Katie Moisse

Posts by: Katie

Making livers in the lab

Author: Katie Moisse, 11/05/10

In 2009, surgeons transplanted 2,155 organs — nearly a quarter of which were livers – from live or deceased donors into grateful recipients. Sadly, another 3,796 Canadians remained on the transplant wait list, and 249 died while waiting, according to the Canadian Organ Replacement Register. To help mitigate the organ donor shortage, scientists are looking for ways…Read more

Special delivery: Getting stem cells into the spinal cord

Author: Katie Moisse, 10/06/10

Day two of the World Stem Cell Summit featured a much-anticipated update on a groundbreaking clinical trial launched in January to assess the safety and feasibility of injecting fetal stem cells into the spinal cords of people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). To describe injecting a million cells into the precise area of the spinal…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

Model behaviour

Author: Katie Moisse, 07/29/10

Buried deep within our bony skulls and spinal columns, and separated from our blood by an infallible barrier, our neurons are, I would argue, the most protected cells in our bodies. This is a good thing for obvious reasons. This is a bad thing, however, for scientists studying neurodegeneration. When induced pluripotent stem cells hit…Read more

A closer look at stem cell tourism

Author: Katie Moisse, 06/08/10

  For centuries, “snake oil salesmen” have used cleverly crafted acts to peddle fake medicines. The modern-day version of the medical conman has zeroed on stem cells, selling treatments with unproven effects and unknown risks. Using online marketing campaigns, stem cell “clinics” around the world are luring in desperate patients with questionable promises. Their web…Read more

Modeling ALS using patient-derived iPS cells

Author: Katie Moisse, 06/04/10

The UK-based Motor Neurone Disease Association has recently funded a £800,000 ($1.2 million) program to study motor neurons derived from the skin cells of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients with rare, disease-causing mutations in the gene TARBP. Although the mutations are thought to cause only a tiny fraction of cases, abnormalities in the gene’s protein…Read more

Neuron replacement is the future–but astrocyte replacement can be done now

Author: Katie Moisse, 04/27/10

“Neuron replacement is the future–but astrocyte replacement can be done now” Those were the words of stem cell biologist Clive Svendsen during his plenary lecture at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting in Toronto April 15. Svendsen won this year’s Sheila Essey award, which honours scientists whose research has significantly contributed to understanding, preventing…Read more