A recent Google alert served up links to articles on several new developments in progress in the world of stem cell research. In addition to discussion of funding for using stem cells to grow “clean meat,” recent work Happily, there seems to be no end to the number of areas in which humankind will at least seek solutions, if not actually develop workable applications, using this magical tool straight from nature.
Healing with stem cells (Abilene Recorder Chronicle). …”stem cell therapy ‘pennies on the dollar’ when it comes to treatment. ‘Healing is the returning the individual into function and Trinity’s research is focused … ‘Stem cells are light switches to the inflammatory process.
Embryonic stem cells have the potential to become any type of cell in the body. Once they start down a path towards a particular type of cell, they lose the ability to become any other type. No one understands why this is so or how it happens, but scientists are hoping to find a way to stall this unlimited potential in order to develop “regenerative therapies” that can give the body’s own cells the chance to rebuild tissues and organs.
Now at the Salk Institute two scientists have discovered a new protein complex called GBAF that can do just that. Described in the December 2018 issue of Nature Communications, the complex offers hope of eventually providing a target for ways to help the body regenerate pieces of itself.
The promises of non-invasive medicine grow greater with every passing day.
Osteomyelitis is a debilitating bone infection that can result when MRSA invades bone tissue following surgery. Now a team of scientists at University of Missouri led by Elizabeth Loboa, Dean of UM’s College of Engineering, has created silver-coated scaffolds that are seeded with fat-derived stem cells that can be triggered to create bone. The silver ions stave off MRSA while generating new bone.
The news is full of stories about stem cells performing near-miraculous healings – miraculous in that they take advantage of the body’s own powerful abilities to heal itself. Now here’s another amazing development: technology for isolating and spraying a mist of one’s own stem cells onto burns – even second-degree burns – to heal them quickly and with little or no scarring.
A German company called RenovaCare (www.renovacareinc.com) has patented and is further developing its so-called CellMist™ and SkinGun™ technologies The company estimates the possible market for this technology at more than $45 billion, which includes a broad range of potential applications for conditions such as burns, chronic wounds, and skin disorders like vitiligo as well as for various cosmetic applications.
Learn more about this unique biotechnology in this behind-the-scenes video of the technology and before-and-after images of a patient’s recovery. The stem cell good news just keeps coming.
“The spark for that change was in the crestin gene, which should only be active in embryonic tissue but became inappropriately activated again, resulting in melanoma,” according to the article online at www.newvision.co.ug/. One of the authors of the study said “the beginning of cancer occurs after activation of an oncogene or loss of a tumor suppressor, and involves a change that takes a single cell back to a stem cell state.”
Now a fish is not a human being, so this information is a long way from having practical application in your doctor’s office. But the principle behind this discovery will guide further research and additional hoped-for developments.
Our bodies are born with X number of neurons, which are the parts of the nervous system that carry chemical and electrical messages between the brain and other body parts. Up until now, no one has found neurons reproducing like regular cells do.
They’ve only done this in mice so far. But it’s clear this discovery constitutes a breakthrough in understanding a whole set of long, non-coding RNA molecules that researchers have heretofore assumed were just there–with no known function. One scientist called these the “dark matter” of the human genome, meaning there’s a lot more of this stuff than there is of the DNA we’ve already explored and named.
Another whole new world of knowledge is just beginning to crack open.
Considered the most common disabling neurologic disease of young people, MS afflicts approximately a quarter of a million Americans. The symptoms of MS result from recurrent attacks of inflammation in the central nervous system. The disease is typically characterized by progressive loss of motor control and often leads to paralysis and is considered incurable so far.
More demonstration of the incredible promise of stem cell treatments. Nature’ way.
This Rutgers professor Ki-Bum Lee and colleagues at Rutgers and Kyoto University in Japan have invented a platform they call NanoScript. It represents a breakthrough in the area of gene expression. The way genes express themselves encodes information in a gene specifically to direct how a protein molecule gets assembled. That process is integral to developing tissue through stem cell therapeutics. Stem cells divide and replenish other cells, serving as an almost unlimited internal repair system.
Anything we can do to speed human knowledge along this extraordinary and exciting pathway to better healing and health is very welcome. Let’s hope – as often happens when a patent is involved – they don’t charge too much of an arm and a leg to get to the end-products.
This pilot study that will be done with six patients and include regular monitoring for a year after each procedure. Safety testing for rejection and possible tumor formation was conducted with mice and monkeys before the human pilot.
Can’t keep up with all the exciting research going on with stem cells and gene therapy. I imagine many of the researchers might feel a little like a kid who just discovered clay – and found you can do almost anything with it.
First up is a project in which researchers identified why older creatures can take so long to recover from muscle injuries. They found that muscle stem cells in mice were not dividing and renewing themselves the way younger stem cells do.
Next up, pigs who were suffering from heart block (their heart rate was too slow) were injected with a human gene into a tiny area of the pumping heart that allowed researchers to reprogram “heart muscle cells into a type of cell that emits electrical impulses to drive the beating heart.” The pigs’ heart rates were restored to normal for two weeks.