Posts Tagged ‘ESC’

Stem-cell furore erupts : Nature News

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on June 29, 2010 at 2:21 pm

What are iPSc?  iPSc are INDUCED PLURIPOTENT STEM CELLS.  In short, a scientist takes a skin cell, typically from the foreskin or testes, and regresses or devolves them into an embryonic-like stem cell (sort of like a test tube version of Benjamin Button).

It was originally hoped that IPSc would hold great promise because they had all of the benefits of embryonic stem cells (read – Pluripotency: the ability to differentiate into any of the 320+ cells in the human body) and none of the drawbacks.  Here is what we know about Embryonic stem cells:

  1. Embryonic stem cells form Cysts/Tumors
  2. Embryonic stem cells are associated with tons of Controversy
  3. After 10 years, no treatments have been developed from embryonic stem cells
  4. Many of the foremost Embryonic stem cell scientists have abandoned embryonic research for adult stem cell and iPSc research

Now, here’s the kicker.  After 2 years, extensive research based on the originally ground breaking article and a huge media following (over 4,000,000 hits on google), it turns out that not only DO iPSc form cysts/tumors…but they also may NOT be pluripotent at all.

Why did it take so long?  “Skutella (the author of the original paper)  and his co-authors said that they wanted to share the cells but that the original agreement signed by tissue donors precluded distribution to third parties….even though Nature requires its authors to share all published research resources”

Regardless of how this turns out, I guess iPSc are like embryonic stem cells:

  1. iPSc form Cysts/Tumors (like embryonic stem cells)
  2. iPSc are NOW associated with tons of Controversy (like embryonic stem cells)
  3. After 2 years, no treatments have been developed from iPSc (like embryonic stem cells)

Is this a witch hunt on Skutella? Is this a fraud perpetrated by him? Is this just a misunderstanding?  It remains to be seen but as a pivitol paper that has launched (or may end) an entire field of research and commercial treatment potential, a certain degree of data transparency should be expected.

Since when does scientific research have more drama than Grey’s Anatomy? Keep your “Eyes on the Ball” guys, “Eyes on the Ball!”  -dg


Stem-cell furore erupts

Data analysis ignites public row.

Published online 29 June 2010 | Nature | doi:10.1038/466017a – Alison Abbott

Thomas Skutella.

Long-rumbling hostilities between stem-cell researchers in Germany exploded into a blazing public row last week, after Nature published a critical reanalysis of data from a high-profile 2008 article.

The researchers behind the original work1, led by Thomas Skutella of the University of Tübingen, reported using cells from adult human testes to create pluripotent stem cells with similar properties to embryonic stem cells.

Unlike other adult cells, these reproductive or ‘germline’ stem cells can be reprogrammed for pluripotency without the need to introduce additional genes, a step that often relies on a virus. That could make them safer for future use in medicine.

The paper made headlines because such pluripotent stem cells might be used instead of ethically sensitive human embryonic tissue. Soon after its publication, however, some stem-cell scientists said that the evidence for pluripotency was unconvincing. They also complained that Skutella would not distribute cells to other labs for verification, even though Nature requires its authors to share all published research resources.

Hans Schöler, a director at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Münster and an author of last week’s critical comment2, says that he proclaimed Skutella’s achievement as a breakthrough when he first saw the data at a meeting, but became doubtful after seeing the published paper. “If this paper is wrong, then a lot of scientists are wasting time, energy and money in trying to follow up on it,” he says. Others fear that the episode is undermining the credibility of the field.

In response, Skutella last week asked the DFG, Germany’s main research-funding agency, to conduct an investigation both of his paper in Nature and of what he claims is a witch-hunt against him. Schöler, who also works with germline stem cells, says that he would welcome such a move.

Pluripotent cells should form teratomas (often cancerous cysts) — encapsulated tumours comprising different cell types — when injected under the skin of mice, and also exhibit a particular profile of gene expression. “The teratoma pictures in the Nature paper were not terribly convincing but that didn’t concern me too much at first,” says Schöler. “It was the failure to provide cells that started to concern me.” After more than a year of requests for access, he decided to reanalyse data in the paper in Nature showing which genes in the disputed cells were being expressed.

Together with bioinformaticians, he compared the genes’ expression profile with those of other cells in public databases and found that it overlapped with a type of connective-tissue cell called fibroblasts but not with pluripotent stem cells. Schöler suggests that fibroblasts may have contaminated Skutella’s samples. But Skutella and his colleagues deny3 mistaking fibroblasts for pluripotent cells. Skutella says that comparison of gene-expression data is meaningless “if the cells being compared were not processed identically”.

Takashi Shinohara at Kyoto University in Japan, whose team in 2004 generated the first pluripotent germline stem cells from mice, shares Schöler’s concerns about the expression data. He says that fibroblasts and pluripotent cells have different gene-expression profiles even if the cells are not processed in similar ways, and adds that it would be helpful to see Skutella’s cells.

In a corrigendum to his original paper in August 2009, Skutella and his co-authors said that they wanted to share the cells but that the original agreement signed by tissue donors precluded distribution to third parties. (Really???) Having gained broader consent from some donors, Skutella now promises to distribute the cells once they have been quality-checked. But stem-cell researcher Rudolf Jaenisch at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is not impressed: “It’s a big problem not providing the cells for what is nearly two years — whatever the excuses, this is bad.”

Ulrike Beisiegel, ombudsman for the DFG, says her office will decide “soon” whether to take up the investigations.

via Stem-cell furore erupts : Nature News.

Stem Cells for Newbies ;)

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS - 101 on April 18, 2009 at 10:26 am

S0metimes we get so involved with what we are doing, we forget that there are people who are just tuning in now with no frame of reference for what the hell we are talking about.  SO here it is…Stem Cells for Newbies!

I'm a stem cell newbie!

I'm a stem cell newbie!

The world of stem cells is changing all the time but the big 3 are:

ESC = embryonic stem cell
•can currently treat zero diseases
•lotsa problems (tumors, rejection, controversy, etc)
•comes from embryos

ASC = adult stem cell
•used in bone marrow transplants for 40 years
•can currently treat 130+ diseases
•~zero problems (virtually zero side effects)
•comes from blood, umbilical cords, marrow, fat, nose, breast milk, menstruation, etc etc etc

iPSC = induced pluripotent stem cell

•fairly new
•lotsa potential (needs more research)
•may be the best of both worlds
•comes from regular skin cells that are then magically transformed by scientists into stem cells

Now…if you have any follow up questions, feel free to ask.  You have been fed info about stem cells for 6-8 years that has been mostly incorrect so no question is stupid.  Ask away!



THE BAN IS LIFTING…but so what?

In ALL ARTICLES, BEST OF THE BEST on March 9, 2009 at 11:55 am


As the ban is lifting PLEASE remember:

While Embryonic stem cells (ESC) were previously thought to be more powerful than Adult Stem Cells (ASC) because they can become any cell in the body, new studies on ASC are showing that they can become virtually anything. Scientists recently turned Skin-ASC into Neuron-ASC. https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/researchers-make-nerve-cells-from-new-stem-cells-science-reuters/

A decade of ESC research around the world has resulted in no human treatments & because the ESC continue to divide beyond the scientist’s control, they can turn into tumors. ESC also require immunosuppressive drugs, which one of the most common forms of ASC (autologous) used in treatment do not.

Over the same decade of research, adult stem cell treatments have given thousands improved health, extended lives, helped paraplegics to walk… https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/02/10/spinal-cord-injury-sci-stem-cell-trials-japan-plays-catch-up/

Gave a man with AIDs 2 years (so far) free of symptoms… https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/?s=aids+symptom+2+years

Successfully improved MS & Cerebral Palsy patients, the list goes on and on… https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/category/victories-success-stories/

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

Additionally, Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC) are ASC modified to be able to become any cell in the human body & seem to have all of the benefits of ESC without the tumor potential & with significantly less of a rejection issue; not to mention without the political & religious controversy. https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/02/26/embryonic-stem-cell-alternative-has-another-advance-ips-cells-yield-nerve-cells/

And now, even the NIH is jumping into the ASC research and treatment pool. https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/02/26/nih-says-adult-stem-cells-are-ready-for-the-prime-time-yah-baby/

Why so much focus on ESC when both ASC & iPSC seem capable of achieving everything ESC can do with a fraction of the obstacles?

The world is treating thousands successfully with ASC. Shouldn’t the majority of funding and research go into ASC & iPSC because only they actually work…and so we can treat the multitude of patients dying and debilitated NOW?

David Granovsky

Repair Stem cell transplants help MS victims

In ALL ARTICLES, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 8, 2009 at 1:07 am

Multiple Sclerosis Affect on Myelin Shaeth

By Agency Reporter -Published: Sunday, 8 Feb 2009

Stem cell transplantation seems to stop and, in some cases, undo neurological damage in people with multiple sclerosis, a small study shows.

The trial involved just 21 patients, but a larger, randomized trial is under way in the United States, Canada and Brazil.

”This is the first trial for any phase of MS, whether early or later, of any therapy anywhere that has shown reversal of neurological disability,” said study author Dr. Richard K. Burt, chief of the division of immunotherapy at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

MS is a disease in which the immune system turns on the body and attacks myelin, the protective covering on nerve cells. The disease usually starts with a ”relapse-remitting” phase, with alternating periods of flare-ups of symptoms and relatively peaceful spans. After a decade or so, however, most patients move into the more severe, secondary-progressive form of the disease.

”There is a need to find a means by which we can control the progression of MS, particularly in these patients who are not responding to FDA-approved therapies,” said Patricia O‘Looney, vice president of biomedical research at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Treatments are clustered toward the relapse-remitting stage, with little available for the latter stage. ”Generally, when you get to late progressive MS, nothing really works,” Burt said.

The technique used in this study, autologous non-myeloablative hemopoietic stem cell transplantation, ”resets” the immune system and is already used for secondary-progressive MS.

via The Punch: Stem cell transplants help MS victims.

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, 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.”


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.


In ALL ARTICLES, SCIENCE & STEM CELLS on February 6, 2009 at 7:26 pm
Aesculapius symbol of rejuvenation

Aesculapius symbol of rejuvenation


There is a non-partial patient advocate education center called the Repair Stem Cell Institute (RSCI):


RSCI lists reputable treatment centers which have met their rigorous guidelines and standards:


Feel free to contact myself or the founder of the Repair Stem Cell Institute (Don Margolis – <don@repairstemcells.org> 1-214-556-6377) directly if we can be of any service to you.

And be sure to join my Adult Stem Cell group- if you haven’t already! This group will bring you up to date on the news , benefits and opportunities available in the world of REPAIR STEM CELLS:


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