DAVID GRANOVSKY

Posts Tagged ‘CANADA’

OBESITY TREATMENT DISCOVERED THROUGH STEM CELLS

In ALL ARTICLES, SCIENCE & STEM CELLS, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 13, 2013 at 9:00 am

Fighting fat with fat: Stem cell discovery identifies potential obesity treatment

February 5, 2013—Ottawa—Ottawa scientists have discovered a trigger that turns muscle stem cells into brown fat, a form of good fat that could play a critical role in the fight against obesity. The findings from Dr. Michael Rudnicki’s lab, based at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, were published today in the journal Cell Metabolism.

“This discovery significantly advances our ability to harness this good fat in the battle against bad fat and all the associated health risks that come with being overweight and obese,” says Dr. Rudnicki, a senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. He is also a Canada Research Chair in Molecular Genetics and professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa.

Globally, obesity is the fifth leading risk for death, with an estimated 2.8 million people dying every year from the effects of being overweight or obese, according to the World Health Organization. The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates that 25% of Canadian adults are obese.

In 2007, Dr. Rudnicki led a team that was the first to prove the existence of adult skeletal muscle stem cells. In the paper published today, Dr. Rudnicki now shows (again for the first time) that these adult muscle stem cells not only have the ability to produce muscle fibres, but also to become brown fat. Brown fat is an energy-burning tissue that is important to the body’s ability to keep warm and regulate temperature. In addition, more brown fat is associated with less obesity.

Dr. Rudnicki’s lab showed that adult mice injected with an agent to reduce miR-133, called an antisense oligonucleotide or ASO, produced more brown fat, were protected from obesity and had an improved ability to process glucose. In addition, the local injection into the hind leg muscle led to increased energy production throughout the body—an effect observed after four months.

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In this picture taken with a thermographic camera after four months, the mouse treated with miR-133 ASO (on the right) is noticeably leaner. In addition, the injected hind leg (on the left in the image) is 0.8 C hotter than the control mouse.

“While we are very excited by this breakthrough, we acknowledge that it’s a first step,” says Dr. Rudnicki.

The full article, “MicroRNA-133 Controls Brown Adipose Determination in Skeletal Muscle Satellite Cells by Targeting Prdm16,” was published by Cell Metabolism online ahead of print on February 5, 2013.

Photo Credit:    Rudnicki et al., Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, published in Cell Metabolism

eurekalert.org

FIGHTING LUNG DISEASE IN THE TINIEST PATIENTS

In ALL ARTICLES, SCIENCE & STEM CELLS on January 6, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Pbroncho

  1. Stem cells called mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) from a human umbilical cord (not the blood) have a protective effect on the lungs when injected into the lungs as they were put on oxygen.
  2. MSCs had a reparative effect when injected two weeks after being on oxygen.
  3. When conditioned media — a cell-free substance produced by MSCs — was administered instead of MSCs, it was found to have the same protective and reparative effects as the stem cells.
  4. When examined after six months (the equivalent of 40 human years), treated animals had better exercise performance and persistent benefit in lung structure.
  5. MSCs did not adversely affect the long-term health of normal rats. One of the concerns about stem cells is that by promoting cell growth, they may cause cancerous growth. To address this question, Dr. Thébaud gave MSCs to a control group that was not treated with oxygen. When examined after six months, these animals were normal and healthy.
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Five Big Strides to Fight Lung Disease in the Tiniest Patients

Dec. 4, 2012 — For Ottawa scientist and neonatologist Dr. Bernard Thébaud, even a major paper that answers five significant questions still doesn’t seem quite enough in his determined path to get his laboratory breakthrough into the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Dr. Thébaud’s proposed therapy would use stem cells from umbilical cords to treat a disease previously thought to be untreatable — bronchopulmonary dysplasia, or BPD.


“BPD is a lung disease described 45 years ago in which we have made zero progress. And now, with these cord-derived stem cells there is a true potential for a major breakthrough,” says Dr. Thébaud, a senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and CHEO Research Institute, a neonatologist at CHEO and The Ottawa Hospital, and a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa.

“I am confident that we have the talent and the tools here at CHEO and OHRI to find a treatment for BPD. These findings published today are helping us get there,” continues Thébaud.

BPD affects approximately 10,000 very premature newborns in Canada and the U.S. every year. The lungs of these infants are not developed enough to sustain them, so they must receive oxygen through a breathing machine. However, this combination of mechanical ventilation and oxygen damages the lungs and stops their development. In addition, longer stays in the NICU for these extremely premature babies affect the normal development of other parts of the body, including the retina, the kidneys and the brain.

Today in the journal Thorax, Dr. Thébaud’s team provides significant findings in experiments with newborn rats given oxygen. The lung development of a newborn rat mimics that of a premature baby born at 24 weeks. The five major findings reported in Thorax are:

  1. Stem cells called mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) from a human umbilical cord (not the blood) have a protective effect on the lungs when injected into the lungs as they were put on oxygen.
  2. MSCs had a reparative effect when injected two weeks after being on oxygen.
  3. When conditioned media — a cell-free substance produced by MSCs — was administered instead of MSCs, it was found to have the same protective and reparative effects as the stem cells.
  4. When examined after six months (the equivalent of 40 human years), treated animals had better exercise performance and persistent benefit in lung structure.
  5. MSCs did not adversely affect the long-term health of normal rats. One of the concerns about stem cells is that by promoting cell growth, they may cause cancerous growth. To address this question, Dr. Thébaud gave MSCs to a control group that was not treated with oxygen. When examined after six months, these animals were normal and healthy.

Within two years, Dr. Thébaud wants to be talking about a pilot study with 20 human patients showing that this stem-cell therapy is feasible and safe, and in four years he wants to embark on a randomized control trial. These are all steps in his profound desire to help the babies he sees in the NICU with BPD, and he is confident a treatment will be developed.

“It’s going to happen here in Ottawa, but for babies worldwide,” says Dr. Thébaud.

MAN’S VISION RESTORED BY STEM CELLS

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on January 1, 2013 at 9:15 am

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A year ago, Canadian Taylor Binns was slowly going blind after developing a rare and painful eye disorder that affected his corneas. Today, he’s driving, reading and living a normal life because of a revolutionary stem-cell treatment completed by a team of doctors at Toronto Western Hospital.

-DG

 

While on humanitarian work in Haiti, Binns developed intense eye pain and increasingly blurry vision. Over the next two years, Binns slowly went legally blind, with his doctors not being able to figure out the problem. He could no longer drive or read books.  Doctors diagnosed him with a rare disease called corneal limbal stem cell deficiency, which was causing normal cells on Binns’ corneas to be replaced with scar tissue, leading to painful ulcers that clouded his vision.  A variety of things can cause the condition, including chemical and thermal burns to the corneas, microbial infections and wearing daily contact lenses for too long without properly disinfecting them can all lead to the disease.

The doctors proposed a limbal stem cell transplant. The limbus is the border between the cornea and the whites of the eye, where the eye creates new epithelial cells. Since Binns’ limbus was damaged, doctors hoped that giving him healthy limbal cells from a donor would cause healthy new cells to grow over the surface.  Binns needed a healthy match, which came from his sister. Healthy stem cells were taken from her eyes and stitched onto the surface of Binns’ eyes. Within a month, he was back to 20/40 vision.  At his last visit, he had 20/20 vision in one eye and 20/40 in the other.

Researchers are working on using stem cells from deceased donors and using stem cells from the patient’s own eyes. This would require lab work to get the cells to multiply, but patients would be able to skip using anti-rejection drugs. This was the first time this treatment was done in Canada and there are several centers in the USA where this treatment is available.

http://scitechdaily.com/stem-cells-help-restore-a-mans-vision/

Heart patient’s stem cells harnessed for healing – CBC News

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on January 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm
Not bad. They are only a half decade behind the times. – DG

Heart patient’s stem cells harnessed for healing

Some heart bypass patients are receiving cardiac stem cell transplants to try to repair damage.

This week, a 67-year-old James Culross from Toronto will be discharged from Toronto General Hospital after having 2.83 million stem cells injected into seven sites where his heart had been damaged by a heart attack in November.

When someone suffers a heart attack, part of the heart muscle dies and is replaced by a scar. In larger heart attacks, the patient can develop heart failure — a weakening of the heart that leaves the patient short of breath, said cardiac surgeon Dr. Terrence Yau of Toronto’s University Health Network.

Heart patient James Culross was the donor and recipient of his own stem cells. Heart patient James Culross was the donor and recipient of his own stem cells. (CBC)

Yau and his colleagues at Toronto General’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital in Montreal are involved in a clinical trial testing the safety, effectiveness and feasibility of injecting stem cells into the hearts of people having bypass surgery.

“This kind of therapy can improve the function and blood flow of hearts that have been injured by heart attacks most commonly and potentially by other means as well,” said Yau.

About 50,000 Canadians are diagnosed with advanced heart failure each year. On average, men live only 18 months and women three years after diagnosis.

While angioplasty, bypass surgery and stents can prevent new heart attacks, they don’t reverse exisiting damage. A new heart is the only known treatment for that, but transplants are invasive and expensive, and there is a lack of available donor organs.

That’s where the stem cells could come in.

Stem cells taken from marrow

In Culross’s case, the stem cells were taken from the bone marrow in the hip and lower back in the operating suite. After four to six hours, the stem cells were isolated, the bypass grafts done and the stem cells injected back into the damaged areas of his heart.

“I thought it was great,” Culross said of the procedure. “It’s your stem cells, nobody else’s.”

Culross is now working on improving his strength and walking more in the hopes of returning to his auto body repair job.

Since 2010, eight patients have also had the experimental procedure in Montreal.

The Montreal and Toronto teams plan to combine their findings once each has results on 20 patients.

No one knows yet whether the stem cell treatment will improve survival or quality of life by healing the heart.

Investigators worldwide are testing whether giving stem cells after a heart attack works better than existing therapies.

Heart patient’s stem cells harnessed for healing – Health – CBC News.

CBC News – Technology & Science – Stem Cell Site Wins Activism Award

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on May 5, 2010 at 7:11 pm

* Activism website: Renew the world – Stem Cell Foundation of Canada, Manifest Communications (People’s Voice Award).

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For each category, the academy selects one winner, with a second selected via public voting (People’s Voice).

The top recipients this year — taking five categories each — are the College Humor and the New York Times.

Canadians who made the winners list include:

Canadian actor Jim Carrey’s official website won both the Webby and the fan-voted prize.Canadian actor Jim Carrey’s official website won both the Webby and the fan-voted prize. (Joel Ryan/Associated Press)

* Celebrity/fan website: Actor Jim Carrey (Webby and People’s Voice Award).

* Activism website: Renew the world – Stem Cell Foundation of Canada, Manifest Communications (People’s Voice Award).

via CBC News – Technology & Science – Webby Awards honour Ebert, Twitter, Times.

China surpasses Canada in stem cell advances: report

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on January 8, 2010 at 3:04 am

China surpasses Canada in stem cell advances: report

Margaret Munro, Canwest News Service Published: Thursday, January 07, 2010

Stem cells that were extracted from cow bone marrow is cultured in petri dishes J.P. Moczulski for National Post Stem cells that were extracted from cow bone marrow is cultured in petri dishes

China is seen as a wild frontier when it comes to unproven stem cell treatments, but a new report says it has surpassed Canada with legitimate and dramatic advances in the field.

Scientists in China, many of them trained at North American and European universities, published 1,116 articles on stem cells in international peer-reviewed journals in 2008, up from just 37 papers in 2000, says a team at the University of Toronto documenting China’s aggressive bid to become a major player in regenerative medicine.

China has now surpassed Canada and Australia to become the world’s fifth most prolific contributor to the exploding field that promises repair for ailing organs and tissues, the report says.

via China surpasses Canada in stem cell advances: report.

Lisa Ray to undergo stem cell transplant for cancer

In CELEBRITIES & STEM CELLS on November 18, 2009 at 10:02 am

Lisa Ray to undergo stem cell transplant for cancer
Knoxville Times – Wednesday 18th November, 2009   – (IANS)
Indo-Canadian actress Lisa Ray will undergo a stem cell transplant to treat her multiple myeloma, an incurable form of blood cancer.  The 37-year-old star was diagnosed with the cancer of the bone marrow in June and has been undergoing chemotherapy since July.

Toronto-born Lisa made this announcement Tuesday while visiting the Marshall McLuhan Catholic Secondary School where her film ‘Water’, directed by Deepa Mehta, was screened. 

Ray, who was born to a Polish mother and Bengali father, said the process for a stem cell transplant would begin next week in a city hospital.  The procedure would begin by releasing her own stem cells into her blood, then collecting them and later freezing them, she said.  Calling it a ‘reboot’ of her system, she said the process would take up to two weeks to complete.  After this, she would put on a waiting list for a stem cell transplant.

Discovered, at the age of sixteen, by Maureen Wadia, through her Glad Rags magazine, nearly ten years ago, Lisa ray flew to India from Canada,where she had been raised,little did she know what future had in store for her. Her visit to India—to meet her near and dear ones—proved to be a turning point in her life and career. Lisa’s chiseled face and sylph-like figure caught the attention of the modeling world and soon she got the offer for an ad for a well-known fabrics company. Since then there has been no looking back for Lisa as she went on to become one of the most sought after models who could steal the entire show with her shimmering presence.

But soon she got over the appreciation from the fashion fraternity and forayed into the world of films with the music video ‘Afreen’ (for Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan). She is also the beautiful host of the movie show ‘Star Buzz’ (with Kelly Dorjee) on Star Movies. Now Lisa has jumped aboard the Bollywood bandwagon with Vikram Bhatt’ production in which she has acted quite well, considering it is her maiden attempt in films. For future Lisa is not much enthusiastic about pursuing an acting career in Bollywood, although there are chances of her doing more films. Indian origin actress Lisa Ray has been featured in the Canadian edition of Hello magazine as one of the ‘50 Most Beautiful People’ of the country.

Lisa Ray blogs about cancer

In CELEBRITIES & STEM CELLS on October 6, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Lisa Ray finds strength in blogging about cancer

Slideshow image

Canadian actor Lisa Ray appears on CTV’s Canada AM from downtown Toronto during the Toronto International Film Festival, Monday, Sept. 14, 2009.

…”We’re very close to, if not a cure, at least prolonging life. It’s all about bringing in the new sort of cocktail of drugs, and stem cell research. It’s amazing how much has happened.”

Her blog suggests her treatments are working, with her doctors writing to her to tell her test results show she is moving toward remission. Healing is what Lisa Ray is now focusing on.

https://i2.wp.com/images.askmen.com/galleries/celeb-profiles-actress/lisa-ray/pictures/lisa-ray-picture-1.jpg

“It’s so simple to illuminate the reality of living and healing a long term illness,” she writes, “We just have to talk. Openly.”

via CTV.ca | Lisa Ray finds strength in blogging about cancer.

Scientists in Canada, Japan sign research pact for stem cells – Related Stories – BIO SmartBrief

In ALL ARTICLES on April 14, 2009 at 3:52 pm

shake-on-it-copy

Scientists in Canada, Japan sign research pact for stem cells

BIO SmartBrief | 10/17/2008

The University of Toronto and Kyoto University have entered into a research-sharing deal aimed at speeding up the development of stem cell treatments for conditions such as cystic fibrosis and autism. The partnership will allow researchers to share technologies, protocols and patient specimens, an official with the Canadian institution said. Google (10/17)

via Scientists in Canada, Japan sign research pact for stem cells – Related Stories – BIO SmartBrief.

Gairdner award honours noted stem-cell scientist

In ALL ARTICLES, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on March 31, 2009 at 2:06 pm
shinya-yamanaka-dr-skin-stem-cell

shinya-yamanaka-dr-skin-stem-cell

Gairdner award honours noted stem-cell scientist

Shinya Yamanaka among international researchers who will receive ‘baby Nobels’ in Canada this year

From Tuesday’s Globe and Mail,March 31, 2009 at 6:00 AM EDT

SCIENCE REPORTER

Shinya Yamanaka, the Japanese researcher who transformed skin cells from the wrinkled face of an 81-year-old man into stem cells, is one of this year’s winners of the prestigious Canada Gairdner Awards for medical research.

The awards, to be announced today, will be presented in Toronto in October. They are known as the “baby Nobels” because 73 winners over the past 50 years also became Nobel laureates.

Dr. Yamanaka discovered a way to reprogram adult cells so they regain the superhero-like abilities of embryonic stem cells, which give rise to every type of cell – blood, bone, brain and 250 other specialized cells that make up the human body.

via globeandmail.com: Gairdner award honours noted stem-cell scientist.

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