Signals Blog

Katie Moisse

Posts by: Katie

Making livers in the lab

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 […]

Special delivery: Getting stem cells into the spinal cord

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 […]

What’s in a label?

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 […]

Model behaviour

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 […]

A closer look at stem cell tourism

  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 […]