Posts Tagged ‘iPS’




Cells Grown By Japanese Researchers Kills Cancer

A team of researchers from both the University of Tokyo and the Riken Research Centre for Allergy and Immunology may have found a cure for HIV and Cancer. The research team was able to “extract live T-cells, the vital powerhouses of the human immune system, from patients, specifically targeting specialized cytotoxic T-cells which have the ability to recognize and attack signs of infection.  Researchers then converted the T-cells back to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) by exposing them to a group of compounds called the “Yamanaka factors,” in part so they could study the stem cells’ differentiation processes. Then the team reconverted the stem cells back into specialized disease-fighters, the T-cells known as “killer T-cells”or “killer T lymphocytes.” Among other critical findings, researchers discovered that the skin-cancer fighting T-cells remained capable of producing the crucial anti-tumor compound interferon.

“Stem cells can be grown at a much faster pace in a laboratory than in the human body, enabling researchers to create killer T lymphocytes that are—at least theoretically—ready for therapeutic human injection.”

“While the iPS cells did reconvert back into their original specializations, it’s unsure whether lab-grown cells will behave similarly to the immune system’s own disease-fighters when injected into the human body. Furthermore, the risk of rejection is high when cells from one patient are grown and converted for use in another.  Perhaps most importantly, it’s hard to predict whether cells that fight cancer in the lab will restrict their deadly effects to cancer cells in the body. Lead researcher Hiroshi Kawamoto, in a press release from the Riken Center, states, “the next step will be to test whether these T cells can selectively kill tumor cells but not other cells in the body.” It’s possible that lab-grown cells could attack normal, healthy human cells after therapeutic injection.  But medical and scientific experts remain cautiously optimistic.

“A lot of work needs to be done before we can think about clinical trials, but the initial data are promising.” Said Dr. Dusko Ilic, Senior Lecturer in Stem Cell Science, King’s College London.

The main challenge researchers face is the cost of producing large amounts of killer T lymphocytes safely. Numerous expensive confirmatory studies and trials will need to be conducted before the new therapy is approved for human use.

“The implications for the health of humankind, on the other hand, are immediate, and clear. If science has indeed provided a novel means of fighting our most persistent and deadly infections, untold amounts of suffering could be mitigated—and, ultimately, eradicated.”


HHMI News: Stem Cells Recall Their Origins

In ALL ARTICLES on July 23, 2010 at 3:40 am

In 1983, Tom Cruise played the character ‘Stefan Djordjevic’ in the movie “All the Right Moves” opposite Lea Thompson.  In “All the Right Moves,” Mr Cruise plays “a headstrong high school football star who dreams of getting out of his small Western Pennsylvania steel town with a football scholarship.”  He is hampered by, among other things, his small town upbringing and meager origins.


It turns out, Mr Cruises’ character has something in common with Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells…they too are held back by where they came from and who they are/were.

“Dr. George Daley, director of the Stem Cell Transplantation Program at Children’s Hospital Boston and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, and colleagues reported in the journal Nature that iPS cells retain an “epigenetic memory” of their origins; they remember whether they came from skin or muscle or blood.” Via

[Epigenetic memory is a process by which changes in gene expression are passed on through mitosis or meiosis through factors other than DNA sequence.  Epigenetic memory in stem cells is a limiting factor…read: “not good.”]

Stem Cells Recall Their Origins – July 19, 2010

Cells, it turns out, remember where they came from. Four years ago, scientists made a breakthrough in stem cell research, when they discovered how to turn back the developmental clock on skin cells, muscle cells, and other “adult” cells so the cells would behave like embryonic stem cells. These induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) were touted as an alternative to the ethically contentious embryonic stem cells.

Now, though, two groups of Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers report that iPS cells retain a genetic memory of their tissue of origin. In a sense, the iPS cells “remember” that they came from skin, muscle, blood, and so on. This memory impedes the transformation of iPS cells into other types of cells, a prospect that has deep implications for researchers working with these kinds of cells, say HHMI investigator George Q. Daley and HHMI early career scientist Konrad Hochedlinger, who led the two research groups. The scientists worked independently but shared manuscripts and coordinated joint publications on July 19, 2010 in Nature (Daley) and Nature Biotechnology (Hochedlinger).

“But iPS [induced pluripotent stem cells] cells often don’t function as well as embryonic cells, and our new research offers an explanation as to why that is the case.” – George Q. Daley

Creating iPS cells is an important research tool because the technique can be used to generate disease-specific stem cell lines that, like embryonic stem cells, can develop into many cell types.

“The backdrop to this research is that a lot of people have the impression that iPS cells are the equivalent of embryonic stem cells,” says Daley. “That has been used as an argument that we do not need to keep studying embryonic stem cells. But iPS cells often don’t function as well as embryonic cells, and our new research offers an explanation as to why that is the case.”…

via HHMI News: Stem Cells Recall Their Origins.

Still No Truce in the Stem-Cell Wars…Why (INDUCED PLURIPOTENT!!) Adult Cells Won’t End the Stem-Cell Wars – Newsweek.com

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 11, 2010 at 8:35 pm

SO much confusing info (or perhaps, misinformation). Let me try to explain this…

Still No Truce in the Stem-Cell Wars

A new study finds serious problems with stem cells produced from adult cells. (they are referring to induced pluripotent stem cells – dg)

By Sharon Begley | Newsweek Web Exclusive  Feb 11, 2010

“Embryonic” and “senescent” aren’t supposed to go together any more than “good” and “grief” or other oxymorons, which is why biologist Robert Lanza was “devastated” when he saw what was happening with the human stem cells he and colleagues were trying to grow. Like hundreds of other stem-cell scientists, they had been intrigued and energized by the 2007 discovery that adult cells can be regressed back to an embryonic state simply by inserting four genes into them. The discovery, by scientists at Kyoto University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, seemed to promise a way out of the bitter debates over embryonic-stem-cell research: rather than using human embryos as a source of stem cells, produce them from adult cells.

…they are of course,  completely ignoring the benefits, success and safety record of ADULT STEM CELLS  https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/10/10/do-stem-cell-treatments-work/ – dg

Like cells from days-old embryos, the resulting induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have the ability to differentiate into any of 220 kinds of human cells, from neurons to retinal cells to pancreatic cells.

…btw, a number of adult stem cells have been found that can differentiate into any of 220 kinds of human cells, from neurons to retinal cells to pancreatic cells.- dg

Their promise was so great that when President Obama announced last March that he was lifting the ban on the use of federal money for research on human embryonic stem cells, critics on the right were apoplectic: iPS cells, they said, made such a move scientifically unjustified. Even President George W. Bush’s bioethics council cited the promise of iPS cells in chastising Obama).

…Proposition 71, that earmarked $3 billion of funding for embryonic stem cells for treatment research (in California), has been deemed a failure.  The majority of those funds are now being transferred into ADULT STEM CELL research for treatment. https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2010/02/02/investors-com-californias-proposition-71-failure/ – dg

Lanza, the chief scientific officer at Advanced Cell Technology, and colleagues shared the optimism about iPS cells. They were trying to grow various types of cells from the iPS cells. It went fine at first, with the iPS cells differentiating into blood, vascular, and retinal cells as intended, the scientists are reporting today in the journal Stem Cells. But things went south fast. Compared with specialized cells produced from the 25 lines of stem cells derived from embryos, those from the eight populations of iPS cells in the study had significantly higher rates of death through a mechanism called apoptosis (which is basically a suicide program within the cells), higher rates of aging (senescence), and severely lower rates of growth. The retinal cells and blood-vessel cells in particular were about as sprightly as cells ready for a nursing home, and lost their crucial ability to continue dividing…

via Why Adult Cells Won’t End the Stem-Cell Wars – Newsweek.com.

Let’s be clear. Induced pluripotent stem cells are derived from adult cells. Adult cells are cells from a human that is not an embryo. They include virtually any cells, but they DO NOT include stem cells. For example; one of the best sources of skin cells used to generate induced pluripotent stem cells are those skin cells taken from the foreskin of a non-embryo.

Put another way; adult cells (including adult skin cells), as well as the induced pluripotent stem cells that may be generated from adult skin cells are NOT ADULT STEM CELLS.

INDUCED PLURIPOTANT STEM CELLS have problems (suicide triggers) – as detailed in this article.

EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS have problems (they cause tumors, have a proven failure to treat and are immersed in controversy) – as detailed in thousands of articles and trials and studies.

ADULT STEM CELLS on the other hand (also called REPAIR stem cells), have a proven history of safety and efficacy (meaning they work). They do not have suicide triggers, do not generate tumors, they do not have the controversy or failure record. ADULT or REPAIR STEM CELLS have been treating patients around the world for half a decade (40 years if you include stem cell rich bone marrow transplants).

For treatment information: TREATMENT INFO NOW

Flab and freckles could advance stem cell research

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on September 8, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Flab and freckles could advance stem cell research

Alternative tissues shown to yield reprogrammed cells aplenty.

Elie Dolgin

BellyFat cells are more easily turned into iPS cells than fibroblasts.

Fat cells and pigment-producing skin cells can be reprogrammed into stem cells much faster and more efficiently than the skin cells that are usually used — suggesting large bellies and little black moles could provide much-needed material for deriving patient-specific stem cells.

via Flab and freckles could advance stem cell research : Nature News.

New insights on eye stem cells

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on August 31, 2009 at 11:44 am

New insights on eye stem cells

Retinal stem cell - Wallace group

Retinal stem cell – Wallace group Retinal stem cells have now been created from human skin, adding yet another specialized cell type to a rapidly growing list of cells that can be created using induced pluripotent (iPS) methodology. The finding could prove to be an important method in the production of human retinal cells, which would help overcome one of the greatest obstacles to successful stem cell therapies to treat eye conditions. The announcement was made on Monday by a team from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

via Stem Cell Network Blog: New insights on eye stem cells.

Report: Pharma Deals In 1Q Exceed Whole Of 2008

In ALL ARTICLES, BUSINESS OF STEM CELLS on April 20, 2009 at 9:23 pm

“The report predicts mergers and acquisitions will grow in the next few quarters in the stem-cell arena, following President Obama’s executive order allowing use of federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research.

Let’s not forget that Obama gave the responsibility of establishing the US position on stem cell funding to the NIH…and they came back with limited funding for embryonic and full funding for adult stem cell and ips cell research.



Could this be because the know that adult stem cells have worked for over 6 years and iPS cells may have a lot of potential…whereas embryonic has huge limitations and obstacles and a decade long timeline prior to generating treatments?  – dg

Venture capitalists and large drug makers seeking to boost their stem-cell research capabilities are likely to invest in the field, according to the report.”


Report: Pharma Deals In 1Q Exceed Whole Of 2008

By Linda A. Johnson, AP Business Writer

Manufacturing.Net – April 20, 2009

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The burst of drugmaker mergers announced in the first quarter is worth nearly 50 percent more than all the industry deals announced in 2008, according to a new report.

Deals in the quarter had a combined value of $166 billion, more than 10 times the value of deals announced in last year’s first quarter and well over the $114 billion in deals announced in all of 2008.

That’s according to a report released Monday by The Mergermarket Group of New York and London.

First-quarter deals include three involving the 10 largest drugmakers.

The Roche Group bought the 44 percent of Genentech Inc. it didn’t already own for $47 billion. Pfizer Inc. is buying Wyeth for $64 billion and Merck & Co. is buying Schering-Plough Corp. for $43 billion. Those deals are set to close in the fourth quarter.

According to the report, some insiders don’t see any more megadeals on the horizon and instead expect more “mid-market transactions” and deals valued below $5 billion.

One was announced Monday morning, in fact, with British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline PLC saying it will pay $2.9 billion to buy American dermatology business Stiefel Laboratories Inc.

Glaxo and some other major drugmakers, including Sanofi-Aventis SA and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., have been telling investors and analysts that they prefer to make smaller, targeted acquisitions that fit with their particular growth strategies.

The report predicts mergers and acquisitions will grow in the next few quarters in the stem-cell arena, following President Obama’s executive order allowing use of federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research.

Venture capitalists and large drugmakers seeking to boost their stem-cell research capabilities are likely to invest in the field, according to the report. One potential target for big drugmakers is International Stem Cells Corp., which is doing early-stage testing of treatments using stem cells.

via Report: Pharma Deals In 1Q Exceed Whole Of 2008.

iPSC for Newbies! ;) iPS, shmi PS, what’s it all mean?

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS - 101 on April 19, 2009 at 2:11 pm

ipsc-neural-stem-cells induced pluripotent newbie urkel ips cell

iPS cells

iPS cells are regular old skin cells that a scientists has changed into something else.  They take a skin cell, induce it (manipulate certain genes to express themselves) and end up with a stem cell.  There is a lot of fuss abut iPS because they are pluripotent (can become any cell in the body) and they don’t require any embryos in the process.

More research is required and their use in treatments is unknown at this point but many believe iPS have:

  • all the promise of adult stem cells for treatments
  • all the promise of embryonic stem cells for pluripotency
  • none of the embryonic controversy

A bit more info:

iPS cells were discovered in mice in 2006 and humans in 2007. Here are 3 articles about iPS cells if anyone is interested.


Bear in mind that the more educated pro embryonic people will tell you that iPS cells ALSO do carry SOME risk of tumor formation.  Fear not.

Dr James Thomson is the father of embryonics who gave up embryonic research because of it’s limitations to become one of the world’s most brilliant iPS scientist. On March 27th, 2009 he was able to turn skin cells…foreskin cells to be exact, into induced plutipotent (iPS) cells with no viruses or tumor potential.


Btw, whereas iPS have what looks to be a bright future, adult stem cells are still the gold standard for treatment Adult stem cells have treated over 130+ diseases successfully over the past 6 years and they also have a prior history of safe use as bone marrow transplants for Leukemia and a number of other cancers to counter the effects of chemotherapy for ~40 years.

Former Vice President Gore Jumps Into Stem Cell Research

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on April 14, 2009 at 6:01 pm


Former Vice President Gore Jumps Into Stem Cell Research

Tuesday, Apr 14, 2009 @09:30am CST

Former Vice President Al Gore is interested in more than global warming issues.

Today he’ll put his name behind a 20-million dollar venture involving stem cell research.

“USA Today” says the program will involve an alternative to embryonic stem cells called “induced pluripotent” stem cells.

Mr. Gore says the cells are “filled with promise and hope.” He says, quote, “I think this is one of those good news stories that comes along every once in a while.”

When he was a member of Congress in the 1970s and 80s, Gore was involved in hearings on medical uses of cell technologies.

Now he’s a partner with a venture-capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers.

That group will work with researcher Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University.

The scientist announced three years ago he’d developed a way to reprogram skin cells, creating something close enough to an embryonic cell that it has potential to grow transplantable organs.

The first efforts will zero in on cells with genetic markers for Parkinson’s and a couple of lesser known diseases in hopes of finding a cure.

via Former Vice President Gore Jumps Into Stem Cell Research.

Oz slams the door on embryonics!

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on April 1, 2009 at 4:13 pm

baby_stepsOz slams the door on embryonics!

3 times I have fielded understandable questions from very wise people who want to know why Dr Oz did not go into detail about adult stem cells and iPS cells.  Here is my answer to them.

“you have to understand that you know more about stem cells than 99% of the people in the US.  to them , stem cells = embryos = babies.  as far as they know, there are no other stem cells.

walk down the street and ask someone what an adult stem cell is.  ask them what an iPS cell is.  you will only get blank stares.

what Oz did was truly amazing.  shunning history, media, obama’ s funding, the FDA and the AMA…not to mention the fruitless decade long pursuit of embryonic cures undertaken by the always cute michael j fox with the shadow of chris reeves hovering over him…

Oz slammed the door on embryonics.

one step at a time we will educate the masses and introduce them to the fact that adult stem cells have been treating diseases around the world successfully for a decade.  one step at a time…and this was a huge first step!

So from where I am sitting, I want to express a huge amount of appreciation for what he did.  Thank you Dr Oz!

Obama Assasinates any Hope of Stem Cell Treatments in US

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on March 13, 2009 at 12:27 am



Just when the US was waking up to the benefits of ASC and iPSC and their ability to treat illnesses…






President Obama Also Kills Bush Executive Order for Adult Stem Cell Research

by Steven Ertelt – LifeNews.com Editor -March 10, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — President Barack Obama did more on Monday than just force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research that requires the destruction of human life.

He also rescinded an executive order President Bush put into place funding adult stem cells and new research with iPS cells.

Obama also rescinded Executive Order 13435 of June 20, 2007.

President Bush put that order in place in June 2007 when he vetoed a Congressional measure that would have required embryonic stem cell research funding.

Instead of signing the bill, President Bush issued an executive order to press for more research into ways of obtaining embryonic stem cells without harming human life. The order was intended to ultimately fund research into alternatives” to destructive embryonic stem cell research such as altered nuclear transfer (ANT), “regression” (reverting differentiated cells into stem cells), and other methods.

Bush could be said to have been ahead of his time since regression, also known as direct reprogramming, has taken off and the new induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are the talk of the scientific world.

“Of course, the Administration didn’t have the candor or courage to publicize this part of his nasty work,” he said. “But the now dead order explicitly required funding for alternative methods such as the new IPSCs, which offer so much promise without the ethical contentiousness.”

…”So much for taking the politics out of science,” he concludes.

via President Obama Also Kills Bush Executive Order for Adult Stem Cell Research.


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