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What is Okyanos Cardiac Stem Cell Therapy? Cardiac stem cell therapy is a promising new treatment option for advanced heart disease patients. This short video explores the procedure and benefits of adult stem cell therapy for severe

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David's Stories from Detroit David in Detroit for Netroots Nation 2014 On the Bonus Show: A Russian man beats the bank at it's own game, stem-cell therapy gone awry, Rhode Island's accidental legal prostitution experiment

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Kellie van Meurs, pictured with her husband Mark, died while undergoing stem cell treatment in Russia. Photo: Facebook

Supporters of a Brisbane mother-of-two who died while undergoing a controversial stem cell treatment in Russia say it did not cause her death, nor have others been discouraged from seeking it.

Kellie van Meurs suffered from a rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome, which causes progressive rigidity of the body and chronic pain.

She travelled to Moscow in late June to undergo an autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) under the care of Dr Denis Fedorenko from the National Pirogov Medical Surgical Centre.

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The New York Stem Cell Foundation Partners With Beyond Batten Disease Foundation to Fight Juvenile Batten Disease

New York, NY (PRWEB) July 23, 2014

The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) and Beyond Batten Disease Foundation (BBDF) have partnered to develop stem cell resources to investigate and explore new treatments and ultimately find a cure for juvenile Batten disease, a fatal illness affecting children.

NYSCF scientists will create induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell lines from skin samples of young people affected by juvenile Batten disease as well as unaffected family members. IPS cell lines are produced by artificially turning back the clock on skin cells to a time when they were embryonic-like and capable of becoming any cell in the body. Reprogramming juvenile Batten iPS cells to become brain and heart cells, will provide the infrastructure needed to investigate what is going wrong with the cells adversely affected by the disease. Thus far, efforts to study juvenile Batten disease have been done using rodent models or human skin cells; neither of which accurately mimic the disease in the brain, leaving researchers without proper tools to study the disease or a solid platform for testing drugs that prevent, halt, or reverse its progression. This will be the largest and first genetically diverse collection of human iPS cells for a pediatric brain disease.*

In addition to working with BBDF to actively recruit patients and families to donate skin samples, Batten Disease Support and Research Association (BDSRA) is providing resources and technical support, spreading awareness among academic scientists, and notifying its Pharmaceutical partners. Together, BBDF and BDSRA will ensure that juvenile Batten disease and other researchers are aware of and utilize the 48 stem cell lines resulting from this collaboration to further juvenile Batten disease research worldwide.

We know the genetic mutations associated with juvenile Batten disease. This partnership will result in stem cell models of juvenile Batten, giving researchers an unprecedented look at how the disease develops, speeding research towards a cure, said Susan L. Solomon, NYSCF Chief Executive Officer.

Working with NYSCF to generate functional neuronal subtypes from patients and families is a stellar example of one of our key strategies in the fight against juvenile Batten disease: creating resource technology with the potential to transform juvenile Batten disease research and accelerate our timeline to a cure, said Danielle M. Kerkovich, PhD, BBDF Principal Scientist.

Juvenile Batten disease begins in early childhood between the ages of five and ten. Initial symptoms typically begin with progressive vision loss, followed by personality changes, behavioral problems, and slowed learning. These symptoms are followed by a progressive loss of motor functions, eventually resulting in wheelchair use and premature death. Seizures and psychiatric symptoms can develop at any point in the disease.

Juvenile Batten disease is one disorder in a group of rare, fatal, inherited disorders known as Batten disease. Over 40 different errors (mutations) in the CLN3 segment of DNA (gene) have been attributed to juvenile Batten disease. The pathological hallmark of juvenile Batten is a buildup of lipopigment in the body's tissues. It is not known why lipopigment accumulates or why brain and eventually, heart cells are selectively damaged. It is, however, clear that we need disease-specific tools that reflect human disease in order to figure this out and to build therapy.

NYSCF is a world leader in stem cell research and production with a mission to find cures for the devastating diseases of our time, including juvenile Batten disease. NYSCF has developed the NYSCF Global Stem Cell ArrayTM, an automated robotic technology that standardizes and scales stem cell production and differentiation, enabling the manufacture and analysis of large numbers of identical cells from skin samples of patients. The Array technology allows for the production of large-scale iPS cells that have the potential to become any cell type in the body.

This collaboration brings together the expertise of these two leading non-profit organizations, the support of BDSRA, and the participation of affected families, to create and make available to researchers, juvenile Batten disease iPS cell lines. Building on the NYSCF Research Institutes leading stem cell expertise and unique automated technology and analytics, while taking advantage of the tremendous resources and expertise of BBDF, BDSRA and affected families, this collaboration will move research

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The New York Stem Cell Foundation Partners With Beyond Batten Disease Foundation to Fight Juvenile Batten Disease

NYSCF partners with Beyond Batten Disease Foundation to fight juvenile Batten disease

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

23-Jul-2014

Contact: David McKeon dmckeon@nyscf.org 212-365-7440 New York Stem Cell Foundation

NEW YORK, NY -- The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) and Beyond Batten Disease Foundation (BBDF) have partnered to develop stem cell resources to investigate and explore new treatments and ultimately find a cure for juvenile Batten disease, a fatal illness affecting children.

NYSCF scientists will create induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell lines from skin samples of young people affected by juvenile Batten disease as well as unaffected family members. IPS cell lines are produced by artificially "turning back the clock" on skin cells to a time when they were embryonic-like and capable of becoming any cell in the body. Reprogramming juvenile Batten iPS cells to become brain and heart cells will provide the infrastructure needed to investigate what is going wrong with the cells adversely affected by the disease. Thus far, efforts to study juvenile Batten disease have been done using rodent models or human skin cells, neither of which accurately mimic the disease in the brain, leaving researchers without proper tools to study the disease or a solid platform for testing drugs that prevent, halt, or reverse its progression. This will be the largest and first genetically diverse collection of human iPS cells for a pediatric brain disease.

In addition to working with BBDF to actively recruit patients and families to donate skin samples, Batten Disease Support and Research Association (BDSRA) is providing resources and technical support, spreading awareness among academic scientists, and notifying its Pharmaceutical partners. Together, BBDF and BDSRA will ensure that juvenile Batten disease and other researchers are aware of and utilize the 48 stem cell lines resulting from this collaboration to further juvenile Batten disease research worldwide.

"We know the genetic mutations associated with juvenile Batten disease. This partnership will result in stem cell models of juvenile Batten, giving researchers an unprecedented look at how the disease develops, speeding research towards a cure," said Susan L. Solomon, NYSCF Chief Executive Officer.

"Working with NYSCF to generate functional neuronal subtypes from patients and families is a stellar example of one of our key strategies in the fight against juvenile Batten disease: creating resource technology with the potential to transform juvenile Batten disease research and accelerate our timeline to a cure," said Danielle M. Kerkovich, PhD, BBDF Principal Scientist.

Juvenile Batten disease begins in early childhood between the ages of five and ten. Initial symptoms typically begin with progressive vision loss, followed by personality changes, behavioral problems, and slowed learning. These symptoms are followed by a progressive loss of motor functions, eventually resulting in wheelchair use and premature death. Seizures and psychiatric symptoms can develop at any point in the disease.

Juvenile Batten disease is one disorder in a group of rare, fatal, inherited disorders known as Batten disease. Over 40 different errors (mutations) in the CLN3 segment of DNA (gene) have been attributed to juvenile Batten disease. The pathological hallmark of juvenile Batten is a buildup of lipopigment in the body's tissues. It is not known why lipopigment accumulates or why brain and eventually, heart cells are selectively damaged. It is, however, clear that we need disease-specific tools that reflect human disease in order to figure this out and to build therapy.

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NYSCF partners with Beyond Batten Disease Foundation to fight juvenile Batten disease

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The Night Shift Anatomy of a Night Shift Scene (Behind-The-Scenes) Get an insider's look at the production of a remarkable scene from The Night Shift episode Storm Watch. Subscribe for more The Night Shift!: http://bit.l

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Infomercial Production Best Infomercial for Nanotechnology Infomercial Production. This is still one of the best nanotechology applications which hit TV through this infomercial production. Infomercial production companies are still great at showcasing

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Spitali Medicine TV ad 33 sec Client: Spitali Medicine Concept and Production: Ikon Studio.

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NEW YORK, June 18 2014 /PRNewswire/ Reportlinker.com announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue: Biotechnology in Food Production Market Forecast 2014-2024 http://www.reportlinker.com/p02148717/Biotechnology-in-Food-Production-Market-Forecast-2014-2024.html

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New Reprogramming Method Makes Better Stem Cells

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Newswise A team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and Salk Institute for Biological Studies has shown for the first time that stem cells created using different methods produce differing cells. The findings, published in the July 2, 2014 online issue of Nature, provide new insights into the basic biology of stem cells and could ultimately lead to improved stem cell therapies.

Capable of developing into any cell type, pluripotent stem cells offer great promise as the basis for emerging cell transplantation therapies that address a wide array of diseases and conditions, from diabetes and Alzheimers disease to cancer and spinal cord injuries. In theory, stem cells could be created and programmed to replace ailing or absent cells for every organ in the human body.

The gold standard is human embryonic stem cells (ES cells) cultured from discarded embryos generated by in vitro fertilization, but their use has long been limited by ethical and logistical considerations. Scientists have instead turned to two other methods to create stem cells: Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), in which genetic material from an adult cell is transferred into an empty egg cell, and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), in which adult cells are reverted back to a stem cell state by artificially turning on targeted genes.

Until now, no one had directly and closely compared the stem cells acquired using these two methods. The scientists found they produced measurably different results. The nuclear transfer ES cells are much more similar to real ES cells than the iPS cells, said co-senior author Louise Laurent, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Reproductive Medicine at UC San Diego. They are more completely reprogrammed and have fewer alterations in gene expression and DNA methylation levels that are attributable to the reprogramming process itself.

The development and use of iPS cells has grown exponentially in recent years, in no small part due to the fact that they can be generated from adult cells (often from the skin) by temporarily turning on a combination of four genes to induce the adult cells to return to a pluripotent state.

Laurent noted that iPS cell lines have been created from patients to model many different diseases and the ability to make personalized iPS cells from a patient that could be transplanted back into that patient has generated excitement because it would eliminate the need for immunosuppression.

The nuclear transfer method has been pioneered more recently by a team led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov, PhD, professor and director of the Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy at OSHU. The technique is similar to the process used in cloning, but the pluripotent cells are collected from early embryos before they develop into mature organisms.

For their comparisons, the researchers at UC San Diego, OSHU and Salk created four nuclear transfer ES cell lines and seven iPS cell lines using the same skin cells as the source of donor genetic material, then compared them to two standard human ES lines. All 13 cell lines were shown to be pluripotent using a battery of standard tests.

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New Reprogramming Method Makes Better Stem Cells

Some stem cell methods closer to 'gold standard' than others

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

2-Jul-2014

Contact: Kristina Grifantini press@salk.edu Salk Institute

LA JOLLA-Researchers around the world have turned to stem cells, which have the potential to develop into any cell type in the body, for potential regenerative and disease therapeutics.

Now, for the first time, researchers at the Salk Institute, with collaborators from Oregon Health & Science University and the University of California, San Diego, have shown that stem cells created using two different methods are far from identical. The finding could lead to improved avenues for developing stem cell therapies as well as a better understanding of the basic biology of stem cells.

The researchers discovered that stem cells created by moving genetic material from a skin cell into an empty egg cell-rather than coaxing adult cells back to their embryonic state by artificially turning on a small number of genes-more closely resemble human embryonic stem cells, which are considered the gold standard in the field.

"These cells created using eggs' cytoplasm have fewer reprogramming issues, fewer alterations in gene expression levels and are closer to real embryonic stem cells," says co-senior author Joseph R. Ecker, professor and director of Salk's Genomic Analysis Laboratory and co-director of the Center of Excellence for Stem Cell Genomics. The results of the study were published today in Nature.

Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are directly pulled from unused embryos discarded from in-vitro fertilization, but ethical and logistical quandaries have restricted their access. In the United States, federal funds have limited the use of hESCs so researchers have turned to other methods to create stem cells. Most commonly, scientists create induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells by starting with adult cells (often from the skin) and adding a mixture of genes that, when expressed, regress the cells to a pluripotent stem-cell state. Researchers can then coax the new stem cells to develop into cells that resemble those in the brain or in the heart, giving scientists a valuable model for studying human disease in the lab.

Over the past year, a team at OHSU built upon a technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer (the same that is used for cloning an organism, such as Dolly the sheep) to transplant the DNA-containing nucleus of a skin cell into an empty human egg, which then naturally matures into a group of stem cells.

Ecker, holder of the Salk International Council Chair in Genetics, teamed up with Shoukhrat Mitalipov, developer of the new technique and director of the Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy at OHSU, and UCSD assistant professor Louise Laurent to carry out the first direct comparison of the two approaches. The scientists created four lines of nuclear transfer stem cells all using eggs from a single donor, along with seven lines of iPS cells and two lines of the gold standard hESCs. All cell lines were shown to be able to develop into multiple cell types and had nearly identical DNA content contained within them.

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Some stem cell methods closer to 'gold standard' than others

Stem cells: Hope on the line

On a brilliant day in April, tens of thousands of baseball fans stream past Jonathan Thomas's office towards AT&T Park for the first home game of the San Francisco Giants 2014 season. Thomas's standing desk faces away from the window, but the cheering throngs are never far from his mind.

Thomas chairs the board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the US$3-billion agency hailed by scientists around the world for setting a benchmark for stem-cell research funding. But scientists will not be the ones who decide what becomes of CIRM when the cash runs out in 2017. Instead, it will be the orange-and-black-clad masses walking past Thomas's window. And to win their support, Thomas knows that the agency needs to prove that their collective investment has been worthwhile. We need to drive as many projects to the patient as soon as possible, he says.

Californians voted CIRM into existence in 2004, making it the largest funder of stem-cell work in the world. The money the proceeds of bond sales that must be repaid with $3 billion in interest by taxpayers helped to bring 130 scientists to the state, and created several thousand jobs there. It has funded research that led to the publication of more than 1,700 papers, and it has contributed to five early clinical trials.

The institute has navigated a difficult path, however. CIRM had to revamp its structure and practices in response to complaints about inefficiency and potential conflicts of interest. It has also had to adapt its mission to seismic shifts in stem-cell science.

Now, ten years after taking off, the agency is fighting for its future. It has a new president, businessman Randal Mills, who replaces biologist Alan Trounson. Its backers have begun to chart a course for once again reaching out to voters, this time for $5 billion (with another $5 billion in interest) in 2016. And it is under intense pressure to produce results that truly matter to the public.

Whether or not CIRM succeeds, it will serve as a test bed for innovative approaches to funding. It could be a model for moving technologies to patients when conventional funding sources are not interested.

Much of what is celebrated and lamented about CIRM can be traced back to the Palo Alto real-estate developer who conceived of it: Robert Klein. Although officially retired from CIRM he chaired the board from 2004 to 2011 (see 'State of funding') Klein's office is adorned with mementos of the agency: a commemorative shovel from the groundbreaking of a CIRM-funded stem-cell research centre, and a photo of him with former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Liz Hafalia/San Francisco Chronicle/Polaris/eyevine

Patient advocates and parents at a 2012 meeting in which US$100 million in CIRM grants were approved.

It was Klein's idea to ask voters to support stem-cell research in 2004, through a ballot measure called Proposition 71. When he succeeded, CIRM instilled a kind of euphoria in stem-cell scientists, who were at the time still reeling from a 2001 decree by then-President George W. Bush that severely limited federal funding for embryonic-stem-cell research. California's commitment removed this roadblock and revealed that many in the state and the country supported the research.

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Stem cells: Hope on the line

Artificial embryonic stem cells have quality problems: study

Salk Institute scientist Joseph Ecker holds a flow cell slide used in a genome sequencing machine. Ecker and colleagues compared the genomes of two kinds of artificial embryonic stem cells for a study comparing their quality.

In a setback for hopes of therapy with a promising kind of artificial embryonic stem cells, a study published in the journal Nature has found that these "induced pluripotent stem cells" have serious quality issues.

However, scientists who performed the study, including researchers from the Salk Institute and UC San Diego, say it should be possible to improve the quality of these IPS cells. They say lessons can be learned from studying a newer technique of making human embryonic stem cells through nuclear transfer, the same technology used to create Dolly the cloned sheep.

In addition, the study does not prove that the quality problems will affect therapy with the cells, said scientists who examined the study. That remains to be tested.

The IPS cells are made from skin cells treated with "reprogramming" factors that turn back the clock, so they very closely resemble embryonic stem cells. The hope is that these IPS cells could be differentiated into cells that can repair injuries or relieve diseases. Because they can be made from a patient's own cells, the cells are genetically matched, reducing worries of immune rejection.

In San Diego, scientists led by Jeanne Loring at The Scripps Research Institute have created IPS cells from the skin cells of Parkinson's disease patients, and turned the IPS cells into neurons that produce dopamine. They hope to get approval next year to implant these cells into the patients, relieving symptoms for many years. The project is online under the name Summit4StemCell.org.

A major concern is that IPS cells display abnormal patterns of gene activation and repression. This is controlled by a process called methylation. This process adds chemicals called methyl groups to DNA, but these "epigenetic" changes do not change the underlying DNA sequence. Methylation represses gene function; removing the methyl groups, or demethylation, activates them.

The Nature study was led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health & Scence University. Mitalipov made headlines last year for applying nuclear transfer to derive human embryonic stem cells, the first time this has been achieved in human cells. These cells can be made to be a near-perfect genetic match to the patient, and their quality closely resembles those of true embryonic stem cells.

"We know that the embryonic stem cells are the gold standard, and we've been always trying to make patient-matched cells that would match the gold standard," Mitalipov said. "And at this point it looks like the NT (nuclear transfer) cells produce exactly those cells that would be best."

Nuclear transfer involves placing a nucleus from a skin cell into an egg cell that has had its nucleus removed. The cell is then stimulated, and starts dividing in the same way a fertilized egg cell divides to form an embryo.

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Artificial embryonic stem cells have quality problems: study

Scientists slow degeneration in motor neurone mice

Friday 27 June 2014 22.31

Japanese stem cell scientists have succeeded in slowing the deterioration of mice with motor neurone disease, possibly paving the way for eventual human treatment.

A team of researchers from the Kyoto University and Keio University transplanted specially created cells into mice with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig's, or motor neurone disease.

The progress of the creatures' neurological degeneration was slowed by almost eight percent, according to the paper, which was published Thursday in the scholarly journal Stem Cell Reports.

ALS is a disorder of motor neurones -- nerves that control movement -- leading to the loss of the ability to control muscles and their eventual atrophy.

While it frequently has no effect on cognitive function, it progresses to affect most of the muscles in the body, including those used to eat and breathe.

British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has been almost completely paralysed by the condition.

In their study, the Japanese team used human "iPS" -- induced pluripotent stem cells, building-block cells akin to those found in embryos, which have the potential to turn into any cell in the body.

From the iPS cells they created special progenitor cells and transplanted them into the lumbar spinal cord of ALS mice.

Animals that had been implanted lived 7.8% longer than the control group without the procedure, the paper said.

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Scientists slow degeneration in motor neurone mice

Cell scientists slow degeneration in motor neuron mice

TOKYO: Japanese stem cell scientists have succeeded in slowing the deterioration of mice with motor neuron disease, possibly paving the way for eventual human treatment, according to a new paper.

A team of researchers from the Kyoto University and Keio University transplanted specially created cells into mice with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig's, or motor neuron disease.

The progress of the creatures' neurological degeneration was slowed by almost eight per cent, according to the paper, which was published on Thursday in the scholarly journal Stem Cell Reports.

ALS is a disorder of motor neurons -- nerves that control movement -- leading to the loss of the ability to control muscles and their eventual atrophy.

While it frequently has no effect on cognitive function, it progresses to affect most of the muscles in the body, including those used to eat and breathe.

British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has been almost completely paralysed by the condition.

In their study, the Japanese team used human "iPS" -- induced pluripotent stem cells, building-block cells akin to those found in embryos, which have the potential to turn into any cell in the body.

From the iPS cells they created special progenitor cells and transplanted them into the lumbar spinal cord of ALS mice.

Animals that had been implanted lived 7.8 per cent longer than the control group without the procedure, the paper said.

"The results demonstrated the efficacy of cell therapy for ALS by the use of human iPSCs (human induced pluripotent stem cells) as cell source," the team said in the paper.

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Cell scientists slow degeneration in motor neuron mice

New Stem Cell Production Method Could Clear Way for Anticancer Gene Therapy

Durham, NC (PRWEB) June 27, 2014

A new study released today in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine suggests a new way to produce endothelial progenitor cells in quantities large enough to be feasible for use in developing new cancer treatments.

Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are rare stem cells that circulate in the blood with the ability to differentiate into the cells that make up the lining of blood vessels. With an intrinsic ability to home to tumors, researchers have focused on them as a way to deliver gene therapy straight to the cancer. However, the challenge has been to collect enough EPCs for this use.

This new study, by researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, National University of Singapore and Zhejiang University led by Shu Wang, Ph.D., explored whether human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) could provide the answer. iPSCs, generated from adult cells, can propagate indefinitely and give rise to every other cell type in the body, much like human embryonic stem cells, which are considered the gold standard for stem cell therapy.

However, human iPS cells can be generated relatively easily through reprogramming, a procedure that circumvents the bioethical controversies associated with deriving embryonic stem cells from human embryos, Dr. Wang said.

After inducing human iPS cells to differentiate into the EPCs, the research team compared the stability and reliability of the induced EPCs with regular EPCs by injecting them into mice with breast cancer that had metastasized (traveled) to the lungs. The results showed that their induced EPCs retained the intrinsic ability to home to tumors, just as regular EPCs do. They also did not promote tumor growth or metastasis.

We next tested the induced EPCs therapeutic potential by infusing them with an anticancer gene and injecting them into the mice, Dr. Wang said. The results indicated that the tumors were reduced and the animals survival rates increased.

Since this approach may use patient's own cells to prepare cellular therapeutics and is based on non-toxic immunotherapy, it holds potential for translation to clinical application and may be particularly valuable as a new type of anti-metastatic cancer therapy.

With the increasing potential of using EPCs as cancer therapeutics, it is important to have a reliable and stable supply of human EPCs, said Anthony Atala, M.D., editor of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine and director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. This study demonstrates the feasibility of generating EPs from early-passage human iPS cells.

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New Stem Cell Production Method Could Clear Way for Anticancer Gene Therapy

Stem cells edited to produce an HIV-resistant immune system

A team of haematologists has engineered a particular white blood cell to be HIV resistant after hacking the genome of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).

The technique has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and was devised by Yuet Wai Kan of the University of California, former President of the American Society of Haematology, and his peers.

The white blood cell the team had ideally wanted to engineer was CD+4 T, a cell that is responsible for sending signals to other cells in the immune system, and one that is heavily targeted by the HIV virus. When testing for the progress of HIV in a patient, doctors will take a CD4 cell count in a cubic millimetre of blood, with between 500 and 1,500 cells/mm3 being within the normal range. If it drops below around 250, it means HIV has taken hold -- the virus ravages these cells and uses them as an entry point.

HIV gains entry by attaching itself to a receptor protein on the CD+4 Tcell surface known as CCR5.If this protein could be altered, it could potentially stop HIV entering the immune system, however. A very small number of the population have this alteration naturally and are partially resistant to HIV as a result -- they have two copies of a mutation that prevents HIV from hooking on to CCR5 and thus the T cell.

In the past, researchers attempted to replicate the resistance by simply transplanting stem cells from those with the mutation to an individual suffering from HIV. The rarity of this working has been demonstrated by the fact that just one individual,Timothy Ray Brown(AKA the Berlin patient), has been publicly linked to the treatment and known to be HIV free today. The Californian team hoped to go right to the core of the problem instead, and artificially replicate the protective CCR5mutation.

Kan has been working for years on a precise process for cutting and sewing back together genetic information. His focus throughout much of his career has been sickle cell anaemia, and in recent years this has translated to researching mutations and how these can be removed at the iPSC stage, as they are differentiated into hematopoietic cells. He writes on his university web page: "The future goal to treatment is to take skin cells from patients, differentiate them into iPS cells, correct the mutations by homologous recombination, and differentiate into the hematopoietic cells and re-infuse them into the patients. Since the cells originate from the patients, there would not be immuno-rejection." No biggie.

This concept has now effectively been translated to the study of HIV and the CD+4 T cell.

Kan and his team used a system known as CRISPR-Cas9 to edit the genes of the iPSCs. It uses Cas9, a protein derived from bacteria, to introduce a double strand break somewhere at the genome, where part of the virus is then incorporated into the genome to act as a warning signal to other cells. An MIT team has already used the technique to correct a human disease-related mutation in mice.

When Kan and his team used the technique they ended up creating HIV resistant white blood cells, but they were not CD+4 T-cells. They are now speculating that rather than aiming to generate this particular white blood cell with inbuilt resistance, future research instead look at creating HIV resistant stem cells that will become all types of white blood cells in the body.

Of course, with this kind of therapy the risk is different and unexpected mutations could occur. In an ideal world, doctors will not want to be giving constant cell transplants, but generating an entirely new type of HIV resistant cells throughout the body carries its own risks and will need stringent evaluation if it comes at all close to being proven.

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Stem cells edited to produce an HIV-resistant immune system

Stem Cells Successfully Transplanted And Grown In Pigs

June 5, 2014

Nathan Hurst, University of Missouri

One of the biggest challenges for medical researchers studying the effectiveness of stem cell therapies is that transplants or grafts of cells are often rejected by the hosts. This rejection can render experiments useless, making research into potentially life-saving treatments a long and difficult process. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have shown that a new line of genetically modified pigs will host transplanted cells without the risk of rejection.

The rejection of transplants and grafts by host bodies is a huge hurdle for medical researchers, said R. Michael Roberts, Curators Professor of Animal Science and Biochemistry and a researcher in the Bond Life Sciences Center. By establishing that these pigs will support transplants without the fear of rejection, we can move stem cell therapy research forward at a quicker pace.

In a published study, the team of researchers implanted human pluripotent stem cells in a special line of pigs developed by Randall Prather, an MU Curators Professor of reproductive physiology. Prather specifically created the pigs with immune systems that allow the pigs to accept all transplants or grafts without rejection. Once the scientists implanted the cells, the pigs did not reject the stem cells and the cells thrived. Prather says achieving this success with pigs is notable because pigs are much closer to humans than many other test animals.

Many medical researchers prefer conducting studies with pigs because they are more anatomically similar to humans than other animals, such as mice and rats, Prather said. Physically, pigs are much closer to the size and scale of humans than other animals, and they respond to health threats similarly. This means that research in pigs is more likely to have results similar to those in humans for many different tests and treatments.

Now that we know that human stem cells can thrive in these pigs, a door has been opened for new and exciting research by scientists around the world, Roberts said. Hopefully this means that we are one step closer to therapies and treatments for a number of debilitating human diseases.

Roberts and Prather published their study, Engraftment of human iPS cells and allogeneic porcine cells into pigs with inactivated RAG2 and accompanying severe combined immunodeficiency in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Source: Nathan Hurst, University of Missouri

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Stem Cells Successfully Transplanted And Grown In Pigs

Introducing pioneering regenerative medicine

This post is sponsored by DIA.

Regenerative medicines and the latest regulatory issues surrounding them will be a hot topic for discussion at the DIA 2014 50th Annual Meeting. This years Annual Meeting will be in San Diego from June 15 to 19 and will feature a session titled Pioneering Regenerative Medicine: Trends in Regulations for New Therapy, under the Nonclinical and Translational Development/Early Phase Clinical Development track.

The session, to be held on June 16 from 8:30-10:00 AM, will introduce the first clinical research of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell products in Japan and review the current regulatory status and governmental efforts surrounding regenerative medicine. Speakers will also identify issues in the application of the new technology and discuss possible solutions.

iPS cells hold great promise in the field of regenerative medicine because they can propagate indefinitely, as well as give rise to every other cell type in the body such as neurons, heart, pancreatic, and liver cells, and therefore represent a single source of cells that could be used to replace those lost to damage or disease. iPS cell technology was pioneered by Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto, Japan, who was awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize for the discovery alongside Sir John Gurdon.

The session will be chaired by Shinji Miyake, PhD, Professor of the Center for Clinical Research at Keio University School of Medicine in Japan.

The DIA 2014 50th Annual Meeting: Celebrate the Past Invent the Future is the largest multidisciplinary event that brings together a community of life sciences professionals at all levels and across all disciplines involved in the discovery, development, and life cycle management of medical products all with a common goal to foster innovation that will lead to the development of safe and effective medical products and therapies to patients.

This years event celebrates DIAs 50th Anniversary and will feature 260+ educational offerings over 21 tracks, 450+ exhibiting companies, over 125 representatives from global regulatory agencies, and much more. The meeting provides participants with a valuable opportunity to network with professionals from around the world, share knowledge, and build new relationships.

Find out more about DIA 2014 50th Annual Meeting at http://www.diahome.org/DIA2014.

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Introducing pioneering regenerative medicine

Combination Therapy a Potential Strategy for Treating Niemann Pick Disease

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Newswise CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (May 15, 2014) By studying nerve and liver cells grown from patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), Whitehead Institute researchers have identified a potential dual-pronged approach to treating Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease, a rare but devastating genetic disorder.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), approximately 1 in 150,000 children born are afflicted with NPC, the most common variant of Niemann-Pick. Children with NPC experience abnormal accumulation of cholesterol in their liver and nerve cells, leading to liver failure, neurodegeneration, andultimatelydeath, often before age 10.

Although there is currently no effective treatment for NPC disease, a clinical trial examining potential cholesterol-lowering effects of the drug cyclodextrin in NPC patients is ongoing. However, research in Whitehead Founding Member Rudolf Jaenischs lab led by Dorothea Matezel along with Sovan Sarkar suggests that the high doses may actually be harmful. This and other findings are reported this week in the journal Stem Cell Reports.

At those levels of cyclodextrin (in the clinical trial), Maetzel and her coauthors show that cells encounter a further block in autophagy that could be detrimental, says Jaenisch, who is also a professor of biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But when they use it at a lower dose in combination with another small molecule, carbamazepine, which stimulates autophagy, then it significantly improves the survival of the cells. Such an approach lowers cholesterol levels and restores the autophagy defects at the same time. This could be a new type of treatment for NPC disease.

To clarify what is amiss in NPC and identify potential therapeutics that could correct these problems, Maetzel generated iPSCs from patients with the most common genetic mutation that causes NPC. She created the iPSCs by pushing skin cells donated by the patients back to an embryonic stem cell-like state. These iPSCs were differentiated into liver and neuronal cells, the cell types most affected in NPC. Along with Haoyi Wang, a postdoctoral researcher in the Jaenisch lab, she then corrected one copy of the causal mutation, in the NPC1 gene, to create control cells whose genomes differ only at the single edited gene copy.

When Maetzel and Sarkar analyzed the cellular functions in the NPC1-mutant and control cell lines, they determined that although cholesterol does build up in the NPC1-mutant cells, a more significant problem is defective autophagya basic cellular function that degrades and recycles unneeded or faulty molecules, components, or organelles in a cell. The impaired autophagy prevents normal elimination of its cargo, such as damaged organelles or other substrates like p62, which then accumulates and damages the cells. The finding confirms previous work from the Jaenisch lab linking the NPC1 mutation to defective autophagy in mouse cells.

Autophagy dysfunction has major implications in several neurodegenerative and certain liver conditions, and therefore autophagy modulators have tremendous biomedical relevance, says Sarkar. We wanted to screen for compounds stimulating autophagy in human disease-relevant cells and show the beneficial effects of such an approach in the context of a lipid/lysosomal storage disorder.

Maetzel and Sarkar used the two types of human disease-affected cells to screen for compounds known to improve autophagy but not impacting on the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, which has critical cellular functions and also controls autophagy. They found only one capable of jumpstarting autophagy independently of mTOR in both liver and nerve cells. When this drug, carbamazepine, which is a mood stabilizer prescribed for bipolar disorder, was added in combination with low doses of cyclodextrin, both cholesterol accumulation and autophagy defects were rescued in the NPC-mutated cells.

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Combination Therapy a Potential Strategy for Treating Niemann Pick Disease

department IPS Cell Therapy IPS Cell Therapy

New York, NY (PRWEB) April 29, 2014

The Stem Cell Institute located in Panama City, Panama, welcomes special guest speaker Roberta F. Shapiro, DO, FAAPM&R to its public seminar on umbilical cord stem cell therapy on Saturday, May 17, 2014 in New York City at the New York Hilton Midtown from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Dr. Shapiro will discuss A New York Doctors Path to Panama.

Dr. Shapiro operates a private practice for physical medicine and rehabilitation in New York City. Her primary professional activities include outpatient practice focused on comprehensive treatment of acute and chronic musculoskeletal and myofascial pain syndromes using manipulation techniques, trigger point injections, tendon injections, bursae injections, nerve and motor point blocks. Secondary work at her practice focuses on the management of pediatric onset disability.

She is the founder and president of the Dayniah Fund, a non-profit charitable foundation formed to support persons with progressive debilitating diseases who are faced with catastrophic events such as surgery or illness. The Dayniah Fund educates the public about the challenges of people with disabilities and supports research on reducing the pain and suffering caused by disabling diseases and conditions.

Dr. Shapiro serves as assistant clinical professor in the Department of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center.

Stem Cell Institute Speakers include:

Neil Riordan PhD Clinical Trials: Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Autism and Spinal Cord Injury

Dr. Riordan is the founder of the Stem Cell Institute and Medistem Panama Inc.

Jorge Paz-Rodriguez MD Stem Cell Therapy for Autoimmune Disease: MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus

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department IPS Cell Therapy IPS Cell Therapy

Stem Cells Made from Cloned Human Embryos

Cell lines made by two separate teams could boost the prospects of patient-specific therapies

This colony of embryonic stem cells, created from a type 1 diabetes patient, is one of the first to be cloned from an adult human. Credit:Bjarki Johannesson, NYSCF

Two research groups have independently produced human embryonic stem-cell lines from embryos cloned from adult cells. Their success could reinvigorate efforts to use such cells to make patient-specific replacement tissues for degenerative diseases, for example to replace pancreatic cells in patients with type 1 diabetes. But further studies will be needed before such cells can be tested as therapies.

The first stem-cell lines from cloned human embryos were reported in May last year by a team led by reproductive biology specialist Shoukhrat Mitalipov of the Oregon Health & Science University in Beaverton (see 'Human stem cells created by cloning'). Those cells carried genomes taken from fetal cells or from cells of an eight-month-old baby, and it was unclear whether this would be possible using cells from older individuals. (Errors were found in Mitalipov's paper, but were not deemed to affect the validity of its results.)

Now two teams have independently announced success. On 17 April, researchers led by Young Gie Chung and Dong Ryul Lee at the CHA University in Seoul reported inCell Stem Cellthat they had cloned embryonic stem-cell (ES cell) lines made using nuclei from two healthy men, aged 35 and 75. And in a paper published onNature's website today, a team led by regenerative medicine specialist Dieter Egli at the New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute describes ES cells derived from a cloned embryo containing the DNA from a 32-year-old woman with type 1 diabetes. The researchers also succeeded in differentiating these ES cells into insulin-producing cells.

Nuclear transfer To produce the cloned embryos, all three groups used an optimized version of the laboratory technique called somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), where the nucleus from a patient's cell is placed into an unfertilized human egg which has been stripped of its own nucleus. This reprograms the cell into an embryonic state. SCNT was the technique used to create the first mammal cloned from an adult cell, Dolly the sheep, in 1996.

The studies show that the technique works for adult cells and in multiple labs, marking a major step. It's important for several reasons, says Robin Lovell-Badge, a stem-cell biologist at the MRC National Institute for Medical Research in London.

At present, studies to test potential cell therapies derived from ES cells are more likely to gain regulatory approval than those testing therapies derived from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which are made by adding genes to adult cells to reprogram them to an embryonic-like state. Compared with iPS cells, ES cells are less variable, says Lovell-Badge. Therapies for spinal-cord injury and eye disease using non-cloned ES cells have already been tested in human trials. But while many ES cell lines have been made using embryos left over from fertility treatments, stem cells made from cloned adult cells are genetically matched to patients and so are at less risk of being rejected when transplanted.

Ethically fraught Lovell-Badge says cloned embryos could also be useful in other ways, in particular to improve techniques for reprogramming adult cells and to study cell types unique to early-stage embryos, such as those that go on to form the placenta.

Few, however, expect a huge influx of researchers making stem cells from cloned human embryos. The technique is expensive, technically difficult and ethically fraught. It creates an embryo only for the purpose of harvesting its cells. Obtaining human eggs also requires regulatory clearance to perform an invasive procedure on healthy young women, who are paid for their time and discomfort.

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Stem Cells Made from Cloned Human Embryos

Scientists Create Personalized Stem Cells, Raising Hopes for Diabetes Cure

Regenerative medicine took a step forward on Monday with the announcement of the creation of the first disease-specific line of embryonic stem cells made with a patient's own DNA.

These cells, which used DNA from a 32-year-old woman who had developed Type-1 diabetes at the age of ten, might herald the daystill far in the futurewhen scientists replace dysfunctional cells with healthy cells identical to the patient's own but grown in the lab.

The work was led by Dieter Egli of the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) and was published Monday in Nature.

"This is a really important step forward in our quest to develop healthy, patient-specific stem cells that can be used to replace cells that are diseased or dead," said Susan Solomon, chief executive officer of NYSCF, which she co-founded in 2005 partly to search for a cure for her son's diabetes.

Stem cells could one day be used to treat not only diabetes but also other diseases, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Embryonic Stem Cells Morph Into Beta Cells

In Type 1 diabetes, the body loses its ability to produce insulin when insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas become damaged. Ideally this problem could be corrected with replacement therapy, using stem cells to create beta cells the body would recognize as its own because they contain the patient's own genome. This is the holy grail of personalized medicine.

To create a patient-specific line of embryonic stem cells, Egli and his colleagues used a technique known as somatic cell nuclear transfer. They took skin cells from the female patient, removed the nucleus from one cell and then inserted it into a donor egg cellan oocytefrom which the nucleus had been removed.

They stimulated the egg to grow until it became a blastocyst, a hundred-cell embryo in which some cells are "pluripotent," or capable of turning into any type of cell in the body. The researchers then directed a few of those embryonic stem cells to become beta cells. To their delight, the beta cells in the lab produced insulin, just as they would have in the body.

This research builds on work done last year in which scientists from the Oregon Health and Science University used the somatic cell nuclear transfer technique with skin cells from a fetus. It also advances previous work done by Egli and his colleagues in 2011, in which they created embryonic stem cell lines with an extra set of chromosomes. (The new stem cells, and the ones from Oregon, have the normal number of chromosomes.)

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Scientists Create Personalized Stem Cells, Raising Hopes for Diabetes Cure

First disease-specific human embryonic stem cell line by nuclear transfer

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

28-Apr-2014

Contact: David McKeon dmckeon@nyscf.org 212-365-7440 New York Stem Cell Foundation

NEW YORK, NY (April 28, 2014) Using somatic cell nuclear transfer, a team of scientists led by Dr. Dieter Egli at the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute and Dr. Mark Sauer at Columbia University Medical Center has created the first disease-specific embryonic stem cell line with two sets of chromosomes.

As reported today in Nature, the scientists derived embryonic stem cells by adding the nuclei of adult skin cells to unfertilized donor oocytes using a process called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Embryonic stem cells were created from one adult donor with type 1 diabetes and a healthy control. In 2011, the team reported creating the first embryonic cell line from human skin using nuclear transfer when they made stem cells and insulin-producing beta cells from patients with type 1 diabetes. However, those stem cells were triploid, meaning they had three sets of chromosomes, and therefore could not be used for new therapies.

The investigators overcame the final hurdle in making personalized stem cells that can be used to develop personalized cell therapies. They demonstrated the ability to make a patient-specific embryonic stem cell line that has two sets of chromosomes (a diploid state), the normal number in human cells. Reports from 2013 showed the ability to reprogram fetal fibroblasts using SCNT; however, this latest work demonstrates the first successful derivation by SCNT of diploid pluripotent stem cells from adult and neonatal somatic cells.

"From the start, the goal of this work has been to make patient-specific stem cells from an adult human subject with type 1 diabetes that can give rise to the cells lost in the disease," said Dr. Egli, the NYSCF scientist who led the research and conducted many of the experiments. "By reprograming cells to a pluripotent state and making beta cells, we are now one step closer to being able to treat diabetic patients with their own insulin-producing cells."

"I am thrilled to say we have accomplished our goal of creating patient-specific stem cells from diabetic patients using somatic cell nuclear transfer," said Susan L. Solomon, CEO and co-founder of NYSCF. "I became involved with medical research when my son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and seeing today's results gives me hope that we will one day have a cure for this debilitating disease. The NYSCF laboratory is one of the few places in the world that pursues all types of stem cell research. Even though many people questioned the necessity of continuing our SCNT work, we felt it was critical to advance all types of stem-cell research in pursuit of cures. We don't have a favorite cell type, and we don't yet know what kind of cell is going to be best for putting back into patients to treat their disease."

The research is the culmination of an effort begun in 2006 to make patient-specific embryonic stem cell lines from patients with type 1 diabetes. Ms. Solomon opened NYSCF's privately funded laboratory on March 1, 2006, to facilitate the creation of type 1 diabetes patient-specific embryonic stem cells using SCNT. Initially, the stem cell experiments were done at Harvard and the skin biopsies from type 1 diabetic patients at Columbia; however, isolation of the cell nuclei from these skin biopsies could not be conducted in the federally funded laboratories at Columbia, necessitating a safe-haven laboratory to complete the research. NYSCF initially established its lab, now the largest independent stem cell laboratory in the nation, to serve as the site for this research.

In 2008, all of the research was moved to the NYSCF laboratory when the Harvard scientists determined they could no longer move forward, as restrictions in Massachusetts prevented their obtaining oocytes. Dr. Egli left Harvard University and joined NYSCF; at the same time, NYSCF forged a collaboration with Dr. Sauer who designed a unique egg-donor program that allowed the scientists to obtain oocytes for the research.

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First disease-specific human embryonic stem cell line by nuclear transfer

Stem cells made by cloning adult humans

Bjarki Johannesson, NYSCF

This colony of embryonic stem cells, created from a type 1 diabetes patient, is one of the first to be cloned from an adult human.

Two research groups have independently produced human embryonic stem-cell lines from embryos cloned from adult cells. Their success could reinvigorate efforts to use such cells to make patient-specific replacement tissues for degenerative diseases, for example to replace pancreatic cells in patients with type 1 diabetes. But further studies will be needed before such cells can be tested as therapies.

The first stem-cell lines from cloned human embryos were reported in May last year by a team led by reproductive biology specialist Shoukhrat Mitalipov of the Oregon Health & Science University in Beaverton (see 'Human stem cells created by cloning'). Those cells carried genomes taken from fetal cells or from cells of an eight-month-old baby1, and it was unclear whether this would be possible using cells from older individuals. (Errors were found in Mitalipov's paper, but were not deemed to affect the validity of its results.)

Now two teams have independently announced success. On 17 April, researchers led by Young Gie Chung and Dong Ryul Lee at the CHA University in Seoul reported inCell Stem Cell that they had cloned embryonic stem-cell (ES cell) lines made using nuclei from two healthy men, aged 35 and 752. And in a paper published on Nature's website today, a team led by regenerative medicine specialist Dieter Egli at the New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute describes ES cells derived from a cloned embryo containing the DNA from a 32-year-old woman with type 1 diabetes. The researchers also succeeded in differentiating these ES cells into insulin-producing cells3.

To produce the cloned embryos, all three groups used an optimized version of the laboratory technique called somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), where the nucleus from a patient's cell is placed into an unfertilized human egg which has been stripped of its own nucleus. This reprograms the cell into an embryonic state. SCNT was the technique used to create the first mammal cloned from an adult cell, Dolly the sheep, in 1996.

The studies show that the technique works for adult cells and in multiple labs, marking a major step. It's important for several reasons, says Robin Lovell-Badge, a stem-cell biologist at the MRC National Institute for Medical Research in London.

At present, studies to test potential cell therapies derived from ES cells are more likely to gain regulatory approval than those testing therapies derived from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which are made by adding genes to adult cells to reprogram them to an embryonic-like state. Compared with iPS cells, ES cells are less variable, says Lovell-Badge. Therapies for spinal-cord injury and eye disease using non-cloned ES cells have already been tested in human trials. But while many ES cell lines have been made using embryos left over from fertility treatments, stem cells made from cloned adult cells are genetically matched to patients and so are at less risk of being rejected when transplanted.

Lovell-Badge says cloned embryos could also be useful in other ways, in particular to improve techniques for reprogramming adult cells and to study cell types unique to early-stage embryos, such as those that go on to form the placenta.

Few, however, expect a huge influx of researchers making stem cells from cloned human embryos. The technique is expensive, technically difficult and ethically fraught. It creates an embryo only for the purpose of harvesting its cells. Obtaining human eggs also requires regulatory clearance to perform an invasive procedure on healthy young women, who are paid for their time and discomfort.

The rest is here:
Stem cells made by cloning adult humans

US scientists make embryonic stem cells from adult skin

The new approach does not use fertilized embryos to obtain stem cells, a technique that raises major ethical issues

STEM CELLS UP CLOSE. This handout picture, released from Japan's Kyoto University Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) on January 23, 2013 shows part of the renal tubule cells (red part) which were differentiated from human stem cells at the CiRA in Kyoto. Kyoto University/AFP

WASHINGTON, USA For the first time, US researchers have cloned embryonic stem cells from adult cells, a breakthrough on the path towards helping doctors treat a host of diseases.

The embryonic stem cells which were created by fusing an adult skin cell with an egg cell that had been stripped of genetic material were genetically identical to the donors.

The hope is that cloned embryonic stem cells, which are capable of transforming into any other type of cell in the body, could be used in patient-specific regenerative therapy to repair or replace an individual's organs damaged by diseases including cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer's disease.

The team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of the Massachusetts-based company Advanced Cell Technology, used a technique that had succeeded last year with infant skin cells.

But Lanza's team, funded in part by the South Korean government, used cells from a 35-year-old man and a 75-year-old man.

This is a significant step forward, the researchers wrote in the study published Thursday, April 17, in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

"For many cell types, reprogramming is more difficult for adult cells than for fetal/infant cells, presumably at least in part because (they are) ... further removed from the pluripotent state" in which the cells can develop into different types, the study said.

Yet adults are more likely than infants to need regenerative therapy, the authors wrote, noting that "the incidence of many diseases that could be treated with pluripotent cell derivatives increases with age."

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US scientists make embryonic stem cells from adult skin

Researchers Clone Cells From Two Adult Men

Health

After years of failed attempts, researchers have finally generated stem cells from adults using the same cloning technique that produced Dolly the sheep in 1996.

A previous claim that Korean investigators had succeeded in the feat turned out to be fraudulent. Then last year, a group at Oregon Health & Science University generated stem cells using the Dolly technique, but with cells from fetuses and infants.

MORE: Stem-Cell Research: The Quest Resumes

In this case, cells from a 35-year-old man and a 75-year-old man were used to generate two separate lines of stem cells. The process, known as nuclear transfer, involves taking the DNA from a donor and inserting it into an egg that has been stripped of its DNA. The resulting hybrid is stimulated to fuse and start dividing; after a few days the embryo creates a lining of stem cells that are destined to develop into all of the cells and tissues in the human body. Researchers extract these cells and grow them in the lab, where they are treated with the appropriate growth factors and other agents to develop into specific types of cells, like neurons, muscle, or insulin-producing cells.

Reporting in the journal Cell Stem Cell, Dr. Robert Lanza, chief scientific officer at biotechnology company Advanced Cell Technology, and his colleagues found that tweaking the Oregon teams process was the key to success with reprogramming the older cells. Like the earlier team, Lanzas group used caffeine to prevent the fused egg from dividing prematurely. Rather than leaving the egg with its newly introduced DNA for 30 minutes before activating the dividing stage, they let the eggs rest for about two hours. This gave the DNA enough time to acclimate to its new environment and interact with the eggs development factors, which erased each of the donor cells existing history and reprogrammed it to act like a brand new cell in an embryo.

VIDEO: Breakthrough in Cloning Human Stem Cells: Explainer

The team, which included an international group of stem cell scientists, used 77 eggs from four different donors. They tested their new method by waiting for 30 minutes before activating 38 of the resulting embryos, and waiting two hours before triggering 39 of them. None of the 38 developed into the next stage, while two of the embryos getting extended time did. There is a massive molecular change occurring. You are taking a fully differentiated cell, and you need to have the egg do its magic, says Lanza. You need to extend the reprogramming time before you can force the cell to divide.

While a 5% efficiency may not seem laudable, Lanza says that its not so bad given that the stem cells appear to have had their genetic history completely erased and returned to that of a blank slate. This procedure works well, and works with adult cells, says Lanza.

The results also teach stem cell scientists some important lessons. First, that the nuclear transfer method that the Oregon team used is valid, and that with some changes it can be replicated using older adult cells. It looks like the protocols we described are real, they are universal, they work in different hands, in different labs and with different cells, says Shoukhrat Mitalopov, director of the center for embryonic cell and gene therapy at Oregon Health & Science University, and lead investigator of that study.

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Researchers Clone Cells From Two Adult Men

Scientists to test artificial blood in humans

14/04/2014 - 13:40:33Back to World Home

Red blood cells grown in a laboratory are to be tested in patients for the first time by pioneering scientists.

The first volunteers are expected to be treated by late 2016. If successful, the trial could pave the way to the wide-scale use of artificial blood derived from stem cells.

Blood cells freshly made in the laboratory are likely to have a longer life span than those taken from donors, which typically last no more than 120 days.

They would also be free from infectious agents such as viruses or the rogue prion proteins that cause Creuzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD).

Professor Marc Turner, medical director at the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS), who is leading the 5m project at the University of Edinburgh, said: Producing a cellular therapy which is of the scale, quality and safety required for human clinical trials is a very significant challenge. But if we can achieve success with this first-in-man clinical study it will be an important step forward to enable populations all over the world to benefit from blood transfusions.

These developments will also provide information of value to other researchers working on the development of cellular therapies.

The pilot study will involve no more than about three patients, who may be healthy volunteers or individuals suffering from a red blood cell disorder such as thalassaemia.

They will receive a small, five millilitre dose of laboratory-made blood to see how it behaves and survives in their bodies.

The blood cells will be created from ordinary donated skin cells called fibroblasts which are genetically reprogrammed into a stem cell-like state.

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Scientists to test artificial blood in humans

In the blood: Scottish scientists pioneer lab-grown cells

The first volunteers are expected to be treated by late 2016. If successful, the trial could pave the way to the wide-scale use of artificial blood derived from stem cells.

Blood cells freshly made in the laboratory are likely to have a longer life span than those taken from donors, which typically last no more than 120 days.

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They would also be free from infectious agents such as viruses or the rogue prion proteins that cause Creuzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD).

Professor Marc Turner, medical director at the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS), who is leading the 5 million project at the University of Edinburgh, said: "Producing a cellular therapy which is of the scale, quality and safety required for human clinical trials is a very significant challenge.

"But if we can achieve success with this first-in-man clinical study it will be an important step forward to enable populations all over the world to benefit from blood transfusions.

"These developments will also provide information of value to other researchers working on the development of cellular therapies."

The pilot study will involve no more than about three patients, who may be healthy volunteers or individuals suffering from a red blood cell disorder such as thalassaemia.

They will receive a small, five millilitre dose of laboratory-made blood to see how it behaves and survives in their bodies.

The blood cells will be created from ordinary donated skin cells called fibroblasts which are genetically reprogrammed into a stem cell-like state.

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In the blood: Scottish scientists pioneer lab-grown cells

The FSH Society Issues Six Research Grants to Propel Understanding and Treatment of FSHD

Lexington, MA (PRWEB) March 24, 2014

Today, the FSH Society, a Massachusetts based non-profit that is a world leader in combating facioscapulohumeral dystrophy (FSHD), announced that it has awarded six grants totaling more $609,525 to new research projects. Through these studies, the FSH Societys fellowship program aims to gain insights and achieve significant milestones into the research of FSHD, one of the most prevalent types of muscular dystrophy.

A degenerative muscle disease, FSHD causes progressive weakness, usually starting with the face, shoulder and arms, but can affect almost any skeletal muscle. FSHD affects approximately 500,000 people worldwide and between one and two percent of the population carries a genetic trait that places future generations at risk of the disease. Currently, there is no cure or effective treatment.

Research grants most recently awarded by the FSH Society include: 1.Investigating effects of PARP1 inhibitors in DUX4 expression ($89,267) Yi-Wen Chen, D.V.M., Ph.D. George Washington University and Childrens National Medical Center (Washington, D.C.) A mysterious protein called DUX4 is believed to cause FSHD. The findings of the study will provide insights of the involvement of PARP1, a promoter of the DUX4 gene, in FSHD, and will have a direct impact on developing therapeutics for FSHD.

2.Gene surgery using TALEN technology: a therapy for FSHD ($117,500) Julie Dumonceaux, Ph.D. Institut de Myologie, University of Paris, U974 (Inserm, Paris, France) The approach proposed in this study unlike other therapeutic strategies under investigation for FSHD does not require repeated long-term administration of treatment. The benefits of this as a clinical therapy include lower cost and reduced toxicological and immunological risk. Moreover, this approach would be useful for all FSHD cases, regardless of the precise mutation or contraction involved.

3.Protein chemistry and protein-protein interactions of DUX4 ($70,000) Jocelyn Eidahl, Ph.D. The Research Institute at Nationwide Childrens Hospital (Columbus, OH) DUX4 has been identified as potential cause for FSHD, but the mechanisms by which DUX4 contributes to FSHD pathologies is unclear. The studys hypothesis is that the DUX4 transcription factor is involved in protein-protein interactions that influence its ability to induce toxicity in muscle cells and ultimately contribute to FSHD. The study examines the functional significance of protein-protein interactions of DUX4 that are critical for DUX4 toxicity.

4.Exploiting genome editing technology to modify and regulate the FSHD disease locus ($125,000) Supported in part by a generous gift from the FSHD Canada Foundation. Michael Kyba, Ph.D. Lillehei Heart Institute, University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN) Recent discoveries of DNA-binding factors have opened up tremendous new possibilities in genome editing. Through the grant, this study will take advantage of and leverage an existing research program in genome editing of FSHD iPS cells, and will provide the field with valuable new tools to study the pathogenesis of FSHD, and to develop cell therapies based on corrected, isogenic, iPS cells.

5.Microdialysis for the study of inflammatory features in FSHD ($70,000) Giorgio Tasca, M.D. Institute of Neurology, Catholic University School of Medicine (Rome, Italy) The study will implement a technique that has never been applied to the study of skeletal muscle and provide a better understanding of the role of the inflammatory process in the disease, the identification of biomarkers of disease activity at single muscle level and the acquisition of information useful for the development of a targeted anti-inflammatory therapy. In the future, the new technique could be used for molecular monitoring and eventually drug administration in neuromuscular disorders.

6.Dynamic mapping of perturbed signaling underlying FSHD ($137,798) Peter S. Zammit, Ph.D. Kings College London (London, England) Results gained through the study will identify methods that could help restore muscle regeneration in FSHD, reversing muscle weakness and wasting. The researchs ultimate aim is to gain knowledge on FSHD myogenesis and inform the design of therapies for FSHD.

These new studies represent a crucial step in the ongoing development of FSHD treatments and cures, said Daniel Perez, President & CEO of the FSH Society. We are thrilled to award the grants to such innovative research endeavors, which bring us closer to finding more effective treatments and medical breakthroughs for FSHD.

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The FSH Society Issues Six Research Grants to Propel Understanding and Treatment of FSHD

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