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

British doctors transplant trachea grown from stem cells

Author: Chris Kamel, 04/29/10

In Britain, a young boy is currently recovering from a remarkable surgery to replace his windpipe. Tissue transplantation itself is hardly a routine thing, but there are a couple of things that make this case, reported in the British Medical Journal, particularly interesting. Avoiding immune response First, the trachea being transplanted is being grown by…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

Stem cells in the running for a Webby Award!

Author: Stem Cell Network, 04/26/10

 The Canadian Stem Cell Foundation has been nominated for Best Activism Website at the 14th Annual Webby Awards, otherwise known as the “Oscars of the Internet”. The Webby’s recognize the world’s best websites, interactive advertising, online film and video, and mobile web sites. As a nominee, the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation is also eligible to win…Read more

New possibilities for treatment of severe heart failure

Author: Stem Cell Network, 04/15/10

Researchers in Montréal announced this week that they have successfully used stem cells as a key part of a treatment for a patient with heart muscle failure due to severe heart disease. The procedure involves implanting autologous stem cells into the heart muscle of a patient during a coronary bypass procedure. The stem cells stimulate…Read more