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Grateful Casey Female Cannabis Seeds by Connoisseur Genetics

Here we have reversed the True Cannabliss cut of Head Seeds Casey Jones, now widely available on the Amsterdam coffee shop scene and we used it to pollinate itself. Casey Jones is a true elite strain in seed form and we are extremely grateful to Head Seeds for bringing it to the world. The spectrums of flavour we hope to represent with these S1s are a meaty/earthy funk with sweet fruity diesel undertones. We give all credit to grateful Head Seeds as all we did was remake his already outstanding work into fem seed Expect monster yields.

All our descriptions and images have come direct from the breeders who operate in a legal climate much different to that within the United Kingdom. Take note, you should NEVER try cultivating any cannabis plants within ANY jurisdiction where such cultivation is illegal. Our seeds are sold purely for souvenirs and should be treated as a curio or novelty item and should never be germinated. PLEASE DO NOT BREAK THE LAW!

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Grateful Casey Female Cannabis Seeds by Connoisseur Genetics

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The Cost Of Stem Cell Therapy And Why It’s So Expensive …

How much is stem cell therapy? As stated by CBC Canada,the cost of stem cell therapy is $5,000 to $8,000per stem cell treatment for patients. According to a Twitter poll by BioInformant, the cost can be even higher. Our May 2018 poll found that stem cell treatments can cost as much as $25,000 or more. This article explores the key factors that impact the cost of stem cell therapy, including the type of stem cells used within the protocol, the number of treatments required, and the site of theclinic. It also provides pricing quotes from stem cell clinics within the U.S. and worldwide.

In this article:

Stem cell therapy is the use of living cells as therapeutics to treat disease or injury. Read on to learn about the cost requirements of these procedures.

CBC Canadas pricing involves Cell Surgical Network (CSN) following its protocol to remove fat tissue and process it before re-injecting [adipose-derived stem cells] either directly or intravenously into the same patient. Unfortunately, the U.S. FDA and Department of Justice (DOJ) sent this network of stem cell treatment providers a permanent injunction notice in May 2018. Therefore, patients should not seek treatments from the group at this time.Although Cell Surgical Network (CSN) is based in California, it has a network of approximately 100 U.S. treatment centers. They also have three Canadian clinics located in Vancouver, Sudbury,andKamloops.

The controversy such as the one above stirs up questions about the safety of stem cell procedures. Anyone considering stem cell therapy from any tissue or source will benefit from understanding the possible consequences of stem cell therapy and the factors driving costs.

For the patient, a stem cell transplant involves multiple steps, including:

There are also real costs for the doctors who provide stem cell treatments. They have overhead costs, including:

There is also time and expertise required toperform the procedure and offer post-operative care. In some cases, the physician must pay licensing fees to access stem cell sourcing, processing, or delivery technologies.

Stem cell treatment has gained more and more traction over the last decade. It has been helped along by considerable advances in research. In 2017, the number of scientific publications about stem cells surpassed 300,000. The number of stem cell clinical trials has also surpassed4,600 worldwide.

However, stem cell therapy is still expensive. Among the cheapest and easiest options is to harvest adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) those that exist in adult fat layers and re-deliver them to the patient. Unlike harvesting from bone marrow or teeth, providers can feasibly remove fat, separate stem cells, then re-inject them into a patient the same day. This approach is typically less expensive than those that require more invasive procedures for harvesting. Because of its practicality in terms of cost, it has become a common approach to stem cell treatment.

Relatively easy harvesting stilldoesnt translate to inexpensive cost, although some are certainly more affordable than others. For orthopedic conditions, the costof stem cell therapy is typically lower, averaging between $5,000 and $8,000. Examples of these types of medical conditions include:

Note that these prices are typically out-of-pocket costs paid by the patientbecause most insurance companies will not cover them. They are considered experimental and unapproved by the FDA. This means patients needing stem cell treatment will need to use their own savings.

Although fat is a frequently utilized source for stem cells, it is also possible for physicians to utilize stem cells from bone marrow. Regenexx provides this service in the U.S. and Cayman Islands. With theRegenexxstem cell injection procedure, a small bone marrow sample is extracted through a needle, and blood is drawn from a vein in the arm. These samples are processed in a laboratory, and the cells it contains are injected into an area of the body that needs repair. On June 19, 2018, ACAP Health, a leading provider in innovative, clinical-based solutions partnered with Regenexx to reduce high-cost musculoskeletal surgeries.ACAP Health is a national leader in employer healthcare expense reduction. It is one of the first healthcare groups to partner with a stem cell treatment group to support insurance coverage to patients.

A recent Twitter poll conducted by BioInformant reported that, on average, patients can expect to spend $25,000 or more on stem cell therapies. According to the poll,

Most likely, those paying lower stem cell treatment costs under $5,000 were pursuing treatment for orthopedic or musculoskeletal conditions. In contrast, those paying higher treatment costs were likely getting treated for systemic or more complex conditions, such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis (MS), neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimers disease or dementia), psoriatic arthritis, as well as the treatment for autism.

In the U.S., treatment protocols vary depending on the clinic and the treating physician. A one-time treatment that utilizes blood drawn from a patient can cost as little as $1,500. However, protocols that utilize a bone marrow or adipose (fat) tissue extraction can run as much as $15,000 $30,000. This is because bone marrow extraction is an invasive procedure that requires a penetrating bone and adipose tissue extraction requires a medical professional trained in liposuction.

For treatments that require a systemic or whole-body approach, the cost tends to be in the higher range, often averaging from $20,000 to $30,000. Examples of the diseases or conditions requiring this type of stem cell treatment include:

These higher costs reflect the complexity of treating these patients and the fact that multiple treatments are often required.

Founded by Dr. Neil Riordan, a globally recognized stem cell expert, theStem Cell Institutein Panama is one of the worlds most trusted adult stem cell therapy centers. Over the past 12 years, the center has performed more than10,000 procedures, making it a widely recognized destination for stem cell treatments.

Working in collaboration with universities and physicians worldwide, its stem cell treatment protocols utilize combinations of allogeneic human umbilical cord blood stem cells and autologous bone marrow stem cells to treat a wide variety of conditions.

A reader of BioInformant was recently treated for psoriatic arthritis at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama in early 2018. The price of his stem cell treatment was $22,000. With travel and lodging included, the total expenses were approximately $30,000.

Because of its proximity to the U.S., Mexico is increasingly becoming a destination for medical tourism.Before choosing a stem cell treatment provider in Mexico, ensure the clinic is fully authorized by COFEPRIS, the Mexican equivalent to the FDA.

One patient who recently shared stem cell treatment quotes with BioInformant found that the treatment for glycogen storage disease, a metabolic disorder that often onsets in infancy and continues into adulthood, would cost $23,900 throughGIOSTAR Mexico.

In contrast, the patient was quoted$33,000 throughCelltex, a U.S.-based company that treats patients in Cancun, Mexico.Celltex follows FDA regulations concerning the export of cells to Mexico and is compliant with the standards and procedures of COFEPRIS. Celltex also has an alliance with a certified hospital in Mexico, which is approved to receive cells and administer them to patients by a licensed physician.

In contrast, the patient was quoted $10,000 from Stem Cell Therapy of Las Vegas and Med Spa, an American clinic. This price difference may reflect regulatory restrictions that prevent U.S. providers from expanding cells. It may also reflect the therapeutic approach used by the clinic, as well as the quality of their expertise.

In Mexico, where certain types of stem cell expansion are allowed that are restricted within the U.S., treatment protocols vary depending on the clinic and the treating physician. A one-time treatment that utilizes peripheral blood from a patient can cost as little as $1,000. In contrast, protocols that utilize more invasive sources of stem cells can run as much as $15,000 $35,000. Examples of invasive procedures includebone marrow and adipose tissue extraction. In some cases, hospitalization may be required, which raises costs. The location of a stem cell facility can factor heavily into thecost of the procedure.

Not every cost associated with treatment gets billed to the patient at the time of the procedure. Hidden costs such as reactions to the treatment, graft-versus-host disease, or disability derived from the treatment can all result in more money to the patient, to insurance, or to the government.

For example, in the case of someone with cancer, it frequently isnt viable to harvest the patients own stem cells because they may contain cancerous cells that can reintroduce tumors to the body. Instead, the patient would receive stem cells by transplant. Treatments that involve cells from another person are called allogeneic treatments. The danger here is that the body may see those cells as invaders and attack them via the immune system, a condition known as graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). The body (host) and the introduced stem cells (graft) then battle rather than coexist.

Transplanted cells often face the risk of being rejected by their host; this article discusses the effect of plasma exchange on acute graft vs. host diseasehttps://t.co/cA3nzFntew

Katie Bunde (@kbuns76) May 29, 2018

In addition to making the stem cell treatments less effective or ineffective, GvHD can be deadly. Roughly30 to 60 percent ofhematopoieticstem cell and bone marrow transplantationpatients sufferfrom it, and of those, 50 percent eventually die. The hospital costs associated with it are substantial.

Another hidden cost is the potential to disrupt a system that formerly functioned adequately. The best current example of this isthe case of Doris Tyler, who received bilateral stem cell injections in her eyes from Drs.RobertHalpernand JamieWalraven of Stem Cell Center of Georgia. According to her, while her vision was failing, it was still good enough to perform various tasks, and now it is not. That means the cost increases for her, as well as potential insurance or disability claims (though again, insurance is unlikely to cover the specific consequences of this action).

Because of tight regulations surrounding stem cell procedures performed in the United States, many stem cell treatment providers provide both on-shore (U.S.-based) and offshore (international) treatment options.Depending on where a treatment is received, patients may have to pay travel, lodging,and miscellaneous expenditures.

For example, Regenexx offers treatments at a wide range of U.S. facilities using non-expanded stem cells. However, it also offers a laboratory-expanded treatment option at a site in the Cayman Islands, which can administer higher cell doses to patients by expanding the cells in culture within a laboratory.

Similarly, Okyanos (pronounced Oh key AH nos) offers treatments to patients at its Florida location and provides more involved stem cell procedures at its offshore site inGrand Bahama. It was founded in 2011 and is a stem cell therapy provider specializing in treatments for congestive heart failure (CHF) and other chronic conditions. It is fully licensed under the Bahamas Stem Cell Therapy and Research Act and adheres to U.S. surgical center standards.

Similarly, Celltex is headquartered in Houston, Texas, but offers stem cell treatments in Cancun, Mexico. Celltex specializes in storing a patients mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for therapeutic use.

While no hard evidence yet points to stem cell clinics raising their rates as a result of lawsuits, that is a typical response in industries whose products or services the public perceives as a high risk.

An additional danger to stem cell treatment providers,points out Nature, is the reduction of bottom-line profits through former patients winning suits. If clinics have to pay out the money they earned and then some to individuals suing for damages, they may soon become faced with an unviable business model. That is a definite concern for those hoping to leverage these treatments now and in the future.

As with any other area of medicine, patient evaluations of stem cell providers and treatments run the gamut from extremely satisfied to desolately unhappy. Those like Doris Tyler who have lost their eyesight exist at the negative end of the spectrum. However, many others praise stem cell treatments for their power to heal diseases, boost immunity, fight cancer, and more.

For example, BioInformants Founder and President, Cade Hildreth, had a favorable experience with stem cell therapy. Cade had bone marrow-derived stem cells collected and then had them re-injected into the knee to treat a devastating orthopedic injury. Cade was able to reverse pain, swelling, and scarring to reclaim an elite athletic ability.

As of now, this much is clear. There exists enough interest in America and across the world that stem cell providers are continuing to offer a wide range of treatments. Stem cell treatments also offer the potential to reverse diseases that traditionally had to be chronically managed by drugs. Like most medical practices, stem cell treatments will require further testing to reveal merits and faults. Until then, the public will likely continue to pursue services when medical needs arise.

Although the cost of stem cell therapy is pricey, some patients choose to undergo the treatment because it is more economical than enduring the costs associated with chronic diseases.

Although most stem cell therapy providers do not provide FDA-approved procedures, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to encouragepatients to pursue approved therapies, even if there is a higher associated treatment cost.

Providers rarely post their prices for stem cell treatments in print or digital media because they want patients to understand the benefits of therapy before making a price decision. Additionally, the price of stem cell treatments varies by condition, the number of treatments required, and the complexity of the procedure, factors that can make it difficult for medical providers to provide cost estimates without a diagnostic visit for the patient. However, in many cases, it is not in the patients best interest to make treatment decisions based on the cost of stem cell therapy. The best way to know whether to pursue stem cell therapy is to explore patient outcomes by condition and compare the healing process to other surgical and non-surgical treatment options.

The cost of stem cell therapy is indeed expensive, especially because the procedures are rarely covered by health insurance. However, with the right knowledge and a clear understanding of the treatment process, the risk of undergoing stem cell therapy can be worth it, especially if it removes the requirement for a lifetime of prescription medication. Although stem cell therapy has associated risks, it has improved thousands of lives and will continue to play in a key role in the future of modern medicine.

Download this infographic for your reference:

Are you seeking a stem cell treatment? If so, we have partnered with GIOSTAR to help you acccess medical guidance and advice.

In alignment with what we believe at BioInformant, GIOSTARs goal is to offer cutting-edge, extensively researched stem cell therapy options designed to rejuvenate and improve a patients quality of life.

Click here to Schedule a Consultation or ask GIOSTAR a question.

If you found this blog valuable, subscribe to BioInformants stem cell industry updates.

As the first and only market research firm to specialize in the stem cell industry, BioInformant research is cited by The Wall Street Journal, Xconomy, AABB, and Vogue Magazine. Bringing you breaking news on an ongoing basis, we encourage you to join more than half a million loyal readers, including physicians, scientists, executives, and investors.

Do you think the cost of stem cell therapy is too much? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Up Next: Japan to Supply Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESC) for Clinical Research

Cost Of Stem Cell Therapy And Why Its So Expensive

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The Cost Of Stem Cell Therapy And Why It's So Expensive ...

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Endometriosis – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic

Diagnosis

To diagnose endometriosis and other conditions that can cause pelvic pain, your doctor will ask you to describe your symptoms, including the location of your pain and when it occurs.

Tests to check for physical clues of endometriosis include:

Laparoscopy. In some cases, your doctor may refer you to a surgeon for a procedure (laparoscopy) that allows the surgeon to view inside your abdomen. While you're under general anesthesia, your surgeon makes a tiny incision near your navel and inserts a slender viewing instrument (laparoscope), looking for signs of endometrial tissue outside the uterus.

A laparoscopy can provide information about the location, extent and size of the endometrial implants to help determine the best treatment options. Your surgeon may take a tissue sample (biopsy) for further testing. Often, with proper surgical planning, your surgeon can fully treat endometriosis during the laparoscopy so that you only need one surgery.

Treatment for endometriosis usually involves medication or surgery. The approach you and your doctor choose will depend on how severe your signs and symptoms are and whether you hope to become pregnant.

Doctors typically recommend trying conservative treatment approaches first, opting for surgery if initial treatment fails.

Your doctor may recommend that you take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve, others), to help ease painful menstrual cramps.

If you find that taking the maximum dose of these medications doesn't provide full relief, you may need to try another approach to manage your signs and symptoms.

Supplemental hormones are sometimes effective in reducing or eliminating the pain of endometriosis. The rise and fall of hormones during the menstrual cycle causes endometrial implants to thicken, break down and bleed. Hormone medication may slow endometrial tissue growth and prevent new implants of endometrial tissue.

Hormone therapy isn't a permanent fix for endometriosis. You could experience a return of your symptoms after stopping treatment.

Therapies used to treat endometriosis include:

If you have endometriosis and are trying to become pregnant, surgery to remove the endometriosis implants while preserving your uterus and ovaries (conservative surgery) may increase your chances of success. If you have severe pain from endometriosis, you may also benefit from surgery however, endometriosis and pain may return.

Your doctor may do this procedure laparoscopically or, less commonly, through traditional abdominal surgery in more-extensive cases. Even in severe cases of endometriosis, most women can be treated with laparoscopic surgery.

In laparoscopic surgery, your surgeon inserts a slender viewing instrument (laparoscope) through a small incision near your navel and inserts instruments to remove endometrial tissue through another small incision. After surgery, your doctor may recommend taking hormone medication to help improve your pain.

Women with endometriosis can have trouble conceiving. If you're having difficulty getting pregnant, your doctor may recommend fertility treatment supervised by a fertility specialist. Fertility treatment ranges from stimulating your ovaries to make more eggs to in vitro fertilization. Which treatment is right for you depends on your personal situation.

Surgery to remove the uterus (hysterectomy) and ovaries (oophorectomy) was once considered the most effective treatment for endometriosis. But endometriosis experts are moving away from this approach, instead focusing on the careful and thorough removal of all endometriosis tissue.

Having your ovaries removed results in menopause. The lack of hormones produced by the ovaries may improve endometriosis pain for some women, but for others, endometriosis that remains after surgery continues to cause symptoms. Early menopause also carries a risk of heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) diseases, certain metabolic conditions and early death.

Even when the ovaries are left in place, a hysterectomy may still have a long-term effect on your health, especially if you have the surgery before age 35.

Finding a doctor with whom you feel comfortable is crucial in managing and treating endometriosis. You may want to get a second opinion before starting any treatment to be sure you know all of your options and the possible outcomes.

Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease.

If your pain persists or if finding a treatment that works takes some time, you can try measures at home to relieve your discomfort.

Some women report relief from endometriosis pain after acupuncture treatment. However, research is sparse on this or any other alternative treatment for endometriosis. If you're interested in pursuing this therapy in the hope that it could help you, ask your doctor to recommend a reputable acupuncturist. Check with your insurance company to see if the expense will be covered.

If you're dealing with endometriosis or its complications, you may want to consider joining a support group for women with endometriosis or fertility problems. Sometimes it helps simply to talk to other women who can relate to your feelings and experiences. If you can't find a support group in your community, look for one on the internet.

Your first appointment will likely be with either your primary care physician or a gynecologist. If you're seeking treatment for infertility, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in reproductive hormones and optimizing fertility (reproductive endocrinologist).

Because appointments can be brief, and it can be difficult to remember everything you want to discuss, it's a good idea to prepare in advance of your appointment.

For endometriosis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

Make sure that you understand everything your doctor tells you. Don't hesitate to ask your doctor to repeat information or to ask follow-up questions for clarification.

Some potential questions your doctor might ask include:

Excerpt from:
Endometriosis - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Somatic cell nuclear transfer – Wikipedia

In genetics and developmental biology, somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is a laboratory strategy for creating a viable embryo from a body cell and an egg cell. The technique consists of taking an enucleated oocyte (egg cell) and implanting a donor nucleus from a somatic (body) cell. It is used in both therapeutic and reproductive cloning. Dolly the Sheep became famous for being the first successful case of the reproductive cloning of a mammal.[1] In January 2018, a team of scientists in Shanghai announced the successful cloning of two female crab-eating macaques (named Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua) from fetal nuclei.[2] "Therapeutic cloning" refers to the potential use of SCNT in regenerative medicine; this approach has been championed as an answer to the many issues concerning embryonic stem cells (ESC) and the destruction of viable embryos for medical use, though questions remain on how homologous the two cell types truly are.

Somatic cell nuclear transfer is a technique for cloning in which the nucleus of a somatic cell is transferred to the cytoplasm of an enucleated egg. When this is done, the cytoplasmic factors affect the nucleus to become a zygote. The blastocyst stage is developed by the egg which helps to create embryonic stem cells from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst.[3] The first animal that was developed by this technique was Dolly, the sheep, in 1996.[4]

The process of somatic cell nuclear transplant involves two different cells. The first being a female gamete, known as the ovum (egg/oocyte). In human SCNT (Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer) experiments, these eggs are obtained through consenting donors, utilizing ovarian stimulation. The second being a somatic cell, referring to the cells of the human body. Skin cells, fat cells, and liver cells are only a few examples. The nucleus of the donor egg cell is removed and discarded, leaving it 'deprogrammed.' What is left is a somatic cell and an denucleated egg cell. These are then fused by inserting the somatic cell into the 'empty' ovum.[5] After being inserted into the egg, the somatic cell nucleus is reprogrammed by its host egg cell. The ovum, now containing the somatic cell's nucleus, is stimulated with a shock and will begin to divide. The egg is now viable and capable of producing an adult organism containing all the necessary genetic information from just one parent. Development will ensue normally and after many mitotic divisions, this single cell forms a blastocyst (an early stage embryo with about 100 cells) with an identical genome to the original organism (i.e. a clone).[6] Stem cells can then be obtained by the destruction of this clone embryo for use in therapeutic cloning or in the case of reproductive cloning the clone embryo is implanted into a host mother for further development and brought to term.

Somatic cell nuclear transplantation has become a focus of study in stem cell research. The aim of carrying out this procedure is to obtain pluripotent cells from a cloned embryo. These cells genetically matched the donor organism from which they came. This gives them the ability to create patient specific pluripotent cells, which could then be used in therapies or disease research.[7]

Embryonic stem cells are undifferentiated cells of an embryo. These cells are deemed to have a pluripotent potential because they have the ability to give rise to all of the tissues found in an adult organism. This ability allows stem cells to create any cell type, which could then be transplanted to replace damaged or destroyed cells. Controversy surrounds human ESC work due to the destruction of viable human embryos. Leading scientists to seek an alternative method of obtaining stem cells, SCNT is one such method.

A potential use of stem cells genetically matched to a patient would be to create cell lines that have genes linked to a patient's particular disease. By doing so, an in vitro model could be created, would be useful for studying that particular disease, potentially discovering its pathophysiology, and discovering therapies.[8] For example, if a person with Parkinson's disease donated his or her somatic cells, the stem cells resulting from SCNT would have genes that contribute to Parkinson's disease. The disease specific stem cell lines could then be studied in order to better understand the condition.[9]

Another application of SCNT stem cell research is using the patient specific stem cell lines to generate tissues or even organs for transplant into the specific patient.[10] The resulting cells would be genetically identical to the somatic cell donor, thus avoiding any complications from immune system rejection.[9][11]

Only a handful of the labs in the world are currently using SCNT techniques in human stem cell research. In the United States, scientists at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, the University of California San Francisco, the Oregon Health & Science University,[12] Stemagen (La Jolla, CA) and possibly Advanced Cell Technology are currently researching a technique to use somatic cell nuclear transfer to produce embryonic stem cells.[13] In the United Kingdom, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has granted permission to research groups at the Roslin Institute and the Newcastle Centre for Life.[14] SCNT may also be occurring in China.[15]

In 2005, a South Korean research team led by Professor Hwang Woo-suk, published claims to have derived stem cell lines via SCNT,[16] but supported those claims with fabricated data.[17] Recent evidence has proved that he in fact created a stem cell line from a parthenote.[18][19]

Though there has been numerous successes with cloning animals, questions remain concerning the mechanisms of reprogramming in the ovum. Despite many attempts, success in creating human nuclear transfer embryonic stem cells has been limited. There lies a problem in the human cell's ability to form a blastocyst; the cells fail to progress past the eight cell stage of development. This is thought to be a result from the somatic cell nucleus being unable to turn on embryonic genes crucial for proper development. These earlier experiments used procedures developed in non-primate animals with little success.

A research group from the Oregon Health & Science University demonstrated SCNT procedures developed for primates successfully using skin cells. The key to their success was utilizing oocytes in metaphase II (MII) of the cell cycle. Egg cells in MII contain special factors in the cytoplasm that have a special ability in reprogramming implanted somatic cell nuclei into cells with pluripotent states. When the ovum's nucleus is removed, the cell loses its genetic information. This has been blamed for why enucleated eggs are hampered in their reprogramming ability. It is theorized the critical embryonic genes are physically linked to oocyte chromosomes, enucleation negatively affects these factors. Another possibility is removing the egg nucleus or inserting the somatic nucleus causes damage to the cytoplast, affecting reprogramming ability.

Taking this into account the research group applied their new technique in an attempt to produce human SCNT stem cells. In May 2013, the Oregon group reported the successful derivation of human embryonic stem cell lines derived through SCNT, using fetal and infant donor cells. Using MII oocytes from volunteers and their improved SCNT procedure, human clone embryos were successfully produced. These embryos were of poor quality, lacking a substantial inner cell mass and poorly constructed trophectoderm. The imperfect embryos prevented the acquisition of human ESC. The addition of caffeine during the removal of the ovum's nucleus and injection of the somatic nucleus improved blastocyst formation and ESC isolation. The ESC obtain were found to be capable of producing teratomas, expressed pluripotent transcription factors, and expressed a normal 46XX karyotype, indicating these SCNT were in fact ESC-like.[12] This was the first instance of successfully using SCNT to reprogram human somatic cells. This study used fetal and infantile somatic cells to produce their ESC.

In April 2014, an international research team expanded on this break through. There remained the question of whether the same success could be accomplished using adult somatic cells. Epigenetic and age related changes were thought to possibly hinder an adult somatic cells ability to be reprogrammed. Implementing the procedure pioneered by the Oregon research group they indeed were able to grow stem cells generated by SCNT using adult cells from two donors aged 35 and 75, indicating that age does not impede a cell's ability to be reprogrammed.[20][21]

Late April 2014, the New York Stem Cell Foundation was successful in creating SCNT stem cells derived from adult somatic cells. One of these lines of stem cells was derived from the donor cells of a type 1 diabetic. The group was then able to successfully culture these stem cells and induce differentiation. When injected into mice, cells of all three of the germ layers successfully formed. The most significant of these cells, were those who expressed insulin and were capable of secreting the hormone.[22] These insulin producing cells could be used for replacement therapy in diabetics, demonstrating real SCNT stem cell therapeutic potential.

The impetus for SCNT-based stem cell research has been decreased by the development and improvement of alternative methods of generating stem cells. Methods to reprogram normal body cells into pluripotent stem cells were developed in humans in 2007. The following year, this method achieved a key goal of SCNT-based stem cell research: the derivation of pluripotent stem cell lines that have all genes linked to various diseases.[23] Some scientists working on SCNT-based stem cell research have recently moved to the new methods of induced pluripotent stem cells. Though recent studies have put in question how similar iPS cells are to embryonic stem cells. Epigenetic memory in iPS affects the cell lineage it can differentiate into. For instance, an iPS cell derived from a blood cell will be more efficient at differentiating into blood cells, while it will be less efficient at creating a neuron.[24] This raises the question of how well iPS cells can mimic the gold standard ESC in experiments, as stem cells are defined as having the ability to differentiate into any cell type. SCNT stem cells do not pose such a problem and continue to remain relevant in stem cell studies.

This technique is currently the basis for cloning animals (such as the famous Dolly the sheep),[25] and has been theoretically proposed as a possible way to clone humans. Using SCNT in reproductive cloning has proven difficult with limited success. High fetal and neonatal death make the process very inefficient. Resulting cloned offspring are also plagued with development and imprinting disorders in non-human species. For these reasons, along with moral and ethical objections, reproductive cloning in humans is proscribed in more than 30 countries.[26] Most researchers believe that in the foreseeable future it will not be possible to use the current cloning technique to produce a human clone that will develop to term. It remains a possibility, though critical adjustments will be required to overcome current limitations during early embryonic development in human SCNT.[27][28]

There is also the potential for treating diseases associated with mutations in mitochondrial DNA. Recent studies show SCNT of the nucleus of a body cell afflicted with one of these diseases into a healthy oocyte prevents the inheritance of the mitochondrial disease. This treatment does not involve cloning but would produce a child with three genetic parents. A father providing a sperm cell, one mother providing the egg nucleus, and another mother providing the enucleated egg cell.[10]

In 2018, the first successful cloning of primates using somatic cell nuclear transfer, the same method as Dolly the sheep, with the birth of two live female clones (crab-eating macaques named Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua) was reported.[2][29][30][31][32]

Interspecies nuclear transfer (iSCNT) is a means of somatic cell nuclear transfer used to facilitate the rescue of endangered species, or even to restore species after their extinction. The technique is similar to SCNT cloning which typically is between domestic animals and rodents, or where there is a ready supply of oocytes and surrogate animals. However, the cloning of highly endangered or extinct species requires the use of an alternative method of cloning. Interspecies nuclear transfer utilizes a host and a donor of two different organisms that are closely related species and within the same genus. In 2000, Robert Lanza was able to produce a cloned fetus of a gaur, Bos gaurus, combining it successfully with a domestic cow, Bos taurus.[33]

Interspecies nuclear transfer provides evidence of the universality of the triggering mechanism of the cell nucleus reprogramming. For example, Gupta et al.,[34] explored the possibility of producing transgenic cloned embryos by interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer (iSCNT) of cattle, mice, and chicken donor cells into enucleated pig oocytes. Moreover, NCSU23 medium, which was designed for in vitro culture of pig embryos, was able to support the in vitro development of cattle, mice, and chicken iSCNT embryos up to the blastocyst stage. Furthermore, ovine oocyte cytoplast may be used for remodeling and reprogramming of human somatic cells back to the embryonic stage.[35]

SCNT can be inefficient. Stresses placed on both the egg cell and the introduced nucleus in early research were enormous, resulting in a low percentage of successfully reprogrammed cells. For example, in 1996 Dolly the sheep was born after 277 eggs were used for SCNT, which created 29 viable embryos. Only three of these embryos survived until birth, and only one survived to adulthood.[25] As the procedure was not automated, but had to be performed manually under a microscope, SCNT was very resource intensive. The biochemistry involved in reprogramming the differentiated somatic cell nucleus and activating the recipient egg was also far from understood. However, by 2014, researchers were reporting success rates of 70-80% with cloning pigs[36] and in 2016 a Korean company, Sooam Biotech, was reported to be producing 500 cloned embryos a day.[37]

In SCNT, not all of the donor cell's genetic information is transferred, as the donor cell's mitochondria that contain their own mitochondrial DNA are left behind. The resulting hybrid cells retain those mitochondrial structures which originally belonged to the egg. As a consequence, clones such as Dolly that are born from SCNT are not perfect copies of the donor of the nucleus. This fact may also hamper the potential benefits of SCNT-derived tissues and organs for therapy, as there may be an immunoresponse to the non-self mtDNA after transplant.

Proposals to use nucleus transfer techniques in human stem cell research raise a set of concerns beyond the moral status of any created embryo. These have led to some individuals and organizations who are not opposed to human embryonic stem cell research to be concerned about, or opposed to, SCNT research.[38][39][40]

One concern is that blastula creation in SCNT-based human stem cell research will lead to the reproductive cloning of humans. Both processes use the same first step: the creation of a nuclear transferred embryo, most likely via SCNT. Those who hold this concern often advocate for strong regulation of SCNT to preclude implantation of any derived products for the intention of human reproduction,[41] or its prohibition.[38]

A second important concern is the appropriate source of the eggs that are needed. SCNT requires human egg cells, which can only be obtained from women. The most common source of these eggs today are eggs that are produced and in excess of the clinical need during IVF treatment. This is a minimally invasive procedure, but it does carry some health risks, such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.

One vision for successful stem cell therapies is to create custom stem cell lines for patients. Each custom stem cell line would consist of a collection of identical stem cells each carrying the patient's own DNA, thus reducing or eliminating any problems with rejection when the stem cells were transplanted for treatment. For example, to treat a man with Parkinson's disease, a cell nucleus from one of his cells would be transplanted by SCNT into an egg cell from an egg donor, creating a unique lineage of stem cells almost identical to the patient's own cells. (There would be differences. For example, the mitochondrial DNA would be the same as that of the egg donor. In comparison, his own cells would carry the mitochondrial DNA of his mother.)

Potentially millions of patients could benefit from stem cell therapy, and each patient would require a large number of donated eggs in order to successfully create a single custom therapeutic stem cell line. Such large numbers of donated eggs would exceed the number of eggs currently left over and available from couples trying to have children through assisted reproductive technology. Therefore, healthy young women would need to be induced to sell eggs to be used in the creation of custom stem cell lines that could then be purchased by the medical industry and sold to patients. It is so far unclear where all these eggs would come from.

Stem cell experts consider it unlikely that such large numbers of human egg donations would occur in a developed country because of the unknown long-term public health effects of treating large numbers of healthy young women with heavy doses of hormones in order to induce hyperovulation (ovulating several eggs at once). Although such treatments have been performed for several decades now, the long-term effects have not been studied or declared safe to use on a large scale on otherwise healthy women. Longer-term treatments with much lower doses of hormones are known to increase the rate of cancer decades later. Whether hormone treatments to induce hyperovulation could have similar effects is unknown. There are also ethical questions surrounding paying for eggs. In general, marketing body parts is considered unethical and is banned in most countries. Human eggs have been a notable exception to this rule for some time.

To address the problem of creating a human egg market, some stem cell researchers are investigating the possibility of creating artificial eggs. If successful, human egg donations would not be needed to create custom stem cell lines. However, this technology may be a long way off.

SCNT involving human cells is currently legal for research purposes in the United Kingdom, having been incorporated into the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990.[42][5] Permission must be obtained from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority in order to perform or attempt SCNT.

In the United States, the practice remains legal, as it has not been addressed by federal law.[43] However, in 2002, a moratorium on United States federal funding for SCNT prohibits funding the practice for the purposes of research. Thus, though legal, SCNT cannot be federally funded.[44] American scholars have recently argued that because the product of SCNT is a clone embryo, rather than a human embryo, these policies are morally wrong and should be revised.[45]

In 2003, the United Nations adopted a proposal submitted by Costa Rica, calling on member states to "prohibit all forms of human cloning in as much as they are incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life."[46] This phrase may include SCNT, depending on interpretation.

The Council of Europe's Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine and its Additional Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine, on the Prohibition of Cloning Human Being appear to ban SCNT of human beings. Of the Council's 45 member states, the Convention has been signed by 31 and ratified by 18. The Additional Protocol has been signed by 29 member nations and ratified by 14.[47]

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Somatic cell nuclear transfer - Wikipedia

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Parkinson’s Glossary: The Michael J. Fox Foundation …

Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors

A class of drugs used to treat mild to moderate dementia in Parkinson's disease. These drugs increase brain levels of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which helps neurons communicate with each other and is involved in memory, learning and thinking.

See also: dementia

Adult stem cells

Aggregate

A clumping of proteins inside cell bodies in the brain, which may be toxic. Aggregation of the protein alpha-synuclein is found in Lewy bodies, a pathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease.

See also: alpha-synuclein, Lewy bodies

Agonist

A chemical that binds to a receptor on a cell and triggers a response by that cell.

See also: dopamine agonist

Akinesia

Inability to move ("freezing") or difficulty in initiating or maintaining a body motion. From the Greek a, without, and kinesia, movement.

See also: freezing

Alpha-synuclein

A protein normally found in neurons, and present in high concentrations in Lewy bodies. A genetic mutation in this protein is the basis for a rare inherited form of Parkinson's disease. For more information see alpha-synuclein as a priority area.

See also: aggregate

Animal models

Normal animals modified mechanically, genetically or chemically, used to demonstrate all or part of the characteristics of a disease. With models, researchers can study the mechanisms of a disease and test therapies. Also known as preclinical models.

Anticholinergic

A class of drugs often effective in reducing the tremor of Parkinson's disease. They work by blocking the action of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter in the brain. However, because acetylcholine is involved in memory, learning and thinking, anticholinergic drugs can bring about cognitive side effects including confusion or dementia.

See also: dementia

Antioxidant

A chemical compound or substance that inhibits oxidation - damage to cells' membranes, proteins or genetic material by free radicals (the same chemical reaction that causes iron to rust). Some studies have linked oxidative damage to Parkinson's disease.

Antiparkinsonian medication

A medicine used to treat Parkinson's disease. For more information see what patients on our Patient Council have to share on the topic of medication.

Ataxia

A movement disorder marked by loss of balance and decreased muscle coordination during voluntary movements.

Athetosis

A movement disorder sometimes confused with Parkinson's disease that manifests in low, repetitive, involuntary, writhing movements of the arms, legs, hands, and neck that are often especially severe in the fingers and hands.

Autonomic dysfunction

Any problem with the functioning of the autonomic nervous system, which controls unconscious body functions that affect the bladder, bowels, sweating, sexual function and blood pressure.

Basal ganglia

A region deep within the brain consisting of large clusters of neurons responsible for voluntary movements such as walking and movement coordination. Many of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease are brought on by loss of or damage to dopamine neurons in this region, which encompasses the striatum, the subthalamic nucleus, and the substantia nigra.

See also: dopamine, neuron, striatum, subthalamic nucleus, substantia nigra

Bilateral surgery

Surgery performed on both sides of the brain.

Biomarkers

Specific, measurable physical traits used to determine or indicate the effects or progress of a disease or condition. For example, high blood pressure is a biomarker of potential cardiovascular disease. No validated biomarker of Parkinson's disease currently exists.

Blood-brain barrier

A thin layer of tightly packed cells separating the central nervous system from the body's blood stream. This layer is crucial to protecting the brain from foreign substances, but also blocks some potentially therapeutic treatments from entering the brain via orally administered drugs.

Bradykinesia

One of the cardinal clinical features of Parkinson's disease, the slowing down and loss of spontaneous and voluntary movement. From the Greek brady, slow, and kinesia, movement.

Cell replacement therapy

A strategy aiming to replace cells damaged or lost by disease or injury with healthy new cells. Cell replacement in Parkinson's aims to replace with new cells the dopamine-producing cells in the brain that are progressively lost through Parkinsons's disease. For more information see the MJFF Viewpoint on Cell Replacement Therapy for more information.

Central nervous system

Central nervous system (CNS) is a term referring to the brain and spinal cord.

See also: CNS

Chorea

A general term for movement disorders that can be confused with Parkinson's disease, which are characterized by involuntary, random, jerking movements of muscles in the body, face, or extremities.

Clinical trials

Organized medical studies that test the effectiveness of various treatments, such as drugs or surgery, in human beings.

CNS

Abbreviation for "Central Nervous System," a term referring to the brain and spinal cord.

See also: Central nervous system

Coenzyme Q10

The most common form of Coenzyme Q, a vitamin-like antioxidant. Results of the first placebo-controlled, multicenter clinical trial of the compound, published in October 2002, suggested that it might slow disease progression in patients with early-stage Parkinson's disease. The results have yet to be confirmed in a larger study.

Cognitive dysfunction

The loss of intellectual functions (such as thinking, remembering, and reasoning) of sufficient severity to interfere with daily functioning. The term cognitive dysfunction includes dementia and executive dysfunction, and may also encompass changes in personality, mood, and behavior. Cognitive dysfunction in Parkinson's disease typically does not respond to dopamine replacement therapy and ranges from mild impairment to dementia.

See also: dementia, executive dysfunction, mild cognitive impairment

Compulsions

Irresistible impulses to act, regardless of the rationality of the motivation, or acts performed in response to such impulses. Some compulsive behaviors, such as compulsive gambling, hypersexuality, binge eating and shopping, have been associated with dopamine agonists used to treat Parkinson's disease, though this association has not been conclusively established.

COMT inhibitor

A drug that blocks an enzyme (catchol-O-methyltransferase) that breaks down dopamine. COMT inhibitors include entacapone and tolcapone. Tolcapone has been known to cause serious liver problems and has been withdrawn from the Canadian and European markets.

See also: enzyme, dopamine

Creatine

A naturally occurring amino acid that helps to supply energy to muscle cells. A preliminary clinical trial in 200 Parkinson's patients, published in February 2006, suggested that creatine may slow the progression of PD and may therefore merit additional study. A much larger study is underway to further evaluate the potential neuroprotective effects of creatine.

CT scan

CT (Computed Tomography) scan is a technique that uses a series of X-rays to create image "slices" of the body from different orientations to create a two-dimensional cross sectional images of the body. Sometimes called CAT scan, for Cmputed Axial Tomography.

See also: imaging

DBS

Deep brain stimulation

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is a surgical procedure that uses a surgically implanted, battery-operated medical device called a neurostimulator - similar to a heart pacemaker and approximately the size of a stopwatch - to deliver electrical stimulation to targeted areas in the brain that control movement, blocking the abnormal nerve signals that cause tremor and PD symptoms. At present, the procedure is used primarily for patients whose symptoms cannot be satisfactorily controlled with medications. For more information see what patients on our Patient Council have to share on the topic of DBS and late stage treatments.

See also: pallidotomy, surgical therapies, thalamotomy

Dementia

A decline in memory and/or intellectual functioning severe enough to interfere with social or occupational functioning. Some Parkinson's patients experience dementia, generally at later stages of disease progression. This symptom does not typically respond to dopamine replacement therapy.

See also: cognitive dysfunction, executive dysfunction

Depression

A mental state, and non-dopamine-responsive symptom of Parkinson's disease, characterized by feelings of despondency and a lack of ability to initiate activity. For more information see what patients on our Patient Council have to share on the topic of emotion.

See also: cognitive dysfunction

Developmental biology

The study of the process by which organisms grow and develop. Developmental biology studies in Parkinson's disease hold potential to identify therapeutic targets and new cell replacement strategies.

Diagnosis

Identification or naming of a disease by its signs and symptoms.

Disequilibrium

DJ-1

A gene of unknown function implicated in rare inherited cases of Parkinson's disease.

Dopamine

A neurotransmitter chemical produced in the brain that helps control movement, balance, and walking. Lack of dopamine is the primary cause of Parkinson's motor symptoms.

Dopamine agonist

A class of drugs commonly prescribed in Parkinson's disease that bind to dopamine receptors and mimic dopamine's actions in the brain. Dopamine agonists stimulate dopamine receptors and produce dopamine-like effects.

Dopamine-non-responsive

Dysarthria

Dyskinesia

Involuntary, uncontrollable, and often excessive movements that are a common side effect of levodopa treatment for Parkinson's disease. These movements can be lurching, dance-like or jerky, and are distinct from the rhythmic tremor commonly associated with Parkinson's disease. For more information see what patients on our Patient Council have to share on the topic of dyskinesia and dystonia.

Dysphagia

Difficulty swallowing. A common problem in Parkinson's that increases the risk of inhaling food or liquids into the airways, which in its later stages can lead to a condition known as "aspiration pneumonia."

See also: dopamine-non-responsive

Dystonia

A movement disorder that may be confused with Parkinson's disease. Dystonia is characterized by abnormal and awkward posture or sustained movements of a hand, foot, or other part of the body; may be accompanied by rigidity and twisting. For more information see what patients on our Patient Council have to share on the topic of dyskinesia and dystonia.

Embryonic stem cells

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Parkinson's Glossary: The Michael J. Fox Foundation ...

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Cellular Therapies Section Subsections – AABB

Groups called subsections allow members of the CT Section to focus on specific topic areas. Subsections work to identify challenges and develop materials to meet the needs of the field. Section participation is open to all AABB individual members who may enroll in any subsection(s) they choose.

CT Spanish LanguageCord BloodCT Asia Pacific GroupCT ManagementCT Product Collection and Clinical PracticesCT Product Manufacturing and TestingCT Quality OperationsCT Regulatory AffairsNovel Therapies and CT Product Development

This group is for Spanish-speaking members or those members located in Spanish-speaking regions. Members will be able to join live discussions and participate with fellow SLS members in regular subsection meetings held at 'convenient' times for the zones encompassed in the Latin America region. The SLS will address CT issues related to cord blood; donor qualification; manufacturing; storage and transport challenges; quality operations; regulatory issues; and development. The group will also address specific regional issues for developing programs. All interested individual AABB members who speak Spanish and would like to share their CT interests, insights and expertise in may join. (Meets 3rd Wednesdays at 10:00am ETmonthly)

La Subseccin en Espaol (SLS) ofrece a todos sus miembros la oportunidad de conocer e interconectarse con otros profesionales hispanohablantes. Los miembros pueden formar parte de discusiones estimulantes con otros colegas de la subseccin durante las reuniones regulares. Los convenientes horarios de estas reuniones han sido establecidos para acomodar a miembros localizados en Latinoamrica. El SLS abarcar temas de Terapia Celular (CT) relacionados con cordn umbilical; requisitos para donacin de productos celulares; retos en la manufactura, almacenamiento y transporte de productos de terapia celular; operaciones de calidad y temas especficos para el desarrollo de otros programas regionales. Todos los miembros hispanohablantes de AABB que deseen compartir sus intereses, visiones y experiencias pueden ser parte de esta subseccin. (Se rene el tercer mircoles de cada mes a las 10:00 am ET)

This group works on topics such as donor issues for public banking (recruitment, consent, screening/testing), manufacturing, storage and transport challenges, licensure, international issues, and private and family banking issues. (Meets 1st Thursdays at 1:00pm ET monthly)

For members located in the Asia-Pacific region, a designated group called the Asia Pacific Group or APG is available. Members will be able to join live discussions and directly participate with fellow APG members in regular subsection meetings held at 'convenient' times for the zones encompassed in this region. Countries in the region include Australia, China, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

CT issues related to cord blood, donor qualification, manufacturing, storage and transport challenges, as well as quality operations, regulatory, development and specific regional issues will be addressed. The APG meeting time is tailored to those in the Asia-Pacific; however, all interested individual AABB members who would like to share their CT interests, insights and expertise may join. (Meets 2nd Wednesdays, monthly at 0400 UTC coordinated universal time)

This group works on topics such as reimbursement issues (Centers for Medicare/Medicaid (CMS), Food and Drug Administration (FDA)), funding sources for cell therapy development and clinical trials - federal and other public sources, venture capital, charitable donations (disease advocacy groups), as well as the administrative business (e.g. budgets, human resources , workload recording, cost accounting, job descriptions, staffing models, personnel management/project management, strategic planning, Lean/process engineering tools, expense reduction initiatives and cost containment) of cell therapy production. (Meets 2nd Tuesdays at 12:00pm ET bimonthly)

This group focuses primarily on clinical topics associated with the collection, transport, utilization and outcomes of cellular therapy products obtained from peripheral blood by apheresis, bone marrow, cord blood and other sources by the use of new technologies. Clinical topics include donor and recipient screening, eligibility, mobilization and collection, informed consent, product administration and infusion-related adverse events. (Meets 2nd Mondays at 1:00pm ET monthly)

This group works on technical topics and operational aspects related to the manufacturing and testing of CT products such as cryopreservation, cell separation and selection, automation, product characterization, assay development, validation and implementation. (Meets 3rd Thursdays at 11:00am ET monthly)

This group works on topics such as Quality Program design, risk assessment and risk management, vendor and supply qualification, facility, environmental and operational controls. (Meets 3rd Thursdays at 2:00pm ET monthly)

This group works on US and international topics involving regulations, guidance and policies from a variety of sources. Examples include FDA, Health Canada, European Medicine Evaluation Agency (EMEA), Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), NIH, Regulatory Affairs Certification (RAC), and Health Resources and Services Agency (HRSA). (Meets3rd Tuesdays at 11:00am ET monthly)

This group works on topics such as 'new' research and preclinical studies, new devices for manipulating cells as well as later-stage cellular product development, validation, and technology transfer for clinical production. Examples include developments in the areas of induced pluripotent cells (iPS cells), tissue-derived cells, genetic engineering, structural materials, and biomaterials to name a few. (Meets 2nd Thursdays at 12:00pm ET monthly)

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Cellular Therapies Section Subsections - AABB

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Male Y chromosomes not ‘genetic wastelands’ : NewsCenter

February 6, 2019

When researchers say they have sequenced the human genome, there is a caveat to this statement: a lot of the human genome is sequenced and assembled, but there are regions that are full of repetitive elements, making them difficult to map. One piece that is notoriously difficult to sequence is the Y chromosome.

Now, researchers from the University of Rochester have found a way to sequence a large portion of the Y chromosome in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogasterthe most that the Y chromosome has been assembled in fruit flies. The research, published in the journal GENETICS, provides new insights into the processes that shape the Y chromosome, and adds to the evidence that, far from a genetic wasteland, Y chromosomes are highly dynamic and have mechanisms to acquire and maintain genes, says Amanda Larracuente, an assistant professor of biology at Rochester.

Y chromosomes are sex chromosomes in males that are transmitted from father to son; they can be important for male fertility and sex determination in many species. Even though fruit fly and mammalian Y chromosomes have different evolutionary origins, they have parallel genome structures, says Larracuente, who co-authored the paper with her PhD student Ching-Ho Chang. Drosophila melanogaster is a premier model organism for genetics and genomics, and has perhaps the best genome assembly of any animal. Despite these resources, we know very little about the organization of the Drosophila Y chromosome because most of it is missing from the genome assembly.

Thats in part because most Y chromosomes do not undergo standard recombination. Typically, genes from the mother and father are shuffledor, cross overto produce a genetic combination unique to each offspring. But the Y chromosome does not undergo crossing over, and, as a result, its genes tend to degenerate, while repetitive DNA sequences accumulate.

Each chromosome is made up of DNA. When mapping a genome, traditional sequencing methods chop up strands of DNA and reador sequencethem, then try to infer the order of those sequences and assemble them back together.

But, there is a difference between sequencing a genome and assembling a genome, Larracuente says. There are so many repetitive strands on the Y chromosome that the pieces tend to look the same. It is difficult, therefore, to figure out where they come from and how to reassemble the strandslike trying to put together a puzzle when all of the pieces are exactly the same color. When we try to take those bits of DNA and assemble them to see what the chromosome looks like, we cant fill in some of those gaps. We might have the sequence, but we dont know where it goes.

Using sequence data generated by new technology that reads long strands of individual DNA molecules, Chang and Larracuente developed a strategy to assemble a large part of the Y chromosome and other repeat-dense regions. By assembling a large portion of the Y chromosome, they discovered that the Y chromosome has a lot of duplicated sequences, where genes are present in multiple copies. They also discovered that although the Y chromosome does not experience crossing over, it undergoes a different type of recombination called gene conversion. While crossing over involves the shuffle and exchange of genes between two different chromosomes, gene conversion is not reciprocal, Larracuente says. You dont have two chromosomes that exchange material, you have one chromosome that donates its sequence to the other part of the chromosome and the sequences become identical.

The Y chromosome has therefore found a way to maintain its genes via a process different from crossing over, Larracuente says. We usually think of the Y chromosome as a really harsh environment for a gene to survive in, yet these genes manage to get expressed and carry out their functions that are important for male fertility. This rampant gene conversion that were seeing is one way that we think genes might be able to survive on Y chromosomes.

Tags: Amanda Larracuente, Arts and Sciences, Department of Biology, genetics, research finding

Category: Science & Technology

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Male Y chromosomes not 'genetic wastelands' : NewsCenter

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Male Pattern Baldness: Causes, Identification, and Prevention

Male pattern baldness, also called androgenic alopecia, is the most common type of hair loss in men. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), more than 50 percent of all men over the age of 50 will be affected by male pattern baldness to some extent.

One cause of male pattern baldness is genetics, or having a family history of baldness. Research has found that male pattern baldness is associated with male sex hormones called androgens. The androgens have many functions, including regulating hair growth.

Each hair on your head has a growth cycle. With male pattern baldness, this growth cycle begins to weaken and the hair follicle shrinks, producing shorter and finer strands of hair. Eventually, the growth cycle for each hair ends and no new hair grows in its place.

Inherited male pattern baldness usually has no side effects. However, sometimes baldness has more serious causes, such as certain cancers, medications, thyroid conditions, and anabolic steroids. See your doctor if hair loss occurs after taking new medications or when its accompanied by other health complaints.

Doctors use the pattern of hair loss to diagnose male pattern baldness. They may perform a medical history and exam to rule out certain health conditions as the cause, such as fungal conditions of the scalp or nutritional disorders.

Health conditions may be a cause of baldness when a rash, redness, pain, peeling of the scalp, hair breakage, patchy hair loss, or an unusual pattern of hair loss accompanies the hair loss. A skin biopsy and blood tests also may be necessary to diagnose disorders responsible for the hair loss.

Male pattern baldness can begin in your teenage years, but it more commonly occurs in adult men, with the likelihood increasing with age. Genetics plays a big role. Men who have close relatives with male pattern baldness are at a higher risk. This is particularly true when their relatives are on the maternal side of the family.

If your hair loss begins at the temples or the crown of the head, you may have male pattern baldness. Some men will get a single bald spot. Others experience their hairlines receding to form an M shape. In some men, the hairline will continue to recede until all or most of the hair is gone.

Medical treatment isnt necessary if other health conditions arent a cause. However, treatments are available for men who are unhappy with the way they look and would like the appearance of a fuller head of hair.

Men with limited hair loss can sometimes hide hair loss with the right haircut or hairstyle. Ask your hairstylist for a creative cut that will make thinning hair look fuller.

Wigs can cover thinning hair, receding hairlines, and complete baldness. They come in a variety of styles, colors, and textures. For a natural look, choose wig colors, styles, and textures that look similar to your original hair. Professional wig stylists can help style and fit wigs for an even more natural look.

Hair weaves are wigs that are sewn into your natural hair. You must have enough hair to sew the weave into. The advantage to weaves is they always stay on, even during activities such as swimming, showering, and sleeping. The disadvantages are they must be sewn again whenever new hair growth occurs, and the sewing process can damage your natural hair.

Minoxidil (Rogaine) is a topical medication applied to the scalp. Minoxidil slows hair loss for some men and stimulates the hair follicles to grow new hair. Minoxidil takes four months to one year to produce visible results. Hair loss often happens again when you stop taking the medication.

Possible side effects associated with minoxidil include dryness, irritation, burning, and scaling of the scalp. You should visit the doctor immediately if you have any of these serious side effects:

Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar) is an oral medication that slows hair loss in some men. It works by blocking the production of the male hormone responsible for hair loss. Finasteride has a higher success rate than minoxidil. When you stop taking finasteride, your hair loss returns.

You must take finasteride for three months to one year before you see results. If no hair growth occurs after one year, your doctor will likely recommend that you stop taking the medication. The side effects of finasteride include:

Although its rare, finasteride can cause breast cancer. You should have any breast pain or lumps evaluated by a doctor immediately.

Finasteride may affect prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests used to screen for prostate cancer. The medication lowers PSA levels, which causes lower-than-normal readings. Any rise in PSA levels when taking finasteride should be evaluated for prostate cancer.

A hair transplant is the most invasive and expensive treatment for hair loss. Hair transplants work by removing hair from areas of the scalp that have active hair growth and transplanting them to thinning or balding areas of your scalp.

Multiple treatments are often necessary, and the procedure carries the risk of scarring and infection. The advantages of a hair transplant are that it looks more natural and its permanent.

Going bald can be a big change. You may have trouble accepting your appearance. You should seek counseling if you experience anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, or other emotional problems because of male pattern baldness.

Theres no known way to prevent male pattern baldness. A theory is that stress may cause hair loss by increasing the production levels of sex hormones in the body. You can reduce stress by participating in relaxing activities, such as walking, listening to calming music, and enjoying more quiet time.

More here:
Male Pattern Baldness: Causes, Identification, and Prevention

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Cardiac Psychiatry Research Program – Massachusetts …

Jeff Huffman, MD,is the Director of the Cardiac Psychiatry Research Program (CPRP), Director of Inpatient Psychiatry Research, and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He currently serves as principal investigator for over ten projects, and has been awarded grants from the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, the Templeton Foundation, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health (NHLBI and NIDDK). He has numerous peer-reviewed publications, including 100 first or senior author publications. He has mentored post doctoral psychology fellows, junior psychiatrist and psychologist faculty, medical students, psychiatry residents, research fellows, psychologists, social workers, and he received the 2015 Mass General Psychiatry Outstanding Research Mentor Award. His areas of interest include the impact of psychiatric illness on patients with cardiac disease, and the development and use of positive psychological interventions in a wide range of populations.

Christopher Celano, MD,is an attending psychiatrist at Mass General, an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and the Associate Director of the CPRP. He is the recipient of a K23 career development award sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to develop a psychological intervention to improve health behaviors in patients with heart failure. He has published over 35 articles with the team, is an active co-investigator on several projects, and serves as the project director of health behavior trials in patients with coronary artery disease and diabetes. His areas of interest include the impact of depression and anxiety on cardiac health as well as the promotion of positive psychological states and health behaviors in patients with mental illness and cardiovascular disease.

Scott Beach, MD,is an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is Program Director for the Mass General/McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency and an attending psychiatrist on the consultation service at Mass General. He is currently PI of a study investigating neuroimaging and gene expression in patients with catatonia prior to and following lysis with lorazepam, and an active co-investigator on multiple projects. He has published over 50 book chapters and peer-reviewed articles on topics including QTc prolongation with psychotropic medications, catatonia, and deception syndromes.

James Januzzi, MD,is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Harvard Medical School, and the Director of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Mass General. He is a well-established researcher at Mass General with over 300 peer-reviewed research publications, over 100 review articles and chapters, and has edited three text books. He is internationally known as an expert in the study of biomarkers in patients with heart failure and other cardiac illnesses, and has served as a section editor on the recent American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical practice guidelines for heart failure, and was the lead for the heart failure section for the Universal Definition of Myocardial Infarction Global Task Force. He has served as the primary cardiologist on projects for the CPRP for the past nine years, including collaborative care depression and anxiety management trials in hospitalized cardiac patients, and studies of positive psychological states in persons with heart disease.

Laura Duque, MD, is a research fellow at the CPRP. Her areas of interest include Consultation Liaison Psychiatry, catatonia, and mood disorders. She is primarily interested in studying the relationship between mental health and chronic diseases. Currently, she is in charge of medical data collection and participant screening for a study on a collaborative care intervention for cardiac inpatients with psychiatric comorbidities, as well as for four positive psychology interventions for individuals with acute coronary syndrome, diabetes, heart failure, and metabolic syndrome. She graduated from Universidad de los Andes School of Medicine in Bogot, Colombia and intends to apply for residency training in psychiatry this upcoming year.

Perla M. Romero, MD is a research fellow at the CPRP. She was born and raised in Bogot, Colombia, where she also attended Universidad de los Andes School of Medicine. During her studies, she was involved in several research projects, including an original investigation analyzing the association between armed conflict, violence and mental health. Her main interests include human behavior, neuroscience and mental health. Perla's main goal is to pursue a psychiatry training in the US, and intends to pursue an academic career dedicated to this specialty.

Juan Pablo Ospina, MD, is a research fellow at the CPRP. He graduated from Universidad de los Andes school of Medicine in Bogot, Colombia. He is interested in the intersection of Neurology and Psychiatry and in studying mind-brain-body interactions. At the CPRP, he oversees subject screening and medical data collection for several randomized clinical trials studying the impact of positive psychology and blended care interventions in patients with medical conditions including acute coronary syndrome, heart failure, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Likewise, he contributes to the presentation of study findings in publications and poster sessions. In the future, he intends to apply to Neurology residency training.

Franklin King, MD, is an attending psychiatrist at Mass General and an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He joined the CPRP in 2018, after completing a fellowship in consult-liaison psychiatry at Mass General in 2018 and residency at MGH/McLean in 2017, where he also served as consult-liaison chief resident during his fourth year. He graduated from UMass Medical School in 2013. His clinical interests include disorders at the intersection of medicine and psychiatry, the mind-body interface, and neuropsychiatry.

Carol Mastromauro, MSW, LICSW, is one of the interventionists for the CPRP. She is a clinical research social worker who has been with the team for seven years. Carol specializes in anxiety and depression treatment and positive psychology interventions for cardiac populations. She has administered interventions to more than 200 subjects during her time at the CPRP, and recruited and evaluated over 350 cardiac inpatients for the SUCCEED and MOSAIC studies. Prior to joining the CPRP, Carol worked in geriatric research on memory disorders as well as working with Huntingtons disease patients and their families.

Rachel Millstein, PhD, MHS, is a clinical psychologist at Mass General and Assistant in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is the recipient of a National Institutes of Health K23 award to develop a multilevel intervention to promote health behaviors among patients with metabolic syndrome. Her research focuses on chronic disease prevention and the intersection of emotions and health. Rachel has authored many peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in these fields. Her clinical interests include evidence-based therapies, positive psychology, and mindfulness techniques for improving mood, anxiety, and well-being.

Emily Feig, PhD, is a research and clinical postdoctoral psychology fellow in her second year with the CPRP. She completed her doctoral training in clinical psychology at Drexel University and her doctoral internship in Health Psychology at Rush University Medical Center. Emily is an interventionist on the BEHOLD study. Her research interests focus on understanding risk factors for obesity and eating disorders, as well as improving adherence to health behaviors in individuals with obesity-related chronic disease. Clinically, Emily specializes in cognitive behavioral and acceptance-based therapies targeting anxiety, depression, and disordered eating.

Christina Massey, PhD, is a clinical psychologist at Mass General and Instructor at Harvard Medical School in her first year with the CPRP. She completed her doctoral training in clinical psychology with a specialization in forensic psychology at The Graduate Center, CUNY at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and her doctoral internship at Mass General. Christina is currently an interventionist on the BEHOLD study. Her clinical and research interests include evidence-based treatments, diagnostic and forensic assessment and evaluation, and investigating the long-term consequences (including resilience) of childhood adversity.

Wei-Jean Chung, PhD, is a clinical psychologist at Mass General and Instructor at Harvard Medical School. She received her doctoral training in clinical psychology at Adelphi University prior to completing her doctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Mass General. She is currently an interventionist for the PEACE and BEHOLD Studies at the CPRP. In addition to her involvement with the CPRP, her clinical practice involves caring for people with serious mental illness and complex personality organization across multiple clinical services within Mass General Psychiatry, including Primary Care Psychiatry, the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Team, the Psychological Evaluation and Research Laboratory, and the Mass General inpatient psychiatry service.

Lydia Brown, PhD, is a psychologist and postdoctoral researcher with an interest in links between positive emotional/cognitive qualities and health. She completed her PhD and clinical training at The University of Melbourne, Australia, where she continues to hold a joint academic position. She has a particular interest in self-compassion, as well as novel interventions that might simultaneously boost both mental and physical health in the second half of life.

Margaret C. Bell, RN, MPH, MS, works as a nurse care manager in the CPRPs Total Health Study, a blended care intervention trial for patients with comorbid heart disease and mood or anxiety disorders. She is a registered nurse with a masters degree in psychiatric nursing from Boston College in 1994. Her work at Boston College included publications on Russian immigrant adjustment, effect of post-partum depression on mother-child interaction and domestic violence in pregnant women. She has worked in health care in Jerusalem, Amsterdam, New York, New Hampshire and Boston as a public health nurse, student health nurse, and psychiatric nurse. For the last 20 years she has monitored and managed NIH multi-site research trials in hepatology and cardiac research.

Beth Pino-Mauch, RN, BSN, works as a nurse care manager in the CPRPs Total Health Study, a blended care intervention trial for patients with comorbid heart disease and mood or anxiety disorders. Beth graduated from Boston College in 1983. She has worked as a cardiac and critical care nurse for over 15 years. Beth has also worked for a Boston-based Academic Research Organization as both a Project Manager, and subsequently, a Clinical Nurse Reviewer of reported Serious Adverse Events in several FDA-monitored medical device trials for coronary intervention.

Melanie Freedman, BS, graduated cum laude from Northeastern University in 2015 with a degree in psychology. She is a senior member of the CPRP, serving as the primary research coordinator for the REACH for Health Study. In this role, she is responsible for recruitment, enrollment, and managing study materials. She is also serving as the sole interventionist for a pilot trial of a positive psychology intervention in patients with Multiple Sclerosis through the Partners MS Center (PI: Glanz). Previously, Melanie worked as a research assistant at the Lifespan Emotional Development Lab at Northeastern University, which investigated emotion regulation and attention throughout the lifespan. She then worked as a Resource Specialist on the inpatient psychiatric unit at MGH before joining the CPRP.

Diana Smith, BA, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 2017, with a degree in cognitive neuroscience and evolutionary psychology. She is in her second year with the CPRP and primarily manages the Total Health study, a blended care intervention trial for patients with comorbid heart disease and mood or anxiety disorders. She is also the primary coordinator for an ongoing project (PI: Nock), which is a real-time assessment of suicidal thoughts among psychiatric inpatients. In addition to her role at the CPRP, she volunteers for Samaritans, a suicide prevention and crisis line in Boston. Diana is currently applying to MD/PhD programs to begin in Fall 2019.

Sonia Kim, BA, graduated from UCLA in 2015 summa cum laude with a degree in psychology. She is in her first year with the program and is serving as the primary research coordinator for the MAPP (a PP-MI behavioral intervention study for patients with metabolic syndrome) and NCCP (a pilot care management intervention project for patients with non-cardiac chest pain). Before joining the CPRP, she worked as a rehabilitation specialist at the Sound End Community Health Center, working with underserved population that suffers from severe psychiatric illnesses. Previously in college, she was involved in an fMRI research in Dr. Matthew Liebermans lab, investigating the neural and behavioral effects of neuropeptides on human social cognition.

Julia Golden, BA, graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2015 summa cum laude with a degree in psychology. Currently in her first year with the program, she is serving as the primary research coordinator for the BEHOLD studies. In this role, she is responsible for recruiting and enrolling diabetes patients as well as for organizing and managing study-related data. Previously, Julia worked as a research assistant at the Institute of Living, Hartford Hospitals psychiatric division, and was involved in studies related to mood disorders and metabolic syndrome in young adult patients. This past year she completed a post-baccalaureate pre-medical program at the University of Virginia.

Carlyn Scheu, BS, graduated cum laude from the University of Denver in 2018 with a degree in biology and psychology. In her first year with the program, Carlyn works primarily on the Dexmedetomidine study, a trial for the use of a sedative drug in patients with probable Alzheimers disease. She is also the primary coordinator for the PATH study, which focuses on a positive psychology intervention for cancer patients who have had a hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Prior to her involvement with the CPRP, Carlyn worked as a research assistant for the Traumatic Stress Studies Group at the University of Denver, which seeks to understand complex consequences of trauma and how to improve outcomes for trauma survivors.

Brian Healy, PhD,is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, a member of the Biostatistics Center at Mass General, and an Instructor in Biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Healy is also the lead biostatistician for the Partners Multiple Sclerosis Center, which is affiliated with Brigham and Women's Hospital. His primary research interest is statistical methods development and application for modeling of multiple sclerosis. He has been working with the CPRP for the past 5 years, and he has participated in the design and analysis of several studies.

Elizabeth Madva, MD, is a fourth year resident in the MGH/McLean psychiatry residency program and a member of the residency's Research Concentration Program and Clinician Educator Program. She is currently serving as the administrative chief resident and the Mass General Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry chief resident. She graduated from Weill Cornell Medical College in 2015 and from Yale University in 2008, magna cum laude, with a BA in Cognitive Science. She is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha and Phi Beta Kappa honor societies. She began working with the CPRP in 2016 at the end of her first year of residency. Her clinical and research interests fall in the areas of consultation-liaison psychiatry and neuropsychiatry, with a special interest in somatic symptom and functional neurological disorders.

Hermioni Lokko, MD, MPP, is an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (HMS) as well as, staff physician on the Medical Psychiatry Service at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and the Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). She is also the Associate Training Director of the BWH/HMS psychiatry residency training Program. Her areas of interest include the impact of psychiatric illness, management strategies and palliative care in diverse cancer patients to develop innovative and practical psychological interventions for cancer patients and their care givers. She is currently the principal investigator for a Harvard Medical School funded project seeking to develop a positive psychology intervention to improve function and quality of life in hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients. She is an active co-investigator for the PEACE trial and assists with other projects at the CPRP. She is a graduate of the psychosomatic medicine/psycho-oncology fellowship at the BWH and DFCI, the adult psychiatry residency training program at the Mass General and McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Medical Students:

Residents:

Faculty/Fellows:

Research Coordinators:

Social Work and Nursing Interventionists:

Our work has also been generously supported by the esteemed Avery D. Weisman, MD, of the eponymous Mass General Psychiatry Consultation Service and a long-standing national leader in psychosomatic medicine. His support has allowed the CPRP to continue to investigate the associations between positive and negative emotional states and physical health and well-being, and we are forever indebted.

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Cardiac Psychiatry Research Program - Massachusetts ...

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So Much Genetic Testing. So Few People to Explain It to You

When Dan Riconda graduated with a masters degree in genetic counseling from Sarah Lawrence College in 1988, the Human Genome Project was in its very first year, DNA evidence was just beginning to enter the courts, and genetic health tests werent yet on the market. He found one of the few jobs doing fetal diagnostics for rare diseases, which often meant helping young families through the worst time in their lives.

What a difference 30 years makes. Today, with precision medicine going mainstream and an explosion of apps piping genetic insights to your phone from just a few teaspoons of spit, millions of Americans are having their DNA decoded every year. That deluge of data means that genetic counselorsthe specialized medical professionals trained to help patients interpret genetic test resultsare in higher demand than ever. With two to three job openings for every new genetic counseling graduate, the profession is facing a national workforce shortage.

Thats where folks like Riconda come in. He was recruited by Baylor College of Medicine to lead the schools first class of genetic counseling students. Baylor runs one of 11 new accredited programs in North America (10 in the US and one in Canada) that have launched in the last three years, increasing the total number of training programs on the continent by a third. There are at least a dozen more in various stages of development.

Theres been a surge in the number of new programs in a relatively short period of time, says Riconda. This year, there were 406 slots available for new applicants to genetic counseling programs, up from 378 the year before. It reflects the greater opportunities available today that didnt exist when I first entered the field.

In the clinic, genetic testing has expanded from its origins in prenatal and reproductive health to cardiac and cancer care. Dozens of treatments now work by targeting specific tumor mutations. But the opportunities outside the clinic are growing even faster.

Pharmaceutical and lab testing firms are routinely hiring genetic counselors to make sure new screening technologies for these targeted drugs are developed in an ethical way. According to a 2018 survey conducted by the National Society for Genetic Counselors, a quarter of the workforce now works in one of these non-patient-facing jobs. A smaller study, published in August, found that one-third of genetic counselors had changed jobs in the past two years, nearly all of them from a hospital setting to a laboratory one.

One place that isnt welcoming new counselors is consumer testing companies like 23andMe. I would love students to have more opportunities in the consumer-driven space," says Ashley Mills, the program director at the Keck Graduate Institute in Claremont, California, which welcomed its first genetic counseling class earlier this fall. The unfortunate thing is you really dont have any genetic counselors working there for students to shadow. Earlier this year, 23andMes CEO, Anne Wojcicki, penned an opinion piece in Stat titled Consumers Dont Need Experts to Interpret 23andMe Genetic Risk Reports. A free-the-data evangelist, Wojcicki argued that people should be empowered to make their own decisions with their DNA, without a trained intermediary.

The federal government seems to agree. In 2017 the US Food and Drug Administration allowed 23andMe to release disease risk reports to customers for 10 health conditions. In March of this year the company got the green light to add breast cancer to its list. More approvals for 23andMe and its competitors are likely to follow soon.

Genetic counselors are already feeling the strain. In southern California there are a number of genetic counselors with private practices who are mostly seeing patients bringing them 23andMe results, says Mills. Since 2007, more than five million people have had their DNA tested with 23andMe; in the last year the spit kits have become a bestseller on Amazon. To teach students about working with this kind of data, Mills has invited those private practice counselors to host workshops on the topic. Helping worried customers navigate their results is, after all, very different from the way genetic counseling has worked for decades, with doctors referring patients to counselors before testing, to guide the process.

But with the shortfall in genetic counselors, there also arent enough professionals to train the up-and-comers. Most programs can only accept 8 to 12 new students per year, because accrediting standards require each student to handle a certain number of clinical cases. Yet there are only so many supervisors to go around, says Amanda Bergner, president of the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling.

Counselors have also left the clinic for higher-paying jobs in other branches of the healthcare industry. Genetic counselors make less than other medical professionals with similar trainingaveraging $77,500 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That shrinking pool of clinic-based workers ends up limiting the number of new counselors who can be trained to take their place.

Which is one reason why Sheila ONeal, the executive director for the American Board of Genetic Counseling, isnt sure all the new programs will be enough to provide adequate patient care in the coming decade. The other is the sheer speed with which new genetic tests are reaching the market, about 10 every day by one recent analysis in Health Affairs. Weve outstripped the estimates on the supply side, says ONeal. Whether or not we actually meet demand is hard to say; its a moving target. There might be more ways to decode your DNA than ever before, but interpretation is still a scarce commodity.

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So Much Genetic Testing. So Few People to Explain It to You

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Genetic testing company FamilyTreeDNA is sharing customers …

A prominent consumer DNA-testing company has decided to share data with federal law enforcement, giving investigators access to genetic information linked to hundreds of millions of people.

FamilyTreeDNA, an early pioneer of the rapidly growing market for consumer genetic testing, confirmed late Thursday that it has granted the Federal Bureau of Investigation access to its vast trove of nearly 2 million genetic profiles. The arrangement was first reported by BuzzFeed News.

Concerns about unfettered access to genetic information gathered by testing companies have swelled since April, when police used a genealogy website to ensnare a suspect in the decades-old case of the Golden State Killer. But that site, GEDmatch, was open-source, meaning police were able to upload crime-scene DNA data to the site without permission. The latest arrangement marks the first time a commercial testing company has voluntarily given law enforcement access to user data.

The move is of concern to more than just privacy-minded FamilyTreeDNA customers. One person sharing genetic information also exposes those to whom they are closely related. That's how police caught the alleged Golden State Killer. A study last year estimated that only 2 percent of the population needs to have done a DNA test for virtually everyone's genetic information to be represented in that data.

FamilyTreeDNA's cooperation with the FBI more than doubles the amount of genetic data law enforcement already had access to through GEDmatch. On a case-by-case basis, the company has agreed to test DNA samples for the FBI and upload profiles to its database, allowing law enforcement to see familial matches to crime-scene samples. FamilyTreeDNA said law enforcement may not freely browse genetic data but rather has access only to the same information any user might.

The genealogy community expressed dismay. Last summer, FamilyTree DNA was among a list of consumer genetic testing companies that agreed to a suite of voluntary privacy guidelines, but as of Friday morning, it had been crossed off the list.

"The deal between FamilyTreeDNA and the FBI is deeply flawed," said John Verdi, vice president of policy at the Future of Privacy Forum, which maintains the list. "It's out of line with industry best practices, it's out of line with what leaders in the space do and it's out of line with consumer expectations."

Some in the field have begun arguing that a universal, government-controlled database may be better for privacy than allowing law enforcement to gain access to consumer information.

FamilyTree DNA said its lab has received "less than 10 samples" from the FBI. It also said it has worked with state and city police agencies in addition to the FBI to resolve cold cases.

"The genealogy community, their privacy and confidentiality has always been our top priority," the company said in an email response to questions.

Consumer DNA testing has become big business. Ancestry.com and 23andMe Inc. alone have sold more than 15 million DNA kits. Concerns about an industry commitment to privacy could hamper the industry's rapid growth.

Since the arrest of the suspected Golden State Killer, more than a dozen other suspects have been apprehended using GEDmatch. By doubling the amount of data law enforcement have access to, those numbers are sure to surge.

"The real risk is not exposure of info but that an innocent person could be swept up in a criminal investigation because his or her cousin has taken a DNA test,'' said Debbie Kennett, a British genealogist and author. "On the other hand, the more people in the databases and the closer the matches, the less chance there is that people will make mistakes.''

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Genetic testing company FamilyTreeDNA is sharing customers ...

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

DNA testing kit company has been handing over genetic data to …

At-home DNA testing kits were once little more than a fun distraction that might reveal something about your family history that had been long forgotten. These days, however, the battle over who has access to your genetic testing results is hotter than ever, and a new report alleges that one of the largest private DNA testing companies has been aiding the FBI for months.

First reported by BuzzFeed News, Family Tree DNA admitted that its been working investigators to test DNA samples and potentially match them with suspects or their relatives. Needless to say, this isnt sitting well with privacy advocates.

Its no secret that authorities are actively using publicly available DNA databases to solve crimes, some of which have long gone cold. However, in past cases the genetic information was obtained from publicly available archives where individuals uploaded their data knowingly.

In this case, Family Tree DNA presents itself as a private genealogy database where customers can have their DNA results compared to countless others in the search for lost relatives and to help fill out their family tree. Their work with the FBI had not been disclosed to any of their customers, and over a million DNA records are already accessible via the family matching feature.

Despite the very obvious privacy concerns this raises, the company seemed comfortable and perhaps even boastful regarding its relationship with law enforcement, releasing an official statement claiming that their agreement to work with the FBI would help law enforcement agencies solve violent crimes faster than ever.

That bold stance is doing little to calm the growing dissent among its customer base, which is just now learning that DNA results from months or even years ago have been available for matching with FBI-provided samples since last fall.

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DNA testing kit company has been handing over genetic data to ...

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Fertility Center & Applied Genetics of Florida

Fertility Center and Applied Genetics of Florida is a Fertility Center providing comprehensive fertility services (IVF, IUI, PGD, PGS, Family Balancing/Sex Selection, Reproductive Surgeries, egg donation, surrogacy) for Tampa Bay, Sarasota, Bradenton, Orlando, Ft. Myers, Naples, all Florida, U.S., and International patients. Dr. Pabon is a fertility doctor (Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility Specialist) specializing in IVF, Tubal Reversals, Preimplantation genetic diagnosis, egg donation, surrogacy, and general infertility with offices in Sarasota and Bonita Springs, Florida, U.S.A. We enjoy helping traditional couples, single men or women, and the LGBT community.

Dr. Pabon is a nationally recognized Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility Specialist that has received Top Doctor designation by U.S. News and World Report and by the Castle Connolly agency for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.

Medical Tourism IVF and Tubal Reversals at Fertility Center and Applied Genetics of Florida:

Tampa, Tampa Bay, Orlando, Sarasota, Bradenton, Ft. Myers, Naples, Florida, and many international patients from the United Kingdom, Spain, and Canada have discovered that we are a destination where the highest technology and current science come together in a uniquely personal and compassionate setting. Patients enjoy the care at one of the best IVF clinics while relaxing in Floridas West Coast. Miles and miles of white sandy beaches, fishing, golf, tennis, and sun sports are quite a draw for Medical treatment tourists.

Dr. Pabon is a nationally and internationally recognized physician, reproductive surgeon, author, lecturer, and a leader in the implementation of new technologies in his area of expertise. He is a graduate with honors of The Univ. of Texas at Austin, Baylor College of Medicine, The University of Louisville, and is a clinical assistant professor for Florida State University College of Medicine. He is the past president, current board member and secretary of the Florida Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (FSREI).

Since our first IVF procedures in Sarasota in 1997, we have implemented new technologies such as office based IVF, ICSI, laser assisted hatching, egg donor IVF, surrogacy, Day 3 pre-implantation genetics, trophectoderm blastocyst day 5 & 6 biopsies for pre-implantation genetics, fluorescent in situ hybridization, complete genomic hybridization for 24 chromosome PGS/PGD, laser embryology, fast freeze vitrification, antagonist protocols, agonist triggers, all freeze IVF protocols, family balancing and vitrification. Dr. Pabon is also one of the most experienced tubal reversal surgeons in the world. He has perfected his technique for the outpatient procedure since 1992.

Our Mission Goals:

We are better because we genuinely care about each patient. We do not screen out challenging patients in order to pad our results. Patients are given realistic information about the limits of current technology. While we aim to please, patients must understand that not all clinics are a perfect fit for all patients and that there are some patients that dont succeed despite our best efforts. It is our privilege and honor to have our patients confidence to help build healthy families.

AWorld Class Center for excellence in Reproductive Technologies and Surgery Dr. Pabon is among the most experienced reproductive surgeons in the world. Moreover, our center is recognized as one of the most successful clinics in the United States with pregnancy rates consistently above the National average. Triplets and higher order pregnancies occur in less than 1% of our cases. Our first successful pregnancy after pre-implantation genetic diagnosis was achieved 1999-2000. We are proud to announce the first pregnancy in Florida (Oct 2009) using new PGD/PGS technology through the new microarray technology called gene security parental support and most recently in 2012 the progression of our pre-implantation genetic diagnosis program from the previous multicellular embryo biopsies (1999-2012) to laser assisted trophectoderm blastocyst biopsies and next generation sequencing of the genome of each embryo.

Dr. Pabon is one of the most experienced reproductive surgeons. He specializes in Outpatient Tubal Reversals with microsurgical techniques. Dr. Pabon is one of few surgeons who uses a microscope to perform these delicate surgeries in an outpatient setting. The surgical microscope technique gives the highest magnification possible for the highest accuracy in performing this surgery. He has been performing these surgeries with high success since 1992. He enjoys quite a following at TubalReversalSurgeon/Facebook.

Read What Patients Say About Their Experience:

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Fertility Center & Applied Genetics of Florida and the offices of Julio E. Pabon, M.D., P.A. (formerly Fertility Center of Sarasota) is an extremely uniqueprivate practice where patients receive personal care from one Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility Specialist. Our Medical and Laboratory Director, J. E. Pabon, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. takes the time to know his patients, their history and their specific needs. Dr. Pabon and the staff of FC & AG of FL are happy to serve Lee County and Collier County through our south office formerly in Naples (since 2004) and now through the new Bonita Springs office (since 2010)

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Fertility Center & Applied Genetics of Florida

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Home – DNA Ancestry Project

After conducting the test, as expected, Mr. Brown verifies that all three have exactly the same Y-DNA STR marker profile. After speaking with his grand-uncle, he was able to trace distant relatives in Europe who share his surname. After contacting various members of his European line, he obtained 9 participants and the results of the test show the following:

Mr. Brown and his cousin share the same Y-DNA STR marker profile. He also shares the same Y-DNA STR marker profile as group 2 and group 5 of his European line. There is a single mutation in group 3 and group 4, indicating that although they are related, it is more distant, and that groups 3 and 4 are closely related to each other. Group 7, however is not related to this particular Brown family line.

After finding out this exciting information, his newfound European family lines were able to bring more extended family into the surname project, and within a few months, Mr. Brown was able to connect and piece together a large puzzle of his ancestry.

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Home - DNA Ancestry Project

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Bone Marrow for Spine and Orthopaedic Stem Cell Treatment …

Stem cells are the next frontier in the treatment of orthopaedic and spinal disorders, and the Cary Orthopaedics team is leading the way.

Using stem cells harvested from an adult patients own bone marrow,Dr. Sameer Mathurand Dr. Nael Shanti both board-certified orthopaedic spinal surgeons have developed a minimally invasive remedy for those suffering from degenerative disc disease, back pain and spinal arthritis. Applying a similar approach, Cary OrthosDr. Douglas Martini a fellowship-trained, board-certified orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine has crafted a pain-relief solution for patients living with osteoarthritis and soft tissue injuries.

Multiple research studies have shown a significant reduction in low back and joint pain and improved function after stem cell injections. While these treatments are new, 80% to 90% of patients are already reporting improvement in their symptoms after orthopaedic stem cell treatments.

Many patients suffering from degenerative disc diseases or low back pain are often not ideal candidates for surgery, and some who have chosen to undergo surgery have had unsatisfactory results. Therefore, the typical remedy for chronic orthopaedic conditions is extensive physical therapy combined with oral anti-inflammatory medications. The result: The majority of patients still had to live with pain.

Physicians at Cary Orthopaedics are utilizing orthopaedic stem cell treatment using the patients own bone marrow, the soft, spongy tissue found in the center of bones. Bone marrow in adults contains a rich reservoir of multipotent stem cells also known as Mesenchymal Precursor Cells (MPCs) that can be extracted from the patients pelvis or hip bone. Due to their unique, regenerative composition, these cells can become various types of tissues including soft tissue, bone or cartilage, which make them an excellent resource for repairing and rebuilding damaged tissue, accelerating the healing process and improving overall function.

Thanks to advancements in technology, the removal and harvesting process has become easier and less expensive. Since this is a minimally invasive procedure, it has fewer side effects compared to traditional surgery, and it causes minimal discomfort to the patient.

Bone marrow injections are a breakthrough for patients in pain. Dr. Martini, a sports medicine physician at Cary Orthopaedics, has been active in the sports medicine community, previously serving as team physician for the Carolina Hurricanes, numerous colleges, and local high schools. After 25 years of experience in sports medicine, he realizes the need for improved treatment options for the greying athlete. He has begun incorporating bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BAC) into the treatment of both acute and chronic soft tissue and joint-related injuries. I believe this will be equally helpful to the patient who needs to exercise for overall health benefits as it would be for those who need to stay at their peak athletic performance, says Dr. Martini.

We have found based on our research and experience that stem cell therapy can be very safe and effective when used with the appropriate patient population, said Kevin G. Morrison, PA-C, a member of Dr. Martinis team. All the feedback to this point has been quite positive, both on the process of having the procedure done as well as the early response. But ultimately long-term data will need to be compiled and critically examined.

Much of the previous research into stem cells has centered around placental stem cells, which can also adapt into other types of tissues. However, these have not performed well when put to the test for orthopaedic treatment. Bone marrow aspirate concentrate provides MPCs that can transform into osteocytes, chondrocytes and adipocytes, all of which are important in treating orthopedic conditions.

The latest research around mesenchymal stem cells, specifically bone marrow aspiration, is certainly promising. Dr. Martini will continue to collect more data and review patients responses.

Dr. Mathur has been an instrumental force in elevating the level of patient care at Cary Orthopaedic Spine Center since joining the practice in 2008. Dr. Mathur completed his medical school at the University of Pennsylvania and spinal reconstructive fellowship at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He also taught at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Over the last 10 years, in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health, he has conducted significant study of disc degeneration and analysis of the expression of genes that may damage the disc.

In the past decade, there have been several advancements in spinal surgery, but regenerative medicine is the next frontier, said Dr. Mathur. I see so many patients that have low back pain and leg pain from degenerative disc disease. For many, there is no good surgical treatment, and stem cell injections may be a viable option.

As an orthopaedic spine specialist, Dr. Mathur is not only an expert in spinal surgery but also in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of spinal problems. His depth of experience allows him to best determine whether a patient would benefit from physical therapy, stem cell injections or surgical intervention. When providing stem cell treatment, Dr. Mathur performs a single injection for all patients, whereas other clinics typically require multiple injections over several weeks.

There is currently extensive, ongoing research on the application of stem cell therapy and tissue regeneration, including an application for spinal cord injury and disc pathology, which is very exciting, said Dr. Shanti, who has dedicated a great deal of time researching the potential impact stem cell therapy can provide for his patients. Dr. Shanti believes stem cell therapy is the next great advancement in healthcare with an application for a wide spectrum of medical conditions.

Recently recognized as Top Orthopaedic Doctor by The Leading Physicians of the World for the outstanding patient care, Dr. Shantis in-depth experience and understanding of the spine allows him to guide his patients especially those with chronic back pain to the most appropriate path of treatment with the shared collaborative goal of pain relief. Dr. Shanti completed his spine surgery fellowship training at the prestigious New England Baptist Hospital, Tufts University program with an emphasis on minimally invasive spine surgery, and he has authored and presented multiple papers and textbooks on the advancement of minimally invasive spine surgery.

Orthopaedic stem cell treatment is an excellent solution for patients with degenerative disc disease and also those suffering from arthritis of the spine, bulging disc, low back pain, facet joint pain or disc with annular tears.

The stem cell injection is a same-day procedure that generally takes one hour to perform. The actual extraction of bone marrow takes up to 10 minutes. The bone marrow extraction site typically the back of the patients hip or pelvis bone is numbed using a mixture of local anesthetics. A suctioned syringe is attached to a long needle that reaches the posterior aspect of the hip. The patient may experience a minimal amount of discomfort during the extraction.

The sample is collected, transferred through a filter, and then placed into a centrifuge for spinning. The speed separates the stem cells and platelets from the bone marrow. This concentration of stem cells is then reintroduced into the degenerative or painful area under image guidance with fluoroscopy to confirm accurate placement.

The harvesting site will be numb for 1 to 2 hours after the procedure, so the patient will need to have transportation home. It is permissible to fly after the treatment, but this may cause increased pain or discomfort.

Stem cell therapy relies on the bodys own regenerative process to heal, which takes time. Patients have seen the benefits in two to three months after treatment; however, many have noticed improvements in symptoms sooner.

The recommended age range for the treatment is 20 to 70 years old. As the body ages, the quality and quantity of stem cells slowly decline. After age 70, patients may experience a sharper decline in stem cells, resulting in less beneficial outcomes.

If you think you might be a candidate for orthopaedic stem cell therapy treatment, contact Cary Orthopaedics to schedule a consultation.

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Bone Marrow for Spine and Orthopaedic Stem Cell Treatment ...

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Stem Cell Therapy in Thailand – Beike Biotech – Hospitals

TREATMENT:hRPE stem cells implantation (human Retinal Pigment Epithelial cells, (adult stem cells) by stereotactic brain injection + nutritious stem cell cocktail treatment (intravenous).

START OF TREATMENT:March 6, 2007.

BEFORE THE TREATMENT: Lindas main symptoms were rigidity and stiffness in the left side of her body. She had mild tremors mainly in her left hand and had difficulty grasping small objects or holding things with her fingers. She would drag her left leg while walking and while at rest the

muscles in her leg and tows would contract. During the night her muscles would contract constantly keeping her regularly from having more than few hours sleep. Her muscles were very weak and she would tire very quickly, her posture was stooped and she suffered from a general tenseness and stiffness in her face, neck and back.

Without the affect of the medications she could not turn her neck and should turn her whole body in order to look back. Every morning, before the medications started to influence, it was difficult getting dressed, getting out of bed or taking a shower.

Before the treatment Linda took her medications every 2-3 hours (Contam 250mg x 8 times a day). One hour after taking the medications Lindas symptoms were hardly noticed, but the medications influence wear out quickly and Lindas every activity was dependant on her next dose of medications.

During the last few years Lindas short term memory was affected up to a level that she quit her job in human resources. Her hand writing was affected too even after taking the medications, it was still very scratchy and hard to read.

Linda also suffered from general anxiety and depression.

AFTER THE TREATMENT:

Lindas first notable change after the surgery was a full night sleep - the first one in 5 years. Within 5 weeks after the stem cell implantation most of Lindas symptoms were gradually gone. Her fingers got their flexibility back and the tremors were gone she could now grasp things, open a door and articulate more precise movements with her fingers.

The cramps in her leg were gone and she stopped dragging her left leg.

I dont need to think anymore about every movement, as I did before she says.

Her muscle tension was significantly reduced, she felt more relaxed and stronger than before.

Her posture became more open and she could now turn her neck more easily. Before leaving the hospital Linda still had some weakness in her muscles but she felt that she is getting stronger every day.

Linda also noticed that her sense of smell and taste that were greatly weakened during the last years were coming back.

A major change in her quality of life was that now her symptoms were unnoticeable with almost half the dosage of the medications she used to take before. Linda is now taking medications 4 times a day (Sinemet 200mg X4 times a day) instead of 8 times of double dosage that she used to take before the treatment.

I was a watch keeper, I used to watch at the clock all the time, I stopped swimming riding bicycle and other activities because I never knew when the medications affect will wear out she says.

Linda hopes that her medications could be gradually reduced even more, and she will keep a close contact with her doctors in China in order to follow up with her condition.

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Stem Cell Therapy in Thailand - Beike Biotech - Hospitals

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Stem Cell Therapy for ALS Patients

Learn about what stem cells are, why they are important and how they are going to revolutionize healing and medical care in Canada.

Not all conditions are effectively treated by PRP injections or stem cell therapy, and with ongoing clinical trials its important to realize what stem cells can and cannot help with. Weve built a comprehensive list of the different types of conditions that stem cell therapy shows promise for, however if you dont find it listed wed recommend checking outDanish health website Doc24.dk. Regular maintenance of health is key to making sure long-term issues dont arise as we age, and part of that is a rich, balanced diet and careful supplementation.

Research on human embryos in general, and stem cell research in particular, has been the subject of public debate in Canada since the late 1980s. In 2002, the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) issued guidelines for research on human embryonic stem cell lines, which have been revised and reissued several times since 2005 (most recently in 2007). These guidelines regulate the allocation of state funds in the field of research on human embryonic stem cells and concern both the handling of existing stem cell lines and the establishment of new stem cell lines.

The guidelines specify a number of important conditions that must be fulfilled in order for research projects to be eligible for funding. These include, but are not limited to:

The Stem Cell Oversight Committee (SCOC) was set up to ensure that research projects comply with the provisions of the Directive and to address the complex ethical issues surrounding research projects. Any project applying for government funding in the field of stem cell research must first be positively evaluated by the SCOC.

In addition to the regulation of state funding, the Assisted Human Reproduction Act came into force in 2004, which broadly regulates the field of reproductive medicine. Unlike the guidelines of the CIHR, it is not merely a guideline for state funding of certain research activities, but a law that places certain activities under state control and generally prohibits others. Research on human embryos is one of the controlled activities of the Assisted Human Reproduction Act. According to 8 Para. 3, the approval according to 10 Para. 2 requires the consent of the donor after clarification of the intended use. The Assisted Human Reproduction Agency of Canada (AHRAC), established by law, is responsible for granting authorisations and monitoring research activities.

The extraction of ES cells also falls under this section and is therefore permitted in Canada. The use of in vitro embryos for research purposes, including the derivation of stem cells, is subject to the following conditions under the Assisted Human Reproduction Act:

The production of a human clone is prohibited according to 5 a Assisted Human Reproduction Act. This provision also includes so-called therapeutic cloning by nuclear transfer. According to 5 b, the creation of embryos for purposes other than the creation of a human being or the improvement of artificial reproduction procedures is also prohibited. The law does not apply to the handling of already established human embryonic stem cell lines.

The CBC news network and other media responded to Twitter posts and a YouTube live video about unapproved treatments that lately came up. Patients that suffer from chronic pain or disease could benefit from stem-cell therapies. Canadians who have been treated more open by their federal and other regulatory laws about unlicensed stem cell therapies are asking for the legalization or this procedure.

A new company now made it their mission to offer direct-to-customer opportunities for trainees and people in general which can mean a big advantage for a patient. Unproven stories about this training in marketing and science services are offering support for approved stem-cell professionals.

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Stem Cell Therapy for ALS Patients

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Stem Cells – The Hastings Center

By Insoo Hyun

Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have the capacity to renew themselves and to specialize into various cell types, such as blood, muscle, and nerve cells. Embryonic stem cells, derived from five-day-old embryos, eventually give rise to all the different cells and organ systems of the embryo. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, because they are capable of differentiating along each of the three germ layers of cells in the embryo, as well as producing the germ line (sperm and eggs). The three germ layers are the ectoderm (skin, nerves, brain), the mesoderm (bone, muscle), and the endoderm (lungs, digestive system).

During later stages of human development, minute quantities of more mature stem cells can be found in most tissue and organ systems, such as bone marrow, the skin, and the gut. These are somatic stem cells, responsible for renewing and repairing the bodys specialized cells. Although the lay public often refers to them as adult stem cells, researchers prefer to call them multipotent because they are less versatile than pluripotent stem cells, and because they are present from the fetal stage of development and beyond. Multipotent stem cells can only differentiate into cells related to the tissue or organ systems from which they originated for instance, multipotent blood stem cells in bonemarrow can develop into different types of blood cells, but not into nerve cells or heart cells.

While multipotent stem cell research has been around for nearly 50 years and has led to clinical therapies for leukemia and other blood disorders, the field of human embryonic stem cell research is still relatively new, and basic discoveries have yet to be directly transitioned into clinical treatments. Human embryonic stem cells were first isolated and maintained in culture in 1998 by James Thomson and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin. Since then, more than a thousand different isolateslines of self-renewing embryonic stem cellshave been created and shared by researchers worldwide.

The main ethical and policy issues with stem cells concern the derivation and use of embryonic stem cells for research. A vocal minority of Americans objects to the destruction of embryos that occurs when stem cells are derived. Embryonic stem cell research is especially controversial for those who believe that five-day-old preimplantation human embryos should not be destroyed no matter how valuable the research may be for society.

To bypass this ethical controversy, the Presidents Council on Bioethics recommended in 2005 that alternative sources of pluripotent stem cells be pursued. Some alternatives have been developed, most notably, the induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells human skin cells and other body cells reprogrammed to behave like embryonic cells. But embryonic stem cell research will remain needed because there are some questions only they have the potential to answer.

Embryonic stem cells are necessary for several aims of scientific and biomedical research. They include addressing fundamental questions in developmental biology, such as how primitive cells differentiate into more specialized cells and how different organ systems first come into being. By increasing our knowledge of human development, embryonic stem cells may also help us better understand the causes of fetal deformations.

Other important applications lie in the areas of disease research and targeted drug development. By deriving and studying embryonic or other pluripotent stem cells that are genetically-matched to diseases such as Parkinsons disease and juvenile diabetes, researchers are able to map out the developmental course of complex medical conditions to understand how, when, and why diseased specialized cells fail to function properly in patients. Such disease-in-a-dish model systems provide researchers with a powerful new way to study genetic diseases. Furthermore, researchers can aggressively test the safety and efficacy of new, targeted drug interventions on tissue cultures of living human cells derived from disease-specific embryonic stem cells. This method of testing can reduce the risks associated with human subjects research.

One possible way of deriving disease-specific stem cells is through a technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), otherwise known as research cloning. By replacing the DNA of an unfertilized egg with the DNA of a cell from a patients body, researchers are able to produce embryonic stem cells that are genetically-matched to the patient and his or her particular disease. SCNT, however, is technically challenging and requires the collection of high-quality human eggs from female research volunteers, who must be asked to undergo physically burdensome procedures to extract eggs.

A much more widespread and simpler technique for creating disease-specific stem cells was pioneered in 2006 by Shinya Yamanaka and colleagues in Kyoto, Japan. They took mouse skin cells and used retroviruses to insert four genes into them to to create iPS cells. In 2007, teams led by Yamanaka, James Thomson, and George Daley each used similar techniques to create human iPS cells. The iPS cell approach is promising because disease-specific stem cells could be created using skin or blood samples from patients and because, unlike SCNT, it does not require the procurement of human eggs for research.

However, despite these advances, scientists do not believe iPS cells can replace human embryonic stem cells in research. For one, embryonic stem cells must be used as controls to assess the behavior and full scientific potential of iPS cells. Furthermore, iPS cells may not be able to answer some important questions about early human development. And safety is a major issue for iPS cell research aimed at clinical applications, since the cell reprogramming process can cause harmful mutations in the stem cells, increasing the risk of cancer. In light of these and other concerns, iPS cells may perhaps prove to be most useful in their potential to expand our overall understanding of stem cell biology, the net effect of which will provide the best hope of discovering new therapies for patients.

Many who oppose embryonic stem cell research believe for religious or other personal reasons that all preimplantation embryos have a moral standing equal to living persons. On the other hand, those who support embryonic stem cell research point out that not all religious traditions grant full moral standing to early-stage human embryos.

According to Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, and Buddhist traditions, as well as many Western Christian views, moral standing arrives much later during the gestation process, with some views maintaining that the fetus must first reach a stage of viability where it would be capable of living outside the womb. Living in a pluralistic society such as ours, supporters argue, means having to tolerate differences in religious and personal convictions over such theoretical matters as when, during development, moral standing first appears.

Other critics of embryonic stem cell research believe that all preimplantation embryos have the potential to become full-fledged human beings and that they should never have this potential destroyed. In response, stem cell supporters argue that it is simply false that all early-stage embryos have the potential for complete human life many fertility clinic embryos are of poor quality and therefore not capable of producing a pregnancy (although they may yield stem cells). Similarly, as many as 75% to 80% of all embryos created through intercourse fail to implant. Furthermore, no embryos have the potential for full human life until they are implanted in a womans uterus, and until this essential step is taken an embryos potential exists only in the most abstract and hypothetical sense.

Despite the controversies, embryonic stem cell research continues to proceed rapidly around the world, with strong public funding in many countries. In the U.S., federal money for embryonic stem cell research is available only for stem cell lines that are on the National Institutes of Health stem cell registry. However, no federal funds may be used to derive human embryonic stem cell lines; NIH funds may only be used to study embryonic stem cells that were derived using other funding sources.

Despite the lack of full federal commitment to funding embryonic stem cell research in the U.S., there are wide-ranging national regulatory standards. The National Academy of Sciences established guidelines in 2005 for the conduct of human embryonic stem cell research. (See Resources.) According to these guidelines, all privately and publicly funded scientists working with embryonic stem cells should have their research proposals approved by local embryonic stem cell research oversight (ESCRO) committees. ESCRO committees are to include basic scientists, physicians, ethicists, legal experts, and community members to look at stem-cell-specific issues relating to the proposed research. These committees are also to work with local ethics review boards to ensure that the donors of embryos and other human materials are treated fairly and have given their voluntary informed consent to stem cell research teams. Although these guidelines are voluntarily, universities and other research centers have widely accepted them.

At the global level, in 2016 the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) released a comprehensive set of professional guidelines for human stem cell research, spanning both bench and clinical stem cell research. (See Resources.) Unlike the NAS guidelines, the ISSCR guidelines go beyond American standards, adding, for example, the recommendation that stem cell lines be banked and freely distributed to researchers around the world to facilitate the fields progress on just and reasonable terms.The potential for over-commercialization and restrictive patenting practices is a major problem facing the stem cell field today, which may delay or reduce the broad public benefit of stem cell research. The promise of broad public benefit is one of thejustifying conditions for conducting stem cell research; without the real and substantial possibility for public benefit, stem cell research loses one of its most important moral foundations.

However, providing useful stem-cell-based therapies in the future is not a simple proposition, either. Developing a roadmap to bring stem cell research into the clinic will involve many complex steps, which the new ISSCR guidelines help address. They include:

These and other difficult issues must be sorted out if stem cell research in all its forms is to fulfill its promise.

STEM CELL GLOSSARY

Newer ethical issues in stem cell research go far beyond the embryo debate, since they encompass all stem cell types, not just human embryonic stem cells, and because they involve human subjects who, despite what one may think about the moral status of preimplantation embryos, are unequivocally moral persons. No other emerging issue better encapsulates the above concern than the growing phenomenon of stem cell tourism. At present, stem cell-based therapies are the clinical standard of care for only afew conditions, such as hematopoietic stem cell transplants for leukemia and epithelial stem cell-based treatments for burns and corneal disorders. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous clinicians around the world are exploiting patients hopes by purporting to provide for large sums of money effective stem cell therapies for many other conditions. These so-called stem cell clinics advance claims about their proffered stem cell therapies without credible scientific rationale, transparency, oversight, or patient protections.

The administration of unproven stem cell interventions outside of carefully regulated research protocols endangers patients and jeopardizes the legitimate progress of translational stem cell scientific research. Patients who travel for unproven stem cell therapies put themselves at risk of physical and financial harm.

The ISSCR guidelines are a good point for thinking about this important problem. The guidelines allow for exceptional circumstances in which clinicians might attempt medically innovative care in a very small number of seriously ill patients, subject to stringent oversight criteria. These criteria include: independent peer review of the proposed innovative procedure and its scientific rationale; institutional accountability; rigorous informed consent and close patient monitoring; transparency; timely adverse event reporting; and a commitment by clinician-scientists to move to a formal clinical trial in a timely manner after experience with at most a few patients. By juxtaposing some current stem cell clinics against the standards outlined in the ISSCR guidelines, one may easily identify some clinics shortcomings and call into question the legitimacy of their purported claims of providing innovative care to patients.

Moving beyond past debates about embryo status to issues concerning the uses of all varieties of stem cells, one can begin to focus the bioethical discourse on areas that have a much broader consensus base of shared values, such as patient and research subject protections and justice. Justice may also call on regulatory and oversight bodies to include a greater involvement of community and patient advocates in the oversight of research. Dealing with the bioethics of stem cell research demands that we wrestle with these and other tough questions.

Insoo Hyun, PhD, is an associate professor of bioethics at Case Western Reserve University.

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Stem Cells - The Hastings Center

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StemFactor – Skin Growth Factor Serum

"I started using Osmosis about two weeks ago and only off and on. I had several skin tags on my face, which a doctor want to charge 100 dollars per tag to remove. The StemFactor dried them up and I have been removing them when washing. Unbelievable. I thought I had to live with and the best part, no hyperpigmentation. Thanks!" ~ B Andrews

Esthetician Marianne Kehoe, has worked with thousands of clients and numerous products for more than 20 years. "Between Catalyst and StemFactor, the results Im seeing in my practice are phenomenal, repeatedly, according to Kehoe, including with post-operative scars and people who have been exposed to the California sun for years."

"Over the past month I have noticed a significant improvement in my skin through using Osmosis skincare. I began with a starter pack then introduced Stem Factor - this has resulted in a huge difference to both the acne prone areas as well as contributing to the overall glow of my skin. I have had problems with my skin for a number of years and in particular Osmosis Stem Factor is the only product I've found that continues to improve skin appearance." ~ Emma

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StemFactor - Skin Growth Factor Serum

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genetics | History, Biology, Timeline, & Facts …

Genetics, study of heredity in general and of genes in particular. Genetics forms one of the central pillars of biology and overlaps with many other areas, such as agriculture, medicine, and biotechnology.

Since the dawn of civilization, humankind has recognized the influence of heredity and applied its principles to the improvement of cultivated crops and domestic animals. A Babylonian tablet more than 6,000 years old, for example, shows pedigrees of horses and indicates possible inherited characteristics. Other old carvings show cross-pollination of date palm trees. Most of the mechanisms of heredity, however, remained a mystery until the 19th century, when genetics as a systematic science began.

Genetics arose out of the identification of genes, the fundamental units responsible for heredity. Genetics may be defined as the study of genes at all levels, including the ways in which they act in the cell and the ways in which they are transmitted from parents to offspring. Modern genetics focuses on the chemical substance that genes are made of, called deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, and the ways in which it affects the chemical reactions that constitute the living processes within the cell. Gene action depends on interaction with the environment. Green plants, for example, have genes containing the information necessary to synthesize the photosynthetic pigment chlorophyll that gives them their green colour. Chlorophyll is synthesized in an environment containing light because the gene for chlorophyll is expressed only when it interacts with light. If a plant is placed in a dark environment, chlorophyll synthesis stops because the gene is no longer expressed.

Genetics as a scientific discipline stemmed from the work of Gregor Mendel in the middle of the 19th century. Mendel suspected that traits were inherited as discrete units, and, although he knew nothing of the physical or chemical nature of genes at the time, his units became the basis for the development of the present understanding of heredity. All present research in genetics can be traced back to Mendels discovery of the laws governing the inheritance of traits. The word genetics was introduced in 1905 by English biologist William Bateson, who was one of the discoverers of Mendels work and who became a champion of Mendels principles of inheritance.

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heredity

clear in the study of genetics. Both aspects of heredity can be explained by genes, the functional units of heritable material that are found within all living cells. Every member of a species has a set of genes specific to that species. It is this set of genes that provides

Although scientific evidence for patterns of genetic inheritance did not appear until Mendels work, history shows that humankind must have been interested in heredity long before the dawn of civilization. Curiosity must first have been based on human family resemblances, such as similarity in body structure, voice, gait, and gestures. Such notions were instrumental in the establishment of family and royal dynasties. Early nomadic tribes were interested in the qualities of the animals that they herded and domesticated and, undoubtedly, bred selectively. The first human settlements that practiced farming appear to have selected crop plants with favourable qualities. Ancient tomb paintings show racehorse breeding pedigrees containing clear depictions of the inheritance of several distinct physical traits in the horses. Despite this interest, the first recorded speculations on heredity did not exist until the time of the ancient Greeks; some aspects of their ideas are still considered relevant today.

Hippocrates (c. 460c. 375 bce), known as the father of medicine, believed in the inheritance of acquired characteristics, and, to account for this, he devised the hypothesis known as pangenesis. He postulated that all organs of the body of a parent gave off invisible seeds, which were like miniaturized building components and were transmitted during sexual intercourse, reassembling themselves in the mothers womb to form a baby.

Aristotle (384322 bce) emphasized the importance of blood in heredity. He thought that the blood supplied generative material for building all parts of the adult body, and he reasoned that blood was the basis for passing on this generative power to the next generation. In fact, he believed that the males semen was purified blood and that a womans menstrual blood was her equivalent of semen. These male and female contributions united in the womb to produce a baby. The blood contained some type of hereditary essences, but he believed that the baby would develop under the influence of these essences, rather than being built from the essences themselves.

Aristotles ideas about the role of blood in procreation were probably the origin of the still prevalent notion that somehow the blood is involved in heredity. Today people still speak of certain traits as being in the blood and of blood lines and blood ties. The Greek model of inheritance, in which a teeming multitude of substances was invoked, differed from that of the Mendelian model. Mendels idea was that distinct differences between individuals are determined by differences in single yet powerful hereditary factors. These single hereditary factors were identified as genes. Copies of genes are transmitted through sperm and egg and guide the development of the offspring. Genes are also responsible for reproducing the distinct features of both parents that are visible in their children.

In the two millennia between the lives of Aristotle and Mendel, few new ideas were recorded on the nature of heredity. In the 17th and 18th centuries the idea of preformation was introduced. Scientists using the newly developed microscopes imagined that they could see miniature replicas of human beings inside sperm heads. French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck invoked the idea of the inheritance of acquired characters, not as an explanation for heredity but as a model for evolution. He lived at a time when the fixity of species was taken for granted, yet he maintained that this fixity was only found in a constant environment. He enunciated the law of use and disuse, which states that when certain organs become specially developed as a result of some environmental need, then that state of development is hereditary and can be passed on to progeny. He believed that in this way, over many generations, giraffes could arise from deerlike animals that had to keep stretching their necks to reach high leaves on trees.

British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace originally postulated the theory of evolution by natural selection. However, Charles Darwins observations during his circumnavigation of the globe aboard the HMS Beagle (183136) provided evidence for natural selection and his suggestion that humans and animals shared a common ancestry. Many scientists at the time believed in a hereditary mechanism that was a version of the ancient Greek idea of pangenesis, and Darwins ideas did not appear to fit with the theory of heredity that sprang from the experiments of Mendel.

Before Gregor Mendel, theories for a hereditary mechanism were based largely on logic and speculation, not on experimentation. In his monastery garden, Mendel carried out a large number of cross-pollination experiments between variants of the garden pea, which he obtained as pure-breeding lines. He crossed peas with yellow seeds to those with green seeds and observed that the progeny seeds (the first generation, F1) were all yellow. When the F1 individuals were self-pollinated or crossed among themselves, their progeny (F2) showed a ratio of 3:1 (3/4 yellow and 1/4 green). He deduced that, since the F2 generation contained some green individuals, the determinants of greenness must have been present in the F1 generation, although they were not expressed because yellow is dominant over green. From the precise mathematical 3:1 ratio (of which he found several other examples), he deduced not only the existence of discrete hereditary units (genes) but also that the units were present in pairs in the pea plant and that the pairs separated during gamete formation. Hence, the two original lines of pea plants were proposed to be YY (yellow) and yy (green). The gametes from these were Y and y, thereby producing an F1 generation of Yy that were yellow in colour because of the dominance of Y. In the F1 generation, half the gametes were Y and the other half were y, making the F2 generation produced from random mating 1/4 Yy, 1/2 YY, and 1/4 yy, thus explaining the 3:1 ratio. The forms of the pea colour genes, Y and y, are called alleles.

Mendel also analyzed pure lines that differed in pairs of characters, such as seed colour (yellow versus green) and seed shape (round versus wrinkled). The cross of yellow round seeds with green wrinkled seeds resulted in an F1 generation that were all yellow and round, revealing the dominance of the yellow and round traits. However, the F2 generation produced by self-pollination of F1 plants showed a ratio of 9:3:3:1 (9/16 yellow round, 3/16 yellow wrinkled, 3/16 green round, and 1/16 green wrinkled; note that a 9:3:3:1 ratio is simply two 3:1 ratios combined). From this result and others like it, he deduced the independent assortment of separate gene pairs at gamete formation.

Mendels success can be attributed in part to his classic experimental approach. He chose his experimental organism well and performed many controlled experiments to collect data. From his results, he developed brilliant explanatory hypotheses and went on to test these hypotheses experimentally. Mendels methodology established a prototype for genetics that is still used today for gene discovery and understanding the genetic properties of inheritance.

Mendels genes were only hypothetical entities, factors that could be inferred to exist in order to explain his results. The 20th century saw tremendous strides in the development of the understanding of the nature of genes and how they function. Mendels publications lay unmentioned in the research literature until 1900, when the same conclusions were reached by several other investigators. Then there followed hundreds of papers showing Mendelian inheritance in a wide array of plants and animals, including humans. It seemed that Mendels ideas were of general validity. Many biologists noted that the inheritance of genes closely paralleled the inheritance of chromosomes during nuclear divisions, called meiosis, that occur in the cell divisions just prior to gamete formation.

It seemed that genes were parts of chromosomes. In 1910 this idea was strengthened through the demonstration of parallel inheritance of certain Drosophila (a type of fruit fly) genes on sex-determining chromosomes by American zoologist and geneticist Thomas Hunt Morgan. Morgan and one of his students, Alfred Henry Sturtevant, showed not only that certain genes seemed to be linked on the same chromosome but that the distance between genes on the same chromosome could be calculated by measuring the frequency at which new chromosomal combinations arose (these were proposed to be caused by chromosomal breakage and reunion, also known as crossing over). In 1916 another student of Morgans, Calvin Bridges, used fruit flies with an extra chromosome to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the only way to explain the abnormal inheritance of certain genes was if they were part of the extra chromosome. American geneticist Hermann Joseph Mller showed that new alleles (called mutations) could be produced at high frequencies by treating cells with X-rays, the first demonstration of an environmental mutagenic agent (mutations can also arise spontaneously). In 1931 American botanist Harriet Creighton and American scientist Barbara McClintock demonstrated that new allelic combinations of linked genes were correlated with physically exchanged chromosome parts.

In 1908 British physician Archibald Garrod proposed the important idea that the human disease alkaptonuria, and certain other hereditary diseases, were caused by inborn errors of metabolism, suggesting for the first time that linked genes had molecular action at the cell level. Molecular genetics did not begin in earnest until 1941 when American geneticist George Beadle and American biochemist Edward Tatum showed that the genes they were studying in the fungus Neurospora crassa acted by coding for catalytic proteins called enzymes. Subsequent studies in other organisms extended this idea to show that genes generally code for proteins. Soon afterward, American bacteriologist Oswald Avery, Canadian American geneticist Colin M. MacLeod, and American biologist Maclyn McCarty showed that bacterial genes are made of DNA, a finding that was later extended to all organisms.

A major landmark was attained in 1953 when American geneticist and biophysicist James D. Watson and British biophysicists Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins devised a double helix model for DNA structure. This model showed that DNA was capable of self-replication by separating its complementary strands and using them as templates for the synthesis of new DNA molecules. Each of the intertwined strands of DNA was proposed to be a chain of chemical groups called nucleotides, of which there were known to be four types. Because proteins are strings of amino acids, it was proposed that a specific nucleotide sequence of DNA could contain a code for an amino acid sequence and hence protein structure. In 1955 American molecular biologist Seymour Benzer, extending earlier studies in Drosophila, showed that the mutant sites within a gene could be mapped in relation to each other. His linear map indicated that the gene itself is a linear structure.

In 1958 the strand-separation method for DNA replication (called the semiconservative method) was demonstrated experimentally for the first time by American molecular biologist Matthew Meselson and American geneticist Franklin W. Stahl. In 1961 Crick and South African biologist Sydney Brenner showed that the genetic code must be read in triplets of nucleotides, called codons. American geneticist Charles Yanofsky showed that the positions of mutant sites within a gene matched perfectly the positions of altered amino acids in the amino acid sequence of the corresponding protein. In 1966 the complete genetic code of all 64 possible triplet coding units (codons), and the specific amino acids they code for, was deduced by American biochemists Marshall Nirenberg and Har Gobind Khorana. Subsequent studies in many organisms showed that the double helical structure of DNA, the mode of its replication, and the genetic code are the same in virtually all organisms, including plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. In 1961 French biologist Franois Jacob and French biochemist Jacques Monod established the prototypical model for gene regulation by showing that bacterial genes can be turned on (initiating transcription into RNA and protein synthesis) and off through the binding action of regulatory proteins to a region just upstream of the coding region of the gene.

Technical advances have played an important role in the advance of genetic understanding. In 1970 American microbiologists Daniel Nathans and Hamilton Othanel Smith discovered a specialized class of enzymes (called restriction enzymes) that cut DNA at specific nucleotide target sequences. That discovery allowed American biochemist Paul Berg in the early 1970s to make the first artificial recombinant DNA molecule by isolating DNA molecules from different sources, cutting them, and joining them together in a test tube. Shortly thereafter, American biochemists Herbert W. Boyer and Stanley N. Cohen came up with methods to produce recombinant plasmids (extragenomic circular DNA elements), which replicated naturally when inserted into bacterial cells. These advances allowed individual genes to be cloned (amplified to a high copy number) by splicing them into self-replicating DNA molecules, such as plasmids or viruses, and inserting these into living bacterial cells. From these methodologies arose the field of recombinant DNA technology that came to dominate molecular genetics. In 1977 two different methods were invented for determining the nucleotide sequence of DNA: one by American molecular biologists Allan Maxam and Walter Gilbert and the other by English biochemist Fred Sanger. Such technologies made it possible to examine the structure of genes directly by nucleotide sequencing, resulting in the confirmation of many of the inferences about genes originally made indirectly.

In the 1970s Canadian biochemist Michael Smith revolutionized the art of redesigning genes by devising a method for inducing specifically tailored mutations at defined sites within a gene, creating a technique known as site-directed mutagenesis. In 1983 American biochemist Kary B. Mullis invented the polymerase chain reaction, a method for rapidly detecting and amplifying a specific DNA sequence without cloning it. In the last decade of the 20th century, progress in recombinant DNA technology and in the development of automated sequencing machines led to the elucidation of complete DNA sequences of several viruses, bacteria, plants, and animals. In 2001 the complete sequence of human DNA, approximately three billion nucleotide pairs, was made public.

A time line of important milestones in the history of genetics is provided in the table.

Classical genetics, which remains the foundation for all other areas in genetics, is concerned primarily with the method by which genetic traitsclassified as dominant (always expressed), recessive (subordinate to a dominant trait), intermediate (partially expressed), or polygenic (due to multiple genes)are transmitted in plants and animals. These traits may be sex-linked (resulting from the action of a gene on the sex, or X, chromosome) or autosomal (resulting from the action of a gene on a chromosome other than a sex chromosome). Classical genetics began with Mendels study of inheritance in garden peas and continues with studies of inheritance in many different plants and animals. Today a prime reason for performing classical genetics is for gene discoverythe finding and assembling of a set of genes that affects a biological property of interest.

Cytogenetics, the microscopic study of chromosomes, blends the skills of cytologists, who study the structure and activities of cells, with those of geneticists, who study genes. Cytologists discovered chromosomes and the way in which they duplicate and separate during cell division at about the same time that geneticists began to understand the behaviour of genes at the cellular level. The close correlation between the two disciplines led to their combination.

Plant cytogenetics early became an important subdivision of cytogenetics because, as a general rule, plant chromosomes are larger than those of animals. Animal cytogenetics became important after the development of the so-called squash technique, in which entire cells are pressed flat on a piece of glass and observed through a microscope; the human chromosomes were numbered using this technique.

Today there are multiple ways to attach molecular labels to specific genes and chromosomes, as well as to specific RNAs and proteins, that make these molecules easily discernible from other components of cells, thereby greatly facilitating cytogenetics research.

Microorganisms were generally ignored by the early geneticists because they are small in size and were thought to lack variable traits and the sexual reproduction necessary for a mixing of genes from different organisms. After it was discovered that microorganisms have many different physical and physiological characteristics that are amenable to study, they became objects of great interest to geneticists because of their small size and the fact that they reproduce much more rapidly than larger organisms. Bacteria became important model organisms in genetic analysis, and many discoveries of general interest in genetics arose from their study. Bacterial genetics is the centre of cloning technology.

Viral genetics is another key part of microbial genetics. The genetics of viruses that attack bacteria were the first to be elucidated. Since then, studies and findings of viral genetics have been applied to viruses pathogenic on plants and animals, including humans. Viruses are also used as vectors (agents that carry and introduce modified genetic material into an organism) in DNA technology.

Molecular genetics is the study of the molecular structure of DNA, its cellular activities (including its replication), and its influence in determining the overall makeup of an organism. Molecular genetics relies heavily on genetic engineering (recombinant DNA technology), which can be used to modify organisms by adding foreign DNA, thereby forming transgenic organisms. Since the early 1980s, these techniques have been used extensively in basic biological research and are also fundamental to the biotechnology industry, which is devoted to the manufacture of agricultural and medical products. Transgenesis forms the basis of gene therapy, the attempt to cure genetic disease by addition of normally functioning genes from exogenous sources.

The development of the technology to sequence the DNA of whole genomes on a routine basis has given rise to the discipline of genomics, which dominates genetics research today. Genomics is the study of the structure, function, and evolutionary comparison of whole genomes. Genomics has made it possible to study gene function at a broader level, revealing sets of genes that interact to impinge on some biological property of interest to the researcher. Bioinformatics is the computer-based discipline that deals with the analysis of such large sets of biological information, especially as it applies to genomic information.

The study of genes in populations of animals, plants, and microbes provides information on past migrations, evolutionary relationships and extents of mixing among different varieties and species, and methods of adaptation to the environment. Statistical methods are used to analyze gene distributions and chromosomal variations in populations.

Population genetics is based on the mathematics of the frequencies of alleles and of genetic types in populations. For example, the Hardy-Weinberg formula, p2 + 2pq + q2 = 1, predicts the frequency of individuals with the respective homozygous dominant (AA), heterozygous (Aa), and homozygous recessive (aa) genotypes in a randomly mating population. Selection, mutation, and random changes can be incorporated into such mathematical models to explain and predict the course of evolutionary change at the population level. These methods can be used on alleles of known phenotypic effect, such as the recessive allele for albinism, or on DNA segments of any type of known or unknown function.

Human population geneticists have traced the origins and migration and invasion routes of modern humans, Homo sapiens. DNA comparisons between the present peoples on the planet have pointed to an African origin of Homo sapiens. Tracing specific forms of genes has allowed geneticists to deduce probable migration routes out of Africa to the areas colonized today. Similar studies show to what degree present populations have been mixed by recent patterns of travel.

Another aspect of genetics is the study of the influence of heredity on behaviour. Many aspects of animal behaviour are genetically determined and can therefore be treated as similar to other biological properties. This is the subject material of behaviour genetics, whose goal is to determine which genes control various aspects of behaviour in animals. Human behaviour is difficult to analyze because of the powerful effects of environmental factors, such as culture. Few cases of genetic determination of complex human behaviour are known. Genomics studies provide a useful way to explore the genetic factors involved in complex human traits such as behaviour.

Some geneticists specialize in the hereditary processes of human genetics. Most of the emphasis is on understanding and treating genetic disease and genetically influenced ill health, areas collectively known as medical genetics. One broad area of activity is laboratory research dealing with the mechanisms of human gene function and malfunction and investigating pharmaceutical and other types of treatments. Since there is a high degree of evolutionary conservation between organisms, research on model organismssuch as bacteria, fungi, and fruit flies (Drosophila)which are easier to study, often provides important insights into human gene function.

Many single-gene diseases, caused by mutant alleles of a single gene, have been discovered. Two well-characterized single-gene diseases include phenylketonuria (PKU) and Tay-Sachs disease. Other diseases, such as heart disease, schizophrenia, and depression, are thought to have more complex heredity components that involve a number of different genes. These diseases are the focus of a great deal of research that is being carried out today.

Another broad area of activity is clinical genetics, which centres on advising parents of the likelihood of their children being affected by genetic disease caused by mutant genes and abnormal chromosome structure and number. Such genetic counseling is based on examining individual and family medical records and on diagnostic procedures that can detect unexpressed, abnormal forms of genes. Counseling is carried out by physicians with a particular interest in this area or by specially trained nonphysicians.

Link:
genetics | History, Biology, Timeline, & Facts ...

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Become a Donor | The Bone Marrow Foundation

Jack, diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), and his donor Kristy

To become a donor it just takes a small vial of blood or swab of cheek cells to be typed as a bone marrow/stem cell donor. There are many patients who are desperately waiting to find a donor match. You may be able to save someones life. There are donor registry sites throughout the country.

You must be between the ages of 18 and 60 and in general good health. You should be committed to helping any patient. A simple blood test or cheek cell swab that is given through an authorized National Marrow Donor Program Donor Center or Recruitment Group is needed to obtain your HLA tissue type so it can be entered into the National Registry. You will have to complete a short health questionnaire and sign a form stating that you understand what it means to be listed in the Registry.

The cost for HLA tissue typing ranges from $45 to $96 depending on the Donor Center, the level of testing performed, and the laboratory that analyzes the test results. There may be funding available to offset this cost through the Donor Center. After the initial testing, all medical expenses are covered by the recipient or the recipients insurance. Please contact your local Donor Center for further information.

To find out more information and to become a donor:

Delete Blood Cancer | DKMS1-866-340-3567www.deletebloodcancer.org

The National Marrow Donor Program/Be The Match1-800-654-1247www.marrow.org

The American Bone Marrow Donor Registry1-800-745-2452www.abmdr.org

The Gift of Life1-800-9MARROWwww.giftoflife.org

The Icla da Silva Foundation, Inc.Helping Children and Adults with Leukemia(866) FDN-ICLAwww.icla.org

Every 15 minutes, someone in the United States is diagnosed with a medical condition (over 35,000 people a year) such as leukemia, anemias, myelodysplastic disorders and other life-threatening diseases that require treatment with bone marrow/stem cell transplants. Nearly 70 percent of these patients must rely on an unrelated donor to offer them this precious gift of life. Unfortunately, many patients who are in need of a bone marrow/stem cell transplant cannot find a suitable donor no relatives that match and no match among volunteer donors.

Fortunately, there is an alternative that has been researched and is now proving to be a good option for many of these patientsstem cells from a newborns placental and umbilical cord blood. A newborns umbilical cord and placenta contains stem cells that are the building blocks for mature blood and immune system cells. Umbilical cord blood is collected at the time of birth under controlled conditions, shipped to a blood bank where it is tested, typed and stored.

Two studies published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 351:2276-285 and an editorial by Miguel A. Sanz, M.D., Ph.D. in the same issue, concluded that cord blood should be considered as an acceptable source of stem cells in the absence of a matched bone marrow donor. For many gravely ill patients (who do not have an available donor who is a match), the immediate availability of typed cord blood units is a compelling reason for its use. And for ethnic minorities, who may have unique combinations of HLA types, the chances of finding a donor match with cord blood is greater than from the existing bone marrow donor pool.

If you have a family history of certain diseases you might choose to save your babys cord blood with a private bank. Alternatively, you can donate the cord blood to a public bank. The Bone Marrow Foundation encourages you to direct any questions you have concerning the use and storage of cord blood to your physician or other appropriate health care professional. The following are further resources for more information on public and private banking:

Public Banking National Marrow Donor Program1-800-654-1247www.marrow.org

National Cord Blood ProgramNew York Blood Center310 East 67th StreetNew York, NY 100211-866- 767-NCBP (6227)www.nationalcordbloodprogram.org

Parents Guide to Cord Blood Bankingwww.parentsguidecordblood.org

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Become a Donor | The Bone Marrow Foundation

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Stem Cell Basics A Closer Look at Stem Cells

About stem cells

Stem cells are the foundation of development in plants, animals and humans. In humans, there are many different types of stem cells that come from different places in the body or are formed at different times in our lives. These include embryonic stem cells that exist only at the earliest stages of development and various types oftissue-specific(oradult)stem cells that appear during fetal development and remain in our bodies throughout life.Stem cells are defined by two characteristics:

Beyond these two things, though, stem cells differ a great deal in their behaviors and capabilities.

Embryonic stem cells arepluripotent, meaning they can generate all of the bodys cell types but cannot generate support structures like the placenta and umbilical cord.

Other cells aremultipotent,meaning they can generate a few different cell types, generally in a specific tissue or organ.

As the body develops and ages, the number and type of stem cells changes. Totipotent cells are no longer present after dividing into the cells that generate the placenta and umbilical cord. Pluripotent cells give rise to the specialized cells that make up the bodys organs and tissues. The stem cells that stay in your body throughout your life are tissue-specific, and there is evidence that these cells change as you age, too your skin stem cells at age 20 wont be exactly the same as your skin stem cells at age 80.

Learn more about different types of stem cellshere.

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Stem Cell Basics A Closer Look at Stem Cells

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

TREATMENTS – IMAGE NOW. Age later.

Our signature chemical peels help to reverse the visible effects of damage in two ways. First, they power away dull, dead cells to illuminate the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, clogged pores and blemishes. Then, they support collagen for firmer-looking skin over time. Ask your esthetician which IMAGE chemical peel will best target your skins individual needs.

I PEEL | WRINKLE LIFT

Ultra-resurfacing blend of glycolic acid combined with retinol to visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Skin type indications: Aging, wrinkles, rough complexion, uneven skin tone, smokers skin, tired/dull skin, oily/acne

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This advanced treatment is formulated with additional glycolic acid and an innovative blend of firming and anti-aging properties, to visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

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This distinct blend of active exfoliants works synergistically to visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines, correct uneven skin tone, smooth rough texture and reduce acne blemishes.

Skin type indications: Aging, pigmentation, acne

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This concentrated blend of lactic acid, salicylic acid and resorcinol works synergistically to quickly and effectively reduce the appearance of advanced aging, pigmentation and acne. This extra strength treatment reveals a younger you in a single treatment.

Skin type indications: Advanced aging, pigmentation, acne

I PEEL | ACNE LIFT

Blend of AHAs and BHAs with protective agents to effectively treat all grades of acne.

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I PEEL | BETA LIFT

This powerful non-blended salicylic acid treatment quickly and effectively targets and improves moderate/severe acne. Skin type indications: Acne, oily, aging

I PEEL | LIGHTENING LIFT

Lactic acid blended with kojic acid and a cocktail of brightening agents to reduce all forms of pigmentation.

Skin type indications: Pigmentation, aging, dry/dehydrated, uneven skin tone, age spots, redness-prone

I PEEL | LIGHTENING LIFT FORTE

This results-driven treatment combines the most innovative and effective botanical brighteners with echinacea, plant-derived stem cells and anti-aging peptides for youthful, illuminated skin.

Skin type indications: Advanced pigmentation, aging, dry/dehydrated, uneven skin tone, age spots, redness-prone

See the article here:
TREATMENTS - IMAGE NOW. Age later.

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Types of Stem Cells A Closer Look at Stem Cells

Tissue-specific stem cells

Tissue-specific stem cells (also referred to assomaticoradultstem cells) are more specialized than embryonic stem cells. Typically, these stem cells can generate different cell types for the specific tissue or organ in which they live.

For example, blood-forming (orhematopoietic) stem cells in the bone marrow can give rise to red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. However, blood-forming stem cells dont generate liver or lung or brain cells, and stem cells in other tissues and organs dont generate red or white blood cells or platelets.

Some tissues and organs within your body contain small caches of tissue-specific stem cells whose job it is to replace cells from that tissue that are lost in normal day-to-day living or in injury, such as those in your skin, blood, and the lining of your gut.

Tissue-specific stem cells can be difficult to find in the human body, and they dont seem to self-renew in culture as easily as embryonic stem cells do. However, study of these cells has increased our general knowledge about normal development, what changes in aging, and what happens with injury and disease.

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Types of Stem Cells A Closer Look at Stem Cells

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Non-Functioning Tumors (Endocrine-Inactive Tumors …

As their name indicates, these relatively common pituitary adenomas do not result in excess hormone production. Instead they typically cause symptoms because of increasing size and pressure effect on the normal pituitary gland and on structures near the pituitary such as the optic nerves and chiasm. The major symptoms of patients with endocrine-inactive tumors are those of pituitary failure (hypopituitarism), visual loss and headache. Hypopituitarism may manifest itself as nausea, vomiting, weakness, decreased mental function, loss of sexual drive, infertility and in women, irregular or absent periods (amenorrhea). The vast majority of these tumors are benign. Most are macroadenomas (over 1 cm in size) when finally diagnosed. Occasionally, they grow quite large and into the cavernous sinus causing nerve compression and double vision. Some patients with large tumors may have acute hemorrhage into the tumor (pituitary apoplexy) causing relatively sudden onset of headache, visual loss, double vision, and/or pituitary failure. Endocrine-inactive adenomas may also be discovered incidentally during an evaluation for another problem, such as a head injury. Almost half of endocrine-inactive adenomas secrete part of a hormone called the alpha-subunit, which is not hormonally active but can be measured in the blood.

In patients with symptoms suggestive of pituitary failure (hypopituitarism), a complete endocrinological evaluation should be performed. These blood tests should include:

Based on the results of these tests, additional hormonal studies may be ordered.

For patients with visual complaints, an ophthalmologist (preferably a neuro-ophthalmologist should evaluate the patient. This evaluation should include acuity testing of each eye and formal visual field testing to determine if there is loss of peripheral vision.

An MRI of the pituitary without and with gadolinium (contrast agent) is the preferred study for visualizing a pituitary tumor. In most instances, a CT scan without and with contrast will also detect an adenoma. In a minority of cases instances it may be difficult to distinguish an adenoma of the pituitary from other masses. These masses include:

For the great majority of patients with symptomatic endocrine-inactive adenomas, transsphenoidal surgery and adenoma removal is the preferred and most effective therapy. The long-term cure or control rate is approximately 70-80% overall. The cure rate is generally higher for smaller tumors and those that do not invade the cavernous sinus; conversely, the cure rate is lower for larger tumors (over 3 cm) and those that do invade the cavernous sinus. Overall, transsphenoidal tumor resection results in an improvement in visual acuity and visual field deficits in 75-90% of patients, headache resolution in 80-90% of patients, and improvement in hypopituitarism in only 10-30% of patients. Patients who do not have hormonal recovery after surgery will require long-term hormone replacement therapy. Because the transsphenoidal approach is so effective and relatively safe, it is rare that even large macroadenomas warrant a transcranial operation as the initial procedure.

There is no known effective medical therapy that reliably slows or stops growth of endocrine inactive adenomas.

Radiation is generally used as a second line therapy for endocrine-inactive tumors. For patients who have residual tumor after the initial surgery, radiation or repeat transsphenoidal surgery or both are generally indicated if the tumor grows as seen on subsequent MRIs. Both conventional (external beam) and stereotactic radiosurgery are relatively effective in controlling growth, but stereotactic radiation can deliver a higher radiation dose to the tumor more safely. Consequently it is the preferred radiation technique. Also, external beam radiation reliably causes loss of remaining normal pituitary function over 5 to 10 years. Stereotactic radiosurgery may also cause loss of pituitary function, but less frequently then external beam radiation.

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Non-Functioning Tumors (Endocrine-Inactive Tumors ...

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