DAVID GRANOVSKY

Posts Tagged ‘BIOLOGY’

STEM CELLS USED TO RESTORE WOMEN’S FERTILITY

In SCIENCE & STEM CELLS, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on March 14, 2013 at 9:00 am

fertility-self

Egg-producing stem cells found in human ovaries

Scientists say they have found a way to use ovarian stem cells to perhaps one day help infertile women get pregnant — or add years to a woman’s reproductive cycle.

In a study published in Nature Medicine, researchers report finding egg-producing stem cells in human ovaries. They also report being able to make some of those ovarian stem cells grow into immature eggs that may someday be useful for reproduction.  At this point, such “seed” eggs can’t be fertilized by sperm. But if scientists are able to entice them to mature and can prove they can be fertilized and grow into embryos — a feat that has been reported in mice — it would overturn a long-held scientific belief that women can’t make new eggs as they get older.

“What it does is really open a door into human reproduction that 10 years ago didn’t even exist,” says researcher Jonathan L. Tilly, PhD, director of the Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston.

Outside experts agree. They say the findings could have profound importance for reproductive medicine and aging, allowing doctors not only to restore a woman’s fertility but also to potentially delay menopause.  “I think the significance of this work is like reporting that we found microorganisms on Mars,” says Kutluk Oktay, MD, who directs the Division of Reproductive Medicine and the Institute for Fertility Preservation at New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y.

“It’s a proof of principle that they could do it,” says David F. Albertini, PhD, director of the Center for Reproductive Sciences at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan.

The egg-generating stem cells the researchers were able to extract from ovaries were very rare. The researchers only came across one for every 10,000 or so ovarian cells that they counted.  But when they took those cells and implanted them back into human ovarian tissue, they divided and essentially made young eggs.

Tilly says his team stopped short of trying to make one of the eggs functional because “for a lot of reasons, as it should be,” it is illegal in the U.S. to experimentally fertilize human eggs.

“We think the evidence provided clearly indicates that this very unique, newly discovered pool of cells does exist in women,” he says.

“It’s a really exciting result,” says Evelyn Telfer, PhD, a cell biology expert at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.  “What we’ve previously believed is that you don’t get new eggs formed during your adult life. This discovery shows that there’s the potential for them to be formed, no question about that,” Telfer says, “but it doesn’t actually show that they’re being formed under normal conditions.”

Indeed, she notes, experience would suggest otherwise. Women, after all, do lose their fertility as they age.  “There are cells there that under certain conditions have the potential to form [eggs]. That’s the really exciting part of this work. And of course they can be used. There’s a practical application,” she says.

Telfer has pioneered a technique that allows her to take immature human eggs and turn them into mature, fertilizable eggs outside the body. She has already partnered with Tilly to try to take his “seed” eggs to the next stage of development. With special government permission, she says, they may even be able to try to experimentally fertilize the eggs.

“It’s actually opening up a whole new field of research, to define these cells, to characterize these cells, and to use them in a practical way,” she says.

Tilly says that by using egg-generating stem cells to make large numbers of viable eggs, doctors might one day be able to cut the expense of in vitro fertilization (IVF), since women would no longer have to go through multiple cycles of treatment to harvest enough eggs to generate a pregnancy.

WebMD Health News

A DOG’S LIFE SAVED THROUGH STEM CELL TREATMENT

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on March 6, 2013 at 9:00 am

This is Thelma. She is an adorable, friendly, 7 year old Boxer. Thelma was to be put down because she was suffering from Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) in her neck. It was ultimately decided however to try stem cell therapy, performed by Pet Central Animal Hospital in Minneapolis, MN. This is a video of her BEFORE MediVet America’s stem cell procedure…..
AFTER: This is the after video of Thelma’s AMAZING progress after just 9 weeks from being treated with stem cell therapy!

SPINAL CORD REPAIRED THROUGH STEM CELLS

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on January 23, 2013 at 9:00 am

spinal-cord

Stem cells breathe new life into paralyzed gymnast

At the Dasara Games in September of 2010, a meticulous gymnast with the ambition to achieve the same stardom as his hero Ashish Kumar, met an untimely misfortune when mistiming a somersault during a practice routine.

“Ananth Rao’s head crashed on to the mat and he heard a cracking sound. His spine was shattered at the cervical region (C-6, C-7), paralyzing him for life. “I’ve always been told that one must learn from mistakes,” Ananth said. “One small mistake I made has cost me so much. I lost hope completely, I thought my life was over,” said the youngster, who was operated upon after his accident at the JSS Hospital in his hometown.  Although the doctors stabilized his neck, Ananth became a bedridden quadriplegic (all four limbs paralyzed) with no control over his bowel movements and was susceptible to a number of ailments.” He was forced to drop out of Mysore Maharaja College to focus on receiving vigorous physiotherapy and standard forms of treatment. But there was little improvement in his condition.  Just over a year after his accident, doctors heard about Ananth’s condition and decided to take up his case in a bid to improve his quality of life.  With the backing of the HCG Foundation, Ananth was exposed to advanced treatment in the form of mesenchymal stem cells – connective tissue cells that can differentiate into a variety of cell types – in a bid to try to regenerate nerve cells in his spinal cord.

After two stem cell injections and 11 months of focused rehabilitation, Ananth has shown remarkable signs of improvement.

“Today, I can dream new dreams of a future where I am not dependant on anyone and I can see myself living with dignity,” said Ananth, who showed no signs of difficulty lifting his arms, holding a pen or a cup of coffee. “He had been undergoing regular treatment for a year,” said HCG chairman and CEO Dr Ajaikumar, who along with orthopaedician Dr Pramod S Chinder, took a personal interest in Ananth’s case. “He was someone who led an active life as a gymnast and I felt we should take up this challenging case to show how regeneration can happen through stem cell treatment. We are glad our efforts have finally paid off,” he said, without ruling out further improvement.” “Ananth’s case was studied in detail. Stem cells of the patient were cultured and two injections were given to him,” said Dr Chinder, who was quick to add recovery chances were case specific. “Post treatment, the patient progressed significantly, with the movements of hands and there is sensation in his legs. There is increasing evidence in the benefits of stem cell therapies and spinal cord injuries are one of the most researched. In patients, who do not have any other option of recovering from spinal cord injuries, stem cell treatment is the way to go forward,” Dr. Chinder added.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

DENTAL STEM CELLS CARRY GREAT POTENTIAL

In ALL ARTICLES, SCIENCE & STEM CELLS, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on January 21, 2013 at 9:00 am

ed_helms

Dental pulp stem cells: a promising tool for bone regeneration.

Human tissues are different in term of regenerative properties. Stem cells are a promising tool for tissue regeneration, thanks to their particular characteristics of proliferation, differentiation and plasticity. Several “loci” or “niches” within the adult human body are colonized by a significant number of stem cells. However, access to these potential collection sites often is a limiting point. The interaction with biomaterials is a further point that needs to be considered for the therapeutic use of stem cells. Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) have been demonstrated to answer all of these issues: access to the collection site of these cells is easy and produces very low morbidity; extraction of stem cells from pulp tissue is highly efficiency; they have an extensive differentiation ability; and the demonstrated interactivity with biomaterials makes them ideal for tissue reconstruction. SBP-DPSCs are a multipotent stem cell subpopulation of DPSCs which are able to differentiate into osteoblasts, synthesizing 3D woven bone tissue chips in vitro and that are capable to synergically differentiate into osteoblasts and endotheliocytes.  Several studies have been performed on DPSCs and they mainly found that these cells are multipotent stromal cells that can be safety cryopreserved, used with several scaffolds, that can extensively proliferate, have a long lifespan and build in vivo an adult bone with Havers channels and an appropriate vascularization.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18300003

Dental stem cell banking facility launched by Stemade Biotech this week in Punjab, India with the intent to expand across the county.    “This will help the people to secure their healthy future. Like timely monetary investments help plan future financial security, dental stem cell banking can help plan for a disease- free body.” said Dr Vikas Jindal.

“Stem cells have a defining property to self- regenerate, which can be used to treat serious ailments. Unlike bone marrow stem cells, extracting dental cells is a noninvasive procedure. Dental pulp contains stem cells, known as dental pulp stem cells. The finest dental pulp stem cells are found in baby teeth or milk teeth. Dental stem cells can generate solid structures such as bone, new dental tissue, cartilage and muscle. Dental pulp stem cell banking can be done on milk teeth of children in the age group of five to 12. Teens that are undergoing orthodontic procedures, such as getting braces, have the opportunity to bank their premolars that are often extracted during the procedure. Adults on the other hand have the opportunity to bank on their dental pulp stem cells through wisdom teeth.”

dental-pulp-stem-cell

“Dental Stem cells are Mesenchymal (tissue-related) stem cells whilst umbilical cord blood provides hematopoietic (blood-related) stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cells have the potential to treat only blood-related disorders such as leukemia etc whereas, mesenchymal stem cells have potential applications in all other tissues of our body such as brain for treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, eye for corneal reconstruction and liver for cirrhosis, said Shailesh Gadre Managing Director, Stemade Biotech.”

STEM CELL TREATMENT FOR DEMENTIA SHOWS IMPROVEMENT

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on January 17, 2013 at 9:00 am

demencia-senil1

Stem Cells Shown to Reverse Dementia

Mary Holler, age 80, of Marco Island, Florida is smiling again.  Mary was suffering from dementia and felt her ability to function on a daily basis was slipping away.  Now, after undergoing a successful stem cell treatment in early December 2012, Mary is more like her old self again. She no longer suffers the frustration and agitation of being told she had already asked that question several times. Peter Holler , age 82, had become very concerned that his wife of 60 years was slowly losing her memory. She had been on medications for memory loss for several years but the deterioration in her recall accelerated in the last six months.  It was not unusual for him to answer the same question 4 to 5 times over the course of a day.  He felt he was losing his wife right in front of his eyes.  Mary’s poor performance on an in-depth memory test revealed that she should be in an assisted living facility.  This frightened both the Hollers and their children.

Peter Holler sought out stem cell therapy. He felt it was his wife’s only option. Peter, no stranger to stem cells, had undergone a stem cell treatment for his failing heart in 2008. He had experienced great success. “Even my lung function improved dramatically,” he recalls.  So using the same group that he had trusted with his heart, he made arrangements to get the love of his life treated.

A track record of several successfully treated patients with dementia already existed.  So the doctors knew exactly what to do.  Heading the team is Dr. Hector Rosario , an interventional cardiologist and head of the stem cell program in the Dominican Republic.  Dr. Zannos Grekos, Chief Science Officer for Intercellular, was present as well. “It’s very exciting to be able to have such a positive impact on a disease process that otherwise has such a grim prognosis,” Grekos explained.

After an activation and concentration process, stem cells collected from Mary’s bone marrow were injected into her cerebral circulation. “Look at the difference,” Dr. Rosario exclaimed while pointing to the before and after pictures of the brain circulation. The increase in blood vessel flow was astonishing. Since only adult stem cells from the patient are used, the political, ethical and medical issues are avoided and there is no risk of rejection.

“We’re able to normalize a patient’s brain function testing in 6 months after the treatment,” said Grekos, commenting on the success rate of patients receiving adult stem cell therapy to reverse the effects of dementia.

Dementia is a loss of brain function that occurs with age and certain diseases. Some types of dementia are non-reversible (degenerative) but others have a vascular component, even Alzheimer’s.  These respond especially well to stem cell treatment.

Press Release: Intercellular Sciences, LLC – Mon, Jan 7, 2013 6:01 PM EST

WAKE UP!!!

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on January 10, 2013 at 12:42 pm

WAKE UP!!!

ABOUT
STEM
CELLS!

STEM CELL TREATMENTS FOR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS SISTERS?

In ALL ARTICLES, OFF THE BEATEN PATH, STEM CELLS - 101 on January 3, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Two sisters have MS.  I thought it would be interesting to see them both get stem cell treatments to see how their body’s and the stem cells reacted differently in such genetically similar people.- DG

A friend intelligently made the following comment:
“Even twins would have unique MS experiences. You have to consider multiple factors at play with MS symptoms. I know fraternal twins who experience the MS differently and have to be treated in different ways. There is no one-size-fits-all with having and treating MS.”

My response:
I agree there is no one treatment fits all but that is one of the unique attributes of stem cell treatments.  Stem cells work within the systems of your own body, utilizing your own cells to regenerate and rejuvenate necrotic and damaged tissue, to create new tissue and to pull your own body’s healing elements into play to fix what is wrong.  Stem cells, especially autologous (from your own body) stem cells used in therapy are a highly personalized individual treatment which will not only heal twins differently but will actually result in a different therapy each time the same person receives them depending upon what is currently needed by the body.

By analogy: 
truck

Imagine a drug is a big mack truck, driving along and crashing through anything in it’s way to attain it’s destination.  Now imagine your own stem cells follow all of the rules of the road and even stop and fix damaged roadway on it’s way to it’s destination.  The stem cells recruit helpers and construction workers and healers along the way and they will even build new roads if the area is too damaged to support the healing activity required.

advanced-nav-header

Now imagine a batch of stem cells in a different country with different roads, signs, ailments etc and because they are part of the original healing system of that body, they are able to navigate, fix, recruit and heal there as well.

I agree 100%.  THERE IS NO ONE TREATMENT FITS ALL.  There is also no such thing as ONE STEM CELL TREATMENT.

snowflake3w

Each stem cell treatment is unique to each individual.  As they should be.
At least, the treatments I advocate are.

Embryonic Pluripotency May Give Up Secrets – But So What?

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on July 20, 2012 at 4:07 am

More forward looking statements (without any of the standard legalese on risks, assumptions and uncertainty) regarding the great mystery of embryonic stem cells maybe, sort of, perhaps, soon to give up it’s secrets.

So what’s the deal? 

“Pluripotency is defined as the capacity of individual cells to initiate all lineages of the mature organism in response to signals from the embryo or cell culture environment.”1

Embryonic stem cells have pluripotency.  Discovery of the methods and aspects which allow for pluripotency in embryonic stem cells are definitely a research milestone and one which will advance many lines of inquiry in various fields of medicine…but…there are a few major issues, particularly in the USA.

  • There are already ADULT stem cells which ARE PLURIPOTENT and can be used for treatment. 
  • The US is in a bitter tug of war in both accurate media coverage of stem cells and research and use of adult versus embryonic stem cells. 
  • Pharma is trying to make drugs out of this stuff and get patents on it.
  • In most cases, your own body can supply the necessary stem cells for your own treatment. 
  • And of course, the controversy issues of utilizing embryonic stem cells which will cause the religious right to exert huge resistance on any advancement of embryonic stem cell research in the US.

While the US is still playing a game of catch up in adult and embryonic research and especially treatment; please remember, embryonic stem cell research was fully funded with government backing in many countries around the world for over a decade resulting in…

ZERO EMBRYONIC STEM CELL TREATMENTS.

So don’t get your hopes up for embryonic treatment anytime soon, but then again,

SO WHAT!

ADULT stem cells are here, now, powerful, safe and effective.  What are you waiting for?

Mechanisms That Allow Embryonic Stem Cells to Become Any Cell in the Human Body Identified

ScienceDaily (July 18, 2012) — New research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem sheds light on pluripotency — the ability of embryonic stem cells to renew themselves indefinitely and to differentiate into all types of mature cells. Solving this problem, which is a major challenge in modern biology, could expedite the use of embryonic stem cells in cell therapy and regenerative medicine.

If scientists can replicate the mechanisms that make pluripotency possible, they could create cells in the laboratory which could be implanted in humans to cure diseases characterized by cell death, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes and other degenerative diseases.

To shed light on these processes, researchers in the lab of Dr. Eran Meshorer, in the Department of Genetics at the Hebrew University’s Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences, are combining molecular, microscopic and genomic approaches. Meshorer’s team is focusing on epigenetic pathways — which cause biological changes without a corresponding change in the DNA sequence — that are specific to embryonic stem cells.

The molecular basis for epigenetic mechanisms is chromatin, which is comprised of a cell’s DNA and structural and regulatory proteins. In groundbreaking research performed by Shai Melcer, a PhD student in the Meshorer lab, the mechanisms which support an “open” chromatin conformation in embryonic stem cells were examined. The researchers found that chromatin is less condensed in embryonic stem cells, allowing them the flexibility or “functional plasticity” to turn into any kind of cell.

A distinct pattern of chemical modifications of chromatin structural proteins (referred to as the acetylation and methylation of histones) enables a looser chromatin configuration in embryonic stem cells. During the early stages of differentiation, this pattern changes to facilitate chromatin compaction.

But even more interestingly, the authors found that a nuclear lamina protein, lamin A, is also a part of the secret. In all differentiated cell types, lamin A binds compacted domains of chromatin and anchors them to the cell’s nuclear envelope. Lamin A is absent from embryonic stem cells and this may enable the freer, more dynamic chromatin state in the cell nucleus. The authors believe that chromatin plasticity is tantamount to functional plasticity since chromatin is made up of DNA that includes all genes and codes for all proteins in any living cell. Understanding the mechanisms that regulate chromatin function will enable intelligent manipulations of embryonic stem cells in the future.

“If we can apply this new understanding about the mechanisms that give embryonic stem cells their plasticity, then we can increase or decrease the dynamics of the proteins that bind DNA and thereby increase or decrease the cells’ differentiation potential,” concludes Dr. Meshorer. “This could expedite the use of embryonic stem cells in cell therapy and regenerative medicine, by enabling the creation of cells in the laboratory which could be implanted in humans to cure diseases characterized by cell death, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes and other degenerative diseases.”

ADULT STEM CELLS Revealed: The secret of how worms re-grow amputated body parts… and how humans could one day do the same

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on April 27, 2010 at 8:50 am

WORMS USE ADULT STEM CELLS TO REGROW PARTS

Revealed: The secret of how worms re-grow amputated body parts… and how humans could one day do the same

By Daily Mail Reporter

Scientists have discovered the gene that allows a worm to regenerate its own body parts after they are amputated, it was announced today.

The research into how Planarian worms can re-grow body parts – including a whole head and brain – could one day make it possible to regenerate old or damaged human organs and tissues, the University of Nottingham said.

The research, led by Dr Aziz Aboobaker, a Research Councils UK Fellow in the university’s School of Biology, shows a gene called ‘Smed-prep’ is essential for correctly regenerating a head and brain in Planarian worms.

Research into how Planarian worms can re-grow body parts could one day make it possible to regenerate old or damaged human organs and tissues

Research into how Planarian worms can re-grow body parts could one day make it possible to regenerate old or damaged human organs and tissues

The worms have the unusual ability to regenerate body parts, including a head and brain, following amputation.

They contain adult stem cells that are constantly dividing and can become all of the missing cell types.

They also have the right set of genes working to make this happen as it should so that when they re-grow body parts they end up in the right place and have the correct size, shape and orientation, the research showed.

The study is published today in the open access journal PLoS Genetics.

Dr Aboobaker said: ‘These amazing worms offer us the opportunity to observe tissue regeneration in a very simple animal that can regenerate itself to a remarkable extent and does so as a matter of course.

‘We want to be able to understand how adult stem cells can work collectively in any animal to form and replace damaged or missing organs and tissues.

‘Any fundamental advances in understanding from other animals can become relevant to humans surprisingly quickly.

‘If we know what is happening when tissues are regenerated under normal circumstances, we can begin to formulate how to replace damaged and diseased organs, tissues and cells in an organised and safe way following an injury caused by trauma or disease.

‘This would be desirable for treating Alzheimer’s disease, for example.

‘With this knowledge we can also assess the consequences of what happens when stem cells go wrong during the normal processes of renewal – for example in the blood cell system where rogue stem cells can result in Leukaemia.’

The researchers said Smed-prep is necessary for the correct differentiation and location of cells that make up a Planarian worm’s head, as well as for defining where the head should be located.

They found although the presence of Smed-prep is vital so the head and brain are in the right place, the worm stem cells can still be persuaded to form brain cells as a result of the action of other unrelated genes…

via Revealed: The secret of how worms re-grow amputated body parts… and how humans could one day do the same | Mail Online.

First Ever Multicellular Animals Found In Oxygen-Free Environment | Popular Science

In OFF THE BEATEN PATH on April 7, 2010 at 3:48 pm

First Ever Multicellular Animals Found In Oxygen-Free Environment

Unnamed Loriciferan:   via Nature

By Stuart Fox Posted 04.06.2010 at 5:30 pm

In the 236 years since oxygen was identified as a life-giving necessity, no scientist anywhere has discovered a multicellular animal capable of living without the stuff. Until now. Researchers from the Polytechnic University of Marche in Ancona, Italy, have discovered three new species that live their entire life in an anoxic pit beneath the Mediterranean Sea. This discovery drastically revises science’s understand of where animals can thrive.Prior to this discovery, the only organisms capable of life in oxygen-free environments were viruses and bacteria.

via First Ever Multicellular Animals Found In Oxygen-Free Environment | Popular Science.

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