Archive for June, 2012

A shot in the arm for diabetes research

Author: Lisa Willemse, 06/29/12

With contributions from Michael Rudnicki. If you’re following recent announcements in the field, then you may know about the study published this week in Diabetes that details the use of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to reverse diabetes type 1 in a mouse model. The research team, led by Tim Kieffer at the University of British…Read more

Lessons in pluripotency from ISSCR 2012

Author: Angela C. H. McDonald, 06/29/12

Pluripotency describes the potential of a stem cell to differentiate into any cell type in the body. Embryonic stem cells derived from the early pre-implantation embryo are pluripotent as well as their engineered counterparts, iPSCs (induced pluripotent stem cells). Many labs have focused on understanding the gene regulatory networks maintaining pluripotency. This knowledge allowed Kazutoshi…Read more

Interspecies chimeras – will farm animals be regenerative medicine vehicles of the future?

Author: Angela C. H. McDonald, 06/26/12

Hiromitsu Nakauchi has a vision for regenerative medicine. In this vision, he sees a renewable source of human organs for transplantation that are grown within the bodies of farm animals. Here’s how it works: pluripotent stem cells would be injected into an early animal embryo that is not capable of generating a specific organ. As…Read more

One step closer to a viable cell replacement strategy for muscular dystrophy

Author: Angela C. H. McDonald, 06/07/12

Late in May, the Brampton Fire Department (just outside of Toronto) held a “boot drive” to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy.  My boyfriend who happens to be a firefighter tells me that boot drives are fairly common among Canadian fire departments.  In fact, they are often specifically supporting Muscular Dystrophy Canada.  At a boot drive,…Read more

The tooth tattoo: A novel biosensor for disease detection

Author: Roshan Yoganathan, 06/05/12

The last time I blogged here, I introduced the idea of using biomaterials to monitor and sense changes in various physiological environments. Having materials in the body that can do this allows for real-time feedback regarding changes in the body. The use of biosensors helps overcome the shortcomings of various disease-related diagnoses. For example, the…Read more

The 140 character stem cell definition challenge

Author: Lisa Willemse, 06/01/12

Who was it that said “there are no original ideas”? The same person, perhaps, that said “great minds think alike”? Last week, we initiated a stem cell definition challenge via Twitter, asking followers to send their answers in 140 characters or less. While I didn’t think this was a truly original idea, had I done…Read more