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B61-12 continues to meet qualification test schedule – Los Alamos Monitor

B61-12 continues to meet qualification test schedule

The Department of Energys National Nuclear Security Administration and U.S. Air Force completed two qualification flight tests of B61-12 gravity bombs Aug. 8 at Tonopah Test Range in Nevada, the NNSA announced Monday.

The non-nuclear test assemblies, which were dropped from an F-15E based at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, evaluated the weapons non-nuclear functions and the aircrafts capability to deliver the weapon, NNSA officials said.

These tests are part of a series over the next three years to qualify the B61-12 for service.

The first qualification flight test occurred in March.

The B61 was designed and engineered by Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1963 and is the oldest type of nuclear weapon in the stockpile. The weapon is undergoing a life extension program at Los Alamos to convert four versions of the warhead into a single modification with a new tail kit for added accuracy, the B61-12.

If testing is successful, new version is scheduled to be produced in 2020.

The B61-12 life extension program is progressing on schedule to meet national security requirements, said Phil Calbos, acting NNSA deputy administrator for Defense Programs. These realistic flight qualification tests validate the design of the B61-12 when it comes to system performance.

The flight test included hardware designed by Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories, manufactured by the Nuclear Security Enterprise plants, and mated to the tail-kit assembly section, designed by the Boeing Company under contract with the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center.

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B61-12 continues to meet qualification test schedule – Los Alamos Monitor

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Eliminating the need for bone marrow donors – The Hippocratic Post (blog)

Researchers are looking for ways eliminate the need for bone marrow donors altogether and instead use different types of cells derived from the patient in need of a transplant, says Dr Vladislav Sandler.

At the moment, people who develop leukaemia, lymphoma and otherblood diseases often need to undergo a hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). This is because initial treatment of the disease (front-line therapy) often fails and the disease comes back.

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) are vital because they constantly regenerate the blood system giving rise (differentiating) into all types of blood cells such as red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Sometimes,patients get cells for the HSCT from close relatives (related allogeneic transplantation), who happen to be a match or by using donor data bases that can match them with strangers (unrelated allogeneic transplantation). The patients own HSC are wiped out with chemotherapy and replaced with donated blood-forming steam cells which create healthy new blood cells free from disease.

The patients own HSC are wiped out with chemotherapy and replaced with the donated blood-forming stem cells which createhealthy new blood cellsfree from disease.

Often, there is not a perfect match between a donor and a patient but physicians try and find the closest one possible. When a match is not perfect, a risk of rejection of the newly transplanted cells significantly grows. There are several teams of researchers trying to find a way to eliminate the need for bone marrow donors altogether and instead use different types of cells derived from the patient in need of a transplant.

This work, to directly reprogram the patients own cells to create hematopoietic stem cells, (from which all cellular blood components are derived) has been going on for some time and has had some success[1][2][3]. However, it is a very long and cumbersome process to produce HSC cells from a patients own cells and it looks like this may never be a practicable solution to the problem. We simply cant seem to be able to get the newly formed HSC cells to replicate into the sufficient number of cells needed to form a viable HSCT.

What I discovered when I was at Cornell University was that there is a small subset of postnatal hemogenic endothelial cells (Hu-PHEC) which survive in the liver and blood vessels of the umbilical cord and placenta into adulthood. It has been known for quite a while that in the fetus, similar cells produce first definitive HSC. It was accepted as a dogma that they either lose their ability to do this after birth or simply disappear. However, as it often happens in science, this was not entirely correct. Hu-PHEC can be isolated from postnatal tissues and made to generate HSCde-novo.

In animal experiments, we took purified and stimulated Hu-PHEC and transplanted them into immunocompromised mice.

What we found was that the transplanted cells did engraft and created a healthy new human blood system in the recipient mice. What seemed to happen was that by putting them back into circulation within the body reactivated their ability to produce HSC cells as they doin utero.

We dont yet understand the mechanism but we are working on this and we need to work out a way to get enough cells for human transplantation.

Development of Hu-PHEC technology would create an opportunity to get rid of bone marrow/HSC donations. We would no longer have to go to a donor or a family member, but simply harvest some of these special post-natal hemogenic endothelial cells from the patients own body.

Another area of our research has been to develop a conditioning product which helps eliminate the patients diseased HSC with minimal collateral damage to the rest of the body. At the moment, patients undergo a rather terrible process of preparation for a HSCT. It involves chemotherapy and radiation and can seriously harm various unrelated healthy cells. In some cases, patients do not survive the conditioning process. We have developed a type of immune therapy which is a bi-specific antibody that redirects patients own immune cells to only attack and kill HSC. It leaves other cells alone, so does not damage reproductive system. This should mean that men and women undergoing conditioning in advance of a bone marrow transplantion would not need to undergo fertility saving treatment (no need to freeze sperm or eggs). This bi-specific antibody, which is filed for a world-wide patent, is much less dangerous and detrimental to health than current treatment options. We have proved its effectiveness in animal trials, but we are now hoping to move on to Phase 1 clinical trials within the next two years.

[1]Sandler, V. M. et al. Reprogramming human endothelial cells to hematopoietic cells requires vascular induction. Nature 511, 312-318, doi:10.1038/nature13547 (2014).Validated in: Lis, R. et.al. Conversion of adult endothelium to immunocompetent hematopoietic stem cells. Nature Published online 17 May 2017, doi:10.1038/nature22326 (2017).

[2]Sandler V.M et al.Reprogramming of Embryonic Human Fibroblasts into Fetal Hematopoietic Progenitors by Fusion with Human Fetal Liver CD34+ Cells. PLoS ONE 6(4) 2011.

[3] Pereira C.F. et al. Induction of a hemogenic program in mouse fibroblasts. Cell Stem Cell. 2013 Aug 1;13(2):205-18.

Vladislav Sandler is the co-founder of HemoGenyx LLC, a US preclinical stage biotechnology company launching innovative new treatments for blood diseases using blood-forming (hematopoietic) stem cell transplantation (HSCT) techniques.

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Mandi Schwartz memorial run doubles as stem cell, marrow donor drive in Saskatoon – CBC.ca

It has been six years sinceSaskatchewan hockey playerMandi Schwartz died from acute myeloid leukemia, but her legacy lives on in anannual fundraising run in Saskatoon.

The Run for Mandistarts at 1 p.m. CST at River Landing on Sunday, and proceeds from the event go towards a foundation set up in Schwartz’s name.

Her father, Rick Schwartz, said the event means a lot to thefamily.

“It’s very special to know that your daughter has touched so many people’s lives and we’re happy to be a part of it,” Schwartz told CBC Radio’s Saskatchewan Weekend.

“But more importantly we’re going to try save people’s lives today and have a little bit of fun at the same time.”

A new addition to this year’s event will be the presence of the OneMatch stem cell and marrow network, which will be encouraging run participants to register as potential donors.

Mandi Schwartz was a star player with Yale University’s women’s hockey team. (Yale University)

A number of bone marrow recipients, including Regina boy Lincoln Honoway, will also be present at the event.

Schwartzsaid he wishesthere had been a way to save the life of his daughter, who was a starhockey playerat Yale University in the U.S.

He said he hopes Sunday’s event will help encourage more people in Saskatchewanto sign up to the donor network.

“I’ve talked to people who have been donors,” said Schwartz.

“There’s no special gift or special feeling in their life as knowing that they’ve saved someone’s life.”

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Mandi Schwartz memorial run doubles as stem cell, marrow donor drive in Saskatoon – CBC.ca

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CRISPR gene editing eliminates HIV infection in mice …

Have researchers taken a step closer to developing an eventual cure for HIV? A Temple University-led team hopes so, by using a gene editing technique to successfully remove HIV infection from lab mice. The gene-editing tool calledCRISPR which allows scientists to basically cut out and insert specific portions of DNA was used to excise HIV DNA from the mice.

This was the first time CRISPR has been used to shut down HIV replication and eliminate the virus from animal cells. Think of CRISPR as working somewhat like microscopic scissors that snip out an unwanted piece of DNA and then replace that with a new piece. The research, published in the journal Molecular Therapy, involved three animal models, including a “humanized” model where human immune cells infected with the virus were transplanted in lab mice.

“Over our years of research, all of this was frankly a big surprise. This research, so far, has yielded all pleasant surprises, frankly. I never thought that this CRISPR system was going to be working out so beautifully with such efficiency and precision when it first came onto the scene,” Kamel Khalili, director of Temple’s center for neurovirology, told CBS News.

Khalili led the study along with Wenhui Hu, associate professor in Temple University School of Medicine’s Center for Metabolic Disease Research and the Department of Pathology, and Won-Bin Young, who was at that time an assistant professor in the Department of Radiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

This work builds off the team’s previously published research last year in which they introduced the HIV-1 DNA into the tissue of rat and mice subjects, and then removed these fragments using CRISPR. This new study is the first time this has been done in three animal models.

While the work signals progress, the medical community still sees years of work ahead before there’s a reliable cure for HIV. According to the World Health Organization, 36.7 million people were reported to be living with HIV globally by the end of 2015. Since the start of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, more than 70 million people have been infected with the virus that has resulted in 35 million deaths.

The stakes are high, and the Temple team is one of many trying to find a cure for the virus, which has proven exceptionally difficult to eliminate from the body. While current drug treatments can reduce the virus to virtually undetectable levels enabling many patients to live longer, healthier lives HIV continues to lurk in hidden reservoirs and comes roaring back if treatment stops. In late 2015, theamfAR Institute for HIV Cure Research set the ambitious goal of developing a basis for cure for HIV by the end of 2020.

“The basic science community in HIV research is now very focused on finding a cure,” Paul Volberding, head of the institute, wrote in an email to CBS News. “It still feels a long way off but the tools we now have definitely including the gene editing used in this report is accelerating our work and raising optimism. The cure field is in very close contact and collaborations are active world wide. It’s really quite exciting!”

Volberding is also the director of the UCSF AIDS Research Institute and has a place in history for founding the first inpatient ward for people with AIDS at San Francisco General Hospital in 1983. How promising does he view this new research out of Temple?

“Gene editing is a potent and still rather new tool in HIV research and many other areas as well,” he wrote. “It faces a challenge in scalability getting the technology simplified and inexpensive but is certainly worth following.”

Since first being developed a mere five years ago, CRISPR has generated excitement and controversy in equal measures. While it was named “Breakthrough of the Year” in 2015 by Science magazine, ethical debate has swirled around CRISPR over how it could be used for good or ill to make changes to our DNA down the line.

Ellen Jorgensen, a molecular biologist and science communicator whose latest project is the yet-to-launch Biotech Without Borders, said she thinks it’s important to focus on the potential of CRISPR, rather than feed into the “hysteria” that can surround such life-altering scientific technologies.

“I think CRISPR is an example of why the general public should embrace the chance to learn more about this sort of technology that will be more and more relevant to everyone’s daily life as time goes on,” Jorgensen told CBS News. “We are in an age of biotechnology as opposed to the last century, which was the ‘age of physics.’ There is an equal potential here to disrupt technologies, but it also creates ethical questions that the general public has to weigh in on. My thing is, I want them to weigh in on them, but have the understanding that this technology is something that is powerful and that can spur a lot of change moving forward.”

In the case of this latest HIV research advance, Jorgensen, who cofounded Genspace, a nonprofit devoted to fostering better science literacy, said she believes there is “great potential” in finding a cure for something like HIV through gene editing technology.

Moving forward, Khalili and his team plan to try their technique on primate subjects, whose DNA is obviously closer to humans. He said they are working on securing more funding to move on to primate clinical trials.

Volberding added that “primates are a very good model for human trials,” and that research like this is promising in the continued fight against HIV.

“I think that CRISPR and tools like it are revolutionizing the medical field and will bring about new ways for the treatment and cure for a broad range of diseases,” Khalili said. “When it comes to treating HIV or cancer or other genetic diseases, I think there are a lot of good things that will come out of this.”

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CRISPR-Cas9 corrects hypertrophic cardiomyopathy gene mutation in human preimplantation embryos [PreClinical] – 2 Minute Medicine

1. The gene editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 was used to correct a mutant paternal MYBPC3 allele in human preimplantation embryos.

2. No off-target effects were detected.

Evidence Rating Level: 1 (Excellent)

Study Rundown: A dominant mutation in the gene MYBPC3 causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), the most common cause of sudden death in otherwise healthy young athletes. While most current therapies focus on relieving symptoms of HCM, researchers in this study aimed to prevent transmission of the causative gene mutation by correcting it in preimplantation embryos.

Healthy donor eggs were injected with sperm that were heterozygous for the MYBPC3 mutation. After fertilization, recombinant Cas9 protein and single guide RNA that targeted MYBPC3 were microinjected into the zygotes. A majority of treated embryos survived and lost the mutation in this gene, without other genes being impaired. CRISPR-Cas9 targeting of MYBPC3 was found to be highly specific in the treated embryos.

This study was the first to use CRISPR-Cas9 to correct a harmful mutation without causing significant off-target effects. Although this genome editing technique is still far from clinical use and requires full discussion from a bioethics perspective, this research suggests the potential clinical efficacy of this therapy for in vitro fertilization and the correction of fatal mutations.

Click to read the study in Nature

Relevant Reading: Genome engineering through CRISPR/Cas9 technology in the human germline and pluripotent stem cells

In-Depth [in vitro study]: Human zygotes were produced by fertilizing 70 oocytes without MYBPC3 mutations with sperm from an HCM patient with a heterozygous mutation in MYBPC3. Eighteen days after fertilization, recombinant Cas9 protein, short guide RNA, and single-stranded oligodeoxynucleotideswere microinjected into the cytoplasm of the zygotes. A majority of zygotes survived this procedure, with a survival rate of 97.1%. Three days after injection of the Cas9 protein, 54 injected embryos were sequenced and 66.7% were found to be homozygous for the wild-type (WT) allele of MYBPC3. Almost half of the blastomeres from mosaic embryos were also found to be homozygous for the WT allele of this gene, demonstrating that the heterozygous mutation was repaired through homology-directed repair. These analyses demonstrated the efficient targeting by CRISPR-Cas9 in human embryos.

To improve the efficacy of gene correction, CRISPR-Cas9 was mixed with sperm and injected into 75 oocytes in metaphase II. This method resulted in an increase in WT embryos, with 72.4% successfully removing the mutation. Additionally, a majority of these oocytes developed into the eight-cell stage and then blastocysts, demonstrating no significant effect on embryonic development due to this therapy.

Finally, off-target effects were assessed through whole genome sequencing, digested genome sequencing, and whole exome sequencing. No insertions or deletions were detected in the WT blastomeres at 23 off-target loci, demonstrating the high targeting efficacy and potential safety of this treatment.

Image: PD

2017 2 Minute Medicine, Inc. All rights reserved. No works may be reproduced without expressed written consent from 2 Minute Medicine, Inc. Inquire about licensing here. No article should be construed as medical advice and is not intended as such by the authors or by 2 Minute Medicine, Inc.

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CRISPR-Cas9 corrects hypertrophic cardiomyopathy gene mutation in human preimplantation embryos [PreClinical] – 2 Minute Medicine

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Wasteful spending on medical public works – The Japan Times

Social security expenditures keep rising endlessly as the aging of Japans population accelerates with the low birthrate. Yet, little is known about the way huge sums of taxpayer money are being poured into wasteful projects tied to vested interests in the name of saving human lives.

The Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED), which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe created with much fanfare in 2015 as a counterpart to the U.S. National Institute of Health, has an annual budget in excess of 140 billion. But the National Cancer Center (NCC), which is supposed to be a major recipient of the AMED fund, is in trouble because excessive sums have been spent on construction of buildings and facilities in the name of life science research.

A glance at the NCCs financial statements shows that its retained earnings plummeted from 5.6 billion in fiscal 2010 to 762 million in 2015. The steep fall in the retained earnings is not due to cuts in grants from the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, as a high-ranking NCC official claims. The NCC earned 31.4 billion from medical services and 4.3 billion from research projects in fiscal 2010, and these earnings rose by 41 percent to 44.4 billion and 14 percent to 9.2 billion, respectively, unequivocally showing that the rise in earnings far exceeded the cut in government grants.

Then why have its retained earnings fallen so rapidly? The answer is that excessive investments in construction of new facilities have eaten into its funds. For example, it cost 5.4 billion to build a new research center on next-generation surgery and endoscopy, which was completed in May, and another 16.7 billion to build a new research laboratory that began operating in July. The question here is not the sheer sum spent on these projects, but their balance with the institutes earnings. During the 2010-16 period, money spent on such construction projects exceeded the NCCs operating income by 44.3 billion. It seems clear that the NCC is investing beyond its means even as construction costs surge ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Cases of advanced medicine becoming an arena for big spending like public works projects are also found in the field of heavy particle therapy. Japan has five institutions specializing in this field, the pioneer among them being the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Chiba Prefecture. The number in Japan represents nearly half of the 11 such facilities now operating worldwide.

The five heavy particle therapy facilities are located in Chiba, Hyogo, Gunma, Saga and Kanagawa prefectures, with one more being planned in Yamagata. And oddly enough, though, the NCC supposedly the control tower of cancer therapy in Japan has no such institute. That is said to be because those institutes were located in facilities with close links to the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry which took the lead in the development of heavy particle therapy instead of the health ministry.

One reason why Gunma University has one of those institutes is not because the university excelled in cancer treatment but, according to a source familiar with the decision, because of the influence of former education minister Hirofumi Nakasone, an Upper House member elected from the Gunma constituency and a powerful member of the Liberal Democratic Partys education lobby. Gunma Prefecture was eager to have the facility established there because that involved heavy initial investments about 7 billion each for the buildings and radiation equipment providing huge economic benefits to local construction and other related industries.

Haphazard ways in which money is being spent on advanced medical research are also found in the projects for biobanks, institutions that collect and preserve biospecimens of people such as blood, urine and DNA samples. Through followup research on the registered people and linking with their clinical information, their activities are expected to contribute to identifying the causes of illnesses and developing new medicines.

Of a number of biobanks set up in Japan, the Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization at Tohoku University is by far the largest. It started operating in fiscal 2011 as part of a series of government projects for recontruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami that hit the regions Pacific coast. In its initial year of operation, more than 10 billion from the government budget was poured into the Tohoku Medical Megabank. A total of 5.1 billion was spent on the construction and design of a seven-story complex and another 7.5 billion on its facilities and equipment in the years through fiscal 2013. While spending was scaled back in subsequent years, 4.5 billion has been set aside for the project in fiscal 2017 a sum equivalent to the funding allocated to Kyoto University for its research on iPS (induced pluripotent stem) cells.

Tohoku Medical Megabank is staffed with 32 professors, 10 associate professors and 25 instructors. However, some of the staff are deemed not necessarily fit for the types of work assigned to the institute, leading some students to comment sarcastically that those who have failed to be promoted to full professorship at Tohoku University have been given new jobs at the biobank. Moreover, the quality of some of the work performed by the institute has been called into question.

The value of biobank is determined by the quality of the data obtained by its research. If the quality is poor, such an institute would not be trusted by researchers in pharmaceutical companies or other institutes. Six years after its creation, Tohoku Medical Megabanks achievement remains poor in terms of significant research that would have lured pharmaceutical firms and others to collaborate with the institute. The head of the biobank is not deterred, however, as he says his institutes research projects take time before tangible results can be produced, and the institute keeps asking for more funding from the AMED.

As funding for Tohoku Medical Megabank gets prioritized, budgetary allocations for the more prestigious BioBank Japan, which has been jointly established by the government-affiliated Riken research institute and the University of Tokyos Institute of Medical Science, has been significantly reduced. The budget cut by AMED is about to deal a fatal blow to the institute that has played a leading role in genome research in Japan.

Given Japans dire fiscal conditions, government funding on scientific research cannot be an exception to budget cuts. Time will come sooner or later for the generous funding for Tohoku Medical Megabank to be curtailed. Today, however, huge sums of taxpayer money are being poured on the institute despite its poor records of significant achievements in the name of the reconstruction of the areas ravaged by the 2011 disasters. Along with the spending of taxpayer money, new positions are being created for post-retirement jobs for government bureaucrats.

The circumstances surrounding those advanced medical research institutes look similar to those involving the governments public works projects: Securing funding from taxpayer money becomes more important than the outcome of projects. Unless the structure is fixed, there will be no hope of medical science becoming a core of the governments growth strategy.

This is an abridged translation of an article from the August issue of Sentaku, a monthly magazine covering political, social and economic scenes. More English articles can be read at http://www.sentaku-en.com

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Wasteful spending on medical public works – The Japan Times

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Royan Intl. Research Award to honor Iranian, foreign researchers – Tehran Times

TEHRAN The Royan International Research Award will appreciate ten Iranian and foreign researchers for their achievements during a ceremony which is scheduled to be held in Tehran on August 30.

Iranian researchers along with foreign researchers from around the world will accept awards on behalf of their scientific achievements concurrent with Royan International Twin Congress on Reproductive Biomedicine and Stem Cells Biology and Technology (August 30-September 1).

According to the Royan congress official website the event is a unique scientific event in its own fields in Iran and the Middle East. The congress is a joint of two separate congresses with different themes held by Royan Research Institute Reproductive Biomedicine and Stem Cells Research Center. Speakers from the UK, Europe and the U.S deliver speeches at the event annually.

Thank you for all of exceptional assistance in arranging my most interesting visit to the Royan institute and Iran. It was the best congress I have ever been at, everyone was extremely conscious, kind and helpful, said Stuart Howards, Professor of University of Virginia Charlottesville, U.S., about the event published among the views on the event in Royan congress website.

Elsewhere Professor Jorge Ferrer, Chair in Genetics and Medicine, Section Head, Genomics and Genetics Theme Leader, Imperial College London, UK said thank you for your note and most importantly thank you for all of exceptional assistance in arranging my most interesting visit to the Royan institute and Iran.

Professor Maarten van Lohuizen, Researcher at Netherlands Cancer Institute and invited speaker of 15th Royan Congress also said best of luck with your work, I am very impressed with the achievements you make at the Royan stem cell Institute and sincerely hope that the restrictions will be soon lifted to aid your scientific work.

Each year the prominent researches with outstanding help in solving problems in reproduction and stem cell fields, are announced, appreciated and rewarded. This annual award is a prize given to prominent research projects in the field of reproductive biomedicine, stem cell biology and technology and other related subjects.

Royan annual award is extending into a higher quality event every year, increasing the scientific level and number of the submitted papers. The submitted research articles are categorized according to nine scientific groups: female infertility, reproductive genetics, epidemiology, ethics, embryology, andrology, reproductive imaging, stem cell biology and technology and biotechnology.

This years winners are comprising of 5 Iranian and 5 foreign researchers.

Thomas Braun from Germany for his research on compaction of chromatin seals quiescence of muscle stem cells, Riccardo Fodde from the Netherlands for his research titled diet, inflammation, and stem cells: trading off regenerative response with cancer risk, and David Greening from Australia for his research entitled exosomes: a new paradigm in embryo-maternal cross-talk for successful implantation.

Two Japanese researchers will accept the award: Kaei Nasu for his research called roles of aberrantly expressed microRNAs in endometriosis, and Khaleque KHAN for his research on Mmolecular detection of intrauterine microbial colonization in women with endometriosis are the five winners of the award.

Moreover, Iranian researchers including Mahnaz Ashrafi for her research titled assisted reproductive outcomes in women with different polycystic ovary syndrome phenotypes: the predictive value of anti-Mllerian hormone, Mahdi Sheikh for his research focusing on granulocyte colony stimulating factor in repeated IVF failure, a randomized trial, and Hossein Ghanbarian for his research examining RNA-directed programming of embryonic stem cell.

Additionally, Fereshteh Esfandiari for her research entitled in vitro generation of meiosis-competent germ cells from embryonic stem cells by engineering the delivery of BMP4, and lastly Kambiz Gilany for his research called untargeted metabolomic profiling of seminal plasma in Non-obstructive azoospermia men: a non-invasive detection of spermatogenesis are announced as the winners of the annual award.

Royan International Research Award was founded by the late director of Royan Institute, Dr. Saeed Kazemi Ashtiani, with the aim of encouraging the researchers and appreciation of their efforts. This annual award is extending into a higher quality event every year, increasing the scientific level and number of the submitted papers. The research papers are evaluated through an intense jury procedure by Awards national and international Jury board.

Royan Institute is a public non-profitable organization which is affiliated to Academic Center for Education, Culture and Research (ACECR) and was established in 1991 by the late Dr. Kazemi Ashtiani as a research institute for reproductive biomedicine and infertility treatments. In 1998 this institute was approved by Ministry of Health as Cell Based Research Center. Now this institute acts as leader of stem cell research and also one of the best clinics for infertility treatment.

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Royan Intl. Research Award to honor Iranian, foreign researchers – Tehran Times

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What is stem cell donation: How does peripheral blood stem cell collection work? – India.com

It will take you just a few hours to donate stems cells but it will save someones life as it is usually the last or the only resort for those suffering from blood cancer. Stem cells are undifferentiated biological cells that can grow into specialized cells. There are two types of stems cells, which are embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are extracted from theblastocyst, which is a structure that contains cell mass that develops into an embryo. Adult stem cells are the undifferentiated cells that replenish the dying cells or repair the damaged cells. These adult stems cells are donated during the stem cell donation. Stems cells are transferred to the patient, where it differentiates into healthy specialized cells. (ALSO READMajor blood types and who can donate blood to whom).

Stem cell donation is voluntarily donating the stem cells produced by your body. It can be donated in two ways. The first method is called Peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation while the other method is bone marrow donation. Bone marrow donation requires hospitalization. Bone marrow is collected from your pelvis by doctors under general anesthesia using a syringe. You may experience pain and bruise but you will recover within a week.

Peripheral blood stem cell donation is used by 90 percent of the people to donate stem cells. It is an easy and quick process to collect the blood-forming cells found in the circulating blood. This non-surgical process of collecting the stem cells is called apheresis.

You need to register to donate stem cell. Your cell sample from cheek is analyzed for HLA typing and when there is a requirement for stem cell with your HLA type, you will get a notification. A complete health check-up is carried out to ascertain that you are fit to donate the stems cells. Once the check up is done, you will be given an injection called GCSF (Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor)to increase the stem cell present in your blood. This injection will be administered for five days and on the fifth day, the stem cells are collected. A tiny tube will be inserted in your arm and this tube is connected to a machine that will collect the stem cells. Your blood will pass through the machine. This procedure usually takes about five hours. You may experience flu like symptoms after donating the stem cells but it will soon subside.

Your cells will be given to those suffering from blood cancer and it could save the life of that person.

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What is stem cell donation: How does peripheral blood stem cell collection work? – India.com

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Annual ‘Run for Mandi’ hosting bone marrow registry to combat cancer – Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Erica Honoway is scheduled to speak at the annual “Run for Mandi” charity event in Saskatoon, after her son Lincoln was saved by a bone marrow transplant.Michael Bell / Regina Leader-Post

An annual run honouring a late Canadian hockey player is working with a bone marrow and stem cell registry group in hopes of helping more people in her name.

The Run for Mandi is named for Saskatchewan hockey player Mandi Schwartz, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2008 while she was part of the Yale Bulldogs hockey team. She died in 2011.

The event kicks off Sunday afternoon at River Landing. The five-kilometre run and the one-kilometre family walk will start at two, and for the first time a bone marrow and stem cell registry group will be set up at the run.

Mandis mother, Carol Schwartz, said shes proud of the work being done by the Mandi Schwartz Foundation in her daughters name.

It just makes these events more meaningful lives are being saved, Schwartz said. Theres probably no greater gift than meeting someone who got a successful match.

The OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network, a part of Canadian Blood Services, will accept registrations at Sundays event. Schwartz said theyve handed out information before, but this is the first time OneMatch will swab volunteers at the event to register them in the network.

Bobbylynn Stewart with Breck Construction, the title sponsor for the event, said she has a personal stake in helping organize the run because her mother also died of acute myeloid leukemia. Its a chance for the company and the community to help other families with similar struggles, she said.

When you have a blood cancer or disorder, often times you are relying on a stem cell match through the network, Stewart said. So growing that network is vital.

Alongside the run will be a charity silent auction and a barbecue. Mandis brothers, professional hockey players Jayden and Rylan Schwartz, are also expected to attend, along with NHL players Ryan Murray and JC Lipton, and AHL player Brandon Gormley.

Erica Honoway, scheduled to speak before the run, said she is haunted by how close her family came to sharing in the Schwartzs tragedy.

Her son Lincoln was diagnosed with aplastic anemia last year, but a bone marrow transplant helped save his life.

In all the registries in the world, they found two matches for Lincoln, Honoway said. Every single person who gets on is another chance for someone to have their life saved.

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Annual ‘Run for Mandi’ hosting bone marrow registry to combat cancer – Saskatoon StarPhoenix

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Family of Mandi Schwartz connecting donors with stem cell network – Globalnews.ca

The parents of a Saskatchewan-born Yale University hockey player are trying to connect more people with a bone marrow and stem cell network that could save lives.

Rick and Carol Schwartz will be in Saskatoon on Sunday for the sixth annual Run for Mandi named after their daughter Mandi Schwartz, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in December 2008 and died in April 2011.

READ MORE: Could you save his life? Edmonton boy needs to find stem cell match

Officials from the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network, part of Canadian Blood Services, will take swabs from volunteers in hopes of connecting donors with patients who need stem cell transplants.

Its the first time the event will have on-site registration for the network.

Fewer than 25 per cent of people find a stem cell donor in their family and only 50 per cent find a match in the international network of donors, according to Blood Services.

Mandi never found one.

It was frustrating to know that. Its almost like we let her down, Rick Schwartz said.

In 2010, his daughter penned a letter, stating her hope that doctors would find her a life-saving match. She also hoped to increase the donor registry to help others.

If someone else in Mandis family needed a stem cell transplant, she wouldve been the first person to help out, her mother said.

I just know she would be front and centre in leading a drive if she were with us today, Carol Schwartz said.

Another registration drive in Mandis name happens annually at Yale University. So far, more than 6,000 people have registered and 37 have resulted in stem cell matches.

Ideal candidates are between the ages of 17 and 35 and meet certain health criteria.

If a person registers and matches with a person in need, its usually as easy taking blood, according to Run for Mandi co-organizer Bobbylynn Stewart.

Fifteen per cent of the time, they do require your bone marrow, said Stewart, who lost her mother to acute myeloid leukemia.

They go in through your hip and draw it through there, so its under anesthesia. Its about an hour-long process.

READ MORE: Run for Mandi raises over $20K for memorial bursary funds

Sundays event lasts from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and running isnt required.

Lincoln Honoway, who was three when he was admitted to Regina General Hospital last year with dangerously low blood counts, will be in attendance.

After finding a stem cell transplant, Lincolns blood cell counts have started to rise and stabilize.

The run is planned for River Landing, with pro hockey players Ryan Murray, JC Lipon and Brandon Gormley expected to be there.

Mandis brother, Jaden Schwartz of the St. Louis Blues, will attend as well.

2017Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Family of Mandi Schwartz connecting donors with stem cell network – Globalnews.ca

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When a Genetic Test Brings Bad News – ChicagoNow (blog)

The Ancestry commercials are right. Genetic testing can launch us on rewarding paths of self-discovery. Last year, using a common test kit, I found out exactly how Polish I was. My mother was 100%, and I inherited 51% of those genes in total, edging out the Scots-Irish portion of my genetic inheritance by a hair. I thought that was pretty cool, as I have many fond memories as a child visiting Grandma Wanda at her walk-up apartment on the 4000 block of Milwaukee Avenue, next to the big furniture sign.

Besides offering the gift of claiming a heritage, genetic tests can help us mitigate the damage of diseases lurking over the horizon. When a rather common form of cancer afflicted my sister Nancy, and returned unexpectedly with a vengeance, I chose to get tested specifically for genetic mutations myself. And not just for me; Nancy and I have three sisters and a brother to think about. Men are affected too by mutations, as I was to learn.

I thought I was prepared for any news, but I hadnt anticipated the steep learning curve ahead. It seems the field of predictive genetic analysis is moving at breakneck speed. Id assumed that breast cancer-associated gene mutations were limited, basically, to two: BRCA 1 and BRCA 2. But no. There are several others, including something called CHEK 2 mutation, which I unfortunately carry. Considering the giant RED HIGH RISK ALERT on my report, I did some research within the medical literature on this one. Turns out its most prevalent in women of eastern European or Polish ancestry. This genetic glitch puts me at high risk of developing breast cancer. If I do, and its effectively treated even if I think I’m cancer free as deemed by a physician using standard methods of analysisthe chances of recurrence are about 30%, as opposed to the 4% risk borne by those without this particular genetic malfunction.

Damn. Well, I get regular checkups, and have both competent genetic counseling and good doctors willing to spend time helping me figure things out. For now, things look fine. Im bummed that I felt stressed and strange this week, as if my person had been violated or my place had been robbed. Knowledge is power but in this case, its also pretty depressing. And let us not forget the uncomfortable “alert your other close relatives” phase. Trust me, even with a clear report for your relatives to peruse at their leisure, there is never a good time, or a good way, to share this stuff. Ive moved from the surprise phase to (apparently) deliberately ruffling my own peace of mind. More of us may find ourselves in my situation as genetic testing becomes more common. I suspect that my biggest struggle is with the concept of time. As in, how much left, and can I really affect the odds?

Ive turned over a few options in my mind, sometimes out loud. In the morning, fortified by strong coffee, makeup applied, and fully dressed for the day, I generally assume the best outcome. Most of my family did not suffer cancer. At night, when I’m tired and start washing off the make-up, I figure I best prepare for the worst. (I know, not very rational due diligence is one thing, opening a mental door to disaster, another). Better cut them off now, I sigh.

The other day a physician cautioned me about quick, life-altering decisions that are currently unnecessary. All right then. Should I leave work and retire earlier than planned? The last thought is tempting. I miss my hometown, a place I appreciate more with every visit. But I love being with my students, too. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and together we are on the path to continuous learning. It keeps me young and feeling alive.

Marc, my husband, gently tells me that now isnt the best time to play 52-card pickup with my life. Im here, and well work through everything together a step at a time, he assures me.Recently during one of my melancholy deep dives, the closing lines of Stanley Kunitz poem, The Layers, came to mind.

Though I lack the artto decipher it,no doubt the next chapterin my book of transformationsis already written.I am not done with my changes.

This snippet, in turn, sent me to my jewelry box to dig out a little-worn silver ring I’d had engraved with the words, “It Is Already Written.” Fellow fans of the movie Slumdog Millionaire will recognize the reference.

Im glad my hyper-activated imagination finally turned up something helpful to ward off bad thoughts. Stanley Kunitz, who died weeks shy of his 101st birthday, understood that the imagination can do much more than worry. It can transform any experience. Its sheer force shapes reality and reminds us, wherever we are, whatever we face: we are not done. This is our time to take ownership of our lives as fully as possible, and to live as well as we can.

This was my turning point of the week. In the next blog, Ill talk a little more about coping in gnarly situations like this.

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When a Genetic Test Brings Bad News – ChicagoNow (blog)

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Genetic tests are everywhere, but how reliable are they? – The Boston Globe

Illustration by cristina span/for the boston globe

The Greeks asked their oracles to predict future fortunes and future losses. The Romans studied the entrails of sacrificed animals for similar reasons. In modern-day medicine, though, soothsayers come in the form of genetic tests.

Ever since the human genome was sequenced almost 15 years ago, tens of thousands of genetic tests have flooded the marketplace. By analyzing someones DNA, often through a blood sample or cheek swab, these tests promise to foretell whether a patient is prone to certain cancers, blessed with the potential to become a star soccer player, or at an elevated risk of having an opioid addiction.

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These types of genetic tests are finding an eager audience. The North American genetic testing market, already the largest in the world, was worth $11.9 billion in 2016, by one estimate, and is expected to grow at more than 15 percent a year for the foreseeable future. Companies such as LabCorp, which offer genetic tests via doctor recommendations, and the healthcare giant Roche have moved aggressively into the field. The company 23andMe, a household name because of its ancestry tests, sells health-related tests directly to consumers.

But for a source of medical information to be legally sold in the United States, just how accurate does it need to be?

Like a prediction from a crystal ball, genetic test results are sometimes wrong. Some tests that predict the likelihood a young pregnant woman will have a child with a genetic condition such as Down syndrome may only be correct only 60 percent of the time. Most genetic tests, and many other lab tests, go unvetted by the Food and Drug Administration. That means these tests may not undergo any independent review to make sure they accurately pick up the disease or genetic conditions they claim to be seeking.

Using the worlds first portable DNA lab to sequence beer is a cool thing to do.

The FDA has been wrestling for years with whether and how to do more. During the Obama administration, the agency proposed a new set of draft limits on a whole class of tests, and then put them on hold immediately after Donald Trumps election. This spring, the FDA gave 23andMe permission to market genetic screenings for susceptibility to Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and other conditions. It was the first time the agency blessed direct-to-consumer tests for genetic health risks.

While the debate over genetic testing often follows a pattern familiar from countless other industries business groups want less regulation, and consumer advocates favor more it also raises more cosmic questions: Is a medical test just a piece of information? Or is it something more, if its result leads to dramatic or irreversible action such as chemotherapy or an abortion? And if a data point is factually suspect, or ripe for misinterpretation, when and how should it be offered to consumers?

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Especially if regulators stand aside, Americans may soon be swimming in even more tests that vary greatly in their reliability. Yet for some people contemplating a current ailment or their future well-being, getting an answer even an unreliable one may be better than no answer at all.

Especially for people expecting a baby, genetic tests can be hard to resist. I think we all are wanting to know our child doesnt have something… we want them to be healthy, said Mischa Livingstone, a filmmaker and professor who lives in California. Without asking for it, his pregnant wife, Jessica, was given a genetic test that predicted a 99 percent chance their child would have Turner syndrome, a genetic condition that can lead to short stature, heart defects, and other symptoms. But genetic tests for Turner are more often wrong than right a fact the couple didnt know at the time.

They were devastated, and immediately went for more invasive testing, which showed the fetus was fine. But their sense of dread didnt lift until their daughter, now 2 1/2, was born perfectly healthy.

Despite the heartache a faulty genetic test result caused, Livingstone says hed consider asking for one again. I think it feeds into that need for certainty, he said.

Both individuals and society as a whole are intolerant of the unknown, medical sociologists say.

Long before genetic screenings, there was a critical relationship between lab tests and medical treatment. Doctors often wont prescribe drugs or treatment without a positive test result. Insurance payments are rarely processed without diagnostic codes. The rise of genetic testing wont change, and may even amplify, that dynamic.

While some diagnoses may still carry social stigma think schizophrenia, for example they more often may confer legitimacy. Having a gene for alcoholism, for example, can make people view the problem as biological, as opposed to a character flaw. For patients, genetic tests promote a therapeutic optimism a hope that they can be treated and cured for an immediate problem or a future one, according to Michael Bury, professor emeritus at Royal Holloway, University of London, who studies society and illness.

A test alone can feel like a step forward. Undergoing a screening, said Natalie Armstrong, professor of healthcare improvement research at the University of Leicester, can make people feel that at least they are doing something proactive.

Interestingly, one study indicated that certain direct-to-consumer genetic tests dont affect users behavior or anxiety levels, bolstering the argument that people may use the information as data points, not a surefire prediction of their own fate.

Many bioethicists are unpersuaded. On an individual basis, it is tempting to discount the pitfalls of a little extra information, says Beth Peshkin, an oncology professor and genetic counselor at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C. But on a population level the implications of inaccurate results can be costly and, sometimes, deadly.

One of the most cited examples of this harm is from a 2008 genetic test for ovarian cancer that misdiagnosed women, some of whom had their ovaries removed unnecessarily before the test was pulled from the market. Because test makers do not have to report when a test turns out to be wrong in fact many people may never know when a test result is a false positive or negative FDA officials have said it has been almost impossible to assess the overall harm from all unregulated tests.

Cost is another concern that may arise from the overuse of genetic tests that proliferate without meaningful oversight. Tests often beget more tests that cost an ever-escalating amount of money. Enough testing, will invariably pick up something abnormal in a patient, even though it may not harm them, some experts believe.

In some ways its easy for us to try and find something definitive and act on that even though it has nothing to do with what is wrong with the patient, said H. Gilbert Welch, a cancer research at Dartmouth College who has written extensively on the dangers of overtesting. Genetics is an amazing tool… but to what extent does that data predict something that you care about? Is it useful knowledge?

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The American Clinical Laboratory Association, the key trade group for genetic test makers, and other advocates of lighter regulation argue that bad tests are rare, and that its more important for the free market to allow innovation. With more tests in place to identify disease, cures come next, they say.

So far, the public has shown little concern about the fallout of genetic testing. While a 2016 poll showed only 6 percent of American adults have undergone genetic testing, 56 percent of them said they would want to if it could predict cancer or a disease like Alzheimers. Most Americans, the poll found, believe genetic tests for predicting disease are mostly accurate and reliable.

Safety advocates best chance to tighten regulation may have already passed. The world of genetic testing becomes more free-wheeling and consumer-driven all the time. By one industry estimate, 10 new genetic testing products enter the market each day. Despite considerable skepticism from medical experts, new apps purport to use data from gene sequencing to develop personalized diet plans and fitness routines.

The FDAs now-shelved rules would have classified genetic and other tests according to how much harm they could cause if their result was wrong. For example, a new genetic test for colon cancer, which requires intrusive and costly treatment, likely would have been subject to full FDA review; the maker of a test that predicts mere baldness might only have had to register it with the agency and report any known problems with it. Under the Trump administration, the agency appears less likely to draw such distinctions or impose new restrictions at all.

People want answers soon, and their inclination is to believe what appears to be solid, unassailable medicine, said Robert Klitzman, a Columbia University bioethicist. Individuals will need to evaluate these tests carefully. The notion of being able to tell your fortune has great lure. But its a little bit of hubris. We still dont know so much.

Genetic testing, still in its infancy, promises a measure of clarity about the future of our bodies. But as genetic science rapidly evolves, that modern-day crystal ball raises vexing new questions and creates its own kind of uncertainty.

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Genetic tests are everywhere, but how reliable are they? – The Boston Globe

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Brand cialis – Difference generic brand cialis – Laughlin Entertainer

Theres a lot to be said for being in the right place at the right time, but could Air Supplys long-time success be the result or a chance meeting or was the cosmos working overtime on a little something called destiny? Maybe, but one thing is for surenone of it would have been possible at all without their hard work and tenacity to make it happen.The two Russells, Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock, happened to be cast in the same Sydney, Australian production of Jesus Christ Superstar in 1975, and everything changed after that.

Many an audience member has probably asked himself if a fine looking group of ladies about to take the stage could possibly do justice to one of the most popular rock bands in the world. Its a legitimate question considering its not easy music to play, so a person cant help but wonder if the music will be taken as seriously as the people in the audience do. However, once the guitars are plugged in and the girls dig into those first few chords, the obvious answer to that question is, oh, hell, yes.

Many a cook tries their hand at duplicating foods they love in restaurants and specialty shops, telling themselves, it cant be that difficult. Often times, theyre right. It can be doneand its pretty simple. However, sometimes, its not as easy as it looks.Mexican food for example looks easy because ingredients are simple, sauces are often slow-cooked and meat is marinated, making this comfort food one of Americas favorite. Recipes are often handed down and each time theyre prepared, a spice might be tweaked or flavor added, depending on taste and preference.

Its been 40 years since Elvis Presley died (August 16, 1977) and millions of people still have the date circled in red on their calendars. People still remember and they still mourn. Some internet sites have gone to the extent of estimating what he would look like now, if he were still here in the physical.This time of year Memphis fills up with more people than usual as crowds in large numbers make their pilgrimages to Graceland for visits to his home while tribute shows pop up all around the country to remember the huge icon that he was.

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Brand cialis – Difference generic brand cialis – Laughlin Entertainer

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Breaking the mold: A doctor’s illness journey changes her practice – Peninsula Press

Ten years ago, a young woman came to Dr. Cynthia Li, seeking treatment for fungal overgrowth causing chronic fatigue and digestive disorders. Drawing on years of internal medicine training, Li dismissed the patients self-diagnosis. I thought it was probably some quackery she found on the internet, she recalled. Little did Li realize that she, too, would soon turn to alternative solutions for her own mysterious medical condition, in a development that would change her approach to life and to medicine.

(Photo courtesy of Cynthia Li)

Up until her thirties, Li was living every well-intentioned doctors dream. She worked at the San Francisco General Hospital and taught UCSF medical residents, volunteered with Doctors Without Borders at an HIV/AIDS clinic in rural China, lived in a classic Victorian-style house in San Francisco, exercised regularly and ate a mostly vegetarian, organic low-fat diet.

Not until the spring of 2007 as she was being rushed to the hospital, heart rate over 200, delirious and slipping out of consciousness, did she realize she was spiraling into an inexplicable chronic health crisis.

Li had experienced severe fatigue and dizziness after her first pregnancy, but brushed it off because she felt well enough. This time in 2007, while visiting her family in Beijing, she experienced the perfect storm pollution exposure, stomach flu, unusual foods and a second pregnancy left her bedbound for six months after the emergency room visit and another two years housebound. Having endured 36-hour shifts, Li was no stranger to fatigue, but what she felt now was a completely different animal. I couldnt move my muscles and didnt feel like I had the energy to draw my next breath, she said.

Her primary care doctor, endocrinologist and psychiatrist shuffled her around in a referral merry-go-round. Screening tests including the thyroid-stimulating hormone, TSH, were normal. No sign of depression or mental health disorders. She had become one of the invalids those with a medical case that went unrecognized and deemed incurable.

Growing up, Li was not one to deviate much from the norm. Her parents emigrated from Taiwan and held a high regard for authority. She lived her life by the book went to church on Sundays and always turned in her schoolwork on time. In her third year of medical school, she shoved a nasogastric tube down the nose of an unwilling patient because a resident told her to. She attributed repeated instances like this to unknowingly stifling her curiosity and will to question what happens in medicine and why.

It came as a shock, then, when she violated medical norm and became the difficult patient. Desperate but still skeptical of alternative treatments, she began with acupuncture, and then slowly integrated other paradigms like environmental health (how pollutants and chemicals disrupt hormone function) and ancestral health (how an evolutionary perspective helps define diet and lifestyle) into her personal healing routine.

She understood diets had to be personalized there is no one-size-fits-all perfect diet and ditched vegetarianism for more nutrient-dense foods like bone broth soup, learned to rewire her brain and dampen inflammatory stress responses through a technique called neural retraining, took up Qigong practice, and supplemented with things ranging from amino acids like L-glutamine for repairing the gut lining to vitamin B-complex with active folate and B12 for healthy detoxification support.

Li, 46, eventually diagnosed and slowly healed herself from autoimmune thyroiditis, multiple food sensitivities and chronic fatigue syndrome. Her personal health journey profoundly changed the way she now practices medicine. In 2012, she opened her own practice in Berkeley, based on an approach known as functional medicine, which seeks to find root causes and mechanisms for chronic disease instead of ruling out and reducing problems.

Cynthia Li (Photo courtesy of Cynthia Li)

Matthew Sades son was one patient who walked through Lis door last year. When the 8-year-old boys eyebrows and eyelashes began to fall out, their pediatric dermatologist diagnosed him with alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes excessive hair loss. Treatment included monthly injections of steroids in his scalp and daily topical creams. It was labor intensive and after three to four months of very minimal progress, Sade decided to take his son to see Li.

Li ordered a battery of stool, urine and blood tests and found that his sons gut flora the microorganisms that resided in his gut was out of balance. She prescribed a cocktail of probiotics and prebiotics to restore the dysbiosis, and vitamins and minerals to support his immune function. In addition, his celiac panel testing for gluten sensitivity turned up positive, and Li provided articles citing an increased incidence of alopecia in celiac patients. Sades son remains gluten-free today.

Sade, CEO of natural food company Kite Hill, admits that conclusions can never be definitive, but says that for his son, the results were significant. Four weeks into the new regimen and boom, it was just like night and day. His hair grew back like it had never happened, Sade said.

Hes a big believer in Lis work and has referred a half a dozen people to her this past year whom he felt, much like his son, were not getting the answers and relief they needed from their conventional Western medicine practitioners.

Not everyone is enamored by Lis less-than-standard method of care. When Sade shared the good news of his son with a physician at UCSF Benioff Childrens Hospital Oakland, she replied that this was a new body of medicine with insufficient research to speak to it.

It was a little bit disappointing because it felt there was this undertone of adversity to the possibility that there are other practices that could be yielding different and potentially better outcomes, Sade said.

Cynthia Li traveling with her husband in South Africa, while still in her prime. Her life would soon change as her health took a turn for the worst. (Photo courtesy of Cynthia Li)

Christopher Gardner, professor of medicine and director of nutrition studies at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, said what functional medicine practitioners do is plausible and makes sense and may work well for some. (EDITORS NOTE: Peninsula Press is a project of the Stanford Journalism Program and not affiliated with Stanford Medicine.) However, his impression is that they believe in a lot of non-standard diagnostic tests, many of which are related to the gastrointestinal tract and system, which have limited scientific evidence to either support or refute their claims.

More outspoken critics include Wallace Sampson, the late oncologist and emeritus professor of clinical medicine at Stanford University, who wrote that functional medicine is nothing more than a treatment of phantom diseases and a non-scientific, ineffective, jingoistic, cultic approach to dysfunctional somatoform, non-disease conditions.

Li is undeterred by the naysayers. She said that functional medicine does not replace her medical training but instead enhances it. In addition, in randomized controlled trials, people become statistics. The idea that this gold standard of research always produces the best evidence-based medicine is limiting, she claims. Standard practice has been proven ineffective time and time again and off-label uses of drugs are often prescribed. Conversely, functional medicine is not without the more out there practitioners. Integrative medicine people can be equally dogmatic, Li said, chuckling.

While sitting at a bustling Berkeley brunch spot picking at her fruit salad, Li articulated a keen awareness and respect for the complexity of the human body, while remaining pragmatic and skeptical throughout the conversation. Of course, she would research each of her patients cases thoroughly, scouring PubMed articles and natural supplement databases, but her humility stood out the most. The most valuable thing that I learned in my health journey was to come to the place of not knowing, she said.

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Breaking the mold: A doctor’s illness journey changes her practice – Peninsula Press

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Haqqani: Cardiovascular health in women Part two – Midland Daily News

Dr. Omar P. Haqqanifor the Daily News

Dr. Omar P. Haqqani

Dr. Omar P. Haqqani

Haqqani:Cardiovascular health in women Part two

In part 1 of our series addressing cardiovascular health in women, we discussed the three most significant risk factors in developing cardiovascular disease. This week, we focus on the two deadliest cardiovascular events that can result from CVD, which are heart attacks and strokes.

Heart Attacks

Heart attacks are often viewed as something that primarily strike men; however, nearly a quarter million women a year die from them. That is 5 times higher than the number of deaths resulting from breast cancer.

In order to reduce occurrences of this cardiac event, women should be aware that a heart attack does not always feel the same in females as it does in men. The typical heart attack signs — severe chest pain radiating down one arm or extreme shortness of breath — can certainly occur in women, but many times, their symptoms are much more subtle.

They include:

Chest pain or discomfort that feels more like a fullness or squeezing throughout the chest rather than sharp, severe pain on the left side.

Pain in your back, neck or jaw that can build gradually and that can come and go.

Stomach pain and abdominal pressure that may be mistaken for heartburn.

Shortness of breath, nausea or lightheadedness for no apparent reason.

Sweating suddenly even though you have not exerted yourself.

Fatigue after engaging in activities as simple as walking up the stairs.

If you have any of these symptoms, do not ignore them. Get medical attention immediately and, rather than driving yourself to the hospital or asking a friend or family member to do so, call 911 so first responders can manage the event. Acting quickly can save your life and decrease the damage done to your heart.

To reduce your overall risk of a heart attack, make heart-smart lifestyle choices including getting regular exercise, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and eating a healthy diet. It is also very important to keep your blood pressure under control and manage your blood sugar if you are diabetic.

Strokes

Stroke is another cardiovascular event that is a leading cause of death in women. In addition, because women live longer than men, the long-term effects of a stroke can have a much more negative impact on their lives. Once again, there are risk factors, warning signs and symptoms that are unique to women.

The typical risk factors for stroke — being overweight, high blood pressure, an inactive lifestyle, smoking and diabetes — apply equally to both sexes. But there are others that occur only in women such as pregnancy, using birth control pills or taking hormone replacement medications. Women who are in their child-bearing years or who are post-menopausal must be alert to the increased chances of having a stroke and be vigilant about monitoring symptoms.

Women will experience different symptoms than men when having a stroke. These include fainting, dizziness, hallucinations, nausea or vomiting, and frequent hiccups. Women may also feel numbness over their entire body rather than in a localized area. If you experience any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately, particularly if you have difficulty speaking or see drooping in your face. Just like with heart attacks, it is imperative you act quickly to minimize stroke damage.

To reduce your risk of a stroke, stop smoking immediately and work toward reaching and maintaining a healthy body weight. If you are pregnant, monitor your blood pressure carefully throughout your pregnancy. Monitor it closely as well if you are on birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy drugs and see your physician immediately if it rises.

While heart attacks and strokes are real dangers for women because the signs and symptoms are very different than those experienced by men, you can reduce your chances of having either by making important lifestyle changes, being alert to the signs and reacting quickly if symptoms appear.

Next week, part three of our series on cardiovascular health in women will specifically address how ethnicity plays a role in cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular events.

Dr. Omar P. Haqqani is the chief of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at Vascular Health Clinics in Midland.

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Haqqani: Cardiovascular health in women Part two – Midland Daily News

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Dairy cow genetics in the spotlight – The Australian Dairyfarmer

The rising popularity of genomic (DNA) testing of female dairy cattle means DataGene’s release of Australian Breeding Values (ABVs) puts the spotlight on the top herds and cows, as well as bulls.

DataGene’s genetic evaluation manager, Michelle Axford, said the August ABV release saw more herds competing for the top genomic females lists than in the past.

When genomic testing first became available to Australian dairyfarmers in 2011, a few leading dairy breeders tested a limited number of females. So, the list of top females was dominated by these herds.

With many dairy herds now routinely testing each heifer drop, the number of genetic tests ordered in the past year has increased by about 40 per cent. There are now 66,355 females with genotypes.

“August’s top genomic female lists reflect this,” she said. “For example, the Holstein top females list has an increase of 50 per cent herds contributing top females compared to the April 2017 ABV release.”

Australia’s top genomically tested Holstein cow is Glomar Goldwyn Lucky 4319, bred by the Johnston family of Sale, Victoria, with a Balanced Performance Index (BPI) of 399.

The BPI accounts for the traits that affect profit, production and longevity in the herd. A BPI of zero represents the average of mature, Australian cows, so at 399, Glomar Lucky has the genetic potential to contribute an extra $399 a year in profit.

There’s stiff competition vying for other places in the Holstein Top 10 females. Several leading breeders have strong contenders: the Ireland (Redmaw, Lockington, Vic), Lillicos (Hindlee, Smithton, Tasmania) and Lister (Calister, Calivil, Vic) families.

At a herd level, Trevor and Leah Parrish, Kangaroo Valley, NSW, continue to hold the position of top Holstein herd with an average BPI of 144. They are followed by Daryl Hoey (Beaulah Park, Katunga, Vic), Hogg family (Adlejama, Biggara, Vic) and Kitchen family (Carenda, Boyanup, WA).

Australia’s top genomically tested Jersey cow is Kings Ville SCD Belle 78, with a BPI of 337, bred by Rob and Kerrie Anderson, Drouin West, Victoria.

First place for Jersey herds is shared by Daryl Hoey (Beaulah Park, Katunga, Vic) and Con Glennen (White Star, Noorat, Vic) with an average BPI of 118.

In the Red Breeds, the Graham family (Beaulands, Nowra, NSW) continues to hold the top spot with an average BPI of 107.

Mrs Axford congratulated all the breeders involved, recognising that their achievements were the result of many years of focused breeding decisions.

“Every joining is an opportunity to improve the genetic merit of your herd,” she said. “The impact of each joining decision is permanent and compounding. Each of these farmers have demonstrated what can be achieved by making every joining decision count.”

Mrs Axford said the easiest way to improve the genetic merit of a dairy herd was to always use bulls that carry the Good Bulls icon.

There are plenty of bulls to choose from that carry the Good Bulls icon. Bulls that meet the Good Bulls criteria in the August ABV release include more than 900 Holsteins, 135 Jerseys, 20 Red Breeds, 12 Guernseys and 40 Brown Swiss.

To qualify for Good Bulls status, a bull must meet the minimum requirements for Balanced Performance Index (BPI) and reliability and be available for purchase.D

Look up Good Bulls using the Good Bulls App or by visiting website http://www.datagene.com.au.

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Dairy cow genetics in the spotlight – The Australian Dairyfarmer

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Wheat center looking to grow ‘gluten safe’ varieties, isolate other sought-after qualities – Topeka Capital Journal

MANHATTAN Research at the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center could revolutionize farming not just in Kansas but around the world.

Scientists there use advanced breeding techniques to isolate sought-after qualities. Different than genetic modification, breeding selects wheat varieties that need less water, can grow in extreme heat, or are durable against disease and pests in process that can take nearly a decade. Researchers at the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center hope to reduce that time so farmers can grow better wheat, faster, said Aaron Harries, vice president of research and operations.

This year, the wheat streak mosaic virus ravaged wheat crops in western Kansas. A tiny mite that remained active during an unusually warm winter spread the disease over a larger area than before. Within a few years, a variety of wheat resistant to the virus will be in the hands of farmers, Harries said.

But even as researchers develop tougher wheats, Mother Nature catches up. Disease evolves and climates change.

Were always striving to improve the yield, he said.

This year, a consortium of international geneticists will likely finish sequencing wheats genome.

Aaron Harries talks about the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center in Manhattan and the Research that is underway that could revolutionize farming not just in Kansas but across the world.

Similar to the Human Genome Project that mapped human genetics, the project, which began in part with the centers research, will lay out the fundamentals of the wheat gene so scientists can more easily identify desirable traits.

Its not just farmers that benefit from Kansas Wheat research. Varieties are being developed that are naturally sweeter, so bakers and food companies can use less sugar to sweeten doughs.

Researchers are also talking to the growing number of people who have celiac disease. Those with the condition are unable to digest gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. With clues unlocked in the wheat genome, the institute hopes to locate the specific portions of the protein that cause the reaction and breed it out or silence it, Harries said.

Thats the protein that makes bread rise, so were not trying to make it gluten free, he said. Were trying to make it celiac safe.

To find the wheat qualities farmers and consumers want, researchers not only turn to wheat currently being grown, but they also have a store of ancient grains the wild grass varieties bred together to form modern wheat. Scientists collected the grains from places such as Syria, Iraq and Israel.

We go treasure hunting for traits from those relatives and cross them into modern bread wheat, Harries said.

With all these different types of wheat on the market, Harries said the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center sees a revolution coming in the way wheat is grown, sold and processed. Currently, farmers growing consumer grain sell it to the elevator at harvest, which turns it over to a company in the food industry.

In future, farmers may contract directly with a certain company to grow a specific type of wheat.

A farmer with 100 acres may grow 50 acres of consumer wheat, 25 acres of sweet wheat and 25 acres of celiac-safe wheat, Harries said.

Ultimately that will change the way we grow wheat. he said.

Advanced research

These advances in wheat are years away, but they begin in tiny pots in the institutes more than 35,000-square-foot, $11 million facility. Thats where Heartland Plant Innovations research associate Tyler Suelter and a team breed new wheat varieties using a doubled haploid technique that can shave years off the breeding process.

Suelter said it sounds complex, but its really an acceleration of traditional breeding.

The process involves producing plants that have all the same genetics. When a variety is identified, scientists emasculate the plants, leaving only the female reproductive system.

Maize is used to pollinate the plant so an embryo is produced. Since the embryo wasnt pollinated with wheat, it has half the number of chromosomes. Breeders will later double the count, so the plant has two copies of identical chromosomes a process that takes generations with typical breeding.

The research has produced nearly 100,000 doubled haploid variations and reduces the amount of time it takes to breed a new wheat variety.

The time savings comes from how long it takes to grow the plants out. With (traditional breeding), you grow out several generations, and each takes six months, Suelter said. With doubled haploid, you basically fix those traits in a single generation.

Kansas Wheat by the numbers

$11 million facility completed in 2012.

15,000 square feet of research laboratories, including 13 growing chambers

10,000 square feet of greenhouses

2,500 wheat species in gene bank

85 percent funded by Kansas farmers

About $1.5 million annually spent on research at Kansas State University

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Wheat center looking to grow ‘gluten safe’ varieties, isolate other sought-after qualities – Topeka Capital Journal

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

For Immune System Stem Cell Studies, Mice Aren’t Enough – Science 2.0

If mouse studies were transferable to humans, we’d have cured every disease thousands of times. That is the big reason why you shouldn’t accept scaremongering about the chemical of the week in the New York Times, or claims about Miracle Vegetables in the Washington Post.

Stem cell therapy is all the rage, with suspect companies sprouting up like supplement stores, claiming to be a benefit for this and that. Often all they have are mouse studies and FDA disclaimers on their side. That’s not to say mouse studies are not valuable, they eliminate a lot of bad products, and in some instances mouse models are good analogues of humans, like in HIV infection, but a new paper reveals what chemists have long known: When it comes to the immune system rats are not little people, even “humanized” mice whichhave been engineered to have a human, rather than a murine, immune system.

These animals have been used for decades to study things like the immune response to the transplantation of pancreatic islet cells for diabetes and skin grafts for burn victims. But unlike what would occur in a human patient, the humanized mice are unable to robustly reject the transplantation of genetically mismatched human stem cells. As a result, they can’t be used to study the immunosuppressive drugs that patients will likely require after transplant. The researchers conclude that the humanized mouse model is not suitable for studying the human immune response to transplanted stem cells or cells derived from them.

“In an ideal situation, these humanized mice would reject foreign stem cells just as a human patient would,” said Joseph Wu, MD, PhD, director of Stanford University School of Medicine’s Cardiovascular Institute and professor of cardiovascular medicine and of radiology. “We could then test a variety of immunosuppressive drugs to learn which might work best in patients, or to screen for new drugs that could inhibit this rejection. We can’t do that with these animals.”

The researchers write in Cell Reports that they were studying pluripotent stem cells, which can become any tissue in the body. They tested the animals’ immune response to human embryonic stem cells, which are naturally pluripotent, and to induced pluripotent stem cells. Although iPS cells can be made from a patient’s own tissues, future clinical applications will likely rely on pre-screened, FDA-approved banks of stem cell-derived products developed for specific clinical situations, such as heart muscle cells to repair tissue damaged by a heart attack, or endothelial cells to stimulate new blood vessel growth. Unlike patient-specific iPS cells, these cells would be reliable and immediately available for clinical use. But because they won’t genetically match each patient, it’s likely that they would be rejected without giving the recipients immunosuppressive drugs.

The authors found that two varieties of humanized mice were unable to completely reject unrelated human embryonic stem cells or iPS cells, despite the fact that some human immune cells homed to and were active in the transplanted stem cell grafts. In some cases, the cells not only thrived, but grew rapidly to form cancers called teratomas. In contrast, mice with unaltered immune systems quickly dispatched both forms of human pluripotent stem cells.

The researchers obtained similar results when they transplanted endothelial cells derived from the pluripotent stem cells.

A new mouse model

To understand more about what was happening, they created a new mouse model similar to the humanized mice. Instead of reconstituting the animals’ nonexistent immune systems with human cells, however, they used immune and bone marrow cells from a different strain of mice. They then performed the same set of experiments again.

Unlike the humanized mice, these new mice robustly rejected human pluripotent stem cells as well as mouse stem cells from a genetically mismatched strain of mice. In other words, their newly acquired immune systems appeared to be in much better working order.

Although more research needs to be done to identify the cause of the discrepancy between the two types of animals, the researchers speculate it may have something to do with the complexity of the immune system and the need to further optimize the humanized mouse model to perhaps include other types of cells or signaling molecules. In the meantime, they are warning other researchers of potential pitfalls in using this model to screen for immunosuppressive drugs that could be effective after human stem cell transplants.

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For Immune System Stem Cell Studies, Mice Aren’t Enough – Science 2.0

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Bowl-A-Thon For Stem Cell Bone Marrow Transplant Recipients – BlackburnNews.com

Madalayna and Tamara Ducharme, 33 days after Madalayna received her bone marrow transplant. Photo provided by Tamara Ducharme) By Adelle LoiselleAugust 25, 2017 5:10am

Six months ago, Windsor residents came out in droves to help baby Madalayna Ducharme find a bone marrow match.

On Saturday, they can help again by taking part in a bowl-a-thon dedicated to supporting the families of those who still need a transplant.

The 12th annual Bowling for Bone Marrow Bowl-a-Thon takes place Saturday at Rose Bowl Lanes on Dougall Ave. in Windsor. Check-in is at noon, and the fundraiser gets underway at 1pm.

It is the Katelyn Bedard Bone Marrow Associations biggest fundraiser of the year, and this year it can count Madalayna among its success stories.

The baby girl, who celebrated her first birthday this week, likes to dance and can stand while holding her parents fingers. Her mother, Tamara Ducharme is grateful for every day.

We were unsure if we were going to make it there, to the first birthday, she says. Were hoping that shell be a healthy little girl.

However, the struggle is not over. Friday, the family is driving up Hwy. 401 for Madalaynas six-month post-transplant appointment at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto.

Ducharme says her daughter has bi-weekly hospital visits to ensure her medication is up to date. Madalayna still uses a feeding tube, and even months later, there is still the question whether the bone marrow transplant from her brother is working.

Theyll probably do an x-ray, says Ducharme about the upcoming appointment. Shes had a little growth. If her bones show changes that means shes on the track of getting better. Now, if there is no change, I dont know what were going to do.

Life with a young child who has received a transplant can also be very isolating, and Ducharme admits it has not been easy.

Were bubbled. We really go anywhere. We dont really play with other kids, she says. Youve gotta take the proper steps to take care of your child. If she could catch anything and it could be really detrimental.

She says the association has been very good to her family and they are grateful for their, and the communitys support over a challenging chapter in their lives.

Bryan and Joanne Bedard understand the difficulties faced by families of children waiting for a donor. They lost their 3-year-old daughter, Katelyn, in 2005 when they were unable to find one.

Since then, they have raised money for donor clinics and awareness of the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network which now has 6,500 registered donors. The Katelyn Bedard Bone Marrow Association has also donated $115,000 to stem cell and bone marrow transplant research at both the University of Windsor and the Universite de Montreal.

With files from Maureen Revait

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Bowl-A-Thon For Stem Cell Bone Marrow Transplant Recipients – BlackburnNews.com

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Bacterial infection stresses hematopoietic stem cells – Medical Xpress

Bacterial infection activates hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow and significantly reduces the ability to produce blood through induced proliferation. Credit: Professor Hitoshi Takizawa

It has been thought that only immune cells would act as the line of defense during bacterial infection. However, recent research has revealed that hematopoietic stem cells, cells that create all other blood cells throughout an individual’s lifetime, are also able to respond to the infection. A collaboration between researchers from Japan and Switzerland found that bacterial infection activates hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow and significantly reduces their ability to produce blood by forcibly inducing proliferation. These findings indicate that bacterial infections might trigger dysregulation of blood formation, such as that found in anemia or leukemia. This information is important to consider in the development of prevention methods for blood diseases.

Background: Bacterial Infection and the Associated Immune Reaction

When a person becomes infected with a virus or bacteria, immune cells in the blood or lymph react to the infection. Some of these immune cells use “sensors” on their surfaces, called Toll-like receptors (TLR), to distinguish invading pathogens from molecules that are expressed by the host. By doing so, they can attack and ultimately destroy pathogens thereby protecting the body without attacking host cells.

Bone marrow contains hematopoietic stem cells which create blood cells, such as lymphocytes and erythrocytes, throughout life. When infection occurs, a large number of immune cells are activated and consumed. It therefore becomes necessary to replenish these immune cells by increasing blood production in bone marrow. Recent studies have revealed that immune cells are not the only cells that detect the danger signals associated with infection. Hematopoietic stem cells also identify these signals and use them to adjust blood production. However, little was known about how hematopoietic stem cells respond to bacterial infection or how it affected their function.

Proof: Hematopoietic Stem Cell Response to Bacterial Infection

Researchers from Kumamoto University and the University of Zurich analyzed the role of TLRs in hematopoietic stem cells upon bacterial infection, given that both immune cells and hematopoietic stem cells have TLRs. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), one of the key molecules found in the outer membrane of gram negative bacteria and known to cause sepsis, was given to laboratory animals to generate a bacterial infection model. Furthermore, researchers analyzed the detailed role of TLRs in hematopoietic stem cell regulation by combining genetically modified animals that do not have TLR and related molecules, or agents that inhibit these molecules.

The results showed that LPSs spread throughout the body with some eventually reaching the bone marrow. This stimulated the TLR of the hematopoietic stem cells and induced them to proliferate. They also discovered that while the stimulus promoted proliferation, it also induced stress on the stem cells at the same time. In other words, although hematopoietic stem cells proliferate temporarily upon TLR stimulation, their ability to successfully self-replicate decreases, resulting in diminished blood production. Similar results were obtained after infection with E. coli bacteria.

Future Work

This study reveals that hematopoietic stem cells, while not in charge of immune reactions, are able to respond to bacterial infections resulting in a reduced ability to produce blood. This suggests that cell division of hematopoietic stem cells forced by bacterial infection induces stress and may further cause dysregulated hematopoiesis like that which occurs in anemia or leukemia. “Fortunately we were able to confirm that this molecular reaction can be inhibited by drugs,” said one of the study leaders, Professor Hitoshi Takizawa of Kumamoto University’s IRCMS. “The medication maintains the production of blood and immune cells without weakening the immune reaction against pathogenic bacteria. It might be possible to simultaneously prevent blood diseases and many bacterial infections in the future.”

This finding was posted online in Cell Stem Cell on 21 July 2017, and an illustration from the research content was chosen as the cover of the issue.

Explore further: Innate reaction of hematopoietic stem cells to severe infections

More information: Hitoshi Takizawa et al, Pathogen-Induced TLR4-TRIF Innate Immune Signaling in Hematopoietic Stem Cells Promotes Proliferation but Reduces Competitive Fitness, Cell Stem Cell (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2017.06.013

Journal reference: Cell Stem Cell

Provided by: Kumamoto University

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Bacterial infection stresses hematopoietic stem cells – Medical Xpress

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After treatment for serious illness, NBC-5 anchor Rob Stafford returning to air – Chicago Tribune

NBC-5 News anchor Rob Stafford will return to the air Monday, after months of grueling treatment for a rare blood disorder that gave him a harrowing look at “my own mortality.”

“I thought we’d get this thing nipped in the bud,” said Stafford, 58, who took a leave of absence in March after being diagnosed to be in the early stages of amyloidosis.

Instead, Stafford said, he spent much of the last six months too sick to eat, drink or walk while learning that the road back to health from serious illness is a process.

“You learn that everybody reacts to these drugs differently and there is no guarantee of any outcome,” he said.

Amyloidosis occurs when abnormal protein called amyloid is produced in bone marrow and can be deposited in tissues and organs. There are more than 40 types of the disorder that affect the heart, kidneys, liver, spleen, nervous system and digestive tract. Stafford’s type known as light chain amyloidosis is rare, according to Dr. Ronald Go, Stafford’s hematologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Doctors had planned to remove or “harvest” stem cells from Stafford’s own bone marrow and freeze millions of healthy ones. After wiping out the unhealthy cells using chemotherapy, Stafford was to have the healthy stem cells transplanted back into his bone marrow, where they were to reproduce themselves, Go said in March.

Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune

Rob Stafford, shown Aug. 24, 2017, is planning to return to the anchor desk at NBC-5 News on Aug. 28 after months battling amyloidosis.

Rob Stafford, shown Aug. 24, 2017, is planning to return to the anchor desk at NBC-5 News on Aug. 28 after months battling amyloidosis. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)

But Stafford ran into several complications immediately after the transplant process began that forced him to remain hospitalized for most of March.

“There were times in the hospital when I thought he might not make it,” said his wife, Lisa Stafford, who would jog around the Rochester area to alleviate her stress.

“On the runs, I would stop at every church to pray and light a candle.”

Stafford returned to his home in Hinsdale in early April, too weak sometimes to walk across the room, drink a milkshake or even stay awake for the news, he said.

In June, test results showed the bone marrow transplant did not work as they had planned, and Stafford would need a new course of action to fight the disease, he said.

It was a terrifying place to be, Stafford said.

“You think, ‘What if nothing works?'” he said. “I have clearly thought about my own mortality.”

Doctors at Rush University Medical Center started Stafford on a new regimen of weekly chemotherapy, which dramatically improved his health. While he has not yet reached the low amyloid measurements that define remission, doctors are optimistic about his recovery and have cleared Stafford to return to work, he said.

Stafford will return to the 10 p.m. news. Dick Johnson and Patrick Fazio will share anchoring duties with Allison Rosati at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. until Stafford is ready to return to those newscasts, said Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news for NBC Chicago.

“We are eagerly looking forward to Rob’s return on Monday night,” Whittaker said in an email. “He has inspired all of us with his courage and determination over the past six months. It will be great to have him back in our newsroom.”

Stafford said he remains grateful for the support he and Lisa felt from viewers, who sent him a steady stream of Facebook messages, cards and personal stories.

“It’s like running a marathon, and there are all these people along the side cheering you on,” Stafford said. “It helps you get through it.”

vortiz@chicagotribune.com

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After treatment for serious illness, NBC-5 anchor Rob Stafford returning to air – Chicago Tribune

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miRNA-221 of exosomes originating from bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells promotes oncogenic activity in gastric … – Dove Medical Press

Min Ma,1,* Shilin Chen,1,* Zhuo Liu,1 Hailong Xie,2 Hongyu Deng,3 Song Shang,1 Xiaohong Wang,4 Man Xia,5 Chaohui Zuo1

1Department of Gastroduodenal and Pancreatic Surgery, Laboratory of Digestive Oncology, Hunan Cancer Institute, Hunan Cancer Hospital, Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South University, 2Institute of Cancer Research, South China University, 3Department of Laboratory Medicine, Hunan Cancer Hospital, Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South University, 4Department of Molecular Medicine, College of Biology, State Key Laboratory of Chemo/Biosensing and Chemometrics, Hunan University, 5Department of Gynecological Oncology, Hunan Cancer Hospital, Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Worldwide, gastric cancer (GC) is one of the deadliest malignant tumors of the digestive system. Moreover, microRNAs (miRNAs) of exosomes harbored within cancer cells have been determined to induce inflammatory conditions that accelerate tumor growth and metastasis. Interestingly, the oncogenic role of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) in the modulation of immunosuppression, tumor invasion, and metastasis was discovered to be partly mediated through the secretion of exosomes. In this article, high expression of miRNA-221 (miR-221) in exosomes of the peripheral blood was determined to be positively correlated with the poor clinical prognosis of GC, especially with respect to tumor, node, and metastases stage. Therefore, the expression of miR-221 in exosomes of the peripheral blood may be an important detection index for GC. Proliferation, migration, invasion, and adhesion to the matrix of GC BGC-823 and SGC-7901 cells were significantly enhanced by exosomes that originated from BM-MSCs that were transfected with miR-221 mimics. In conclusion, extracted exosomes from BM-MSCs transfected with miR-221 oligonucleotides can act as high-efficiency nanocarriers, which can provide sufficient miR-221 oligonucleotides to influence the tumor microenvironment and tumor aggressiveness effectively. Notably, the use of a miR-221 inhibitor with an excellent restraining effect in exosomes provides therapeutic potential for GC in future clinical medicine.

Keywords: exosomes, miR-221, BM-MSCs, gastric cancer, prognosis, oncogenic activity

This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License.By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

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miRNA-221 of exosomes originating from bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells promotes oncogenic activity in gastric … – Dove Medical Press

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RegenxBio to Acquire Dimension Tx in Combo of Gene Therapy Companies – Xconomy

Xconomy Boston

Dimension Therapeutics has agreed to be acquired by RegenxBio, the gene therapy developer that originally helped form the company four years ago.

RegenxBio (NASDAQ: RGNX), based in Rockville, MD, will pay $3.41 per share in the all-stock deal valued at approximately $86 million. By comparison, Cambridge, MA-based Dimension (NASDAQ: DMTX) went public at $13 per share in 2015. Dimensions closing stock price on Thursday was $1.20.

The acquisition agreement comes two months after Dimension laid off a quarter of its staff and shifted its priorities away from its experimental hemophilia B gene therapy, DTX101. Dimension made those moves in the wake of early clinical trial results that suggested the therapy prompted a possible immune system response. While immunosuppressive steroids can tamp down these responses, such treatment can also diminish the effect of gene therapy. Dimensions stock price tumbled by nearly 50 percent on those January results.

Gene therapies aim to treat inherited disorders by transplanting normal genes that correct or fix genes that are missing or defective. Fixing the gene is meant to address the root cause of a disease and offer a long-lasting treatment, and perhaps even a cure. The FDA has not yet approved any gene therapies, but at one point, Dimension was in the mix of companies aiming to bring these treatments to the market. Spark Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ONCE) has since emerged as the company likely to receive the first U.S. gene therapy approval. The Philadelphia biotechs lead gene therapy candidate, a potential treatment for an inherited form of blindness, is currently being reviewed by the FDA. Spark has also reported progress in early-stage clinical trials for its hemophilia B gene therapy candidate.

Dimensions gene therapies deliver healthy genes using a modified virus, a gene delivery technology that was developed by RegenexBio. In 2013, RegenxBio joined with Fidelity Biosciences to form Dimension. Dimensions scientific and technical advisory board was led by James Wilson, a University of Pennsylvania geneticist who was RegenxBios scientific founder.

In acquiring Dimension, RegenxBio will add to its pipeline two Dimension gene therapy candidates: One compound, called DTX301, is being prepared to start clinical testing in patients who have ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency, a disorder characterized by the lack of an enzyme key to breaking down and removing nitrogen from the body. The other compound, DTX401, is in development as a potential treatment for glycogen storage disease type 1a (GSD1a), an inherited disorder that leads to the buildup of a complex sugar called glycogen. RegenxBio will also acquire other preclinical compounds in development, as well as intellectual property that Dimension developed using RegenxBios technology.

The merger agreement prohibits Dimension from seeking a better deal, and the company has agreed to unspecified certain restrictions on responding to any proposals that may come its way, according to a securities filing. Dimension shareholders still need to sign off on the deal, which has received approval from the boards of directors of both companies. But if Dimension calls off the deal, it must pay RegenxBio a $2.85 million termination fee, according to the filing.

The companies expect to close the acquisition by the end of 2017. Upon closing, Dimension will become a subsidiary of RegenxBio; Dimension shareholders will own approximately 10.9 percent of the combined company, according to the agreement.

Image from Depositphotos.

Frank Vinluan is editor of Xconomy Raleigh-Durham, based in Research Triangle Park. You can reach him at fvinluan [at] xconomy.com

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RegenxBio to Acquire Dimension Tx in Combo of Gene Therapy Companies – Xconomy

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Cambridge gene therapy firm Dimension Therapeutics to be acquired – Boston Business Journal


Boston Business Journal
Cambridge gene therapy firm Dimension Therapeutics to be acquired
Boston Business Journal
One of the three gene therapy biotechs in Cambridge, Dimension Therapeutics, has agreed to be acquired by a Maryland company in an all-stock transaction that values Dimension at just $86 million a fraction of its value a year ago. … team and of

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Cambridge gene therapy firm Dimension Therapeutics to be acquired – Boston Business Journal

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Global Gene Therapy Partnering Terms and Agreements 2010 to … – Business Wire (press release)

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The “Global Gene Therapy Partnering Terms and Agreements 2010 to 2017” report has been added to Research and Markets’ offering.

The Global Gene Therapy Partnering Terms and Agreements 2010-2017 report provides an understanding and access to the gene therapy partnering deals and agreements entered into by the worlds leading healthcare companies.

The report provides a detailed understanding and analysis of how and why companies enter gene therapy partnering deals. The majority of deals are early development stage whereby the licensee obtains a right or an option right to license the licensors gene therapy technology or product candidates. These deals tend to be multicomponent, starting with collaborative R&D, and commercialization of outcomes.

This report provides details of the latest gene therapy, oligonucletides including aptamers agreements announced in the healthcare sectors.

Global Gene Therapy Partnering Terms and Agreements includes:

In Global Gene Therapy Partnering Terms and Agreements, the available contracts are listed by:

Key Topics Covered:

Executive Summary

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Chapter 2 – Trends in Gene therapy dealmaking

Chapter 3 – Leading Gene therapy deals

Chapter 4 – Most active Gene therapy dealmakers

Chapter 5 – Gene therapy contracts dealmaking directory

Chapter 6 – Gene therapy dealmaking by technology type

Chapter 7 – Partnering resource center

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/7kw9kp/global_gene

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Global Gene Therapy Partnering Terms and Agreements 2010 to … – Business Wire (press release)

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