Archive for September 13th, 2009|Daily archive page


In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on September 13, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Published 23 January 2009

Twelve years ago, Irving Weissman discovered a treatment that might have saved the lives of thousands of women with advanced breast cancer, but pharmaceutical companies weren’t interested in developing the therapy. Though that interest is finally being reignited, Weissman doesn’t pull any punches. “I hate to say I told you so,” he said.

Weissman, a professor of pathology and developmental biology at Stanford University, spoke Wednesday and Thursday at Columbia University.

Weissman laid out the conceptual foundation of his work—that stem cells are rare, self-renewing, and can regenerate body tissues. Weissman repeatedly expressed frustration that while many of his discoveries seemed to hold remarkable potential for life-saving treatments, commercial or regulatory hurdles have prevented his scientific research from benefiting human beings.

One example is

Weissman’s mid-’90s research on type I diabetes, in which he demonstrated the ability to fully cure type I diabetes in mice using stem cells.

But even though the experiments avoided political controversy by using so-called adult stem cells, which do not come from embryos, Weissman ran into a road block when pharmaceutical companies refused to sponsor clinical trials. The therapy went nowhere. Weissman implied that the pharmaceutical companies had put profit over principle, preferring to keep diabetes sufferers dependent on costly insulin than to cure them once and for all.

“He [Weissman] has a long history of being at the forefront of his field,” Arthur Palmer, professor of structural biology at Columbia said, remarking that Weissman has never been afraid to challenge scientific orthodoxy.

Diabetes NEEDLE

via Scientist Revives Research.

QOTD: Quote of the day – Eisenhower

In QUOTE OF THE DAY on September 13, 2009 at 8:04 pm

FOr those doing personal battle with disease, remember this…

Dwight Eisenhower
What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.


Tick saliva could hold cancer cure: Brazil

In OFF THE BEATEN PATH on September 13, 2009 at 2:43 pm

the tickTick saliva could hold cancer cure: Brazilian scientists

By Marc Burleigh (AFP) – Aug 28, 2009

SAO PAULO — It may be one of nature’s repulsive little blood-sucking parasites, but the humble tick could yield a future cure for cancers of the skin, liver and pancreas, Brazilian researchers have discovered.Tick Bird

They have identified a protein in the saliva of a common South American tick, Amblyomma cajennense, that apparently reduces and can even eradicate SPIT asiacancerous cells while leaving healthy cells alone.

“This is a radical innovation,” said Ana Marisa Chudzinski-Tavassi, the molecular biologist at the Instituto Butantan in Sao Paulo who is leading the research.

“The component of the saliva of this tick… could be thespit drawing cure for cancer,” she told AFP.

via AFP: Tick saliva could hold cancer cure: Brazilian scientists.

A denture-free world with adult stem cells

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on September 13, 2009 at 1:35 pm

bush stole my denturesNova Southeastern University’s dental researchers at the College of Dental Medicine are growing and harvesting human dental stem cells in the laboratory.A 2009 NSU survey of dentists around the nation revealed that more than half thought that they would be using stem cell and tissue engineering therapies on their patients within the next decade.

An overwhelming 96 percent of dentists believe the ability to regenerate and replace teeth and dental tissues is the future of dentistry, according to the survey.

The practical application of NSU’s research is for replacement teeth and dental tissues to be grown in the lab and implanted into patients. Having “real” replacement teeth will allow patients to better experience normal dental sensations, such as taste. Their teeth will have the ability to function, grow and develop as normal healthy teeth.

The goal of NSU’s research is to ultimately put an end to the fear of millions of Americans, who will no longer have to worry about a lack of teeth, dental pain, dental disease and using dentures.


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