Archive for May, 2010

In the blood – part one

Author: Michelle Ly, 05/31/10

Part one in a series looking at the processes involved in the most clinically applied form of stem cell therapy: hematopoietic stem cell transplantation Leukocytes, or white blood cells (WBCs), are an essential part of the immune system. Produced in the bone marrow, healthy WBCs protect the body against infection and pathogens. Cancers such as…Read more

Scaling up stem cells for clinical use

Author: Allison Van Winkle, 05/27/10

The potential gains from stem cell research are unlimited; stem cells could be used to replace degenerated cells and tissue in the human body. However, the large scale implementation of stem cell therapy to a clinical setting will require the establishment of a reliable and controllable method of expanding and differentiating the cells. While one…Read more

Latest WARF patent decision further underlines legal questions about ownership of life

Author: Ubaka Ogbogu, 05/25/10

  On April 28, 2010, the Board of Appeals and Interference (BPAI) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reversed an earlier decision that upheld the claims of U.S. Patent Number 7,029,913, one of the trio of patents commonly known as WARF or Thomson patents. The patents cover the first isolation of non-human primate…Read more

High-dose antioxidants may cause abnormalities in stem cells

Author: Chris Kamel, 05/20/10

One hurdle facing the use of lab-grown stem cells for therapeutic or experimental purposes is the accumulation of genetic abnormalities over time. The nature of these changes varies, but some may affect therapeutic usefulness and many mirror changes seen in tumour-forming cells. One of the more difficult variables to change when culturing stem cells is…Read more

New summary on stem cell research for ALS

Author: Stem Cell Network, 05/18/10

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease and motor neuron disease (MND), is a progressive neuromuscular disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. As these neurons slowly waste away, they become unable to transmit signals through the body, such that over time the body loses the ability to do…Read more

Stem cell science across the pond: organizations in the UK

Author: David Kent, 05/17/10

After being spoiled with six years’ worth of camaraderie with the stem cell community in Canada via the Stem Cell Network’s annual meeting and countless other interactions, I recently made the journey from  Connie Eaves’ lab in Vancouver to pursue post doctoral research at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research under Tony Green’s supervision. I…Read more

iPS cells can help speed traditional drug development

Author: Paul Krzyzanowski, 05/11/10

Imagine that you’ve just discovered a novel drug that potentially solves a medical problem, one that accelerates wound healing in skin or can reduce the size of cancerous tumors. You can show the effects beautifully in your model tissue culture system and mice obviously respond to the treatment. You decide to call your technology transfer…Read more

Further challenges for research following AHRC resignations

Author: Ubaka Ogbogu, 05/06/10

The recent resignation of two members of the Board of Directors of Assisted Human Reproduction Canada (AHRC), the federal regulatory agency responsible for implementing the provisions of the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, has once again raised questions regarding the composition, progress and relevance of the agency’s governing body, which I outline below. Such weaknesses have…Read more