Study Shows Stem Cells May Prevent And Cure Alzheimer's

SEOUL, South Korea, Sept. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --In the first study of its kind, researchers at Korea's leading university and the RNL Bio Stem Cell Technology Institute announced this week the results of a study that suggests an astounding possibility: adult stem cells may not only have a positive effect on those suffering from Alzheimer's disease, theycanprevent the disease.Using fat-derived adultstem cells from humans [scientific term:adMSCs, orhuman, adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells], researchers were able to cause Alzheimer's disease brains in animal models to regenerate. The researchers, for the first time in history, used stem cells toidentify the mechanism that is key to treatment of Alzheimer's disease, and demonstrated how to achieve efficacy as well as prevention of the symptoms of Alzheimer's with adult stem cells, a "holy grail" of biomedical scientists for decades.

Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia (loss of brain function), is the 6th leading cause of death, and affects 1 in 8 people -- more than breast cancer. As of 2010, there were 35.6 million people with Alzheimer's disease in the world, but this number is expected to double every 20 years. It is estimated that the total cost of Alzheimer's is US $604 billion worldwide, with 70% of this cost in the US and Europe. To put that in perspective, Alzheimer's care costs more than the revenues of Wal-Mart (US$414 billion) and Exxon Mobil (US$311 billion), according to the British World Alzheimer's Report of ADI. The cost of Alzheimer's is at the top of health economists' list of the disorders of aging that could topple nations' entire economies, and that regularly ruin not only the lives of patients but of their relatives.

According to the results of this first major study, Alzheimer's may soon be a preventable disease, or even a thing of the past. Equally important, the safety human administration of the kind of adult stem cells used in this experiment has been established in multiple articles and government-approved clinical trials.


The study was jointly led by Seoul National University Professor Yoo-Hun Suh and RNL Bio Stem Cell Technology Institute (SCTI) director Dr. Jeong-Chan Ra.

The researchers and their teams injected stem cells into mice genetically designed to have the core symptoms and physiology of Alzheimer's disease. They were able to identify that these human stem cells, derived from adipose tissue, behave in a very special way when injected into the tail vein of mice subjects. The cells migrated through the blood brain barrier, thought by many to be impossible for adult stem cells to cross, and went into the brain. In fact,fluorescent labeled cells were monitored for distribution in subjects and the team identified that the infused cells migrated throughout the bodiesincluding brainexcept the olfactory organ, and therefore confirmed that IV infused stem cell can reach to the brain across the blood brain barrier.

The team infused human adipose stem cells intravenously in Alzheimer model mice multiple times two weeks apart from three month to 10 month.Once there, the mice who received cells improved in every relevant way: ability to learn, ability to remember, and neuropathological signs. More important, for the first time ever, Alzheimer model mice showed the mediation of IL-10, which is known for anti-inflammation and neurological protection.

The team also found that stem cell restored special learning ability from Alzheimer model subjects with great reduction of neuropathy lesions.This was found using tests used for Alzheimer's disease: behavioral assessment. In assessment it was found, amazingly, that stem cells' therapeutic effect on Alzheimer's disease was tremendous. This was also found in pathological analysis. The key though was prevention: the scientists showed that stem cells, when infused into Alzheimer's mice, decreased beta amyloid and APP-CT, known to cause brain cell destruction, leading to dementia and Alzheimer's disease. In the lab it was clear that stem cells increased neprilysin, which hydrolyzes toxic proteins. No other compound or treatment has ever suggested so strongly the potential to prevent, as well as stop, this epidemic of incurable dementia sweeping across suffering patients and their families.

Stopping Alzheimer's disease, let alone preventing it, is the focus of thousands of researchers worldwide. Speaking of their breakthrough discovery,Professor Yoo-Hun Suh, who led the study, said, "It is a ground breaking discovery that such a simple method as IV injection of the safest autologous adipose stem cells, without causing any immune rejection, or any ethical issues, opened a new door to conquering Alzheimer's disease, one of the most horrible, expensive and incurablediseases of our time." Joining him, leader of the RNL Bio Stem Cell Technology InstituteDr. Jeong-Chan Ra said, "It has never been more clear that it is an ethical imperative for governments to provide patients with incurable diseases with their right to participate not only in studies like this but in therapies with such obvious potential, once they have been tested as many times for safety as has our technology." Both scientists stressed that the real breakthrough in their complex research is the prevention of the onset of symptoms.

Specifically, stem cells grafted in the brain, in another part of the study, were identified to induce cell division and neuro differentiation of endogenous neuro progenitor cells around the hippocampus and its surrounding cells and increase in great deal the stability of dendrites and synapses. Stem cell also contributed various anti-inflammatory and neuro growth factors, especially increased the expression of IL-10. This again suppressed apoptosis of brain neurons, the prevention effect against Alzheimer's disease.

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Study Shows Stem Cells May Prevent And Cure Alzheimer's

Three-dimensional fiber scaffold promotes large-scale stem cell proliferation and differentiation

Pluripotent embryonic stem cells encapsulated in the fiber scaffold developed at IBN. Credit: A*STAR Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology

Thanks to the ability of pluripotent stem cells to self-renew and differentiate into a wide variety of specialized cell types, they are expected to revolutionize the treatment of illnesses such as type I diabetes and Parkinson's disease. Before this becomes a reality, however, scientists must develop culture systems to mass-produce these cells. To overcome the limitations of previous single-layer-substrate systems, a research team in Singapore has developed three-dimensional scaffolds that stimulate stem cell proliferation and differentiation under defined chemical conditions. Importantly, the system can be scaled up. The scaffolds consist of microscopic fibers obtained by weaving together polymer strands bearing opposite charges.

Hongfang Lu and Andrew Wan from the A*STAR Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology led the research. Wan notes that the fiber-based scaffold not only avoids the need to consume large quantities of key growth factors, but it would also shield the cells from the shear stresses generated in large-scale bioreactors.

To manufacture the scaffold, the researchers opted for a positively charged biopolymer called chitin, which they extracted from crab shell, and a negatively charged polymer called sodium alginate. After depositing one droplet of each of these water-soluble polymers onto a sterile substrate, they brought the droplet interfaces into contact using forceps; this formed a chitinalginate complex. Held together by intermolecular electrostatic interactions, the complex extended into a continuous fiber. The team reeled the fiber onto a holder to complete the three-dimensional system.

By suspending the stem cells in the alginate solution, Lu, Wan and co-workers incorporated the cells into the scaffold during fiber formation, resulting in a network of uniformly distributed cells (see image). Preliminary tests showed that when the researchers destroyed the scaffold with enzymes, they could recover a high number of the cells.

Lu explains that their system provided a 'micro-environment' in which cells could grow in aggregates. When sub-cultured over many generations, the encapsulated stem cells remained pluripotent and did not undergo any genetic mutations. Moreover, the cells displayed excellent viability when frozen in the fiber for storage; in addition, they could either self-renew or differentiate, depending on the media available to them. "The small dimensions of the fibers are useful because they allow nutrients and growth factors to efficiently diffuse towards the cells within the scaffold," she adds.

The team is now planning to exploit their approach to produce transplantable tissue for cell-based therapy. "Our system allows us to generate large numbers of cells for tissue-engineering applications," says Wan.

More information: Lu, H. F., Narayanan, K., Lim, S.-X., Gao, S., Leong, M. F. & Wan, A. C. A. A 3D microfibrous scaffold for long-term human pluripotent stem cell self-renewal under chemically defined conditions. Biomaterials 33, 24192430 (2012): article

Provided by Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore

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Three-dimensional fiber scaffold promotes large-scale stem cell proliferation and differentiation

Stem cell transplantation for boy with thalassaemia

A 10-year-old boy has been infused with stem cells harvested from the bone marrow of his brother to treat him for thalassaemia a disorder caused by destruction of red blood cells. Called allogeneic transplantation of stem cells, this was done at Kovai Medical Center and Hospital.

D. Dhanush may not have to undergo expensive and excruciating blood transfusion anymore if his body accepts the donor cells. But his condition will have to be evaluated very minutely for the next two years to confirm that the cells donated by his brother have been received well and adapted him.

Presenting the boy before media persons, Clinical Haematologist and Head of the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit T. Rajasekar explained that transplantation was of two types autologous and allogeneic.

The autologous procedure involves harvesting of stem cells from the patients themselves (those suffering from thalassaemia or leukaemia). The extracted cells are frozen and stored for high dose treatment.

After being treated, these are infused into the patient through a vein. This procedure was done for one person suffering from myeloma (cancer of plasma cells or white blood cells that produce anti-bodies that help fight infections/diseases) and another with a relapsed lymphoma (cancer of the lymphocytes cells that are part of immune system).

Under the allogeneic procedure, matching stem cells from a donor are used. Mostly, these cells are from siblings or a close relative as they need to pass the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) matching test. HLA matching is required, or the cells will be rejected by the recipient. Ideally, it is sibling whose cells will match because he or she will have the HLA from both parents. It is the combination of HLAs from both parents that are found in the children.

The cells can be harvested from the marrow or from the blood. In the case presented on Tuesday, Dr. Rajasekar said the cells were brought out of the bone marrow in Dhanushs brother and into his blood, from where these were harvested.

Chairman of the hospital Nalla G. Palaniswami said the tough procedure was performed by the new Comprehensive Cancer Centre, which was gradually bringing in specialists of all sub-specialities of cancer care. Only then can this be called a comprehensive centre, he said.

The hospital would form a KMCH Foundation, which would use funds from donors to treat poor children suffering from cancer and some other disorders that required expensive treatment.

The stem cell transplantation that Dhanush, the son of a police head constable, underwent cost Rs.12 lakh. Of this, Rs.9 lakh was provided by a donor, Dr. Palaniswami said. Dean of the hospital V. Kumaran and Head of Department of Interventional Radiology Mathew Cherian spoke on how the cancer centre was established and how developments were being made.

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Stem cell transplantation for boy with thalassaemia

Pacemaker from Stem Cells Receives Research Funding

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) - Deborah K. Lieu, a stem cell scientist in cardiovascular medicine at UC Davis Health System, has received a $1.3 million research grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to develop stem cells that could serve as a biological alternative to the electronic pacemakers that people now use to regulate heart rhythm.

According to Lieu, each year 350,000 cardiology patients with abnormal heart rhythms receive electronic pacemakers to maintain a normal heart beat. The devices, while effective, have several disadvantages, including limited battery life and poor response to changing heart rates, such as when a person is exercising. Lieu, who is working with colleague Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, the Roger Tatarian Endowed Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at UC Davis, plans to examine ways to improve the generation of pacemaking cells using human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), potentially creating what she calls a "biopacemaker."

"There are more than 3 million patients around the country who are dependent on electronic pacemakers," said Lieu. "Each one costs about $58,000 to implant and requires follow-up surgery about every 5 to 10 years to change batteries. Creating a biopacemaker from stem cells would avoid the burden of battery replacement and provide the physiological benefit of enabling a person's heart to naturally adapt to a rising heart rate during activities such as exercise."

Lieu's grant was among more than two dozen projects that received support from state stem cell agency's governing board last week as part of CIRM's Basic Biology awards program. The funding focuses on basic research projects that can provide a better understanding about the fundamental mechanisms of stem cell biology and move researchers closer to knowing how best to use stem cells to help patients.

To create the pacemaking cells, Lieu and her colleagues plan to manipulate an ion channel (the SK channels in cardiac myocytes) to alter the calcium signaling mechanisms during hiPSC differentiation. Stem cell scientists create hiPSCs - typically from an adult cell such as a skin cell - by inducing a "forced" expression of specific genes. Once reprogrammed, the cells take on a variety of capabilities (becoming pluripotent) and offer a range of stem cell treatment possibilities.

Development of a biopacemaker could also benefit the one-in-20,000 infants and premature babies suffering from congenital heart-rhythm dysfunction who currently are not suitable candidates for electronic pacemakers. Infants are physically too small for the device. A biological pacemaker could fit with their small stature and then grow as the infant grows.

Collaborating with Lieu and Chiamvimonvat on the research project will be Jan Nolta, director of the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures; Donald Bers, chair of the UC Davis Department of Pharmacology; and James Chan, assistant professor in the Department of Pathology and affiliated with the NSF Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology at UC Davis.

UC Davis is playing a leading role in regenerative medicine, with nearly 150 scientists working on a variety of stem cell-related research projects at campus locations in both Davis and Sacramento. The UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures, a facility supported by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), opened in 2010 on the Sacramento campus. This $62 million facility is the university's hub for stem cell science. It includes Northern California's largest academic Good Manufacturing Practice laboratory, with state-of-the-art equipment and manufacturing rooms for cellular and gene therapies. UC Davis also has a Translational Human Embryonic Stem Cell Shared Research Facility in Davis and a collaborative partnership with the Institute for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine at Shriners Hospital for Children Northern California. All of the programs and facilities complement the university's Clinical and Translational Science Center, and focus on turning stem cells into cures. For more information, visit

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Pacemaker from Stem Cells Receives Research Funding

BioRestorative Therapies Announces the Appointment of Harvard Medical School's Wayne Marasco, M.D., Ph.D., as Chairman …

JUPITER, Fla., Sept. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --BioRestorative Therapies, Inc. ("BRT" or the "Company") (BRTX), a life sciences company focused on stem cell based cellular therapies for various personal medical applications, announced today that Wayne A. Marasco, M.D., Ph.D. has been appointed as Chairman of the Company's Scientific Advisory Board.

Dr. Marasco currently serves as an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is head of the Marasco Labs, an accomplished research laboratory at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute known for discovery and therapeutic human monoclonal antibody development and for constructing and validating various Human-Mouse chimeric models in the area of cancer, infectious disease immunotherapy, regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Dr. Marasco is an Affiliated Faculty Member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and has extensive experience in the field of stem cells.

In 2003, Dr. Marasco founded the National Foundation of Cancer Research Center for Therapeutic Antibody Engineering to expand the use of human monoclonal antibodies in the treatment of cancer. In 2009, he was listed among 13 top scientists in their field as the 21st century medicine "Pioneers of Medicine Progress" by US News & World Report. Dr. Marasco's recent work in the field of influenza has led to a new discovery in which a human antibody attacks a crucial non-mutating part of the influenza virus that can potentially lead to a vaccination of the virus, including the swine flu.

Dr. Marasco commented on his appointment, "I am very excited to be joining the BioRestorative Therapies team and look forward to adding my expertise to the organization and leading the Scientific Advisory Board. The Company has developed substantial scientific and medical programs and I am thrilled to be part of its continued development."

Mark Weinreb, Chief Executive Officer of BRT, stated, "Dr. Marasco is a highly regarded medical researcher and clinician and we are extremely pleased to have him join our Scientific Advisory Board as its Chairman. He will be an integral part in adding new members to the advisory board, and his participation will further the advances we are making with our science. BRT will benefit from Dr. Marasco's extraordinary experience in stem cell science and his unique insight and abilities in the field of cellular medicine."

Dr. Marasco received his PhD in 1980 from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan Medical School, where he also earned an MD in 1986 and completed training in internal medicine. He received his subspecialty training in infectious diseases at Harvard Medical School, and joined Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 1989.

About BioRestorative Therapies, Inc.

BioRestorative Therapies, Inc.'s ("BRT") goal is to become a leader in developing medical procedures using cell and tissue protocols, primarily involving adult stem cells (non-embryonic), and allowing patients to undergo minimally invasive cellular-based treatments. BRT is developing the following scientific initiatives: OurbrtxDISCProgram (Disc Implanted Stem Cells) offers a non-surgical treatment for bulging and herniated discs and addresses the gap between non-invasive and invasive back procedures. OurThermoStem Program focuses on treatments for metabolic disorders (diabetes, heart disease, etc.) and obesity and uses brown fat stem cells, which initial research indicates increased caloric burning and reduced glucose and lipid levels in the body. The Company also offers plant stem cell-based facial creams and products under the Stem Pearls brand

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You are cautioned that such statements are subject to a multitude of risks and uncertainties that could cause future circumstances, events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors and other risks, including those set forth in the Company's Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should consider these factors in evaluating the forward-looking statements included herein, and not place undue reliance on such statements. The forward-looking statements in this release are made as of the date hereof and the Company undertakes no obligation to update such statements.

Investor Contacts: KCSA Strategic Communications Philip Carlson / Josh Dver +1 212.896.1233 / +1 212.896.1239 /

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BioRestorative Therapies Announces the Appointment of Harvard Medical School's Wayne Marasco, M.D., Ph.D., as Chairman ...

Stem Cell Therapy—Breakthrough in Health Paradigm

By Sharmistha Banerjee - September 25, 2012 | Tickers: NBS, OSIR, PSTI | 0 Comments

Sharmistha is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinions of our bloggers and are not formally edited.

Far-reaching accomplishments in the biotechnology sector meet its most ambitious expectations, stem cell therapy. The birth of this new industry has boosted the enthusiasm and energy of investors and has brought unprecedented capability and optimistic predictions. New developments in regenerative medicine are bringing about exciting, novel approaches to create therapies for hard to treat diseases. The biotechnology industry has been soaring in 2012 as companies both large and small have shown impressive growth.

The cell therapy space has seen relatively small companies making strides in the right direction with increased government support. Osiris Therapeutics (NASDAQ: OSIR) a leading stem cell company is currently the only company with an approved cell therapy. The approval is more of a first step in a long walk for Osiris. Reuters reported that shares of Osiris Therapeutics rose 15% on May 30, 2012, after U.S. health regulators said the stem cell technology company's wound treatment was eligible for reimbursement when used in hospitals in out-patient settings or in ambulances. The company carries over a $300 million market capitalization and trades at $9.50 per share, primarily on the strength of a recent Canadian approval for its stem cell drug for graft-versus-host disease. Osiris Therapeutics has a 1-year low of $4.12 and a 1-year high of $14.46. The company has a market cap of $311.3 million and a price-to-earnings ratio of 90.98. Investors are impressed and optimistic with Osiris progress in cell-based therapies. They currently have a $9.75 target price on the stock. Despite having to negotiate a more challenging regulation process the company has continued to show investors strong gains in 2012.With a current ratio of 8.51 and debt equity of (0.00%) the company boasts of a financially secure position in the market.

Pluristem Therapeutics (NASDAQ: PSTI) a small firm with a market cap of less than $180 million has been concentrating on its placenta-based cell therapies, is considered one of the more advanced in the cell therapy arena, and unlike OSIR, its lead candidates treat diseases that could potentially return significant revenue. The upside for PSTI is lower costs, quicker healing time, ease of administration, and most importantly, it can grow vessels and provide the possibility of a cure, which has led to optimism surrounding the stock. Shares of Pluristem Therapeutics are up over 3.98% and most likely headed higher in the days ahead. It has traded higher by 85% during the last three months and is now valued at $200 million. Pluristem may actually beat OSIR in the race to become the first U.S. approved cell therapy with its bone marrow therapy, in which it has recently applied for approval. Pluristem is a company that I think is showing great promise. From the stock's action in the last several months, it is clear investors recognize that Pluristem's unique platform technology has the potential for tremendous value in a lucrative range of medical markets both the very large and the very small. The company wins both ways. Its clinical segment is creating candidates with large revenue potential, with analysts projecting peak sales of $700 million for AMR-001, which treats patients following acute myocardial infarction. The company is reasonably well funded with around $42 million in cash and cash equivalents.

NeoStem (NYSEMKT: NBS) is by far the leader in regards to the manufacturing business, and no other company comes close. In addition, its stock has returned the most over in the last three months, with a 100% gain. NeoStem stocks looks promising as a biotechnology investment. First, the company is focusing on several promising areas of new stem cell treatment development. Second, its contract manufacturing business brings in revenues to offset some of its drug development expenditures. Third, the contract manufacturing business could earn substantial royalties if any of the products on which it works with customers proves to be a commercial success. NeoStem's manufacturing segment which is also known as PCT, is well positioned to return larger gains over the next 24 months with several late stage candidates under development. a $110 million company that has increased in value by 70% during the last three months, In addition to the PCT business, NeoStem's most promising therapy is aimed at preventing major cardiac problems following acute myocardial infarction (AMI), an area that is potentially a multibillion-dollar business. NeoStem's therapy is meeting endpoints never before reached,

The three companies discussed above are showing much potential for growth and each present a significant upward shift in the current stock prices while contributing greatly to the advances of cell therapy.

Osiris is the closest to generating substantial revenue by already having two approvals, and is currently testing its therapy on other diseases, thereby leaving open the possibility of future gains. Pluristem has candidates to treat diseases in potentially large markets, and is expanding with its manufacturing facility. Although Stem Cells is in the early phases of development, it still has a very innovating therapy that, if proven effective, could advance the space even further. NeoStem possesses all the benefits of an innovating technology, a diversified pipeline, and is a candidate with significant revenue potential.

At this point, it appears that the entire space is moving forward and has lifted observers' expectations by making rapid progress. It makes sense that these three stocks would trade with such considerable gains, as investors can now identify the benefits of cell therapies. And as more approvals occur, it could be a space that trades considerably higher regardless of the market's indecisiveness. With the sector growing and maturing, investing in biotech stocks seems a promising choice in future.

SharmisthaB has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fools blog network, click here for information.

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Stem Cell Therapy—Breakthrough in Health Paradigm

'Be the Match' seeks stem cell, marrow donors

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Be the Match raises money and enlists donors to help patients with blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell.

Organizers say common misperceptions of donations often make people hesitant to give, but doctors say treatment has progressed and so has the way marrow and stem cells are taken from donors.

"What we're able to do now is just extract the cells from your blood. It's not as invasive as it used to be. It really compares to donating plasma or platelets, if you're familiar with that. It's in a blood center setting. It's one day of your life, and you could potentially save a life," Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma Patient Cristina Rodriguez said.

Organizers say 70 percent of patients are unable to find matches within their families. You can find out more information at

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'Be the Match' seeks stem cell, marrow donors

Probe sought into status of stem cell therapy in the Philippines

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Probe sought into status of stem cell therapy in the Philippines

Solon urges Congress to conduct cursory check on the status of stem cell therapy in the country (15966897)

According to Aristotle, only the Pentacosiomedimnoi were eligible for election to high office as archons and therefore only they gained admission into the Areopagus. A modern view affords the same privilege to the hippeis. The top three classes were eligible for a variety of lesser posts and only the Thetes were excluded from all public office.

Depending on how we interpret the historical facts known to us, Solon's constitutional reforms were either a radical anticipation of democratic government, or they merely provided a plutocratic flavour to a stubbornly aristocratic regime, or else the truth lies somewhere between these two extremes.

Solon's reforms can thus be seen to have taken place at a crucial period of economic transition, when a subsistence rural economy increasingly required the support of a nascent commercial sector. The specific economic reforms credited to Solon are these: Fathers were encouraged to find trades for their sons; if they did not, there would be no legal requirement for sons to maintain their fathers in old age. Foreign tradesmen were encouraged to settle in Athens; those who did would be granted citizenship, provided they brought their families with them. Cultivation of olives was encouraged; the export of all other produce was prohibited. Competitiveness of Athenian commerce was promoted through revision of weights and measures, possibly based on successful standards already in use elsewhere, such as Aegina or Euboia or, according to the ancient account but unsupported by modern scholarship, Argos

It is generally assumed, on the authority of ancient commentators that Solon also reformed the Athenian coinage. However, recent numismatic studies now lead to the conclusion that Athens probably had no coinage until around 560 BC, well after Solon's reforms.

Solon's economic reforms succeeded in stimulating foreign trade. Athenian black-figure pottery was exported in increasing quantities and good quality throughout the Aegean between 600 BC and 560 BC, a success story that coincided with a decline in trade in Corinthian pottery. The ban on the export of grain might be understood as a relief measure for the benefit of the poor. However, the encouragement of olive production for export could actually have led to increased hardship for many Athenians since it would have led to a reduction in the amount of land dedicated to grain. Moreover an olive produces no fruit for the first six years. The real motives behind Solon's economic reforms are therefore as questionable as his real motives for constitutional reform. Were the poor being forced to serve the needs of a changing economy, or was the economy being reformed to serve the needs of the poor?

Solon's reform of these injustices was later known and celebrated among Athenians as the Seisachtheia (shaking off of burdens). As with all his reforms, there is considerable scholarly debate about its real significance. Many scholars are content to accept the account given by the ancient sources, interpreting it as a cancellation of debts, while others interpret it as the abolition of a type of feudal relationship, and some prefer to explore new possibilities for interpretation. prohibition on a debtor's person being used as security for a loan. release of all Athenians who had been enslaved.

The removal of the horoi clearly provided immediate economic relief for the most oppressed group in Attica, and it also brought an immediate end to the enslavement of Athenians by their countrymen. Some Athenians had already been sold into slavery abroad and some had fled abroad to escape enslavement Solon proudly records in verse the return of this diaspora. It has been cynically observed, however, that few of these unfortunates were likely to have been recovered. It has been observed also that the seisachtheia not only removed slavery and accumulated debt, it also removed the ordinary farmer's only means of obtaining further credit.

The seisachtheia however was merely one set of reforms within a broader agenda of moral reformation. Other reforms included: the abolition of extravagant dowries. legislation against abuses within the system of inheritance, specifically with relation to the epikleros (i.e. a female who had no brothers to inherit her father's property and who was traditionally required to marry her nearest paternal relative in order to produce an heir to her father's estate). entitlement of any citizen to take legal action on behalf of another. the disenfranchisement of any citizen who might refuse to take up arms in times of civil strife, a measure that was intended to counteract dangerous levels of political apathy.

The personal modesty and frugality of the rich and powerful men of Athens in the city's subsequent golden age have been attested to by Demosthenes. Perhaps Solon, by both personal example and legislated reform, established a precedent for this decorum. A heroic sense of civic duty later united Athenians against the might of the Persians. Perhaps this public spirit was instilled in them by Solon and his reforms. Also see Solon and Athenian sexuality

The literary merit of Solon's verse is generally considered unexceptional. Solon the poet can be said to appear 'self-righteous' and 'pompous' at times and he once composed an elegy with moral advice for a more gifted elegiac poet, Mimnermus. Most of the extant verses show him writing in the role of a political activist determined to assert personal authority and leadership and they have been described by the German classicist Wilamowitz as a "versified harangue" (Eine Volksrede in Versen). According to Plutarch however, Solon originally wrote poetry for amusement, discussing pleasure in a popular rather than philosophical way. Solon's elegiac style is said to have been influenced by the example of Tyrtaeus. He also wrote iambic and trochaic verses which, according to one modern scholar, are more lively and direct than his elegies and possibly paved the way for the iambics of Athenian drama.

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Solon urges Congress to conduct cursory check on the status of stem cell therapy in the country (15966897)

New stem-cell treatment saving lives

Thanapat Kitjakosol The Nation on Sunday September 23, 2012 1:00 am

Doctors in Saraburi told her the boy would not survive without a bone-marrow transplant, which costs up to Bt1 million.

Petcharat could not afford it. But as the boy's condition worsened - the whites of his eyes turned red and he experienced oral bleeding - his local doctor helped him to obtain assistance from the Ramathibodi Hospital Foundation to seek free treatment. Ton Kla received a stem-cell transplant using tissue taken from his younger brother Noppaklao in August. He was released from hospital one month later and now lives a normal life, playing with his friends.

Initially, Petcharat believed it was her son's karma to suffer from such a deadly disease. She blamed herself, because she had tried to have an abortion when she was bearing her youngest son. However, the doctors told her the disease could have been caused by any one of a number of factors, such as living close to factories releasing toxic chemicals, heredity, or insecticides from fruits and vegetables.

Ton Kla's is just one of many lives that the Ramathibodi Hospital Foundation has saved. Among the many other survivors is 4-year-old Anat Thongta, who was diagnosed with thalassemia when he was 2. He will undergo a bone-marrow transplant tomorrow, thanks to the foundation's help. Saengduan Thongta, Anat's mother, said getting support from the foundation meant the world to her family, which has been paying Bt5,000 a month for blood transfusions to keep the child alive.

Maneerat Pimnont, 32, who suffers from systemic lupus erythematosus and chronic renal failure, received a free kidney transplant in April last year. She is profoundly grateful to the foundation, saying she has embraced her new life and gone are the days when she suffered torment and misery.

Prof Dr Suradet Hong-ing, vice president in charge of stem-cell transplants at Ramathibodi Hospital, said stem-cell technology had enabled the hospital to treat patients suffering from liver and kidney disease, leukaemia, lymphoma, thalassemia, aplastic anemia and immuno-deficiency.

The hospital is seeking approval from the National Health Security Office (NHSO) to allow patients suffering from these diseases to receive free treatment under NHSO sponsorship. Less than 10 per cent of the Thai population can afford a Bt1-million organ or stem-cell transplant, Suradet said.

"There are more than 4,000 people who are suffering from thalassemia and waiting to get stem-cell transplants; every day some die before they can reach hospital,'' he said. The hospital was the first in Thailand to carry out a liver transplant from a parent to a child, and the first in Asia to successfully perform kidney and bone-marrow transplants, which free patients from the need to take immune system suppressants.

"We are the first hospital in the country to perform a stem-cell transplant from a person who was not a blood relative of the patient,'' Suradet said.

See the article here:
New stem-cell treatment saving lives