Archive for the ‘Stell Cell Research’ Category

Pros And Cons Of Stem Cell Research – Popular Issues

Stell Cell Research | Posted by admin
Jun 21 2018

Pros and Cons of Stem Cell Research – What are Stem Cells? There has been much controversy in the press recently about the pros and cons of stem cell research. What is the controversy all about? “Stem” cells can be contrasted with “differentiated” cells. They offer much hope for medical advancement because of their ability to grow into almost any kind of cell. For instance, neural cells in the brain and spinal cord that have been damaged can be replaced by stem cells. In the treatment of cancer, cells destroyed by radiation or chemotherapy can be replaced with new healthy stem cells that adapt to the affected area, whether it be part of the brain, heart, liver, lungs, or wherever. Dead cells of almost any kind, no matter the type of injury or disease, can be replaced with new healthy cells thanks to the amazing flexibility of stem cells. As a result, billions of dollars are being poured into this new field.

Pros and Cons of Stem Cell Research – Where Do They Come From? To understand the pros and cons of stem cell research, one must first understand where stem cells come from. There are three main sources for obtaining stem cells – adult cells, cord cells, and embryonic cells. Adult stem cells can be extracted either from bone marrow or from the peripheral system. Bone marrow is a rich source of stem cells. However, some painful destruction of the bone marrow results from this procedure. Peripheral stem cells can be extracted without damage to bones, but the process takes more time. And with health issues, time is often of the essence. Although difficult to extract, since they are taken from the patient’s own body, adult stem cells are superior to both umbilical cord and embryonic stem cells. They are plentiful. There is always an exact DNA match so the body’s immune system never rejects them. And as we might expect, results have been both profound and promising.

Stem cells taken from the umbilical cord are a second very rich source of stem cells. Umbilical cells can also offer a perfect match where a family has planned ahead. Cord cells are extracted during pregnancy and stored in cryogenic cell banks as a type of insurance policy for future use on behalf of the newborn. Cord cells can also be used by the mother, the father or others. The more distant the relationship, the more likely it is that the cells will be rejected by the immune system’s antibodies. However, there are a number of common cell types just as there are common blood types so matching is always possible especially where there are numerous donors. The donation and storage process is similar to blood banking. Donation of umbilical cells is highly encouraged. Compared to adult cells and embryonic cells, the umbilical cord is by far the richest source of stem cells, and cells can be stored up in advance so they are available when needed. Further, even where there is not an exact DNA match between donor and recipient, scientists have developed methods to increase transferability and reduce risk.

Pros and Cons of Stem Cell Research – Embryonic Cells The pros and cons of stem cell research come to the surface when we examine the third source of stem cells – embryonic cells. Embryonic stem cells are extracted directly from an embryo before the embryo’s cells begin to differentiate. At this stage the embryo is referred to as a “blastocyst.” There are about 100 cells in a blastocyst, a very large percentage of which are stem cells, which can be kept alive indefinitely, grown in cultures, where the stem cells continue to double in number every 2-3 days. A replicating set of stem cells from a single blastocyst is called a “stem cell line” because the genetic material all comes from the same fertilized human egg that started it. President Bush authorized federal funding for research on the 15 stem cell lines available in August 2001. Other stem cell lines are also available for research but without the coveted assistance of federal funding.

So what is the controversy all about? Those who value human life from the point of conception, oppose embryonic stem cell research because the extraction of stem cells from this type of an embryo requires its destruction. In other words, it requires that a human life be killed. Some believe this to be the same as murder. Against this, embryonic research advocates argue that the tiny blastocyst has no human features. Further, new stem cell lines already exist due to the common practice of in vitro fertilization. Research advocates conclude that many fertilized human cells have already been banked, but are not being made available for research. Advocates of embryonic stem cell research claim new human lives will not be created for the sole purpose of experimentation.

Others argue against such research on medical grounds. Mice treated for Parkinson’s with embryonic stem cells have died from brain tumors in as much as 20% of cases.1 Embryonic stem cells stored over time have been shown to create the type of chromosomal anomalies that create cancer cells.2 Looking at it from a more pragmatic standpoint, funds devoted to embryonic stem cell research are funds being taken away from the other two more promising and less controversial types of stem cell research mentioned above.

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Pros And Cons Of Stem Cell Research – Popular Issues

Stem Cell Basics II. | stemcells.nih.gov

Stell Cell Research | Posted by admin
Jun 21 2018

Stem cells differ from other kinds of cells in the body. All stem cellsregardless of their sourcehave three general properties: they are capable of dividing and renewing themselves for long periods; they are unspecialized; and they can give rise to specialized cell types.

Stem cells are capable of dividing and renewing themselves for long periods. Unlike muscle cells, blood cells, or nerve cellswhich do not normally replicate themselvesstem cells may replicate many times, or proliferate. A starting population of stem cells that proliferates for many months in the laboratory can yield millions of cells. If the resulting cells continue to be unspecialized, like the parent stem cells, the cells are said to be capable of long-term self-renewal.

Scientists are trying to understand two fundamental properties of stem cells that relate to their long-term self-renewal:

Discovering the answers to these questions may make it possible to understand how cell proliferation is regulated during normal embryonic development or during the abnormal cell division that leads to cancer. Such information would also enable scientists to grow embryonic and non-embryonic stem cells more efficiently in the laboratory.

The specific factors and conditions that allow stem cells to remain unspecialized are of great interest to scientists. It has taken scientists many years of trial and error to learn to derive and maintain stem cells in the laboratory without them spontaneously differentiating into specific cell types. For example, it took two decades to learn how to grow human embryonic stem cells in the laboratory following the development of conditions for growing mouse stem cells. Likewise, scientists must first understand the signals thatenable a non-embryonic (adult)stem cell population to proliferate and remain unspecialized before they will be able to grow large numbers of unspecialized adult stem cells in the laboratory.

Stem cells are unspecialized. One of the fundamental properties of a stem cell is that it does not have any tissue-specific structures that allow it to perform specialized functions. For example, a stem cell cannot work with its neighbors to pump blood through the body (like a heart muscle cell), and it cannot carry oxygen molecules through the bloodstream (like a red blood cell). However, unspecialized stem cells can give rise to specialized cells, including heart muscle cells, blood cells, or nerve cells.

Stem cells can give rise to specialized cells. When unspecialized stem cells give rise to specialized cells, the process is called differentiation. While differentiating, the cell usually goes through several stages, becoming more specialized at each step. Scientists are just beginning to understand the signals inside and outside cells that trigger each step of the differentiation process. The internal signals are controlled by a cell’s genes, which are interspersed across long strands of DNA and carry coded instructions for all cellular structures and functions. The external signals for cell differentiation include chemicals secreted by other cells, physical contact with neighboring cells, and certain molecules in the microenvironment. The interaction of signals during differentiation causes the cell’s DNA to acquire epigenetic marks that restrict DNA expression in the cell and can be passed on through cell division.

Many questions about stem cell differentiation remain. For example, are the internal and external signals for cell differentiation similar for all kinds of stem cells? Can specific sets of signals be identified that promote differentiation into specific cell types? Addressing these questions may lead scientists to find new ways to control stem cell differentiation in the laboratory, thereby growing cells or tissues that can be used for specific purposes such as cell-based therapies or drug screening.

Adult stem cells typically generate the cell types of the tissue in which they reside. For example, a blood-forming adult stem cell in the bone marrow normally gives rise to the many types of blood cells. It is generally accepted that a blood-forming cell in the bone marrowwhich is called a hematopoietic stem cellcannot give rise to the cells of a very different tissue, such as nerve cells in the brain. Experiments over the last several years have purported to show that stem cells from one tissue may give rise to cell types of a completely different tissue. This remains an area of great debate within the research community. This controversy demonstrates the challenges of studying adult stem cells and suggests that additional research using adult stem cells is necessary to understand their full potential as future therapies.

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Stem Cell Basics II. | stemcells.nih.gov

Stem Cell Factor Tied to Reduced Risk of Cardiac Events, Death – Anti Aging News

Stell Cell Research | Posted by admin
Sep 08 2017

407 0 Posted on Sep 07, 2017, 9 a.m.

High levels of stem cell factor (SCF) are associated with reduced risk of mortality and cardiovascular events, according to a study published online Aug. 26 in theJournal of Internal Medicine.

(HealthDay News) — High levels of stem cell factor (SCF) are associated with reduced risk of mortality and cardiovascular events, according to a study published online Aug. 26 in theJournal of Internal Medicine.

Harry Bjrkbacka, Ph.D., from Lund University in Sweden, and colleagues examined the correlation between circulating levels of SCF and risk for development of cardiovascular events and death. SCF was analyzed from plasma from 4,742 participants in the Malm Diet and Cancer Study; participants were followed for a mean of 19.2 years.

The researchers found that participants with high baseline levels of SCF had lower cardiovascular and all-cause mortality and reduced risk of heart failure, stroke, and myocardial infarction. There was a correlation for smoking, diabetes, and high alcohol consumption with lower levels of SCF. After adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors, the highest versus the lowest SCF quartile remained independently associated with lower risk of cardiovascular (hazard ratio, 0.59; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.43 to 0.81) and all-cause mortality (hazard ratio, 0.68; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.57 to 0.81) and with lower risk of heart failure (hazard ratio, 0.5; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.31 to 0.8) and stroke (hazard ratio, 0.66; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.47 to 0.92) but not myocardial infarction (hazard ratio, 0.96; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.72 to 1.27).

“The findings provide clinical support for a protective role of SCF in maintaining cardiovascular integrity,” the authors write.

The possibilities that stem cell therapies present in the prevention, regeneration, and treatment of many health conditions seem to be still untouched. If course, stem cell research is still ongoing and no one is complete stem cell expert yet, but maybe thats a good approach to take. I am not so sure I would be comfortable in this modern area of easily accessible information with a physician that still doesnt consider his or her self a student. Whether your doctor is 65 or 38 I hope they are still open to learning, stated Dr. Ronald Klatz, President of the A4M.

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Stem Cell Factor Tied to Reduced Risk of Cardiac Events, Death – Anti Aging News

Transformative technology: Encapsulated human cells to … – Medical Xpress

Stell Cell Research | Posted by admin
Sep 08 2017

September 7, 2017 Professor Che Connon and Dr Stephen Swioklo of Atelerix, a spin-out from Newcastle University, is offering the transformative hydrogel technology for the storage and transport of viable cells including stem cells and cell-based assays at ambient temperatures. Credit: Newcastle University

Atelerix, a spin-out from Newcastle University, UK is offering the transformative hydrogel technology for the storage and transport of viable cells including stem cells and cell-based assays at ambient temperatures. This overcomes the barriers presented by the current need for cryo-shipping as it is simple, cell-friendly and offers immediate access to stem cell therapy.

This opens up the market for the supply of cells and assays in a ready-to-use format, allowing suppliers to increase the range of assays available to consumers and to scale up their businesses.

The breakthrough, patented invention, provides dramatic improvements to an everyday process in a rapidly growing market.

Scientific founder, Professor Che Connon of Newcastle University, has been working on the underpinning technology for five years. He said: “Encapsulating cells in the alginate hydrogel is a simple, low cost system capable of preserving the viability and functionality of cells at temperatures between 4 and 21C for extended periods of time.

“Used as a method of cell storage and transport, it overcomes the acknowledged problems associated with cryo-shipping. Cells are encapsulated by in situ formation of the gel for shipping in plates or vials, and can be rapidly released from the gel by the addition of a simple buffer.”

Atelerix is set to revolutionise the market with their use of encapsulated stem cells as Dr Mick McLean, CEO for Atelerix explained: “Understanding both the technology and its commercial potential is essential for the translation of great science into an exciting business opportunity.

“Putting these elements in place by working together with the expert scientific team means that Atelerix has a clear value proposition – we enable the transport and storage of human cells at room temperature.”

The hydrogel technology allows immediate access to cells and can be used in a range of applications where high quality cells are essential.

Applications

The shipping of cells from one location to another for clinical and research use is a widespread and everyday practice, and consequently there are many potential commercial outlets for the hydrogel encapsulation technology.

Atelerix, the commercial spin-out from Newcastle University is targeting three key areas:

First Northern Accelerator spin-out company

Atelerix, is the first spin out company created under a new joint collaborative project between Newcastle and Durham Universities, UK.

The Northern Accelerator project, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), is creating high technology spin-out companies by attracting talented business leaders to the innovative commercial opportunities both created and developed in the north east of England.

Through this, experienced life sciences business leader Mick McLean was brought in to work alongside the founder academics, Professor Che Connon and Dr Stephen Swioklo.

Dr McLean said: “Working alongside the University team on the strategy for the Intellectual Property and the corporate framework has really helped give the business a base from which to expand as it starts to move on from its academic roots.”

David Huntley, Head of Company Creation at Newcastle University and overall Project Manager, said: “Atelerix is an excellent example of the clear benefits of the Northern Accelerator programme. By combining Mick’s business skills with the technical excellence of the scientific team’s world-leading background research, we have created a brand new technology business that we believe will make a real and significant commercial impact.”

Explore further: Seaweed offers the solution to transporting stem cells and wound treatment

More information: Previous research: Stephen Swioklo et al. Alginate-Encapsulation for the Improved Hypothermic Preservation of Human Adipose-Derived Stem Cells, STEM CELLS Translational Medicine (2016). DOI: 10.5966/sctm.2015-0131

A new review is the first to directly examine the role of various stem cells in the healing of wounded cornea, the outermost part of the eye. In contrast with most other reviews, it covers all major corneal cell types in …

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Transformative technology: Encapsulated human cells to … – Medical Xpress

CReM Honored for Sharing Stem Cell Lines – BU Today

Stell Cell Research | Posted by admin
Sep 08 2017

Darrell Kotton, Gustavo Mostoslavsky, and George Murphy began the Center for Regenerative Medicine (CReM) in 2008 with a mission. It was not to win a Nobel Prize, launch more spin-offs than their peers, or make megabucks and retire at 35. Rather, their mantra was both humbler and grander: decrease the burden of human suffering on the planet, help patients, and advance new knowledge.

Since then, the lab has made a name for itself not only through its top-notch research on stem cells and lung disease but also because of its willingness to share the resources they createfor free, to anyone.

CReMs philosophy of openness challenges the cutthroat, hypersecret culture that dominates many other life science labs. And now the labs commitment to open-source biology, as it is known, has earned it the 2017 Sharing Research Resources Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), established to recognize successful models for sharing biomedical research resources.

There was a lot of skepticism at first that this plan could succeed, says Kotton, director of CReM, who says his team is humbled and honored to receive the award. But sharing reagents and expertise, without expectation of return, creates a culture of openness that has proven very successful for us.

We are very proud that CReM has been recognized both for the quality of their research and for setting a shining example of how science can advance through information-sharing, says Robert A. Brown, president of BU.

CReM scientists work with induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPSCs, which were discovered by Shinya Yamanaka in 2006. Yamanaka figured out how to take an adult human cell and reprogram it into a stem cell with the abilitytheoreticallyto grow into any organ. CReM researchers created an efficient technique for reprogramming adult human blood and skin cells into iPSCs, and in 2009 they began sharing their technology, and the resulting cell lines, free of charge with the research community. By 2010, the CReM investigators, whose work is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, and others, had published a large number of patient-specific iPSC lines, including the first 100 distinctive to lung disease.

CReMs sharing of unpublished stem cell lines has broadly impacted the lung research community, resulting in collaborations and publications with groups formerly considered CReM competitors, and CReM recently became sole iPSC repository for the 7,000 participants of the long-running Framingham Heart Study, the nations longest running epidemiological study, which began in 1948 and has been run by BU since 1971, with support from theNational Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Kotton says that the award acknowledges not only the work of CReM, but of all the other labs and institutions that have joined in this venture into scientific sharing. Just the fact that an award like this exists, he says, shows that this way of doing research has value.

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CReM Honored for Sharing Stem Cell Lines – BU Today

Researchers Turn Skin Cells into Motor Neurons Without Using Stem Cells – Futurism

Stell Cell Research | Posted by admin
Sep 08 2017

Cellular Renovation

Why build something from the ground up when one can just renovate an already existing structure? Essentially, thats what researchers from the University of Washington School of Medicine in St. Louis had in mind when they developed a method for transforming adult human skin cells into motor neurons in a lab. They published their work in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

In this study, we only used skin cells from healthy adults ranging in age from early 20s to late 60s, senior author Andrew S. Yoo said in a press release. Our research revealed how small RNA molecules can work with other cell signals called transcription factors to generate specific types of neurons, in this case motor neurons. In the future, we would like to study skin cells from patients with disorders of motor neurons. Our conversion process should model late-onset aspects of the disease using neurons derived from patients with the condition.

They did this by exposing skin cells in a lab to certain molecular signals usually found at high levels in the human brain. They focused on two short snippets of RNA: microRNAs (mRNAs) called miR-9 and miR-124, which are involved in repurposing the genetic instructions of the cell. These mRNAs, combined with certain transcription factors, successfully turned skin cells into spinal cord motor neurons within just 30 days. These new cells closely resembled normal mouse motor neurons in terms of which genes were turned on and off, and how they functioned.

Usually, when researchers find ways to replace damaged cells or organs, they resort to using stem cells. In particular, they use embryonic stem cells (a type of pluripotent stem cells) to grow the cells or organs needed.

While this type of stem cell has the potential to grow into whatever adult cell type is needed, the procedure carries some ethical concerns. In bypassing a stem cell phase, the new cell transformation technique doesnt have any of these ethical issues.

Keeping the original age of the converted cells can be crucial for studying neurodegenerative diseases that lead to paralysis, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy, the condition the new research focused on. In particular, researchers hope that it could enhance the understanding of these diseases in order to improve regenerative medicine.

Going back through a pluripotent stem cell phase is a bit like demolishing a house and building a new one from the ground up, Yoo explained. What were doing is more like renovation. We change the interior but leave the original structure, which retains the characteristics of the aging adult neurons that we want to study.

Like embryonic stem cells, the technique can also allow for converting human skin cells into other cell types by using different transcription factors. Before this technique can be applied to actual humans with neurodegenerative diseases, the researchers still need to find out how much the cells made in their lab match native human motor neurons. Still, its a promising start.

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Researchers Turn Skin Cells into Motor Neurons Without Using Stem Cells – Futurism

Italian scientists welcome surprise 400 million boost for basic research – Science Magazine

Stell Cell Research | Posted by admin
Sep 08 2017

Italian Minister for Education, University, and Research Valeria Fedeli

AP Photo/Luca Bruno

By Marta PaterliniSep. 7, 2017 , 4:50 PM

Plagued by budget cuts and attacks on science, Italian scientists have had little to cheer about recently. But on Sunday, they received a welcome surprise when Valeria Fedeli, the minister for education, university, and research, announced that Italy will put an extra 400 million into its main basic science fund, the Research Projects of National Interest (PRIN). The money, to be spent over 3 years, will more than quadruple PRINs annual funding.

The biggest part of the increase, 250 million, will come out of unused reserves at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), a government-funded private foundation in Genoa that has recently come under criticism.

This is the largest investment in competitive funds for basic research of the last 20 years, says Elena Cattaneo, a stem cell biologist at the University of Milan and a senator for life in the Italian Parliament who had lobbied for the shift to basic science. PRIN funding has been going up and down since 2002, according to a group of academics calling itselfReturn On Academic ReSearch (ROARS), but overall has been modest. The latest funding round, in 2015, provided only 95 million for 3years.

Cattaneo had argued that IIT, founded in 2003 to foster innovation, could easily cough up the funds for a hike at PRIN. Scientists have criticized IIT for a lack of transparency in the way it allocates its fundingcurrently some 98 million annually from the Ministry of Economy and Financeand for its role in the creation of a new research hub at the site of the World Expo 2015 in Milan. Cattaneo has also been very vocal about the accumulation of hundreds of millions in public money in a private body.By reallocating the funds, the government has acknowledged the value of basic research, she says.

IITs scientific director, Roberto Cingolani, says the institutes large surplus is primarily the result of savings during its early years. Three years ago, we started to plan an expansion of the institute in Genoa, that would have cost about 200 million, he saysa plan that is now off the table. Cingolani says he is disappointed by the criticisms of IIT, but glad that the cut there will benefit basic research.

ROARS member Alberto Baccini, a professor of political economics at the University of Siena, applauds the decision as well and credits Cattaneo. We must acknowledge [her] crusade, he says.

A spokesperson for the research ministry could not provide details today about how the money will be spent. Its important that the process uses uniform assessment criteria and is transparent, Baccini says. (He notes that its impossible to find the projects awarded under the 2015 funding bolus for PRIN online.) The problem is not just the lack of money, but also that funding is handed out without a method, really, he says.

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Italian scientists welcome surprise 400 million boost for basic research – Science Magazine

This New, Cutting-Edge Treatment Could Be the End of Baldness – Reader’s Digest

Stell Cell Research | Posted by admin
Sep 06 2017

docent/ShutterstockWhether or not theres a scientific benefit to being baldwell let the follically challenged among us be the judge of thatscientists continue to search for a balding cure. According to UCLA researchers, that isnt completely out of the question. A team, led by Heather Christofk, PhD, and William Lowry, PhD, found a new way to activate the stem cells in the hair follicle to make hair grow. Their findings, published in the journal Nature Cell Biology, may lead to new drugs to promote hair growth or work as a cure for baldness or alopecia (hair loss linked to factors like hormonal imbalance, stress, aging or chemotherapy).

Working at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA, the researchers discovered that the metabolism of the stem cells embedded in hair follicles is different from the metabolism of other cells of the skin. When they altered that metabolic pathway in mice, they discovered they could either stop hair growth, or make hair grow rapidly. They did this by first blocking, then increasing, the production of a metabolitelactategenetically.

Before this, no one knew that increasing or decreasing the lactate would have an effect on hair follicle stem cells, says Dr. Lowry, a professor of molecular, cell and developmental biology, as reported on ScienceDaily. Once we saw how altering lactate production in the mice influenced hair growth, it led us to look for potential drugs that could be applied to the skin and have the same effect.

Two drugs in particularknown by the generic designations of RCGD423 and UK5099influenced hair follicle stem cells in distinct ways to promote lactate production. The use of both drugs to promote hair growth are covered by provisional patent applications. However, they are experimental drugs and have been used in preclinical tests only. They wont be ready for prime time until theyve been tested in humans and approved by the Food and Drug Administration as safe and effective. (While youre waiting for a male pattern baldness cure, check out these natural remedies for hair loss.)

So while it may be some time before these drugs are availableif everto treat baldless or alopecia, researchers are optimistic about the future. Through this study, we gained a lot of interesting insight into new ways to activate stem cells, says Aimee Flores, a predoctoral trainee in Lowrys lab and first author of the study. The idea of using drugs to stimulate hair growth through hair follicle stem cells is very promising given how many millions of people, both men and women, deal with hair loss. I think weve only just begun to understand the critical role metabolism plays in hair growth and stem cells in general; Im looking forward to the potential application of these new findings for hair loss and beyond.

This 7-year-old girl living with alopecia will inspire you.

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This New, Cutting-Edge Treatment Could Be the End of Baldness – Reader’s Digest

Zika Virus Could One Day Help Treat A Deadly Form Of Brain Cancer – HuffPost

Stell Cell Research | Posted by admin
Sep 06 2017

Glioblastoma, the aggressive and hard to treat brain cancer that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) announced he was diagnosed with in July, is the target of new research using a surprising treatment:Zika virus.

About 12,000 people are diagnosed with glioblastomas each year in the United States. Current treatment focuses on surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

But now, researchers think Zika virus which threatens the health of a fetus and can cause severe birth defects could be an appropriate treatment for glioblastoma because they see similar pathways in the way brain tumor cells and healthy stem cells in fetuses grow and divide.

Because Zika targets fetus stem cells, researchers hypothesized that it might also be able to target glioblastoma cells,according to findings published on Sept. 5 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

The abundance of neuroprogenitor stem cells in a human fetus partly explains why Zika virus can be so damaging to a fetal brain, while adults, who dont have many neuroprogenitor cells, typically only experience mild symptoms like fever and joint pain when theyre exposed to Zika.

We have guarded optimism about this treatment, said Dr. Michael Diamond, study author and professor of medicine, molecular microbiology, pathology and immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

To test their theory, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine and the University of California San Diego School of Medicine injected either Zika virus or a saltwater placebo into the brain tumors of mice. After two weeks, the mice that were given the Zika injection had smaller tumors than those given the placebo.

The researchers also experimented with injecting a mutated form of Zika virus into mice, and found that the weaker mutant version still replicated and killed tumor stem cells. The weaker mutant virus should also be easier for the bodys healthy cells to defeat.

Despite the promising research findings, testing in humans, much less availability as a cancer treatment, remains a long way off. If all goes well, the researchers hope to begin human trials in 18 months.

We envision tests in humans, and eventually adding this to existing conventional therapy (surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy) to kill the otherwise resistant stem cell component of the tumor, Diamond said.

But we need to further test safety and we need to first prove this works in human glioblastomas when transplanted into mice.

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Zika Virus Could One Day Help Treat A Deadly Form Of Brain Cancer – HuffPost

Curved substrates restrict spreading and induce differentiation of stem cells – Phys.Org

Stell Cell Research | Posted by admin
Sep 06 2017

September 6, 2017 by Adam Lowenstein, Florida Institute Of Technology Credit: Biotechnology Journal

An invention by Florida Institute of Technology’s Shengyuan Yang was found to naturally narrow the spreading of stem cells and has the potential to induce and regulate their differentiation.

Using Yang’s patented and patent-pending technology, stem cells were grown on microscopic glass balls immobilized in a gel medium. Unlike the well-spread stem cells grown on a two-dimensional surface, the stem cells on the glass balls were almost uniformly spindle-shaped . More interestingly, this surface-curvature-induced-restriction in cell spreading also induced the differentiation of the stem cells.

These findings imply that the curvature of a substrate, as provided by the glass balls, may be utilized and tuned for cell and tissue engineering.

The research was recently published in Biotechnology Journal.

Yang’s team used glass balls with diameters ranging from 5 m to 4 mm. They found that the minimum diameter of a glass ball on which a human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) can attach and spread is 500 m. Their gene expression experiments revealed that the hMSCs growing on the glass balls with diameters of 1.1 mm and below were differentiating into fat cells without the addition of any differentiation induction media.

This means that surface curvatures of a substrate could potentially be designed and optimized to achieve or change a specific cell shape and function. And, due to the different sensitivities of different cell types to substrate curvatures, the particular curvature of a growth environment, such as glass balls of various sizes, may also be used to construct cell-sorting devices.

Based on the experimental findings, Yang has filed three patents to cover the applications of the concept of substrate curvature in sorting cells, in guiding stem cell differentiation, in directing cell attachment and spreading, and in inducing isotropic spreading of cells.

Some past studies have shown the role of geometrical cues in influencing the differentiations of stem cells on two-dimensional surfaces, but to date, the effects of substrates with defined-curvatures on the behaviors of stem cells are still missing. Yang said studies on the cellular responses to substrate curvature are necessary and critical for understanding the cellular behaviors in three-dimensional micromechanical environments and for designing effective and efficient three-dimensional micromechanical environments to control cell and tissue developments. With their unique class of curvature-defined substrates, micro glass ball embedded gels are able to systematically investigate the effects of substrate curvature on the behaviors of stem cells.

With this promising first published report, Yang’s group will continue to systematically investigate the effects of substrate curvature on the behaviors of stem cells.

Explore further: Professor publishes on first-ever imaging of cells growing on spherical surfaces

More information: Sang Joo Lee et al, Substrate Curvature Restricts Spreading and Induces Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells, Biotechnology Journal (2017). DOI: 10.1002/biot.201700360

Shengyuan Yang, Florida Institute of Technology assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, with graduate student Sang Joo Lee, has published a paper on the first-ever imaging of cells growing on spherical …

Bone tissue engineering is theoretically now possible at a large scale. A*STAR researchers have developed small biodegradable and biocompatible supports that aid stem cell differentiation and multiplication as well as bone …

(Phys.org) A team of researchers working at the University of Colorado has found that human stem cells appear to remember the physical nature of the structure they were grown on, after being moved to a different substrate. …

To date, it has been assumed that the differentiation of stem cells depends on the environment they are embedded in. A research group at the University of Basel now describes for the first time a mechanism by which hippocampal …

Stem cells hold great promise for transforming medical care related to a diverse range of conditions, but the cells often lose some of their therapeutic potential when scientists try to grow and expand them in the laboratory. …

An international team of researchers, funded by Morris Animal Foundation, has shown that adipose (fat) stem cells might be the preferred stem cell type for use in canine therapeutic applications, including orthopedic diseases …

Significant headway has been made in controlling malaria. However, two vexing problems remain: currently available treatments are unable to block transmission of the parasite that causes the disease, and the parasite often …

During World War II, the Soviet Red Army was forced to move their biological warfare operations out of the path of advancing Nazi troops. Among the dangerous cargo were vials of Francisella tularensis, the organism that causes …

Researchers have shown for the first time that sharks show very strong preferences for particular individuals in their social networks over years and prefer to hang out with other individuals of the same sex and size, in …

Half of all people are chronically infected with Helicobacter pylori, a Gram negative bacterium that plays a causative role in the development of gastric cancer. It comes in two types, one that is relatively harmless and …

A series of sperm whale strandings saw 29 of the animals beached across the North Sea in early 2016. As these whales are not normally found in the North Sea, the strandings were a bit of a mystery. But a study is now proposing …

Researchers from Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI) have published a study in which individual faces and other physical traits were predicted using whole genome sequencing data and machine learning. This work, from lead author Christoph …

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Curved substrates restrict spreading and induce differentiation of stem cells – Phys.Org