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Low-dose hormone therapy improves sleep for newly menopausal women –

ROCHESTER, Minn Mayo Clinic researchers say women just entering menopause can get better sleep with the help of low-dose hormone therapy.

The study, published in Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society suggests 40 to 60 percent of women have issues with sleep and experiences hot flashes and night sweats. This could ultimately lead to further health related problems down the road.

Poor sleep quality over time affects more than just mood, says Virginia Miller, Ph.D., director of Mayo Clinics Womens Health Research Center and the studys corresponding author. Sleep deprivation can lead to cardiovascular disease, among other health risks. There can be serious consequences mental and physical if youre not getting quality sleep over a long period of time.

To ease the symptoms of menopause, researchers looked at two different forms of hormone therapy: oral estrogen and the estrogen patch.

When compared to the placebo group, the participants taking low-dose hormone therapy reported getting better sleep over a four-year period. Researchers said thats twice the improvement of their peers.


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Parsing Hormone Therapies, Hot Flashes and Sleep in Menopausal Women –

Menopause is a challenging time for many women as hormonal changes can create a cascade of physical and mental health issues. Notably, experts explain that between 40 and 60 percent of women in perimenopause and early menopause face issues with sleep because of this physical change.

The majority also report hot flashes and night sweats, which can be disruptive to falling and staying asleep. Sleep deprivation can influence mood and also increase the risk for serious physical health conditions.

In a new study, researchers from the Mayo Clinic found that low-dose hormone therapy may be effective in easing sleep issues in this population. The goal of the study was twofold: find out how two forms of hormone therapy affect sleep quality and assess the ties between hot flashes, sleep quality and hormone therapy.

The study appears in Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society.

Poor sleep quality over time affects more than just mood, said Virginia Miller, Ph.D., director of Mayo Clinics Womens Health Research Center and the studys corresponding author.

Sleep deprivation can lead to cardiovascular disease, among other health risks. There can be serious consequences mental and physical if youre not getting quality sleep over a long period of time.

The study looked at two forms of hormone therapy oral estrogen (conjugated equine estrogen) and a patch (17 beta-estradiol) to find out how their use affected sleep quality.

The participants were part of the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study, and all were recently menopausal women. The women self-reported on the quality of their sleep using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. They also recorded the intensity of hot flashes and night sweats during this time.

Study participants were found to have improved sleep quality over four years when using low-dose hormone therapy twice the improvement of those in the placebo group.

Researchers also found that sleep quality improved with changes in hot flashes and night sweats, but Miller said it remains difficult to determine if the low sleep quality is caused by these symptoms or if they are a consequence of poor sleep.

Menopause affects such a large portion of the population, so it is important to keep researching how we can best promote a womans overall health during this phase in her life, Miller said.

Source: Mayo Clinic

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APA Reference Nauert PhD, R. (2017). Parsing Hormone Therapies, Hot Flashes and Sleep in Menopausal Women. Psych Central.Retrieved on August 31, 2017, from

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Hormone therapy improves sleep quality in recently menopausal women – The New Indian Express

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WASHINGTON D.C.: A low-dose hormone therapy may be effective enough in treating women with sleep issues during perimenopause and early menopause, finds a recent study.

The findings indicated that the women improved sleep quality over four years when using a low-dose hormone therapy twice the improvement of those in the placebo group.

The study's corresponding author, Virginia Miller, from Mayo Clinic's Women's Health Research Center in Minnesota, United States said that poor sleep quality over time affects more than just mood.

Between 40 and 60 per cent of women in peri-menopause and early menopause face issues with sleep because of this physical change and the majority also reports hot flashes and night sweats, which can be disruptive to falling and staying asleep.

"Sleep deprivation can lead to cardiovascular diseases, among other health risks. There can be serious consequences -- mental and physical -- if you're not getting quality sleep over a long period of time, Miller added.

The goal of the study was two-fold to find out how two forms of the hormone therapy affect the sleep quality and assess the ties between hot flashes, sleep quality and hormone therapy.The team looked at two forms of the hormone therapy one oral estrogen (conjugated equine estrogen) and a patch (17 beta-estradiol) to find out how their use affected sleep quality.The participants were a part of the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study and all were recently menopausal women.

The women self-reported on the quality of their sleep using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index.They also recorded the intensity of hot flashes and night sweats during this time.They also found that sleep quality improved with changes in hot flashes and night sweats.The study appeared in Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society.

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Askelos, ITF launch JIP – OE Digital

The Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF) and Akselos have announced they will work together to investigate the potential to revolutionise asset management in the oil and gas industry.

The initiative will bring a joint industry project (JIP) to ITF member companies and beyond, that will prove the transformative impact of the use of a Digital Guardian for ageing offshore assets.

Akselos uses MIT-licenced technology to create the worlds most advanced engineering simulation technology - or digital twins. The tech is based on algorithms that are 1000 times faster than those typically used in conventional design technology, enabling detailed and accurate structural simulations of large-scale operational assets.

The companys vision is to combine the simulation software with sensors and big data analytics to create an exact virtual replica of an asset in its current environment, which the company describes as a Digital Guardian. This will allow operators real-time access to the condition of their asset from anywhere at any time and allow a move towards predictive and preventative maintenance. It will also better inform the decision making process with Asset Life Extension, using data to reassure operators that assets are safe to continue operating beyond their design life.

Dr Patrick OBrien, CEO of ITF, said: The creation of a Digital Guardian or twin of an offshore asset is a huge step forward for the oil and gas industry and will reap long-term benefits to enhance operational and cost-efficiencies as well as significantly reduce risk. It will also advance information management and collaboration, where the experts and operators can work together, preventing costly mistakes and rework.

The partnership with ITF will see the global technology facilitator leverage its network and expertise from previous projects and activities to bring together forward-thinking operators to the JIP. ITF will play a project stewardship role throughout the two-year project to maximise the benefits to the companies involved and facilitate advancements in the industry as a whole.

Thomas Leurent, Akselos CEO said: Our vision for a Digital Guardian to protect assets and infrastructure would have been science fiction before the technology breakthrough in 2011, which we have patented and validated across industries. Were conducting this particular JIP to obtain data that will help illustrate the impact to the oil and gas industry. Its a huge opportunity to create efficiencies and slash operating expenditure.

The US$2 million JIP has been partly funded by Eurostars and the Swiss Commission for Tech Innovation. Akselos has partnered with leading design and engineering consultancy, LICengineering to deliver the project. In the first year of the JIP, members will receive a condition-based model of their selected assets, enabling them to analyse structural integrity with more accuracy and detail than ever before. In the second year, Akselos will combine this with sensor data to allow operators to monitor the health of their asset in real-time and predict its future condition.

Leurent added: While our technology is relevant at all stages in asset management, it has huge potential in asset life extension (ALE). With over half of the platforms in the North Sea operating beyond their design life, a Digital Guardian will allow operators to understand the remaining structural capacity of the asset and make informed decisions about ALE.

One supermajor operating in the North Sea has already signed up to the two year JIP. ITF is now actively seeking other operators from both its international membership and project participants to take advantage of this leveraged funding.

Dr OBrien continued: The JIP is an exciting opportunity for pioneering players in the sector to learn and share solutions. Ultimately, it is a chance to be part of an initiative which will revolutionise the industry and bring it on par with the medical, automotive and aerospace industries.

Eurostars is a billion dollar fund aimed at supporting international projects that develop rapidly marketable innovative products and services to improve the daily lives of people around the world. It is funded by the European Unions Horizon2020 fund and individual participating states national budgets.

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Can Dietary Changes Extend Your Life? – AlterNet

Turmeric has been associated with protection from heart disease, stroke and dementia.Photo Credit: tarapong srichaiyos/Shutterstock

The following excerpt is from the new bookCracking the Aging Code:The New Science Of Growing Old And What ItMeans For StayingYoung, by Josh Mitteldorf, Ph.D., and Dorion Sagan (Flatiron Books, 2017).

The realization that aging is self-imposed, something your body is doing to itself on purpose, yields a new perspective on health maintenance and longevity. There are things we can do to add years to our lives and things we can do to be healthier in the present, and fortunately for us, these are mostly the same things. A program for life extension is likely to make you feel better in the present and even help you get sick less frequently.

Much of what I have to recommend for self-care is already standard medical advice. Exercise, weight loss, and a daily aspirin or ibuprofen are among the best things you can do for yourself, and Im sure you didnt hear that first from me. But there is also something new in our program to cheat the Black Queen. The most difficult conceptual leap I ask of you is to question all reverence for the natural. I grew up with the counterculture and celebrated the first Earth Day when I was a college student. Culturally and socially, I feel at home with the crunchy granola crowd, so imagine a lilt of sadness in my voice as I tell you that natural has little to offer for life extension.

Substances that have been found to lower mortality rates in humans are anti-inflammatories (such as aspirin and ibuprofen), vitamin D, and the diabetes drug metformin (Glucophage). Fish oil and turmeric are natural anti-inflammatories that have been associated with protection from heart disease, stroke, and dementia. Substances that increase life span when fed to rodents include metformin, melatonin, and deprenyl (Selegiline). Rapamycin is the most recent and most powerful of the drugs that extend life span in mice, but it is likely to leave us vulnerable to a lot of infectious diseases, and I dont recommend it.

Vitamin D is in a class by itself. High blood levels of vitamin D are associated with lower risk of cancer and infectious diseases, and no one really understands why.

Telomerase activationthe turning on of the genes to resume production of this biologically rationed enzyme needed for sustained cellular reproductionis a promising idea for the future, but what is available now is not very effective. Still, it might be worth adding to your regimen.

A low-carb diet coupled with periods of intermittent fasting provides the easiest way to fool the body into thinking it is getting less nourishment than you are actually eating, with likely benefits for health and longevity.

People who are happy, passionate about their work, and engaged daily with friends and family live a lot longer than people who are depressed and isolated. Share your gifts with others and you will have a long and satisfying life. This is no small thing.

Deconstructing the Natural

Most of us cant remember a time before the meta-marketing phenomenon of natural. But fifty years ago, technology was king, and we had no compunctions about improving on nature. In the 1950s, tonsils were ripped from the throats of small children because they had a tendency to turn red during laryngeal infections, so doctors thought nature had made a mistake. In the 1950s, Dr. Spock had to break with standard medical advice to recommend breast- feeding over infant formula. And dont forget that Wonder Bread helped build strong bodies twelve ways. For half a century, we have been told about natural foods, cosmetics, soaps, herbal remedies, and even items of clothing. Natural = healthy. The medical establishmentmuch to its credithas learned to respect the body and work with it to promote natural healing, rather than rush to fix what aint broke. Today, natural treatments for every disease are often presumed to be preferable whenever such are available.

So far so good, but it takes some reflection for us to take the next step. We must acclimate to a different reality about aging: natural diets, herbs, and remedies are unlikely to slow the aging process.

This book has argued that aging is not a bug in evolutions program but a design feature that is naturally selected in its own right. Aging is natural in the deepest sense, that it is a product of evolution, built into our genes. At root, the appeal of the natural comes from faith in evolutionwhat is natural is part of the environment in which humans and our ancestors evolved; hence we are presumed to be well adapted to it. If natural foods are better for us, it is because they are the foods that evolution has equipped our bodies to work with. (Follow this logic a step further and you reach the paleo diets that try to mirror ancestral food choices.) Natural selection has not prepared us for the pace of life in the jet age or for breathing smog or drinking Coca-Cola; hence many of the complaints of modern life may be attributed to a mismatch between the life we are living and the life for which evolution has prepared us. And indeed, it is likely true that many of our ailments are products of modernity: lung cancer from cigarettes and urban smog, metabolic syndrome (increased fat, blood pressure, blood sugar, and other factors leading to type 2 diabetes) from junk food, nervous disorders from overstimulation, and depression from living in a fragmented and disconnected society.

Theoretical biologist Josh Mitteldorf has a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He runs the website, and writes a weekly column for Mitteldorf has had visiting research and teaching positions at various universities including MIT, Harvard and Berkeley.

Dorion Sagan is a writer, ecological philosopher and author or coauthor of over twenty-four books, which have been translated into over a dozen languages. His work has appeared in Natural History, Smithsonian, Wired and The New York Times.

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USAF completes flight tests of B61-12 gravity bombs from F-15E – Airforce Technology

The US Air Force (USAF) has tested non-nuclear functions of B61-12 gravity bombs at the Tonopah test range in Nevada, US.

The qualification flight tests were conducted in collaboration with the Department of Energys National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA).

These tests form a part of a series scheduled to take place over the next three years to qualify the weapon for service, NNSA stated.

As part of the latest tests, the B61-12 gravity bombs were dropped from an F-15E Strike Eagle fighter aircraft based at Nellis Air Force Base.

The testing also involved evaluating the aircrafts capability to deliver the nuclear weapon.

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

"The B61-12 life extension programme is progressing on schedule to meet national security requirements."

The B61-12 was first tested in March, according to the statement.

NNSA Defense Programs acting deputy administrator Phil Calbos said: The B61-12 life extension programme is progressing on schedule to meet national security requirements.

These realistic flight qualification tests validate the design of the B61-12 when it comes to system performance.

The programme is anticipated to extend the bombs service life by at least 20 years.

It includes revamping, reusing, or replacing all of the bombs nuclear and non-nuclear components.

The B61-12 is intended to replace four B61 bomb variants in the nations nuclear arsenal and the first production unit is expected to be completed by March 2020.

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Gilead is buying Kite Pharma, a cancer-fighting Santa Monica biotech firm, for $11.9 billion – Los Angeles Times

Santa Monica biotech company Kite Pharma Inc. is being acquired by industry giant Gilead Sciences Inc. in an $11.9-billion deal that demonstrates the promise of using a persons own immune system to fight cancer.

Foster City-based Gilead said Monday that it would maintain and even expand Kite Pharmas Los Angeles area operations, which include a 100,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in El Segundo.

Dr. Arie Belldegrun, Kite Pharmas founder and chief executive, will help during the merger transition, a Gilead spokeswoman said, but she offered no details on leadership plans beyond that.

The purchase of Kite, which is on the verge of gaining approval for an innovative treatment, expands the cancer-fighting portfolio of Gilead.

The acquisition of Kite establishes Gilead as a leader in cellular therapy and provides a foundation from which to drive continued innovation for people with advanced cancers, Gilead Chief Executive John F. Milligan said in a statement.

Kite Pharma has a cell therapy treatment for non-Hodgkins lymphoma under review by the Food and Drug Administration that uses a patients immune cells to fight cancerous cells. Swiss drugmaker Novartis Corp. also is developing a similar cell therapy treatment for a rare form of leukemia, which is poised to become the first gene therapy to receive FDA approval.

Cell therapy, like many cancer treatments, is expected to be expensive. The costs to patients and providers could cause problems for Gilead, which has come under fire for the high price of its drugs.

Kevin Young, Gileads chief operating officer, would not say Monday what the treatment would cost. But he told analysts on a conference call that I certainly think this innovation will support very healthy reimbursement.

Gilead is to pay $180 in cash for each share of Kite Pharma, a 29% premium over the Friday closing price. Kite Pharma stock leaped 28% to $178.05 on Monday. Gilead shares rose about 1% to $74.69.

Since the start of the year, Kite Pharmas stock price has nearly quadrupled. The shares got a significant boost after a study of the companys gene therapy reported positive results.

The boards of both companies have approved the deal, and its expected to close by the end of the year.

Gilead has developed top-selling treatments for HIV and the liver-destroying hepatitis C virus, but leaders of the biotechnology company told analysts Monday that its push into oncology has been largely nascent so far.

Kite Pharmas research and development, as well as commercialization operations, are to remain in Santa Monica. Manufacturing of Kite Pharmas treatment is to continue at the facility in El Segundo. Kite Pharma has about 600 employees at the two facilities combined, company spokeswoman Christine Cassiano said.

Gilead was impressed with Kite Pharmas team and plans to keep investing in its operations, said Gilead spokeswoman Amy Flood.

The transaction is not about financial synergies or cost savings, she said. This is a growth area, and we anticipate we will increase the number of employees at Kite.

Analysts said it made sense for Gilead to keep and even expand Kite Pharmas Los Angeles-area operations.

That manufacturing in L.A., that marketing team, I think is really, really critical in the process, especially when theyre about to launch in this area, said Tony Butler, an analyst at Guggenheim Securities.

Its important that they keep that together, he said.

Biren Amin, an equity analyst at Jefferies, said Gilead was unlikely to make a change to Kite Pharmas operations with FDA approval of its treatment right around the corner.

If one even thought about transferring it out of El Segundo, I think it would be next to impossible because youd have to have that site up and running for product launch later this year, Amin said.

Kite Pharma was founded in 2009 by Belldegrun, an Israeli-born cancer doctor with decades of experience in immunotherapy. It went public in 2014.

Its cancer treatment, called CAR T, involves reprogramming a patient's disease-fighting T-cells to seek and destroy only abnormal, cancerous lymph cells. Healthy cells are not harmed.

The process involves drawing blood from a patient, refrigerating it and flying it to Kites facilities, where the cells are modified, frozen and then flown back to doctors who reinject them into patients.

In a 2015 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Belldegrun likened the cancer-fighting treatment to the navigation system in an automobile.

"The GPS will lead you to the cancer cell, and not the normal cell, and selectively kill only the cancer cell," Belldegrun said.

In February, Kite Pharma reported that a major study of the gene therapy process found that more than a third of very sick lymphoma patients showed no signs of the disease six months after a single treatment. And 82% of patients had their cancer shrink at least by half at some point after the treatment, the study found.

CAR T has the potential to become one of the most powerful anti-cancer agents for hematologic cancers, Belldegrun said in a statement Monday. With Gileads expertise and support, we hope to fulfill that potential by rapidly accelerating our robust pipeline and next-generation research and manufacturing technologies.

Gilead was criticized two years ago for high prices for its hepatitis C drugs, including one that began at $1,000 per pill. The drugs were developed by biotech firm Pharmasset Inc., which Gilead acquired in 2011.

A bipartisan Senate Finance Committee report in 2015 said that Gilead put profits before patients in pricing the drug. Also, AIDS activists have complained about the prices of Gileads HIV medications.

The CAR T treatment could be expensive as well because of the complexities of the therapy. Novartis treatment very likely will hit the market first so Gilead will have that price to work from, said Alan Carr, an analyst at Needham & Co.

There are a lot of oncology drugs right now that are expensive. Theres a lot of controversy around that, he said. Im not sure that Gilead is particularly susceptible to that.

The Associated Press was used in compiling this report.

Twitter: @JimPuzzanghera


3:15 p.m.: This article was updated with information about Kite Pharma founder Dr. Arie Belldegrun.

1:25 p.m.: This article was updated with the closing stock prices for Kite Pharma and Gilead Sciences.

1:05 p.m.: This article was updated with analyst comment and additional details about drug pricing.

8:30 a.m.: This article was updated with details about Kite Pharmas workforce and current stock prices.

7 a.m.: This article was updated with additional detail and the opening stock prices of Kite Pharma and Gilead.

6:45 a.m.: This article was updated throughout with staff reporting.

This article was originally published at 5:25 a.m.

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We’re Failing Our Test Run for the Age of CRISPR | The Nation – The Nation.

Early embryos two days after co-injection with a gene-correcting enzyme. (OHSU)

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A few weeks ago, two stories crossed paths. In MIT Technology Review, we learned that, for the first time in the United States, researchers had used the gene-editing technique known as CRISPR to modify a human embryo. Severaldays later, CBS Newsreleased a report that through nearly universal prenatal testing followed by selective abortion, Iceland has virtually eliminated Down syndrome. Ad Policy

The CRISPR story shows that we are on the cusp of an enormous leap of capability when it comes to shaping the genetic potential of our offspring. Meanwhile, Ive contended that the past decades of testing, genetic consultation, and decision-making about abortion related to prenatal diagnoses of Down syndrome have served as a kind of test run for the future of human procreation. Can we make informed choices? Can we understand that probability doesnt equate to outcome when were talking genetic makeup? Can we use science to build a more just, happier humanity?

If whats happening in Iceland is, indeed, a test run, its a test were failing. Prospective parents are making decisions based on fear and stigma, helped along by the medical profession. As our tools to make such decisions get even more powerful, we have to shift how we talk about genetic diversity.

Cards on the table: Im the father of a boy with Down syndrome. I am pro-choice, anti-eugenics, and pro-information. In preparation for the age of CRISPR, well need to develop new ways to talk about whats normal and whats good, because we face decisions that are nearly unprecedented in human history. I say nearly, because with Down syndrome prenatal testing, we have a body of evidence for what happens when we expand our power to determine who gets born without building systems to ensure that we make informed decisions.Related Article

CRISPR (short for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is wickedly powerful. It makes reasonably precise changes to a targeted cells DNA by means of a technique adapted from naturally occurring DNA-editing defense mechanisms in bacteria. Chinese scientists first modified human embryos two years ago. The researchers in Oregon used it to change the DNA of a large number of one-celled embryos with the goal of demonstrating both that the technique could be used at scale and that the genes causing disease could be effectively identified and eliminated.

Each new development, as previously covered in The Nation, sparks rounds of debates between those optimistic about fighting diseases and those concerned about implications. For example, sickle-cell patients hope for a cure, while the intelligence community worries that terror groups could weaponize CRISPR. Earlier this year, the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicineagreedthat genome editing could be used to modify embryos, but should be allowed only for treating or preventing diseases or disabilities at this time. Ethicists demand more robust engagement of the questions we are about to face, as techniques move from the research to the practical stage. Still, most of the debates remain locked in abstract thought experiments.Most Popular

Prenatal testing followed by selective abortion is not genetic engineering. It is, however, a space in which we have real-world data about how people make choices about procreation when granted additional information about the genetic makeup of their potential offspring. It turns out, perhaps unsurprisingly, that fear, misinformation, and bias shape our decision-making.Current Issue

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Take Iceland. In the small island country, all pregnant women are informed of the availability of genetic screening. Between 80 and 85 percent take the test, and nearly 100 percent of all positive tests for Down syndrome result in termination. What are we to make of such an outcome? Each person hearing the words Down syndrome applied to their fetus does so as a consumer of a culture that, broadly speaking, denigrates life with developmental disabilities. Geneticist Kari Stefansson characterized the counseling as heavy-handed in favor of termination, and so thats where the momentum is. If Icelandic doctors, nurses, and genetic counselors dont find ways to mitigate that, the disability largely disappears.

This is typically the moment in essays about prenatal testing in which I assure you that my son is happy. He is. Hes 10. He likes Hamilton and Harry Potter, and is a wonderfully inventive communicator. We are privileged to live in a good community with good schools, and when we encountered obstacles to his long-term supports in one state, we could move. Weve never denied that there are challenges, but the greatest ones are constructed by an ableist society, not inherent to his disability. Society can be changed. His genes dont need to be.

But the decision whether or not to terminate is not about my sons outcomes, but accepting two general principles. First, with good social supports, theres no reason that people with Down syndrome cant lead good lives included within communities. For a doctor to assert the probability that Down syndrome leads to despair is simply not true. Second, in general, probabilities never guarantee outcomes. Our genes encode an array of probabilities into our bodies.

In recent years, rather than focusing on the abortion itself (or decision to carry to term), North American activists in Down-syndrome advocacy communities have tried to look at the communication in the period between the positive test and the decision about whether or not to terminate. The goal is to provide materials to better inform the tens of thousands of doctors, nurses, and counselors who encounter women in the context of prenatal testing. These efforts have coalesced around the nonpartisan rubric: pro-information.

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I e-mailed Stephanie Meredith,Lettercase program director at the University of Kentuckys Human Development Institute, where she has helped develop resources for distribution to people who talk to women about prenatal testing. She told me that many genetic counselors and obstetricians offer compassionate, sensitive, and balanced support following prenatal testing, but some clinicians may provide insufficient, outdated, or unintentionally biased counseling. Outcomes for people with Down syndrome and related conditions have changed remarkably over the past 50 years. But too many people involved in prenatal care lack up-to-date information, and theres no easy way for institutes like Merediths to reach every clinician in the country. Meanwhile, companies selling prenatal tests want to increase their market share. Meredith said that clinicians are constantly inundated by marketing from testing labs with very little educational support regarding the conditions included in the test.

Ive spent years talking to parents who received prenatal tests (we did not). Some were told flatly untrue statements about Down syndrome, breaking up marriages and leaving families overwhelmed by stress. In fact, theres evidence that families like mine divorce at lower ratesthan other families. Others were presented with outdated statistics about early death as a likely outcome. Its not (although the premature death rates of African Americans with the condition remainfar too high). Its true that people with Down syndrome once tended to die young and learn little, but thats a fact linked to the era of mass institutionalization. Inclusion has radically changed the probabilities. My son has as good a chance to live as long, happy, productive life as anyone of our socioeconomic status. But expectant parents hearing the words Down syndrome for the first time will only know this if theyre told.

Unfortunately, politics is making it hard to hold the pro-information coalition together, thanks to Americananti-choice efforts. Around the country, the GOP is proposing and passing lawsbanning abortion if a woman tells her doctor shes doing it because of a prenatal diagnosis. We cant be pro-information if we criminalize such conversations. Such a bill ispending right now in Ohio.

What does all this have to do with CRISPR? Right now, were still in a liminal state when it comes to predicting genetic outcomes for fetuses. Our tools, from amniocentesis (developed in the 1950s and 60s) to contemporary screenings that locate fetal blood cells in the mothers bloodstream, are reactive and postconception. Soon, theyll shift to preconception and proactive. What will the tens of thousands of clinicians tell would-be parents as they get flooded with messaging from companies eager to sell their high-tech CRISPR product lines?

Preventing this potentially dystopian future where altered genes separates the haves from the have-nots starts by shifting discourse. A pro-information approach demands that everyone involved in genetic counseling have access to the best data and presents it in a value-neutral way. We must build systems now that grow as our tools evolve. If we do not, genetic diversity will gradually become code for poverty, and new stigmas will run all the way to the DNA.

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Online game challenges players to design on/off switch for CRISPR … – Stanford Medical Center Report

In the new Eterna challenge, called OpenCRISPR, players will design a guide RNA molecule that leads CRISPR to the right sequence of DNA for editing or binding. The RNA is the part that confers gene specificity. Its the thing that says, Go after gene A, not gene B, said Chang.

The difficulty for Eterna players is to come up with an RNA molecule that does several things, said Greenleaf. The guide RNA has to be recognized by the CRISPR-associated enzyme. The CRISPR-enzyme system has to be able to recruit biochemical activity to the targeted gene. And lastly, the activity of the CRISPR-enzyme system has to be controlled by a small-molecule drug, so there needs to be a binding pocket for that small molecule. The RNA molecule has to function so that the CRISPR system is active when the small-molecule drug is present and inactive when its not. So far, experts have not been able to create such a drug-activated CRISPR, which is why Chang and Greenleaf are calling on the community of Eterna gamers for help.

The new puzzle will be quite different from the recent challenge in which Eterna players had to design a molecule that could do a mathematical calculation for a tuberculosis diagnostic test. The CRISPR puzzle actually should be pretty easy to solve in silico, even for new players who get to the switch design levels, said Rhiju Das, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and principal investigator for Eterna.

How those Eterna-designed switches will behave in living cells is a big question. Das said the team will be asking players for different possible solutions to the same problem. Were not sure yet if there will be unforeseen problems with the Cas9 protein experimentally. Thats partially why we want as many diverse solutions as possible for the Greenleaf and Chang labs to test, even in this pilot round, Das said.

It will be an iterative process, said Greenleaf. His Stanford lab will test the first round of solutions and then return these data to the players with refinements that will guide their design work.

Were hoping for 10,000 to 100,000 players to contribute 10 solutions each. If we get that many, well indeed work to get that many synthesized and tested, Das said.

One of the goals of Stanfords Center for Personal Dynamic Regulomes is to get people interested in science, said Chang. The Eterna game is a powerful way to engage lots and lots of people, he said. Theyre not just passive users of information but actually involved in the process.

Like other computer games, Eterna allows players to accumulate points, build expertise and advance to higher levels. The best players have a chance of having their designs implemented in the lab.

One thing that makes the project exciting, said Chang, is that it is an experiment in the sociology of science. There is a misconception of science as something that happens in an ivory tower by someone in a white coat with a long beard. And they are saying things and drawing things that nobody understands. But its not like that! Its really like a puzzle that anybody can get engaged with, he said.

Anyone interested in playing Eterna can sign up here.

In addition to the funding from NIGMS and Stanfords Center for Personal Dynamic Regulomes, the new Eterna challenge is being launched with collaborative support from the Innovative Genomics Institute at the University of California-Berkeley. Stanfords departments of Biochemistry and of Genetics also supported the work.

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Online game challenges players to design on/off switch for CRISPR ... - Stanford Medical Center Report

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Male hypogonadism – Treatment – Mayo Clinic

Treatment for adults

Treatment for male hypogonadism depends on the cause and whether you're concerned about fertility.

Hormone replacement. For hypogonadism caused by testicular failure, doctors use male hormone replacement therapy (testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT). TRT can restore muscle strength and prevent bone loss. In addition, men receiving TRT may experience an increase in energy, sex drive, erectile function and sense of well-being.

If a pituitary problem is the cause, pituitary hormones may stimulate sperm production and restore fertility. Testosterone replacement therapy can be used if fertility isn't an issue. A pituitary tumor may require surgical removal, medication, radiation or the replacement of other hormones.

In boys, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can stimulate puberty and the development of secondary sex characteristics, such as increased muscle mass, beard and pubic hair growth, and growth of the penis. Pituitary hormones may be used to stimulate testicle growth. An initial low dose of testosterone with gradual increases may help to avoid adverse effects and more closely mimic the slow increase in testosterone that occurs during puberty.

Several testosterone delivery methods exist. Choosing a specific therapy depends on your preference of a particular delivery system, the side effects and the cost. Methods include:

Injection. Testosterone injections (testosterone cypionate, testosterone enanthate) are safe and effective. Injections are given in a muscle. Your symptoms might fluctuate between doses depending on the frequency of injections.

You or a family member can learn to give TRT injections at home. If you're uncomfortable giving yourself injections, a nurse or doctor can give the injections.

Testosterone undecanoate (Aveed), an injection recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration, is injected less frequently but must be administered by a health care provider and can have serious side effects.

Gel. There are several gel preparations available with different ways of applying them. Depending on the brand, you either rub testosterone gel into your skin on your upper arm or shoulder (AndroGel, Testim, Vogelxo), apply with an applicator under each armpit (Axiron) or pump on your front and inner thigh (Fortesta).

As the gel dries, your body absorbs testosterone through your skin. Gel application of testosterone replacement therapy appears to cause fewer skin reactions than patches do. Don't shower or bathe for several hours after a gel application, to be sure it gets absorbed.

A potential side effect of the gel is the possibility of transferring the medication to another person. Avoid skin-to-skin contact until the gel is completely dry or cover the area after an application.

Oral testosterone isn't recommended for long-term hormone replacement because it might cause liver problems.

Testosterone therapy carries various risks, including contributing to sleep apnea, stimulating noncancerous growth of the prostate, enlarging breasts, limiting sperm production, stimulating growth of existing prostate cancer and blood clots forming in the veins. Recent research also suggests testosterone therapy might increase your risk of a heart attack.

Sept. 29, 2016

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Male hypogonadism - Treatment - Mayo Clinic

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EHormonesMD Hormone Doctors – Ehormones

What Makes Ehormones Different?

Each person is biologically unique, therefore, EHormones s Physicians design a comprehensive Hormone Replacement Therapy (or HRT) protocol to match each persons individual needs. At EHormones, individuals undergo comprehensive lab work as well as a physical examination. Additionally, each individual receives a thorough consultation with his or her physician to discuss and interpret the comprehensive lab results. Thereafter, every EHormones managed physician will use your medical history, symptoms, and labs to develop an individualized and comprehensive Hormone Replacement Therapy protocol.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy (or TRT) is typically administered in the form of once weekly Testosterone injections. There may be ancillary medications which allow the testes to continue its natural production of testosterone while on therapy, and an Aromatase Inhibitor, an estrogen suppressing pill typically taken once to several times weekly.

HGH Therapy prescribed by an EHormones managed physician is also administered by injection, typically in the form of Sermorelin and/or Growth Hormone Releasing Peptides.

Female Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy is generally administered in the form of transdermal creams, typically applied daily to the skin.

We offer comprehensive Hormone Programs for nearly all budgets.

Our affiliates have offices in many US cities and we continue to grow. Getting started is as easy as setting you up for lab work.

With 100% confidentiality, our doctors and staff are available by phone for any questions you may have while you are under our care.

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EHormonesMD Hormone Doctors - Ehormones

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Husband on clomid for low sperm count – The doctors who pioneered the ivf procedure in australia – Laughlin Entertainer

When an experiment turns into a tradition in Laughlin, it means there was a show worth taking a chance on at one timethen consistently that same show proved itself time after time to be one audiences didnt want to miss. The Memorial Day Comedy Festival at the Riverside Resort was that show. Experiencing comedy served up as a variety show with veteran comedian Gabe Lopez as the shows producer, performer and emcee was like discovering a hidden gem on the entertainment landscapemore along the lines of one of those underground clubs in Vegas, known only to a lucky few. But now the word is out and the Comedy Festival is coming back to the Riverside Resort over the Labor Day weekend this time.

If you are a local, or a regular visitor to Laughlinespecially if your visits are on holiday weekendsyou are aware that the Avi Resort & Casino doesnt simply wait for the Fourth of July to set off a major fireworks display. Nope. Beginning in 1996, and continuing every year since, they have been filling the skies above the Colorado River with the amped-up creations of Zambelli Internationale Fireworks on Memorial Day weekend, the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekend.

The Colorado Belle is home to a multitude of outdoor festivals that embrace particular themes and for the Labor Day Riverwalk Festival, its a celebration of the end of summer and the cooler temperatures just starting to take hold of the Colorado River regionthink of it as one big neighborhood block party.

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.

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Husband on clomid for low sperm count - The doctors who pioneered the ivf procedure in australia - Laughlin Entertainer

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7 Things Most Women Believe About Men And Sex (That Simply Aren’t True!) –

30 August 2017

By sex and relationship expert Tracey Cox

Tracey Cox

Men watch porn mostmen watch porn. But most men enjoy porn without binging on itandenjoy sex with their partners. Most dont replace one with the other.

Watching porn doesnt mean hes more likely to cheat either. In fact, if he has a higher sex drive than you and hes watching porn, chances are hes probably NOT cheating.

There are certain bits on human bodies that feel good sexually if theyre touched in the right way. Were hot-wired that way.

If you couldnt see and didnt know who was touching you, you could be turned on by anyone.

And I mean anyone.

While our brains most certainly contribute to what turns us on, theres a hell of a lot of anatomy at play also.

The term erogenous zone refers to places in our body that are packed with nerve endings so have heightened sensitivity.

The anus is one of them. Stimulate it effectively and he will feel pleasure - simple as that.

If he enjoys anal simulation, its because it feels good and hes comfortable enough in his sexuality NOT to be hung up on the this must mean Im gay myth.

Anal stimulation alone does not make him gay. Continually wanting to and having sex with other men is what makes him gay (or bi).

Some men do. Some women do as well. Some men also want to watch sport all the time. Some dont. Some men want to sleep all the time. Some dont. I think you get my drift.

There is continual and constant research on male versus female sex drives that turns up interesting and complex results. The implications are there are many factors at play, when predicting someones sex drive, not just gender.

The standard sex myth that says men want sex, women want love is pass and hopelessly out of date. In fact, research by online sex toy retailer Lovehoney found that sex with love was more important to men than women.

Plenty of things stop him getting hard too much alcohol, not feeling well, stress, performance anxiety, some medication, the need for more or different stimulation and the list goes on.

Contrary to popular belief, his penis isnt operated by a mechanical lever that moves to up whenever he sees a hot woman.

OK, well there might be something in that theory for the average 17-year-old but once grown-up life steps in, with all its pressures and stress, that soon disappears.

No doubt Donald Trump believes it but most (sane) men gave up on the Sorry I cheated honey but Im programmed to do it argument eons ago.

Women are still more socialized to restrict themselves to one partner but figures for the number of women having affairs continues to rise.

Were not animals we have brains and the ability to reason. Cheating is a choice not a biological need.

Psychologically, most men would probably prefer to have an erection during any sort of sexual activity even if penetrative sex isnt on the agenda.

Why? Because both sexes have been brainwashed to think desire equals a hard penis. It doesnt. (See above)

Arousal happens in the brain: he could be massively turned on giving you oral but still not be hard by time youve had an orgasm.

Turning you on is a huge erotic kick: your reaction is about to star in his next masturbatory session.

While there are a lot of things that can help me hold off orgasm and ejaculation, its also down to genetics. The size of his penis, how long his dad lasted (and his dad) all this is completely out of his control.

By all means try out all the tried-and-tested methods but after that, let it go and work around it if he doesnt last long.

Tracey has her own range of sex toys with Lovehoney, Britain's biggest online sex toy retailer.

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7 Things Most Women Believe About Men And Sex (That Simply Aren't True!) -

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Fruit fly protein dual duties may make it model for studies of protein function in context – Phys.Org

Clamp (glowing green) is found all over these fly chromosomes, but it's particularly concentrated at the histone locus (red) at the bottom center. Credit: Rieder, et. al.

An essential fruit fly protein called CLAMP may help biologists answer the key question of how the same protein can manage to coordinate two completely different processes on distinct chromosomes in the same cell.

New research on a crucial protein in fruit flies provides a clear model for a fundamental question in biology that's significant for drug development in particular: What influences the exact same protein to coordinate a vital molecular process on one chromosome but an entirely different one on another chromosome?

The new study concerns the recently discovered protein CLAMP. Previously, scientists at Brown University had identified CLAMP as the linchpin in the process by which cells in males doubly express their single X chromosome to achieve genetic parity with females, a process necessary for male existence and survival. Now, in a study published in the journal Genes and Development, the researchers have identified another role for CLAMP that is equally essential to males and females alikethe protein is responsible for coordinating the process by which the DNA in newly replicating cells of an embryo becomes properly wound up and structured.

"It's really exciting because now we have these two separate chromosomes on which CLAMP does vital jobs," said senior author Erica Larschan. "That sets us up for a compare-and-contrast strategy where we can understand how one protein can function differently in context-specific ways."

That matters, added co-lead author Leila Rieder, a postdoctoral researcher at Brown, because in order for clinical interventions that target key proteins to do more good than harm, they need to be tailored to a specific context. It may be tempting to block or amplify a gene or protein to treat a disease, but without confining the intervention to that one process, it could upset the entirely healthy actions of the same gene or protein in an unrelated process. That could produce potentially devastating side effects.

"One of the biggest fears about using genetics in people is that there are off-target effects," Rieder said. "You don't know when you manipulate a gene if it's going to have a single effect or if it's going to have many effects. We don't understand all the roles that that one manipulation is going to have."

The confirmation of a second life-giving role for CLAMP, Rieder and Larschan said, provides a perfect example of a protein that is essential in two completely different ways in the convenient research model of the fruit fly.


CLAMP binds to DNA all over the fly genome, but it kicks into consequential action when it finds a long series of repeats of the nucleotides GA. In the new study, the scientists found long GA repeats and CLAMP on chromosome 2L at the "histone locus," where a cluster of genes produce the proteins around which DNA gets wound up to fit inside the nucleus. In many organisms, humans included, cells assemble the same cadre of proteins around which they wrap their DNA. Approximately a yard of DNA is present in every microscopic cell, so it is essential that it be tightly packed but still accessible for regulation immediately in a newly fertilized egg.

In a series of experiments, a team at Brown, the University of North Carolina and Massachusetts General Hospital found that in fruit flies, CLAMP is the protein that launches the process of gene regulation that produces histones by recruiting other known regulators. It is among the very first proteins on the scene of the histone locus in a newly fertilized egg and opens up the histone locus for expression by the cell, they found. Experiments in which the team interfered with CLAMP led almost universally to fly eggs failing to hatch.

Foiling CLAMP proved to be so lethal, in fact, that studying its function at all required an experimental ploy that would allow the scientists to manipulate CLAMP while keeping the flies alive. To understand, for example, how CLAMP lures the other histone-related proteins to the histone locus, the Brown team worked with the University of North Carolina collaborators, including co-lead author Kaitlin Koreski, to generate CLAMP mimics that wouldn't interfere with natural CLAMP's DNA binding, but could still attract the other key regulatory proteins that control histone gene regulation.

Same protein, different functions

Larschan and Rieder's new understanding of CLAMP's function at the histone locus now matches their understanding of its function on the X chromosome. But they said they don't yet know exactly what differs about the context of those two chromosomes such that CLAMP, with the same molecular anatomy and bound to the same GA repeats, manages to recruit two completely different groups of proteins to perform separate gene expression tasks.

That's the next step in their research.

"It sets up a paradigm for the future," Larschan said. "There are very few casesthat's what I'm always surprised about when I read the literaturewhere there are such specific roles at different sites for a single protein. It's a really strong model."

Explore further: GAGA may be the secret of the sexesat least in insects

More information: Leila E. Rieder et al, Histone locus regulation by the Drosophila dosage compensation adaptor protein CLAMP, Genes & Development (2017). DOI: 10.1101/gad.300855.117

Fruit fly protein dual duties may make it model for studies of protein function in context - Phys.Org

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Genetic Testing | Epilepsy Foundation

Genetic knowledge may be beneficial related to issues such as selection of optimal supportive care, informed medical decision-making, prognostic considerations, and avoidance of unnecessary testing.

Genetics is the study of heredity or how different characteristics (traits) are passed from a parent to a child. A person inherits these traits from their parents. Each person has several thousand genes that are made up of DNA. Genes are packaged into larger structures called chromosomes. Chromosomes are present in almost every human body cell. Genetics play a part in many types of epilepsy.

Advances in science and technology can help identify molecular defects (for example, deletions or mutations) that contribute to the genetics of some types of epilepsy. Genetic testing helps scientists and physicians better understand how various genes may interact to produce a specific epilepsy syndrome. This genetic information may give people with epilepsy and their families more detail about their specific epilepsy syndrome. Several epilepsies have a genetic component and we know that epilepsy can run in families.

Usually, genetic testing requires a blood or salivasample to be taken from the person with epilepsy. The sample is then sent to a laboratory for genetic testing. The test looks at the DNA in the persons blood or saliva. The sample is analyzed for mutations or changes in a subset of genes that have a known association with different types of epilepsy.

There are five types of genetic disorders:

The inheritance of epilepsy is frequently complex. Genetic disorders can cause epilepsy alone or may cause a syndrome that affects various parts of the body as well as epilepsy. Some epilepsy syndromes are known to have a genetic basis, but the gene or genes that cause the syndrome have not yet been identified. Finally, some genetic disorders arise spontaneously through new gene mutations.

More than 20 different syndromes with epilepsy as a main feature have been mapped to specific genes. Many more single gene disorders that cause brain abnormalities or metabolic disorders have epilepsy as a primary symptom. Also, scientists have identified mutations in genes that control sodium, potassium, and calcium channels that can also cause epilepsy.

Its important to note that genetic testing in some epilepsy syndromes has already played a significant role in clinical practice. This has been particularly true for people with epileptic encephalopathies that begin in infancy and early childhood. For example, this may include:

More challenging at this time are the subgroup of genetic generalized epilepsies (GGE) that include childhood absence epilepsy, juvenile absence epilepsy, juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, photosensitive epilepsy, and generalized tonic-clonic seizures. GGE has a complex genetic inheritance pattern. This subset of epilepsies present a challenge, and currently we have little information about the genes that are implicated in GGE.

However, genetic testing still may have a key role to play. Over time, as more information is collected, the cause of these epilepsies will be better understood. Knowing the cause may improve testing, diagnosis, clinical treatment, and family counseling.

Below are listed some of the epilepsy syndromes that may result from genetic disorders. New genes involved in epilepsy are being identified regularly, and the genetics of epilepsy spectrum continues in a period of rapid growth.

Single Gene Epilepsy Syndromes

Other Single Gene Disorders that Can Manifest as Epilepsy

Other Inherited Metabolic Conditions that May Cause Seizures

Multifactorial Disorders

Mitochondrial Disorders

Chromosomal Disorders

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Genetic Testing | Epilepsy Foundation

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Hospital to boost genetic testing for newborn babies – ITV News

One of the UK's largest women's hospitals is to increase its ability to genetically test newborn babies 12-fold.

Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust will be able to screen all infants for inherited conditions or illnesses and plan for early treatment as part of a major new IT project.

It will also contribute to a major population health programme in Liverpool analysing genetic information by location, identifying and enabling work to prevent localised health issues.

IT firm Novosco will introduce the computing system.

Novosco managing director Patrick McAliskey said: "We are delighted to secure this contract which will enable the trust to take genetic testing to the next level and play an important role in the identification and prevention of conditions and illnesses in new-born babies and the wider population."

This role of genetics in healthcare is one of the most rapidly expanding areas of development for Liverpool Women's.

It provides a regional clinical genetics service based at Alder Hey Hospital, covering a population of around 2.8 million people from across Merseyside, Cheshire and the Isle of Man, chief executive Kathryn Thomson posted on the trust's website.

She added: "To discover that you or any child you have or plan to have may be at risk of a genetic disorder which could cause disability or a rare condition is traumatic.

"People are sometimes shocked and anxious and wonder what the future might hold.

"They need as much information and support as possible to help them cope.

"That is why the often unsung work of our clinical genetics team is so important, providing diagnosis and supporting families when they need it most."

Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust specialises in the health of women and their babies - both within the hospital and in the community. It is one of only two such specialist trusts in the UK - and the largest women's hospital of its kind.

Novosco is an IT infrastructure and managed cloud computing company and employs over 150 people. It has its headquarters in Belfast, with offices in Manchester, Dublin, and Cork.

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Ipswich resident Talia Duff’s fight for life continues, family hopes to raise funds for research – Wicked Local Ipswich

By Bryan Sater

The urgent race to cure a rare disease that attacks the muscular system does not happen overnight.

Researchers have made significant progress toward saving 11-year-old Talia Duffs life. Duff suffers from CMT4J, a degenerative genetic disease similar to ALS. But plenty of work remains.

While the Duff family pushes the science of gene therapy to save Talia, fundraising efforts in the community continue and local teens have a plan to help Talia with the challenges of her daily life.

Working toward a cure

The potential cure for Talia exists in the form of gene therapy, where a healthy gene replaces the mutated gene (FIG4), which causes CMT4J.

Scientists at Jackson Laboratory, in Bar Harbor, Maine, have harvested a benign virus, like the common cold, stripped some of its DNA, and attached it to a healthy copy of the FIG4 gene.

Called a vector, this manipulated virus delivers the healthy FIG4 gene into the body by infecting cells in a targeted location, such as motor neurons in the spinal cord.

Theoretically, gene therapy not only stops the disease, but could allow peripheral nerves to heal and give Talia back some of her lost strength.

The gene therapy that could save Talias life could also have a wide-reaching effect on how rare disease are treated throughout the world. Potentially, others who suffer from a one-gene mutation defect could benefit by replicating the same sort of find and replace method that gene therapy proscribes.

Currently, research on mice genetically-altered to have CMT4J is being conducted at Jackson Labs. The mice have received the viral vector and are being studied for their response. Results of the experiment have not yet been published, but the Duffs scientific team expects to make an announcement in the coming weeks regarding the status of the test-subject mice.


While gene therapy has been identified as the potential cure for CMT4J, paying for the process is still a major obstacle. The money raised so far covered the cost of the viral vector creation, but as CMT4J advances its assault on Talias respiratory system, the Duffs continue to face increasing urgency in their fundraising efforts.

Pharmaceutical companies are not inclined to pipeline drugs for a disease that affects less than two dozen people worldwide. And normal scientific channels could take more than a decade, time which Talia does not have.

The Duffs did get some help from Jackson Labs, as the facility allocated money it received from a National Institute of Health grant toward some of the pre-clinical trial expenses.

However, the Duffs still need to raise between $1 million and $2 million in the coming year in order to fund a clinical trial in humans. They have raised nearly $300,000 so far and fundraising efforts are ongoing.

On Oct. 20, the Dare to Be Rare Gala will be Cure CMT4Js biggest fundraiser yet. Between sponsorship, ticket sales and live and silent auctions, the organization hopes to raise nearly $100,000.

Local fundraisers continue to chip away as well, including last weeks Tidbits for Talia at the Mayflower restaurant, flower sales at Ipswich Flowers, ongoing sales of brightly-colored shoelaces in the community, and outreach to major donors for significant gifts.

The amazing Ipswich community has contributed so much to our cause both financially and emotionally, said Talias mother, Jocelyn. Their support means so much to our family. It also lends tremendous credibility as we continue to pursue corporate and private donors beyond Ipswich. We hope they will feel compelled to give once they learn of Ipswich's generosity and the incredible work being done by our scientists in the lab."

Robotic arm

A group of high school students is doing what they can to help improve Talias quality of life. As CMT4J has progressed, Talia has lost most use of her extremities, including her arms and legs, compromising her ability to do simple things, such as lift a fork to her mouth or hold a book to read.

Enter the Ipswich High School Robotics Team. The students have established a four-phase plan to develop a robotic arm to help Talia with some of these regular tasks. They have secured a $10,000 Payne Grant to fund the project and have put together an initial prototype for the robotic arm that Talia will be able to use.

The team intends to accomplish two things with this project, said Rick Gadbois, team mentor, who met Jocelyn Duff at a rare disease conference last fall. Students will invent a device that helps Talia with daily activities, and will also publicize the effort to bring attention to CMT4J, to get funding for clinical research, for treatment and for a cure.

Talias health

While CMT4J weakened her limbs to the point where she depends entirely on a wheelchair, it has now begun to attack Talias respiratory system as well. The involuntary muscles that precipitate breathing are weakening, preventing her from coughing or taking deep breaths.

Three times per day, Talia must submit to a cough-assist machine, which, said Jocelyn Duff, forces air down her lungs and then vacuums it right back out in order to clear out any secretions in the lungs.

In addition, Talia now sleeps with a BIPAP machine, which delivers focused pressure to her lungs while she sleeps. The purpose is to maintain the oxygen saturation in her body at night, thus helping her sleep better and providing her more energy during the day.

Throughout it all, Talia continues to fight, and according to her mother, She is still her amazing, resilient, brave self.

Talias summer

Despite her condition, Talia was still able to enjoy summer as much as any 11-year-old. Her family vacationed in Maine, where she got to kayak, one of her favorite activities.

She took in a Red Sox game with a fellow CMT4J patient who visited from Seattle. The pair went onto the field at Fenway for batting practice and met Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland, who chatted with them.

Talia also began preparing for the start of sixth grade next week by going to locker night at the middle school and gathering her back-to-school supplies.

I think she is excited about school starting again this year, seeing her old friends and making some new ones, said Jocelyn Duff.

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Ipswich resident Talia Duff's fight for life continues, family hopes to raise funds for research - Wicked Local Ipswich

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$91M Deal: CSL Acquires California Stem Cell Gene Therapy Developer – NBC 10 Philadelphia

CSL Behring, a Montgomery County-based global developer of biotherapeutic products, has entered into a deal to buy Calimmune Inc. for $91 million.

The deal also includes the potential for Calimmune to earn additional performance based milestone payments of up to $325 million over a period currently anticipated to be around eight years or more following the closing of the transaction. The transaction is expected to close within the next two weeks.

Calimmune, a biotechnology company specializing in hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy, has research and development facilities in Pasadena, Calif., and Sydney, Australia. [Hematopoietic stem cells are responsible for the production of all cellular blood components.]

The acquisition provides CSL Behring of King of Prussia, Pa., with Calimmunes pre-clinical asset, CAL-H, an experimental gene therapy for the treatment of sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia. Officials at CSL Behring, a division of CSL Ltd. of Australia, said CAL-H complements CSL Behrings current product portfolio and its "deep expertise" in hematology.

To read the full story, click here.

For more business news, visit Philadelphia Business Journal.

Published at 9:28 PM EDT on Aug 28, 2017

$91M Deal: CSL Acquires California Stem Cell Gene Therapy Developer - NBC 10 Philadelphia

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Global Cartilage Repair Market 2017-2021 – Gene Therapy and Stem Cell Therapy is the latest Market Trend Making … – Business Wire (press release)

DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The "Global Cartilage Repair Market 2017-2021" report has been added to Research and Markets' offering.

The global cartilage repair market to grow at a CAGR of 11.59 % during the period 2017-2021.

The treatment of articular cartilage has evolved tremendously in the past decade. Reparative and restorative methods have been developed to address the significant source of morbidity in the young and active patients. Articular cartilage injury can be focal, which is localized or systemic. Procedures are being developed not only to alleviate the symptoms associated with articular cartilage defects but also to limit the progression of cartilage damages into degenerative diseases.

According to the report, one of the major drivers for this market is Rising incidence of accidental injuries. Globally, the road traffic injuries are increasing, with post complicated symptoms such as weakening of tendons, cartilage tear, and orthopedic issues.

The latest trend gaining momentum in the market is Gene therapy and stem cell therapy. Gene therapy is one of the promising fields in the cartilage repair. Many clinical studies have been performed for cartilage repair. The researchers are trying to develop gene therapy for cartilage repair and currently been investigated for clinical application.

Further, the report states that one of the major factors hindering the growth of this market is Product side effects. Surgeons use cartilage repair products such as tissue scaffold to improve the recovery. These products once grafted in the body may cause serious complications, resulting in their increased scrutiny for safety and efficacy. In many autologous chondrocyte implantation, there were common complications such as graft rejection, symptomatic hypertrophy, disturbed fusion and delamination.

Key vendors

Other prominent vendors

Key Topics Covered:

For more information about this report visit

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Global Cartilage Repair Market 2017-2021 - Gene Therapy and Stem Cell Therapy is the latest Market Trend Making ... - Business Wire (press release)

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FDA steps up scrutiny of stem cell therapies – Reuters

(Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is stepping up efforts to better regulate an emerging field of medicine that holds significant promise for curing some of the most troubling diseases by using the body's own cells.

A small number of "unscrupulous actors" have seized on the promise of regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies to mislead patients based on unproven, and in some cases, dangerously dubious products, the FDA said on Monday. (

Regenerative medicine makes use of human cells or tissues that are engineered or taken from donors. Health regulators have approved some types of stem cell transplants that mainly use blood and skin stem cells after clinical trials found they could treat certain types of cancer and grow skin grafts for burn victims.

But many potential therapies are still in the earliest stages of development. These therapies are sometimes advertised with the promise of a cure, but they often have scant evidence backing their efficacy or safety.

The FDA said it had taken steps to tackle the problem of some "troubling products" being marketed in Florida and California.

Federal officials on Friday seized from San Diego-based StemImmune Inc vials containing hundreds of doses of a vaccine reserved only for people at high risk for smallpox, the FDA said. (

The seizure followed recent FDA inspections that confirmed the vaccine was used to create an unapproved stem cell product, which was then given to cancer patients, the agency added.

The FDA also sent a warning letter to a Sunrise, Florida-based clinic for marketing stem cell products without regulatory approval and for major deviations from current good manufacturing practices. (

The health regulator will present a new policy framework this fall that will more clearly detail the "rules of the road" for regenerative medicine, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, a cancer survivor, said in a statement.

Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Tamara Mathias; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar

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FDA steps up scrutiny of stem cell therapies - Reuters

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Chinese hair and personal care distributor acquires Cicabel –

Grand Fan Group, a supplier of hair, body wash and care brands, has bought the Cicabel brand from French pharmaceutical producer, Santinov.

The deal

The Chinese distributor held a press conference and officially announced the acquisition on 27th August 2017.

Grand Fan Group acquired both the Cicabel brand and all of the medical products maker'stechnologies. To kickstart its position within the Chinese marketplace, Grand Fan Group will also introduce its first peptide-based Cicabel face mask to consumers in September 2017.

This arrangement is the Chinese distributors first move into the skin care sector and is part of its wider strategic plan to improve its brands for Chinas make up and skin care industries, along with advancing its three existing hair and personal care names.

Stem cell R&D

French medical products manufacturer, Santinov, first brought its Cicabel name to the beauty-loving market 130 years ago with its facial masks. The label conducted extensive research and development and used stem cells to create skin care masks.

In today's market, biotechnology is having a considerable influence over cosmetic product launches. As a result, medical standards are a core component of facial mask production as Cicabel is using biomedical technologies to launch new innovations.

Medical skin care move

In recent years, consumers have sought high-tech skin care therapies with high-achieving performance. To combine both medical and beauty developments, Cicabelssoon-to-be-launched mask concentrates on skin care and rejuvenation using advanced technologies.

The brands facial mask contains purified ingredients that provide energy to the skin stem cells. These selected elements also protect and activate the cells and promote the proliferation of skin epidermal cells and the anagenesis of skin fibrosis, the company stated in a recent press release.

As facial rejuvenation becomes a key interest in skin care, the brand hopes that its proprietary technologies can propel it into high-tech medical skin care.

Made for high-end consumption

As Chinese consumers favour luxury products, the brands first release following the acquisition aims to reach premium product status.

With our strong confidence in high-tech approaches when it comes to improving one's appearance, we decided to take over Cicabel, an executive at Grand Fan Group stated.

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Young cardiac cells rejuvenate hearts, in animal study – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Cardiac predecessor cells appear to rejuvenate the hearts of older animals, according to a recent study from Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute that may lead to tests in humans.

Signs of rejuvenation in rats included a 20 percent increase in exercise capacity, faster regrowth of hair, and lengthening of the protective caps of chromosomes.

The study used cardiosphere-derived cells, or CDCs, which are like stem cells, but can only develop into heart cells. These cells are already being used in a human clinical trial to repair damage from heart attacks. The trial is being conducted by Beverly Hills-based Capricor in several hospitals, including Scripps La Jolla.

Since these cells have already been found to be safe, it should be fairly straightforward to extend testing from repairing heart damage in people to rejuvenation, said study leader Dr. Eduardo Marbn. Hes director of the Los Angeles Institute, part of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Marbn is also a co-founder of Capricor, publicly traded on Nasdaq.

However, a researcher not involved in the study said that while it was well done, the history of stem cell treatments indicates that proving efficacy in people promises to be far more difficult.

The study used cells taken from newborn rats, injected into the hearts of older, senescent rats. It was published Aug. 14 in the European Heart Journal.

The study is exceptional in both its scope and breadth, said Dr. Richard Schatz, a Scripps Clinic cardiologist involved in the Capricor trial at Scripps La Jolla.

It examines an extraordinary number of variables rarely seen in such studies to ask the question of the impact of CDC (specialized stem cells) on cardiac aging in rats, Schatz said by email. Every parameter of how aging might be studied moved in the right direction, meaning there might be a biologic effect of their cells throughout the body.

Schatz cautioned that scientific excellence doesnt equal clinical success.

The technologys muscle-improving effectiveness could also help patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Marbn said. That use is in clinical testing by Capricor. Early results in patients have been promising enough that more studies are planned.

Capricor clinical trial information is available at

Marbn said the study adds to growing evidence that progenitor cells exert their healing power by secreting chemicals that stimulate repair, not by permanently incorporating themselves into the body. The chemicals are enclosed in tiny vesicles called exosomes that the cells shed.

Until fairly recently, exosomes were dismissed as cellular debris, but are now being appreciated for their role in cell signaling, Marbn said.

There's a staggering number, something like 100 billion to a trillion exosomes per drop of blood, per drop of cerebrospinal fluid, Marbn said. They are plentiful in breast milk. The only thing we know right now is that there is a complex signaling system.

These exosomes travel far beyond the heart to reach skeletal muscle, which is weakened in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, he said.

Schatz said the study provides evidence that the cells exert many different effects beyond those in a single target organ, through the exosomes, seen in humans as well.

This is very good news if you are a rat, but the obvious limitation is how will this play out in humans, Schatz said.

Previous clinical trials of stem cells have been successful in Phase 1 and 2, Schatz said, but fail in Phase 3. So the researchers face a daunting road ahead to demonstrate usefulness in people.

This does not take away from the brilliant science behind this exceptional group of investigators, Schatz said. They should be congratulated for a very thoughtful and expansive look at a fascinating subject, the clinical relevance of which remains to be seen.

The rejuvenation effects to some degree resemble cells created when adult cells are reprogrammed back to being stem cells, Marbn said.

Certain factors are turned on that regress the cells to act like embryonic stem cells. These are called induced pluripotent stem cells, because they can become nearly any cell in the body, a property called pluripotency.

Something like this might be happening through exosome-mediated reprogramming.

We have a suspicion that even though we didn't go about trying to activate those factors, some of them may in fact be turned on by the therapy, Marbn said.

Understanding precisely what is going on will take much more work to sort out, he said. For example, lengthening the protective caps of chromosomes, or telomeres, is presumably caused by production of telomerase, an enzyme that makes them longer. But how?

Knowing the exosomes are involved doesnt narrow it down very much, he said.

We think that there's thousands and thousands of different bioactive molecules within exosomes. And so I can't right now point to, let's say, these five RNAs and say, they're the ones that we think are doing the trick, Marbn said. But somewhere in the genetic instructions in the exosomes are signals that cause telomerase to be activated and elongation of the telomeres.

Even without understanding the precise mechanism, the demonstrated results have been promising enough for Capricor to continue clinical testing in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Marbn said, even though its outside the companys initial focus on heart disease.

The heart attack research gave mixed messages, he said. Capricor isnt abandoning it, but has given priority to the muscular dystrophy program.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients and their parents are more interested in increasing skeletal muscle function than heart function, he said. The disease virtually exclusively affects males, and they often die when quite young.

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Young cardiac cells rejuvenate hearts, in animal study - The San Diego Union-Tribune

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Providing Leading-edge Cardiovascular Care – The Lane Report


HOWEVER, THERE ARE OTHER components of KentuckyOne Health Heart and Vascular Care that make it the critical statewide resource it is today. Research, community outreach and support of advocacy organizations are all important aspects of our mission to be the states leader in cardiovascular care.

Innovative Care

KentuckyOne provides patients with a full spectrum of cardiovascular care, with treatments for common problems as well as complex cardiovascular conditions. Our surgeons, nursing staff and other health care professionals utilize the latest diagnostic and therapeutic techniques to treat any type of patient with any type of condition.

Whether youre in need of heart attack care; heart rhythm care for cardiac arrhythmia; transplant (Louisville only) or mechanical device care for advanced heart failure; minimally invasive treatment for a disease like aortic stenosis or mitral regurgitation; vascular care for an aneurysm or artery disease; cardiac rehabilitation at one of our Healthy Lifestyle Centers; or some other type of heart and vascular service, KentuckyOne Health is the place to go.

Having access to the best equipment and newest treatments is only part of the equation, said Nezar Falluji, MD, MPH, interventional cardiologist with KentuckyOne Health Cardiology Associates and director of cardiovascular services for the KentuckyOne Health Lexington market at Saint Joseph Hospital. The teamwork and collaboration between cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and other staff and physicians is what sets us apart.

Groundbreaking Research

Through a partnership with the University of Louisville and its physicians, KentuckyOne Health, and specifically Jewish Hospital and University of Louisville Hospital, is the site for groundbreaking research across many disciplines. Jewish Hospital is the primary site in Louisville for cardiovascular research.

The University of Louisville offers access to academic research and innovation that may be effectively applied in clinical settings, said Mark Slaughter, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at the University of Louisville and executive director of cardiovascular services for the KentuckyOne Health Louisville market. Through this research component, Jewish Hospital, the University of Louisville and KentuckyOne Health are leading the way in developing next-generation cardiovascular therapies.

Roberto Bolli, MD, chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Louisville, is a renowned researcher whose stem cell therapy work has garnered worldwide attention.

Dr. Bolli has become a world leader in using patients own stem cells, growing them in tissue culture and then infusing them back into the injured heart, as a way to repopulate the heart with cardiac cells that will grow and heal. He is doing truly leading-edge cardiac stem cell work right here in Kentucky.

Many of the vascular diseases are silent and often go unnoticed until they eventually lead to major problems, said Stephen Self, MD, vascular surgeon at KentuckyOne Health Vascular Surgery Associates. Its crucial that people are aware of the risk factors and become proactive about their health.

Knowing the Risk Factors

Despite the sly nature of many vascular diseases, there are some controllable and uncontrollable risk factors you should know about, including:

Age People 50 and older are at greatest risk.

Smoking Smoke inhalation increases vascular damage.

Lack of exercise Contributes to fat storage, muscle loss and low energy.

Obesity A common sign of poor vascular health

Unhealthy diet Poor diets can increase bad cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.

Genetics Your family medical history can help define your risk.

Protecting Yourself

I recommend people with increased risk of vascular disease, such as those who smoke or have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, and anyone over the age of 50, get vascular screenings, said Steve Lin, MD, who specializes in vein care at KentuckyOne Health Cardiology Associates. They are completely painless, inexpensive and can ultimately save your life.

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FDA moves to curb dangerous stem cell clinics –

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday announced a crackdown on deceptive and dangerous stem cell clinics, starting with actions against a California company accused of giving smallpox vaccine to cancer patients, and a Florida company that ruined the eyesight of three women.

Our actions today should also be a warning to others who may be doing similar harm, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement, urging consumers and health-care providers to report rogue clinics and injuries.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb

The California company, San Diego-based StemImmune Inc., was combining the vaccine with stem cells derived from fat, then giving it intravenously or injecting it into tumors of cancer patients at clinics in Rancho Mirage and Beverly Hills, Calif., the FDA said.

U.S. marshals on Friday seized five vials of smallpox vaccine, including one that was partially used. The agency is investigating how the company obtained the vaccine, which has been stockpiled by the government in case of a bioterrorist attack.

The vaccine is made with live vaccinia virus, a poxvirus similar to but less harmful than smallpox. The vaccine could cause life-threatening problems in immune-compromised cancer patients, and alsoin certain unvaccinated people who might be accidentally infected by the patients, the FDA explained.

Speaking as a cancer survivor, Gottlieb said in a statement, I know all too well the fear and anxiety the diagnosis of cancer can have and how tempting it can be to believe the hollow claims made by these kinds of unscrupulous clinics. The FDA will not allow deceitful actors to take advantage of vulnerable patients.

In a separate enforcement action, the FDA sent a warning letter last week to U.S. Stem Cell Clinic of Sunrise, Fla., saying it could face product seizure or an injunction. Agency inspectors found that the clinic was processing fat-derived stem cells and claiming to treat a raft of conditions, including Parkinsons disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and heart failure.

In March, U.S. Stem Cell made headlines when an article in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that three women with age-related macular degeneration suffered severe and permanent vision damage one was blinded after stem cells were injected into their eyeballs at the clinic. The article was written by doctors unconnected with the clinic who treated the women for the disastrous results.

Critics of unapproved stem cell treatments have called for tougher oversight by the FDA, as well as by the Federal Trade Commission, which regulates advertising, and by state medical boards, which oversee the practice of medicine.

The regulatory moves come as so-called regenerative medicine is exploding, spawning an industry built on unproven treatments using stem cells from bone marrow or fat. In recent months, networks of chiropractors have run big-budget ads for such treatments in newspaper across the country, including the Inquirer. Those ads, however, focus on addressing orthopedic problems such as degenerative discs and arthriticknees.

The only FDA-approved stem cell therapies involve using cells from bone marrow or umbilical cord blood to treat blood cancers and certain immune disorders. In general, biologic tissues that are processed and marketed as therapies are supposed to go through the FDAs drug approval process, which involves years of costly clinical testing in humans.

However, the FDA has tried to find a middle ground, recognizing the potential promise of stem cells in tissue repair and regeneration. The FDA has published, but has not finalized, draft guidance for stem cell products, saying they can be exempted from the drug approval process under certain scenarios. Among other criteria, the cells must be minimally manipulated and used in a homologous way, meaning for the same function they perform naturally in the body.

In a policy statement issued Monday, Gottlieb promised that this fall, the agency will advance a comprehensive policy framework that will more clearly describe the rules of the road for this new field. It will enable responsible product developers to gain FDAapproval with minimal burdens and costs.

We want to facilitate innovation, he wrote.

Published: August 28, 2017 4:42 PM EDT

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Why Doug Baldwin went to England for stem-cell therapy – The News Tribune (blog)

RENTON Turns out, Doug Baldwin started this current Seahawks fad of traveling outside the teams normal medical coverage to get far-flung treatment using body cells.

The Seahawks No. 1 wide receiver told me Monday he went overseas before this season -- to England, to be exact -- for pre-emptive, preventative treatment to maintain healthy knees.

I had mine in the offseason. I did stem-cell, Baldwin said, drenched in sweat in the hallway outside the teams locker room just after completing Mondays practice.

I mean, I dont have any ailments. Im trying to find every edge I can get.

Baldwin, Seattles $46 million receiver, tied Bobby Engrams 2007 franchise record with 94 receptions last season. He earned his first Pro Bowl selection. In 2015, the season that led to his contract extension, he co-led the NFL with 14 touchdown catches.

He said hed been looking into stem-cell therapy for years.

Transplanting or using bone marrow is the most widely used stem-cell therapy to treat or prevent a condition or disease. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration further explains stem cells may also help repair the body by dividing to replenish cells that are damaged by disease, injury, or normal wear.

So why London for Baldwin?

The FDA, as stated on its website, has not approved any stem cell-based products for use in this country other than using human umbilical cord blood forming stem cells for certain diseases.

There was a company wed be speaking to, Baldwin said of the London place he got treatment, without wanting to disclose many details. Did my research. Took my two years to finally decide.

In the last two weeks, seven Seahawks have gone away and outside the teams regular medical treatment to get a debated blood-re-injection process called regenokine to treat aching joints and/or aid in recovery from surgery. The treatment was founded in Germany, where its known as orthokine.

K.J. Wright returned last week from regenokine treatment, the re-injection of ones blood after it is heated and spun in a centrifuge to enhance its anti-inflammatory properties. The Pro Bowl outside linebacker played in Seattles exhibition last Friday against Kansas City.

D.J. Alexander the Pro Bowl special-teams player the Seahawks acquired this summer in a trade with Kansas City, went for regenokine treatment last week.

On Monday, coach Pete Carroll said wide receiver and kick returner Tyler Lockett, Pro Bowl defensive ends Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, starting left guard Luke Joeckel and starting outside linebacker Michael Wilhoite are away from the team getting the same treatment Wright and Alexander had. Carroll said the team expects all those players to be ready for the opening game Sept. 10 at Green Bay.

That process reportedly costs $10,000. That doesnt count the travel and hotel costs of flying to get the therapy, of course. The FDA has yet to approve regenokine for use in the U.S., largely because its still unproven and reportedly because the agency has issues with the heating of the blood.

That is probably why Carroll said this on Thursday: Ive never had the OK that I can talk about it; I dont even know if I can talk about it. I was always afraid I wouldnt pronounce it right. But what I know its called is regenokine.

Dr. Peter Wehling in Germany, the man who founded the procedure known there as orthokine, was said in 2013 to have treated 30 to 40 NFL players with it. At that time the treatment process took four days, which could explain why Wright and his Seahawks successor have been missing a week of practices and games this month for it.

LifeSpan Medicine, clinic in Santa Monica, California, with offices also in New York and Dallas, lists regenokine as one the regenerative therapies it practices -- again, without FDA approval for use in this country.

Carroll said this on Monday:

Baldwin turns 29 next month. The opening at the Packers will begin the second season of the four-year, $46 million extension he signed in the summer of 2016. He looked ready for the 2017 season in Seattles most recent preseason game, Friday against Kansas City. He had two catches for 45 yards in 2 1/2 quarters, racing across the field and away from Chiefs defenders.

Hes only missed two games in his six-year career. Those absences were in his second season, 2012, after Seattle signed him as one of the leagues most successful undrafted free agents of the last decade.

Now, hes one of the trend-setters among eight Seahawks whove received alternative therapy.

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Why Doug Baldwin went to England for stem-cell therapy - The News Tribune (blog)

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