Archive for September, 2010

Tread lightly in the valley of death…

Author: David Kent, 09/30/10

Last week, a major kerfuffle erupted in the UK stem cell community as leading scientists and pro stem cell organizations argued that Britain’s range of economic austerity measures would jeopardize their ability to be a major player in translational research. Articles in Reuters and the Daily Telegraph (here and here) detail the cries of the…Read more

Even in pharmaceuticals, it’s an RNA world

Author: Paul Krzyzanowski, 09/28/10

In the RNA world hypothesis, RNA based biological life can exist without the need for DNA and proteins to store information, make decisions, and in general, control cells. In 1998, the discovery that small RNAs can play important roles in controlling cells revolutionized biology and perhaps brought us closer to an RNA world. Since then,…Read more

Fluid shear stress promotes cell differentiation

Author: Allison Van Winkle, 09/23/10

The transplantation of stem cells for use in regenerative medicine, where diseased or degenerated tissue is replaced with a new cell source, is an exciting field of research. However, prior to the implementation of a cell therapy, large amounts of cells will be required, and a consistent protocol for the development of functional cells, in…Read more

In the blood – part two

Author: Michelle Ly, 09/21/10

In my last post, I introduced the use of clinical stem cell therapy in treating multiple myelomas and lymphomas. The treatment focuses blood stem cells, known as hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs). By transplanting healthy HPCs into patients, nearly normal white blood cell counts can be restored after cell-destroying cancer treatment. The process begins not in…Read more

What’s in a label?

Author: Katie Moisse, 09/17/10

Replacing dead or dying cells with new, healthy ones is the holy grail of regenerative medicine. Even sustaining damaged cells with toxin-mopping, growth-factor-spewing stem-cell-derived support cells would be a tremendous feat. But while clinical trials have hinted at stem cell therapy’s tremendous potential to replace parts or at least aid in necessary maintenance, the details…Read more

Enhancing cancer stem cell drugs

Author: Chris Kamel, 09/14/10

When cells are subject certain types of mild stress, it activates a protein called NF-κB and downstream pathways that can lead to future stress resistance in a process called pre-conditioning. This is useful for preparing cells for transplant into harsh environments. But there are other situations where you don’t want these same survival proteins active…Read more

Suspension issued by US Court of Appeals on temporary injunction

Author: Ubaka Ogbogu, 09/10/10

The US Court of Appeals in Washington DC yesterday suspended a recent temporary injunction issued by a federal district judge against the use of federal funds for hESC research. Read my earlier post on the injunction. The suspension is temporary, and is intended to allow the appellate court sufficient opportunity to review an emergency appeal…Read more

Ghosts of stem cells past

Author: Chris Kamel, 09/02/10

One of the coolest breakthroughs of the last five years is the ability to reprogram adult, differentiated cells into pluripotent cells, effectively allowing us to change one cell type into virtually any other. Reprogramming is achieved by expression of a set of genes that yield induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), which have many of…Read more