Archive for February 7th, 2009|Daily archive page

AP: Stem cell, cloning expert Jerry Yang dead at 49

In ALL ARTICLES, Uncategorized on February 7, 2009 at 4:49 pm
Dolly, the cloned sheep.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Xiangzhong “Jerry” Yang, a stem cell scientist who successfully cloned the first farm animal in the United States, has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 49.

Yang, director of the Center for Regenerative Biology at the University of Connecticut, died Thursday at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, school spokesman David Bauman said Friday.

In 1999, Yang put UConn on the world’s scientific map when a Holstein named Amy was born in Storrs. She was the first cloned farm animal in the United States. The world’s first cloned animal was Dolly the sheep, created in 1996 in Scotland.

But Yang died before achieving one of his dreams: the cloning of a human embryo for potentially lifesaving stem cells.

Escaping starvation in rural China as a baby in a village about 300 miles south of Beijing, Yang was placed in the prestigious Beijing Agricultural University, where his high test scores earned him a coveted opportunity to pursue a graduate education in the United States.

Yang proved that early reports that clones would age prematurely were false. The Food and Drug Administration relied heavily on Yang’s work when it found meat and dairy products from cloned farm animals were safe to eat and drink.

“Jerry was one of the greatest scientists and cloning pioneers of our time,” Dr. Robert Lanza, chief science officer at Advanced Cell Technology of Worcester, a biotech company which has pursued creating stem cells through cloning, told The Hartford Courant. “He was a really great man who struggled to his last hours to better the world and to advance the scientific cause.”

Information from: The Hartford Courant, http://www.courant.com

The Associated Press: Stem cell, cloning expert Jerry Yang dead at 49.

BBC NEWS | Health | Cell find ‘lifts leukaemia fight’

In ALL ARTICLES, SCIENCE & STEM CELLS on February 7, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Purple acute myelod leukaemia cells visible amongst the blood cells

A Stanford University study found that leukaemia “stem cells”, which drive the spread of the cancer, work differently to healthy blood stem cells.

This might mean they could be targeted and destroyed more easily.

The study, published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, might one day reduce the chances of leukaemia returning after treatment, say experts.

These findings may have a substantial clinical impact
Dr Tim Somervaille
Study author

Cancer was once regarded a disease in   which all malignant cells were the same, but in recent years, cancer researchers have focused on the role of cancer “stem cells”.

These, like healthy stem cells, provide a source for new cells, and it is important to kill these to stop the cancer regrouping and returning.

This is a problem in leukaemia, in which there can be a significant risk of relapse even after apparently successful chemotherapy.

Conventional treatment for some forms of leukaemia destroys both leukaemia cells and healthy blood cells, but the latest research may point to ways in which therapies can be fine tuned to pick off the leukaemia stem cells more efficiently.

The researchers found difference between two types of stem cells.

Leukaemia stem cells, they found, tap into a genetic mechanism normally harnessed by stem cells in the embryo to allow their division into fresh cells.

Normal blood stem cells use a difference mechanism to prompt their growth.

This means that, in theory at least, drugs which targeted this process would stop leukaemia stem cells dividing, while leaving healthy blood stem cells unharmed…

BBC NEWS | Health | Cell find ‘lifts leukaemia fight’.


In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 7, 2009 at 6:16 am



A Hanford couple is placing all their hopes for their little boy’s future on stem-cell treatment. But first they have to raise a total of $55,000 — nearly $40,000 for the procedure, and the rest for travel expenses. They’re more than half-way to their goal already.

Their smiley, blonde and blue-eyed 1-year-old son, Gryphon Klomp, was born healthy, joining sister Jocelynn, 4. But about a month later, a brain infection left him with little hope of ever hearing or walking.

Stem-cell transplants are fairly new and results vary from one patient to another. And published studies are lacking, the family’s pediatrician, Dr. Lance Tomooka, has advised.

“We like to see in medical fields published studies, but unfortunately all the evidence of stem-cell treatment for cerebral palsy is anecdotal — with a handful of patients having gone through stem-cell transplants for cerebral palsy with fairly good outcomes,” Tomooka said. “There’s very little risk. The biggest risk is financial.”

But even with no guarantees, parents Michael and Aleesha Klomp are hopeful that the treatment will help their only son hear and move normally again. …the improvement rate is about 80 percent

Hanford family seeks stem-cell treatment / HanfordSentinel.com News.


In ALL ARTICLES, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 7, 2009 at 2:50 am


6 Feb 09, India, CHENNAI:

Adult stem cells extracted from the patient’s bone marrow have been found to cure several ailments, but a therapy for regeneration of blood vessels hold out bigger hopes.

The dept of vascular surgery at the Sri Ramachandra Medical College Hospital & Research Institute in Dec 2007 has used adult stem cells to trigger growth of new blood vessels in the limbs of at least 30 patients who suffer from critical limb ischemia – a condition of blood vessels in the limb getting blocked, often resulting in amputation.

Dr V Balaji, vascular surgeon – the treatment till some years ago was amputation. “Now, science is demonstrating that ASC’s regenerate ischemic arteries by stimulating angiogenesis in the areas of damaged tissue, thereby restoring proper blood circulation to the limb.”


Applications of Adult Stem Cells that Produce Therapeutic Benefits for Human Patients


Stem Cell


For a sample of “Peer Reviewed References Showing Applications of Adult Stem Cells that Produce Therapeutic Benefits for Human Patients”, go here:

For the article by Prentice, D. “Adult Stem Cells” Appendix K in Monitoring Stem Cell Research: A Report of the President’s Council on Bioethics (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 2004), 309-346:



In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS - 101 on February 7, 2009 at 2:10 am



– by Don Margolis

Both have promise to improve patients’ lives by implanting them into the patient’s body to replace damaged or dead tissue. Both are ALREADY helping medical knowledge, such as drug development and understanding diseases in new ways.ADULT stem cells (ASC) come from more sources than anyone can count. First was in the bone marrow, then the blood, then certain fat cells, then nasal skin, then the dam broke and we seem to find a new source in the body every month. ALL of these produce AUTOLOGOUS ASC, meaning from the patient’s own body.

ASC include also non-autologous cells. The strongest seem to be from the placenta and the umbilical cords of healthy newborn babies, which can be frozen and used to help the baby decades later or a family member months later, or a stranger also.

ASC are already helping improve and extend the lives of patients with dozens of “incurable” diseases,” 73 when you count only published scientific papers, well over 100 if you read all the reports from outside the USA you canfind.

Embryonic stem cells (ESC) are thought to be more powerful than ASC and maybe they are. They come from very early in a pregnancy and are the by-products of abortions and fertility clinics. However, ten years of research followed by animal tests seem to produce two results:

1–Disease symptoms can be reduced by ESC.

2–Animals die from tumors in too many cases.

Ergo–no approved clinical trials after ten years.


In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS - 101 on February 7, 2009 at 2:01 am


“Autologous RSC” (RSC originating from the patient’s own body) are the primary source of RSC used in successful treatments today; followed distantly by RSC extracted from the umbilical cords of healthy newborns. In autologous RSC treatments, the RSC are extracted, matured, and then implanted into the original patient.

A significant reduction of the symptoms of the disease usually results, and in some cases, even the progression of the disease slows. RSC is not only a substitute treatment to standard medical treatment protocols but it is often the only potentially successful treatment option for diseases that are either considered “untreatable” or where standard treatments are inadequate to relieve the patient’s symptoms and suffering.

Lawmakers approve (ADULT) stem cell legislation & funding

In ALL ARTICLES, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 7, 2009 at 1:41 am


Let me get this straight:

Smokers buy cigarettes…
Tobacco company makes billions…
Smokers get lung cancer and cardiovascular disease…
Tobacco company gets sued…
Tobacco company pays settlement…
Tobacco settlement funds adult stem cell research…
Adult stem cells treat lung cancer and cardiovascular disease successfully around the world…

Smokers die waiting for the US to catch up to the rest of the world on adult stem cell treatment research.

…yeah, that sounds about right.
Oh well, at least it’s a step in the right direction.  Don’t worry, we’ll have treatments in 10-12 years.  You can hold on that long right?



By Associated Press – Published: 2/4/2009 7:17 PM

State lawmakers have given preliminary approval to legislation that could provide nearly $2 million for adult stem cell research in Oklahoma…It would allow 10 percent of the interest earnings on the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund to be used for adult stem cell research…

Enns says he believes adult stem cell therapies hold the cures for many diseases and spinal cord injuries. Enns was in an accident that confined him to a wheelchair, making him a potential recipient of future stem cell therapies.

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