed stem cell aesthetic practitioners from Argentina and the U.S. SOAME is a member of the Argentine Medical Association (A.M.A.) and of the International Union of Aesthetic Medicine (U.I.M.E.). SOAME has the scientific support of the John F. Kennedy University in Buenos Aires and a host of national and international scientific organizations.

For more information visit the Global Stem Cells Group website, email bnovas(at)regenestem(dot)com, or call 305-224-1858.

About the Global Stem Cells Group:

Global Stem Cells Group, Inc. is the parent company of six wholly owned operating companies dedicated entirely to stem cell research, training, products and solutions. Founded in 2012, the company combines dedicated researchers, physician and patient educators and solution providers with the shared goal of meeting the growing worldwide need for leading edge stem cell treatments and solutions.

With a singular focus on this exciting new area of medical research, Global Stem Cells Group and its subsidiaries are uniquely positioned to become global leaders in cellular medicine.

Global Stem Cells Groups corporate mission is to make the promise of stem cell medicine a reality for patients around the world. With each of GSCGs six operating companies focused on a separate research-based mission, the result is a global network of state-of-the-art stem cell treatments.

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Global Stem Cells Group to Participate in the 25th Argentine Congress of Aesthetic Medicine in Buenos Aires April 9-10 ...

Boosting A Natural Protection Against Alzheimer’s Disease

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Newswise Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a gene variant that may be used to predict people most likely to respond to an investigational therapy under development for Alzheimers disease (AD). The study, published March 12 in Cell Stem Cell, is based on experiments with cultured neurons derived from adult stem cells.

Our results suggest that certain gene variants allow us to reduce the amount of beta amyloid produced by neurons, said senior author Lawrence Goldstein, PhD, director of UC San Diego Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center and UC San Diego Stem Cell Program. This is potentially significant for slowing the progression of Alzheimers disease. AD is the most common cause of dementia in the United States, afflicting one in nine people age 65 and older.

The genetic risk factor investigated are variants of the SORL1 gene. The gene codes for a protein that affects the processing and subsequent accumulation of beta amyloid peptides, small bits of sticky protein that build up in the spaces between neurons. These plaques are linked to neuronal death and related dementia.

Previous studies have shown that certain variants of the SORL1 gene confer some protection from AD, while other variants are associated with about a 30 percent higher likelihood of developing the disease. Approximately one-third of the U.S. adult population is believed to carry the non-protective gene variants.

The studys primary finding is that variants in the SORL1 gene may also be associated with how neurons respond to a natural compound in the brain that normally acts to protect nerve cell health. The protective compound, called BDNF, short for brain-derived neurotrophic factor, is currently being investigated as a potential therapy for a number of neurological diseases, including AD, because of its role in promoting neuronal survival.

For the study, UC San Diego researchers took skin cells from 13 people, seven of whom had AD and six of whom were healthy control subjects, and reprogrammed the skin cells into stem cells. These stem cells were coaxed to differentiate into neurons, and the neurons were cultured and then treated with BDNF.

The experiments revealed that neurons that carried disease-protective SORL1 variants responded to the therapy by reducing their baseline rate of beta amyloid peptide production by, on average, 20 percent. In contrast, the neurons carrying the risk variants of the gene, showed no change in baseline beta amyloid production.

BDNF is found in everyones brain, said first author Jessica Young, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Goldstein laboratory. What we found is that if you add more BDNF to neurons that carry a genetic risk factor for the disease, the neurons dont respond. Those with the protective genetic profile do.

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Boosting A Natural Protection Against Alzheimer's Disease

Stem cells lurking in tumors can resist treatment

IMAGE:Brain tumor stem cells (orange) in mice express a stem cell marker (green). Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are studying how cancer stem cells make... view more

Credit: Yi-Hsien Chen

Scientists are eager to make use of stem cells' extraordinary power to transform into nearly any kind of cell, but that ability also is cause for concern in cancer treatment. Malignant tumors contain stem cells, prompting worries among medical experts that the cells' transformative powers help cancers escape treatment.

New research proves that the threat posed by cancer stem cells is more prevalent than previously thought. Until now, stem cells had been identified only in aggressive, fast-growing tumors. But a mouse study at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows that slow-growing tumors also have treatment-resistant stem cells.

The low-grade brain cancer stem cells identified by the scientists also were less sensitive to anticancer drugs. By comparing healthy stem cells with stem cells from these brain tumors, the researchers discovered the reasons behind treatment resistance, pointing to new therapeutic strategies.

"At the very least, we're going to have to use different drugs and different, likely higher dosages to make sure we kill these tumor stem cells," said senior author David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD, the Donald O. Schnuck Family Professor of Neurology.

The research appears online March 12 in Cell Reports.

First author Yi-Hsien Chen, PhD, a senior postdoctoral research associate in Gutmann's laboratory, used a mouse model of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) low-grade brain tumors to identify cancer stem cells and demonstrate that they could form tumors when transplanted into normal, cancer-free mice.

NF1 is a genetic disorder that affects about 1 in every 2,500 babies. The condition can cause an array of problems, including brain tumors, impaired vision, learning disabilities, behavioral problems, heart defects and bone deformities.

The most common brain tumor in children with NF1 is the optic glioma. Treatment for NF1-related optic gliomas often includes drugs that inhibit a cell growth pathway originally identified by Gutmann. In laboratory tests conducted as part of the new research, it took 10 times the dosage of these drugs to kill the low-grade cancer stem cells.

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Stem cells lurking in tumors can resist treatment

Media portray unrealistic timelines for stem cell therapies

A new study by University of Alberta law researchers reveals sometimes overly optimistic news coverage of clinical translation of stem cell therapies--and as spokespeople, scientists need to be mindful of harnessing public expectations.

"As the dominant voice in respect to timelines for stem cell therapies, the scientists quoted in these stories need to be more aware of the importance of communicating realistic timelines to the press," said researcher Kalina Kamenova, who co-authored the study with professor Timothy Caulfield in the University of Alberta's Health Law Institute, based in the Faculty of Law.

Their analysis of media coverage showed that most news reports were highly optimistic about the future of stem cell therapies and forecasted unrealistic timelines for clinical use. The study, published in the latest issue of Science Translational Medicine, examined 307 news reports covering translational stem cell research in major daily newspapers in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom between 2010 and 2013.

While the field of stem cell research holds tremendous promise, "it has also been surrounded by tremendous hype, and we wanted to quantify that in some degree," Caulfield said. "Pop culture representations have an impact on how the public perceives the readiness of stem cell research, and that in turn feeds into stem cell tourism, marketing of unproven therapies and even the public's trust in research. We wanted to provide findings that would help inform the issue."

Their study found that 69 per cent of all news stories citing timelines predicted that therapies would be available within five to 10 years or even sooner. At the same time, the press overlooked challenges and failures in therapy translation, such as the discontinuation of the first FDA-approved clinical trial of an embryonic stem cell-derived therapy for spinal cord injuries in 2011. The biotech company conducting the trial was a leader in embryonic stem cell therapies and its decision to stop its work on stem cells was considered a significant setback for the field.

As well, ethical concerns about the use of human embryonic stem cells were displaced from the forefront of news coverage, while the clinical translation of stem cell therapies and new discoveries, such as hockey star Gordie Howe's recent treatment, grabbed the headlines instead.

"Our findings showed that many scientists have often provided either by implication or direct quotes, authoritative statements regarding unrealistic timelines for stem cell therapies and media hype can foster unrealistic public expectations about clinical translation and increased patient demand for unproven stem cell therapies," Caulfield noted.

While stem cell therapy research is progressing and has seen a dramatic increase in the past decade of clinical trials for treatments, the vast majority of these studies are still in the safety-testing stage and involve a limited number of participants, Kamenova noted.

"The approval process for new treatments is long and complicated, and only a few of all drugs that enter pre-clinical testing are approved for human clinical trials. It takes on average 12 years to get a new drug from the lab to the market, and additional 11 to 14 years of post-market surveillance," she added.

The science world is under pressure to come up with cures for what ails us, but "care needs to be taken by the media and the research community so that advances in research and therapy are portrayed in a realistic manner," Caulfield said.

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Media portray unrealistic timelines for stem cell therapies

Building custom blood cells to battle sickle cell disease

March 10, 2015

These are human blood cells grown in the lab from genetically edited stem cells. (Credit: Ying Wang/Johns Hopkins Medicine)

Provided by Shawna Williams, Johns Hopkins Medicine

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have successfully corrected a genetic error in stem cells from patients with sickle cell disease, and then used those cells to grow mature red blood cells, they report. The study represents an important step toward more effectively treating certain patients with sickle cell disease who need frequent blood transfusions and currently have few options.

The results appear in an upcoming issue of the journalStem Cells.

In sickle cell disease, a genetic variant causes patients blood cells to take on a crescent, or sickle, shape, rather than the typical round shape. The crescent-shaped cells are sticky and can block blood flow through vessels, often causing great pain and fatigue. Getting a transplant of blood-making bone marrow can potentially cure the disease. But for patients who either cannot tolerate the transplant procedure, or whose transplants fail, the best option may be to receive regular blood transfusions from healthy donors with matched blood types.

[STORY: New injection helps stem traumatic blood loss]

The problem, says Linzhao Cheng, Ph.D. , the Edythe Harris Lucas and Clara Lucas Lynn Professor of Hematology and a member of the Institute for Cell Engineering, is that over time, patients bodies often begin to mount an immune response against the foreign blood. Their bodies quickly kill off the blood cells, so they have to get transfusions more and more frequently, he says.

A solution, Cheng and his colleagues thought, could be to grow blood cells in the lab that were matched to each patients own genetic material and thus could evade the immune system. His research group had already devised a way to use stem cells to make human blood cells. The problem for patients with sickle cell disease is that lab-grown stem cells with their genetic material would have the sickle cell defect.

To solve that problem, the researchers started with patients blood cells and reprogrammed them into so-called induced pluripotent stem cells, which can make any other cell in the body and grow indefinitely in the laboratory. They then used a relatively new genetic editing technique called CRISPR to snip out the sickle cell gene variant and replace it with the healthy version of the gene. The final step was to coax the stem cells to grow into mature blood cells. The edited stem cells generated blood cells just as efficiently as stem cells that hadnt been subjected to CRISPR, the researchers found.

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Building custom blood cells to battle sickle cell disease

Johns Hopkins researchers engineer custom blood cells

IMAGE:These are human blood cells grown in the lab from genetically edited stem cells. view more

Credit: Ying Wang/Johns Hopkins Medicine

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have successfully corrected a genetic error in stem cells from patients with sickle cell disease, and then used those cells to grow mature red blood cells, they report. The study represents an important step toward more effectively treating certain patients with sickle cell disease who need frequent blood transfusions and currently have few options.

The results appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Stem Cells.

In sickle cell disease, a genetic variant causes patients' blood cells to take on a crescent, or sickle, shape, rather than the typical round shape. The crescent-shaped cells are sticky and can block blood flow through vessels, often causing great pain and fatigue. Getting a transplant of blood-making bone marrow can potentially cure the disease. But for patients who either cannot tolerate the transplant procedure, or whose transplants fail, the best option may be to receive regular blood transfusions from healthy donors with matched blood types.

The problem, says Linzhao Cheng, Ph.D. , the Edythe Harris Lucas and Clara Lucas Lynn Professor of Hematology and a member of the Institute for Cell Engineering, is that over time, patients' bodies often begin to mount an immune response against the foreign blood. "Their bodies quickly kill off the blood cells, so they have to get transfusions more and more frequently," he says.

A solution, Cheng and his colleagues thought, could be to grow blood cells in the lab that were matched to each patient's own genetic material and thus could evade the immune system. His research group had already devised a way to use stem cells to make human blood cells. The problem for patients with sickle cell disease is that lab-grown stem cells with their genetic material would have the sickle cell defect.

To solve that problem, the researchers started with patients' blood cells and reprogrammed them into so-called induced pluripotent stem cells, which can make any other cell in the body and grow indefinitely in the laboratory. They then used a relatively new genetic editing technique called CRISPR to snip out the sickle cell gene variant and replace it with the healthy version of the gene. The final step was to coax the stem cells to grow into mature blood cells. The edited stem cells generated blood cells just as efficiently as stem cells that hadn't been subjected to CRISPR, the researchers found.

Cheng notes that to become medically useful, the technique of growing blood cells from stem cells will have to be made even more efficient and scaled up significantly. The lab-grown stem cells would also need to be tested for safety. But, he says, "This study shows it may be possible in the not-too-distant future to provide patients with sickle cell disease with an exciting new treatment option."

This method of generating custom blood cells may also be applicable for other blood disorders, but its potential does not end there, Cheng says. One possibility, which his group hopes to begin studying soon, is that the blood cells of healthy people could be edited to resist malaria and other infectious agents.

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Johns Hopkins researchers engineer custom blood cells

Targazyme Inc. Receives Orphan Drug Designation to TZ101 for Use With Regulatory T Cells to Prevent & Reduce the …

Orphan Designation Provides 7-Year Post Approval Marketing Exclusivity, Tax Credits and Elimination of FDA Prescription Drug User Fees

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - February 10, 2015) - Targazyme Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing enzyme technologies and products to improve efficacy outcomes for stem cell transplantation, immunotherapy, gene therapy and regenerative medicine, announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug designation to TZ101 to prevent and reduce the severity and incidence of graft vs. host disease (GVHD) in patients eligible for hematologic stem cell transplant.

GVHD is a serious, life-threating complication of stem cell transplantation.Orphan drug status confirms the importance of Targazyme's novel treatment approach to prevent and reduce the incidence and severity of GVHD in patients with blood cancers where stem cell transplant is prescribed.TZ101 could potentially transform hematopoietic stem cell transplantation by reducing patient morbidity and mortality from GVHD, which occurs in a large percentage of these patients and is very difficult to manage clinically.

"Our work with TZ101 demonstrates impressive increases in the persistence and activity of regulatory T cells in preclinical models of GVHD," said Dr. Elizabeth J. Shpall, Deputy Chair of the Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center."We are looking forward to beginning clinical trials on this promising modality for preventing GVHD in our patients undergoing stem cell transplantation."

Orphan Drug Designation by FDA confers financial benefits and incentives, such as potential Orphan Drug grant funding to defray the cost of clinical testing, tax credits for the cost of clinical research, a 7 year period of exclusive marketing after Approval and a Waiver of Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) filing fees which are now greater than $2 million.

"The granting of Orphan Drug status for TZ101 for prevention of GVHD in stem cell transplant patients, as well as our previous Orphan Drug designation of TZ101 for cord blood transplantation, provides additional validation of our innovative platform technologies," said Lynnet Koh, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Targazyme."TZ101 and our second product, TZ102 are enabling technologies for improving efficacy outcomes for multiple cell-based therapeutic approaches used to prevent and treat a variety of different diseases for which there is a high unmet medical need.In addition to initiating our registration trial with TZ101 in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, we plan to embark on our cancer immunotherapy trial later this year."

About Targazyme, Inc.

Targazyme Inc. is a San Diego-based, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel enzyme-based platform technologies and products to improve clinical efficacy outcomes for stem cell medicine, auto-immunotherapy, gene therapy and regenerative medicine.

The company's clinical-grade fucosyltransferase enzymes and small molecule products (TZ101 and TZ102) are off-the-shelf products used at the point-of-care to treat therapeutic cells immediately before infusion into the patient using a simple procedure that is easily incorporated into existing medical practice.The company has received a number of world-wide patents, multiple FDA orphan drug designations and major medical/scientific awards and grants.

Targazyme has partnerships and collaborations with Kyowa Hakko Kirin and Florida Biologix, as well as various medical research institutions including The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Texas Transplant Institute, Case Western/University Hospitals, Scripps Hospitals, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UCLA Medical Center, Stanford University Medical Center, University of Minnesota Medical Center, University of California San Diego, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, Indiana University, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and New York Blood Center.For more information please go to http://www.targazyme.com.

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Mast cell – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A mast cell (also known as a mastocyte or a labrocyte[1]) is derived from the myeloid stem cell and a part of the immune system that contains many granules rich in histamine and heparin. Although best known for their role in allergy and anaphylaxis, mast cells play an important protective role as well, being intimately involved in wound healing and defense against pathogens.[2]

The mast cell is very similar in both appearance and function to the basophil, another type of white blood cell. They differ in that mast cells are tissue resident, e.g., in mucosal tissues, while basophils are found in the blood.[3]

Mast cells were first described by Paul Ehrlich in his 1878 doctoral thesis on the basis of their unique staining characteristics and large granules. These granules also led him to the incorrect belief that they existed to nourish the surrounding tissue, so he named them Mastzellen (from German Mast, meaning "fattening", as of animals).[4][5] They are now considered to be part of the immune system.

Mast cells are very similar to basophil granulocytes (a class of white blood cells) in blood. Both are granulated cells that contain histamine and heparin, an anticoagulant. Both cells also release histamine upon binding to immunoglobulin E.[6] These similarities have led many to speculate that mast cells are basophils that have "homed in" on tissues. Furthermore they share a common precursor in bone marrow expressing the CD34 molecule. Basophils leave the bone marrow already mature, whereas the mast cell circulates in an immature form, only maturing once in a tissue site. The site an immature mast cell settles in probably determines its precise characteristics.[2] The first in vitro differentiation and growth of a pure population of mouse mast cells has been carried out using conditioned medium derived from concanavalin A-stimulated splenocytes.[7] Later, it was discovered that T cell-derived interleukin 3 was the component present in the conditioned media that was required for mast cell differentiation and growth.[8]

Mast cells in rodents are classically divided into two subtypes: connective tissue-type mast cells and mucosal mast cells. The activities of the latter are dependent on T-cells.[9]

Mast cells are present in most tissues characteristically surrounding blood vessels and nerves, and are especially prominent near the boundaries between the outside world and the internal milieu, such as the skin, mucosa of the lungs, and digestive tract, as well as the mouth, conjunctiva, and nose.[2]

Mast cells play a key role in the inflammatory process. When activated, a mast cell rapidly releases its characteristic granules and various hormonal mediators into the interstitium. Mast cells can be stimulated to degranulate by direct injury (e.g., physical or chemical [such as opioids, alcohols, and certain antibiotics such as polymyxins]), cross-linking of immunoglobulin E (IgE) receptors, or complement proteins.[2]

Mast cells express a high-affinity receptor (FcRI) for the Fc region of IgE, the least-abundant member of the antibodies. This receptor is of such high affinity that binding of IgE molecules is in essence irreversible. As a result, mast cells are coated with IgE, which is produced by plasma cells (the antibody-producing cells of the immune system). IgE molecules, like all antibodies, are specific to one particular antigen.

In allergic reactions, mast cells remain inactive until an allergen binds to IgE already in association with the cell (see above). Other membrane activation events can either prime mast cells for subsequent degranulation or act in synergy with FcRI signal transduction.[10] In general, allergens are proteins or polysaccharides. The allergen binds to the antigen-binding sites, which are situated on the variable regions of the IgE molecules bound to the mast cell surface. It appears that binding of two or more IgE molecules (cross-linking) is required to activate the mast cell. The clustering of the intracellular domains of the cell-bound Fc receptors, which are associated with the cross-linked IgE molecules, causes a complex sequence of reactions inside the mast cell that lead to its activation. Although this reaction is most well-understood in terms of allergy, it appears to have evolved as a defense system against intestinal worm infestations (tapeworms, etc.)[citation needed].

The molecules released into the extracellular environment include:[2]

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Mast cell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Achieving gender equality in science, engineering and medicine

(March 5, 2015) - Gender equality has not yet been achieved in science, medicine, and engineering, but The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF), through its Initiative on Women in Science and Engineering, is committed to making sure progress is made. NYSCF convened the Inaugural Meeting of its Initiative on Women in Science and Engineering (IWISE) Working Group in February 2014, where the group put forward seven actionable strategies for advancing women in science, medicine, and engineering, and reconvened in February 2015 to further develop the strategies.

NYSCF began this initiative after an analysis of its own programs. "We found that the ratio of men and women in our own programs was OK but it could certainly be improved," said Susan L. Solomon, CEO and Co-Founder, of NYSCF. "We wanted to take action and actually make tangible progress, so we brought together many of the leading men and women who have already committed time, energy, and resources towards this problem."

Today, the recommendations were published in Cell Stem Cell. They were divided into three categories: direct financial support strategies, psychological and cultural strategies, and major collaborative and international initiatives. The group chose to highlight the most high-impact and implementable strategies from a larger list developed during the meeting. They also sought to promote promising, long-term initiatives that will require significant collaboration among multiple stakeholders with the aim of connecting potential partners.

"Advancing women in science and medicine is of critical importance to the academic and research enterprise in our country," said Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President of Rockefeller University. "This paper is important as it not only brings attention to this key issue but also outlines creative strategies that can help break down barriers to gender equality in science."

Changing financing structures, embedded cultural norms, and tying funding to gender balance to enact real change are the pillars underlying the seven strategies recommended by the Working Group.

"The brain power provided by women in science is essential to sustaining a thriving US society and economy. It is time to move beyond just lamenting its loss and embrace the actions called for in this timely report," Dr. Claire Pomeroy, President, the Lasker Foundation and a member of the IWISE Working Group.

The seven strategies include:

1) Implement flexible family care spending 2) Provide "extra hands" awards 3) Recruit gender-balanced external review committees and speaker selection committees 4) Incorporate implicit bias statements 5) Focus on education as a tool 6) Create an institutional report card for gender equality 7) Partner to expand upon existing searchable databases of women in science, medicine, and engineering

The IWISE Working Group reconvened in February 2015 to continue to work on the Institutional Report Card for Gender Equality. The paper published today includes the proposed Phase 1 Institutional Report Card, and the group plans to release the Phase 2 report card once finalized.

###

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Achieving gender equality in science, engineering and medicine

Seven strategies to advance women in science

Despite the progress made by women in science, engineering, and medicine, a glance at most university directories or pharmaceutical executive committees tells the more complex story. Women in science can succeed, but they are succeeding in fields that may not even be conscious of the gender imbalances. These imbalances manifest themselves in the number of women that are invited to speak at conferences, the percentage of grants awarded to women scientists, and the higher rates of attrition of women at every stage of the career ladder compared to those of men.

In the March 5 issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell, the Initiative on Women in Science and Engineering Working Group, a collection of more than 30 academic and business leaders organized by the New York Stem Cell Foundation, present seven strategies to advance women in science, engineering, and medicine in this modern landscape.

"We wanted to think about broad ways to elevate the entire field, because when we looked at diversity programs across our organizations we thought that the results were okay, but they really could be better," said Susan L. Solomon, co-founder and CEO of the New York Stem Cell Foundation and a member of the working group. "We've identified some very straightforward things to do that are inexpensive and could be implemented pretty much immediately."

The working group's seven strategies are broken into three categories: the first two are direct financial support strategies, the next three are psychological and cultural strategies, and the final two are major collaborative and international initiatives.

1. Implement flexible family care spending

Make grants gender neutral by permitting grantees to use a certain percentage of grant award funds to pay for childcare, eldercare, or family-related expenses. This provides more freedom for grantees to focus on professional development and participate in the scientific community.

2. Provide "extra hands" awards

Dedicate funds for newly independent young investigators who are also primary caregivers to hire technicians, administrative assistants, or postdoctoral fellows.

3. Recruit gender-balanced review and speaker selection committees

Adopt policies that ensure that peer review committees are conscious of gender and are made up of a sufficient number of women.

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Seven strategies to advance women in science

British biotech firm sets crowdfunding record with heart drug

Published February 10, 2015

A British biotech company founded by a Nobel prize winner has raised what it says is a record 691,000 pounds ($1 million) via crowdfunding to help launch a stem cell-based regenerative medicine for use following heart trauma.

Cell Therapy, based in the Welsh capital Cardiff, says the medicine has the potential to reduce scarring of the heart muscle caused by a heart attack or failure.

Chief Executive Ajan Reginald, previously at Roche, said crowd funding was a quick way to raise money for final stage trials or commercial launches.

"It was very fast and very efficient," he told Reuters on Monday. "We have spent 5 percent of our time on fundraising, which enables me to spend 95 percent of my time on the business."

The company, whose founder Martin Evans shared the 2007 Nobel Prize for medicine for groundbreaking stem cell research, used website Crowdcube to raise nearly three times its original target from more than 300 investors.

Reginald said the backers included investment bankers, hedge fund employees and scientists.

"Crowd funding allows investors to look in detail at a company in their own time," he said, adding that some 10,000 investors had seen the pitch.

The company would publish data from clinical trials of the drug, called Heartcel, next month, before final stage trials with a view to a launch in 2016.

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British biotech firm sets crowdfunding record with heart drug

A good night’s sleep keeps your stem cells young

Under normal conditions, many of the different types of tissue-specific adult stem cells, including hematopoietic stem cells, exist in a state or dormancy where they rarely divide and have very low energy demands. "Our theory was that this state of dormancy protected hematopoietic stem cells from DNA damage and therefore protects them from premature aging," says Dr. Michael Milsom, leader of the study.

However, under conditions of stress, such as during chronic blood loss or infection, hematopoietic stem cells are driven into a state of rapid cell division in order to produce new blood cells and repair the damaged tissue. "It's like forcing you out of your bed in the middle of the night and then putting you into a sports car and asking you to drive as fast as you can around a race circuit while you are still half asleep," explains Milsom. "The stem cells go from a state of rest to very high activity within a short space of time, requiring them to rapidly increase their metabolic rate, synthesize new DNA and coordinate cell division. Suddenly having to simultaneously execute these complicated functions dramatically increases the likelihood that something will go wrong."

Indeed, experiments described in the study show that the increased energy demands of the stem cells during stress result in elevated production of reactive metabolites that can directly damage DNA. If this happens at the same time that the cell is trying to replicate its DNA, then this can cause either the death of the stem cell, or potentially the acquisition of mutations that may cause cancer.

Normal stem cells can repair the majority of this stress-induced DNA damage, but the more times you are exposed to stress, the more likely it is that a given stem cell will inefficiently repair the damage and then die or become mutated and act as a seed in the development of leukemia. "We believe that this model perfectly explains the gradual accumulation of DNA damage in stem cells with age and the associated reduction in the ability of a tissue to maintain and repair itself as you get older," Milsom adds.

In addition, the study goes on to examine how this stress response impacts on a mouse model of a rare inherited premature aging disorder that is caused by a defect in DNA repair. Patients with Fanconi anemia suffer a collapse of their blood system and have an extremely high risk of developing cancer. Mouse models of Fanconi anemia have exactly the same DNA repair defect as found in human patients but the mice never spontaneously develop the bone marrow failure observed in nearly all patients.

"We felt that stress induced DNA damage was the missing ingredient that was required to cause hematopoietic stem cell depletion in these mice," says Milsom. When Fanconi anemia mice were exposed to stimulation mimicking a prolonged viral infection, they were unable to efficiently repair the resulting DNA damage and their stem cells failed. In the same space of time that normal mice showed a gradual decline in hematopoietic stem cell numbers, the stem cells in Fanconi anemia mice were almost completely depleted, resulting in bone marrow failure and an inadequate production of blood cells to sustain life.

"This perfectly recapitulates what happens to Fanconi anemia patients and now gives us an opportunity to understand how this disease works and how we might better treat it," commented Milsom.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Trumpp, director of HI-STEM and head of the Division of Stem Cells and Cancer at the DKFZ believes that this work is a big step towards understanding a range of age-related diseases. "The novel link between physiologic stress, mutations in stem cells and aging is very exciting," says Trumpp, a co-author of the study. "By understanding the mechanism via which stem cells age, we can start to think about strategies to prevent or at least reduce the risk of damaged stem cells which are the cause of aging and the seed of cancer."

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Dagmar Walter, Amelie Lier, Anja Geiselhart, Frederic B. Thalheimer, Sina Huntscha, Mirko C. Sobotta, Bettina Moehrle, David Brocks, Irem Bayindir, Paul Kaschutnig, Katja Muedder, Corinna Klein, Anna Jauch, Timm Schroeder, Hartmut Geiger, Tobias P. Dick, Tim Holland-Letz, Peter Schmezer, Steven W. Lane, Michael A. Rieger, Marieke A. G. Essers, David A. Williams, Andreas Trumpp und Michael D. Milsom: Exit from dormancy provokes DNA damage-induced attrition in haematopoietic stem cells. Nature 2015, DOI: 10.1038/nature14131

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