Posts Tagged ‘grow’



The potential of stem cells to regrow and/or prevent the deterioration of muscle and bone cells over time when subjected to zero gravity has garnered an enormous amount of interest from NASA and the entire space travel industry.   This has lead NASA to send stem cells into space to be researched in low or zero gravity on the space station.   The findings are extraordinary.  “The team discovered that 64 percent of the proteins found in the stem cells grown in simulated microgravity were not in control samples. In particular, the bioreactor cells contained several proteins involved in the breakdown of bone and in the regulation of calcium, neither type of which were found in stem cells grown in regular, Earth gravity.” 

We’ve know for some time that stem cells are smart and capable of:

  • differentiating into whatever cell types are needed without direction
  • growing every cell in a heart and organizing those cells perfectly into where they need to be
  • retro-differentiate into other cell types after finishing work on a particular organ or tissue type
  • traveling back through the umbilical cord from fetus in womb to mother with heart disease to aid the mother in the healing process
  • and many more incredible capabilities

But those actions took place in the patient’s body where the stem cells are able to read the needs of the body with the help of  numerous cues, messenger cells and the entire physiological road map of the patient to guide them.   Essentially, they have an awesome GPS system and just have to follow the directions they are given on roads the GPS “knows” very well.  Conversely, the astro-stem cells (stem cell-nauts?) are able to grow better in space than on earth and to grow with “space relevant capabilities.”  This is incredible.  Imagine going to space for the first time and knowing intrinsically what to do and further, knowing what to do to help your host body better survive and thrive in the conditions of space.  The astro-stem cells are taking cues from their external environment from factors they have never even been exposed to (unless you adhere to the ancient aliens theories) and modifying their proteins and genetic make up to accommodate for the difference in gravity.

What else can they do? If we assume the stem cells will react to the external cues as well as the internal cues, what other factors will they respond to?  We know they grow better in space and in a hyperbaric chamber; what type of response would they have to being underground, on the ocean or under it (long submarine voyages or sub-oceanic colonization), in the dark (increased optic nerve proliferation?), in radioactive areas (radiation resistance)?  Time will tell.  I would say the sky is the limit but apparently, it’s not.

Are we witnessing evolution?
evo·lu·tion  noun \ˌe-və-ˈlü-shən, ˌē-və-\ biology : a theory that the differences between modern plants and animals are because of changes that happened by a natural process over a very long time.  the process by which changes in plants and animals happen over time, a process of slow change and development

No.  Not evolution.  This is faster than the classic definition of evolution.  This is accelerated and positive mutation as a response to external and internal environmental factors.   This is…adaption, rapid adaption…”  Lending support to my analogy that stem cells are born Marines because “Marines are taught to adapt, improvise, overcome…” via

…and the line between science fiction and science reality grows ever thinner.
– David


Growing stem cells in space: Medicine’s next big thing

“When challenged by microgravity, living organisms’ genes can ‘turn on,’ transforming growth. Scientists at Zero Gravity Solutions work to direct cells toward healthier, hardier strains. It’s not genetic engineering, but accelerated hybridization.” via http://www.space.com/21885-stem-cells-in-space-can-solve-plant-and-animal-problems-video.html

March 31, 2014
Ivanhoe / Powered by NewsLook.com
Currently, treatments for hemorrhagic stroke aim to control swelling but not regeneration of the damaged tissue. Now, researchers are using an out of this world idea to help stroke survivors. Video provided by Ivanhoe



Welcome to the CASIS Request for Proposals

The Impact of Microgravity on Fundamental Stem Cell Properties:

A Call for Spaceflight and Ground-Based Experiments

– See more at: http://www.iss-casis.org/Opportunities/Solicitations/RFPStemCellsResearch.aspx#sthash.Y6sDtvQa.dpuf

Welcome to the CASIS Request for Proposals

The Impact of Microgravity on Fundamental Stem Cell Properties:

A Call for Spaceflight and Ground-Based Experiments

– See more at: http://www.iss-casis.org/Opportunities/Solicitations/RFPStemCellsResearch.aspx#sthash.Y6sDtvQa.dpuf





I Wish I Was Part Salamander

Author: Sarah Hoffman

“The secret of how salamanders successfully regrow body parts is being unravelled by UCL researchers in a bid to apply it to humans.

For the first time, researchers have found that the ‘ERK pathway’ must be constantly active for salamander cells to be reprogrammed, and hence able to contribute to the regeneration of different body parts.” –Limb Regeneration: Do Salamanders Hold the Key?‘ ucl.ac.uk

Mystery no more! Scientists now know why us humans are unable to regrow limbs when we lose one, unlike salamanders who are able to regenerate cells and limbs very successfully. The reason has been linked to something called the ERK Pathway, which is basically like one of those tubes you use to pass documents between yourself and the teller at the bank drive-through– except this biological “tube”  is made up of proteins which pass information from the surface of the cell to the DNA at the nucleus. The difference between our ERK Pathway and the salamanders’ is that ours has bank hours, while the salamander has 24/7 fast-food-chain hours. Our pathway is open for a limited time, while the ERK Pathway of a salamander is capable of working all day every day which results in constant cell growth and ultimate limb regeneration. Pretty cool, right?! What’s even cooler is that researchers are trying to figure out if we can force this in humans and other mammals. And so far so good! While we are unable at this point to regrow our limbs like a salamander, these researchers have found out that when our ERK Pathway is forced open our bodies are capable of continuing to grow these cells with the intention of regeneration. But here’s where it takes a turn– our cells become dedifferentiated, meaning that these cells lack the blueprint to turn into a limb, but could potentially be programmed and manipulated into one. In other words, we can get the process going but the process requires further manipulation in order to complete it.

Imagine not having to worry about shutting your fingers in the car door, or accidentally putting your hand in the garbage disposal… pretty neat!

Tens to hundreds of thousands of patients have already been treated with stem cells and the treatments have a high ratio of success but stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine is a relatively new science.  We know a great deal more about WHAT stem cells can fix than we know HOW they fix things on the molecular level…but we are learning very quickly and the therapeutic and healing potential is incredible! 





In ALL ARTICLES, SCIENCE & STEM CELLS on March 6, 2014 at 5:31 pm



B  R  A  I  N  S  S  S  S  ! ! !
Also patients with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, TBI, Ataxia…
via http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0142961213013045


In ALL ARTICLES on September 15, 2011 at 8:58 am
Tail Spin
Posted Sep 9,2010


The regeneration process went slightly awry for this day gecko, which lost its tail—and grew back two. Photo: Joel Sartore

To escape a predator, it doesn’t cost some lizards an arm and a leg—just a tail. The wiggling appendage is left behind as a distraction as the lizard gets away. Special cells at the fracture site then trigger growth of a new tail. Several amphibians and reptiles possess an ability to regrow portions of a lost tail or limb. Now some of the cells that make this happen are getting attention from researchers. A 2010 Harvard review of amphibian regeneration-cell research included how findings could relate to human stem cells, which can also produce new tissue. “The promise will be to figure out what’s the same and what’s different about regeneration mechanisms,” says Cliff Tabin, a geneticist who worked on the review. He hopes scientists will learn how animals that regenerate “get limbs and muscle, then hook that up with the bone, and have nerves seamlessly connect to the rest of the nervous system.” Even if animal and human cells aren’t found to regenerate in similar ways, the comparison “can give us a direct model to be applied to clinical studies,” says Tabin. “It’s a creative way to improve human health.” —Dana Cetrone

Organ Regeneration from Stem Cells

In ALL ARTICLES on September 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm

The Big Idea:

Organ Regeneration

Photo: Growing an ear

Miracle Grow

In the future people who need a body part may get their own back—regrown in the lab from their own cells.

By Josie Glausiusz
Photograph by Rebecca Hale, NGM Staff

Above: The synthetic scaffold of an ear sits bathed in cartilage-producing cells, part of an effort to grow new ears for wounded soldiers.

More than 100,000 people are waiting for organ transplants in the U.S. alone; every day 18 of them die. Not only are healthy organs in short supply, but donor and patient also have to be closely matched, or the patient’s immune system may reject the transplant. A new kind of solution is incubating in medical labs: “bioartificial” organs grown from the patient’s own cells. Thirty people have received lab-grown bladders already, and other engineered organs are in the pipeline.

The bladder technique was developed by Anthony Atala of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Researchers take healthy cells from a patient’s diseased bladder, cause them to multiply profusely in petri dishes, then apply them to a balloon-shaped scaffold made partly of collagen, the protein found in cartilage. Muscle cells go on the outside, urothelial cells (which line the urinary tract) on the inside. “It’s like baking a layer cake,” says Atala. “You’re layering the cells one layer at a time, spreading these toppings.” The bladder-to-be is then incubated at body temperature until the cells form functioning tissue. The whole process takes six to eight weeks.

Solid organs with lots of blood vessels, such as kidneys or livers, are harder to grow than hollow ones like bladders. But Atala’s group—which is working on 22 organs and tissues, including ears—recently made a functioning piece of human liver. One tool they use is similar to an ink-jet printer; it “prints” different types of cells and the organ scaffold one layer at a time.

Other labs are also racing to make bioartificial organs. A jawbone has sprouted at Columbia University and a lung at Yale. At the University of Minnesota, Doris Taylor has fabricated a beating rat heart, growing cells from one rat on a scaffold she made from the heart of another by washing off its own cells. And at the University of Michigan, H. David Humes has created an artificial kidney from cells seeded onto a synthetic scaffold. The cell-phone-size kidney has passed tests on sheep—it’s not yet implantable, but it’s wearable, unlike a dialysis machine, and it does more than filter toxins from blood. It also makes hormones and performs other kidney functions.

Growing a copy of a patient’s organ may not always be possible—for instance, when the original is too damaged by cancer. One solution for such patients might be a stem cell bank. Atala’s team has shown that stem cells can be collected without harming human embryos (and thus without political controversy) from amniotic fluid in the womb. The researchers have coaxed those cells into becoming heart, liver, and other organ cells. A bank of 100,000 stem cell samples, Atala says, would have enough genetic variety to match nearly any patient. Surgeons would order organs grown as needed instead of waiting for cadavers that might not be a perfect match. “There are few things as devastating for a surgeon as knowing you have to replace the tissue and you’re doing something that’s not ideal,” says Atala, a urologic surgeon himself. “Wouldn’t it be great if they had their own organ?” Great for the patient especially, he means.

Scientists grow fully functional tooth from stem cells

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on September 8, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Scientists grow fully functional tooth from stem cells

August 22, 4:12 PMNY Holistic Body & Spirit ExaminerTima Vlasto

Though teeth have been grown in mice before, scientists revealed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences their success at growing a “fully functional” tooth from stem cells in mice.

The article states:

“Here, we report a successful fully functioning tooth replacement in an adult mouse achieved through the transplantation of bioengineered tooth germ into the alveolar bone in the lost tooth region. We propose this technology as a model for future organ replacement therapies. The bioengineered tooth, which was erupted and occluded, had the correct tooth structure, hardness of mineralized tissues for mastication, and response to noxious stimulations such as mechanical stress and pain in cooperation with other oral and maxillofacial tissues. This study represents a substantial advance and emphasizes the potential for bioengineered organ replacement in future regenerative therapies.”

The process is described in a paper titled “The development of a bioengineered organ germ method” in the journal Nature Methods by researchers with the Department of Biological Science and Technology at the Tokyo University of Science.

via Scientists grow fully functional tooth from stem cells.

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