Treatment test for broken bones
2008 -Scientists are hoping to develop the first treatment for broken bones using a patient's own stem cells.
The procedure, which would also be used to repair damaged cartilage, is being tested at Edinburgh University.
It is hoped the revolutionary technique could be used for people whose bones have either been shattered in accidents or removed because of cancer.
Skin transformed into stem cells
2007 -Human skin cells have been reprogrammed by two groups of scientists to mimic embryonic stem cells with the potential to become any tissue in the body.
The breakthrough promises a plentiful new source of cells for use in research into new treatments for many diseases.
Crucially, it could mean that such research is no longer dependent on using cells from human embryos, which has proved highly controversial.
Q&A: Creating stem cells
2007 - Stem cells are thought to hold huge potential for treating a wide range of disease and disability.
Scientists around the world are working on techniques to refine stem cell therapy.
The latest technique, nuclear reprogramming, promises to solve some of the trickiest practical and ethical issues.
Heart valve grown from stem cells
April 2, 2007 -
British scientists have grown part of a human heart from stem cells for the first time.
Heart surgeon Sir Magdi Yacoub, who led the team, said doctors could be using artificially grown heart components in transplants within three years. His researchers at Harefield hospital managed to grow tissue that works in the same way as human heart valves.
Sir Magdi told the Guardian newspaper a whole heart could be produced from stem cells within 10 years.
US House backs stem cell research
January 11, 2007 -
The US House of Representatives has passed a bill backing embryonic stem cell research, marking a major challenge to President George W Bush.
The stem cell bill was among the top priorities for the Democrats, who took control of Congress last week, but Mr Bush has vowed to veto it.
Advocates of stem cell research say it could lead to cures for diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
'New stem cell source' discovered
January 8, 2007 -
US scientists say they have discovered a new source of stem cells that could one day repair damaged human organs.
Researchers successfully extracted the cells from the fluid that fills the womb in pregnancy and then grew them in lab experiments.
The types of stem cell with potentially the most use have so far been derived from specially grown human embryos.
Stem cells 'treat muscle disease'
November 15, 2006 -
A stem cell breakthrough could lead to a treatment for muscular dystrophy (MD), research has revealed.
An Italian-French team found transplanting stem cells into dogs with a version of the disease markedly improved their symptoms.
Writing in the journal Nature, the team said the work paved the way for future trials in humans.
Scientists said it was a major step forward and bolstered the idea that stem cells could be used to treat MD.
Muscular dystrophy is a group of genetic disorders that cause the muscles in the body to gradually weaken over time and mobility to be lost. It shortens life span and there is currently no cure.
Cell transplants 'restore sight'
November 8, 2006 -
Cell transplants have successfully restored vision to mice which had lost their sight, leading to hopes people could benefit in the same way.
UK scientists treated animals which had eye damage similar to that seen in many human eye diseases.
They were able to help them see again by transplanting immature retinal stem cells into their eyes.
UK experts welcomed the study, published in the magazine Nature, saying it was "stunning" research.
If the results can be translated into a treatment for human eye disease, it could help the millions of people with conditions ranging from age-related macular degeneration to diabetes.
Liver cells grown from cord blood
October 31, 2006-
Scientists in the UK say they have grown tiny sections of human liver.
The sections of liver were created using stem cells from umbilical cords by a team at Newcastle University.
It is hoped the "mini-livers" will be used to test drugs, avoiding incidents like the Northwick Park trial in which six patients became seriously ill.
But other experts warned, because the work was unpublished, it was not possible to assess its worth and that cells made in this way were unreliable.
Researchers Dr Nico Forraz and Professor Colin McGuckin have started a company called ConoStem in an effort to market their stem cell work.
They believe it will be decades before a grown liver can be used in a human transplant operation.
But they say the use of small sections of liver, which are less than the size of a penny, could be used to treat patients within 10-15 years.
A more realistic short-term use would be to replace some of the testing on humans and animals of pharmaceuticals.
The extent of the team's work emerged after publicity following a local business award.
The tissue is grown using a microgravity bioreactor, a piece of equipment derived from Nasa technology, which aids the creation of cells by mimicking weightlessness.
Professor McGuckin said if human testing could be reduced by using organ cells grown from stem cells an incident like that at Northwick Park Hospital could be avoided.
'Ethical' stem cell lines created
August 24, 2006 -
Human embryonic stem cell lines have been generated without embryos being destroyed, according to researchers.
A US team created the lines by removing single cells from embryos, a process that left them intact, they report in the journal Nature.
At present, growing this type of stem cell results in embryo destruction.
The researchers say their findings may remove some of the ethical barriers to this field and provide a way of bypassing current US legislation.
EU to fund embryo cell research
July 24, 2006 - Ministers from European Union member states have agreed to continue funding research on embryonic stem cells.
Some countries oppose the research, but scientists say the cells are the key to treating diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Last week US President George W Bush used his veto for the first time to limit federal funding for the research.
The EU ministers agreed not to fund activities that destroyed human embryos but said other research could continue.
European Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Potocnik said the EU would not finance the "procurement" of embryonic stem cells - a process which results in the death of the embryo - but it would finance the "subsequent steps" to make use of the cells.
Stem cells are able to turn themselves into any other type of cell in the body, and it is hoped therefore that they can be used to repair parts of the body or develop new drugs.
Scientists in Scotland are developing patches of tissues for use in repairing damaged hearts
January 28, 2006 -
A team from Dundee University has succeeded in growing a tube of heart tissue using cells from newborn rats.
Experts are now looking at ways of growing patches of heart tissue in the laboratory, using either skeletal muscle or stem cells.
Dr Keith Baar, who is leading the team, said it could make a big difference to people who had suffered a heart attack
Harvard scientists advance cell work - Technique doesn't
By Gareth Cook and Carey Goldberg, Boston Globe Staff
August 22, 2005 - Harvard scientists have created cells similar to human
embryonic stem cells without destroying embryos, a major step toward someday
possibly defusing the central objection to stem cell research.
The team showed that when a human skin cell was fused with an embryonic stem
cell, the resulting hybrid looked and acted like the stem cell. The implications:
It may eventually be possible to fashion tailor-made, genetically matched
stem cells for patients using such a cell fusion technique, rather than by
creating and then destroying a cloned embryo. That use of early embryos is
the main sticking point for opponents of stem cell research.
The work is part of a broader effort to find ways to conduct embryonic stem-cell
research without destroying embryos, a quest spurred by politics but driven
mostly by the needs of scientific inquiry.
There is a limited supply of human eggs, which are needed for creating embryos
through cloning, and egg donors face a slight health risk. The new cell fusion
technique would enable scientists to create vastly greater quantities of embryonic
stem cells for research.
Brain cells are matured in lab. BBC
14, 2005 - US scientists say they have duplicated the generation of new adult
brain cells in the lab in a controlled way.
It is hoped the technique, tested so far on animal cells, will eventually
allow scientists to produce a limitless supply of a person's own brain cells.
The researchers believe they could potentially be used to treat disorders
like Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.
The study, by the McKnight Brain Institute, is published in Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences.
It is not the first time that immature stem cells have been manipulated
in the laboratory to become brain cells [more]
Schroeder urges stem cell easing. BBC News
14, 2005 - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has said Germany should liberalize
laws that restrict researchers' use of embryonic stem cells.
Mr. Schroeder says his country cannot afford to fall behind other nations.
His comments came after Italy's failed referendum on relaxing strict fertility
and bioethics laws. Not enough people voted after Vatican calls to stay away.
Study calms fears over stem cells. BBC News
31, 2005 - Human embryonic stem cells appear to be much more stable than scientists
had feared, research suggests.
The cells hold great potential for use in repairing tissues damaged by trauma
There was concern the cells' genes might be liable to undergo changes that
would make them unsafe for use in therapeutic treatments.
But a Cambridge University report published in Nature Genetics appears to
show that these fears are unfounded.
Embryonic stem cells are at an early stage of development, and have the
ability to become almost any tissue type in the body.
It is hoped they will eventually be used to treat a range of diseases, from
diabetes to Parkinson's.
US House backs stem cell funding. BBC News
25, 2005 - The US House of Representatives has voted to increase government
funding for embryonic stem cell research.
The vote sets up a confrontation with President Bush, who has vowed to veto
the bill if it passes the Senate.
The bill was passed by 238 to 194 votes - short of the two-thirds majority
required to override Mr. Bush's veto.
The vote followed an emotional debate between those who say the research
is vital for medical progress, and those who say it destroys human life.
The bill would allow scientists to use stem cells from embryos created during
in-vitro fertilization programmers but never implanted in a womb.
Researchers believe stem cells - which can transform themselves into many
other tissue types - hold the key to finding cures for many diseases, including
Parkinson's and diabetes. [more]
Stem cell hope for liver disease. BBC News
23, 2005 - Researchers have begun a pioneering trial using patients' own stem
cells to treat their chronic liver disease.
A team at London's Hammersmith Hospital is attempting to reverse cirrhosis
of the liver by harnessing and enhancing the body's own repair mechanism.
They are using adult stem cells extracted from patients' bone marrow to
generate new tissue in damaged areas.
A Japanese group is also testing adult stem cells as a treatment for liver
Stem cells tailored to patients. BBC News
20, 2005 - South Korean scientists say they have made stem cells tailored
to match the individual for the first time.
Each of the 11 new stem cell lines that they made was created by taking
genetic material from the patient and putting it into a donated egg.
The resultant cells were a perfect match for the individual and could mean
treatments for diseases like diabetes without problems of rejection.
Young blood 'aids ageing muscles'. BBC News
6,2005 - Young blood could help revive tired ageing muscles, researchers suggest.
Old people's muscles are known not to heal in the same way young people's
do, but a Stanford University team suggests it is old blood that is to blame.
The study found special stem cells come to the rescue of damaged young muscles,
but are not triggered in older ones.
Writing in Nature, the team says tests on mice suggest something in young
blood spurs the stem cells into action to repair the muscle damage.
It had been recognized that old muscles had the capacity to repair themselves,
but that - for some reason - they failed to do so. [more]
Stem cells used to restore vision. BBC News
28, 2005 - A hospital in West Sussex is pioneering the use of stem cells to
restore the eyesight of patients.
The trial, being carried out at the Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead,
has already helped 40 people see again.
The surgery at the hospital has been developed over the past five years.
Stem cells from the patient or a donor are used to redevelop the cornea,
the transparent film at the front of the eye which lets in light.
Chicks used to create nerve cells. BBC News
22, 2005 - Scientists have transformed stem cells from adult human bone marrow
into nerve cells by transplanting them into damaged chicken embryos.
The University of Oslo team hopes the breakthrough could lead to a new source
of cells to treat brain diseases such as Parkinson's.
It appeared that the embryos' internal repair mechanism acted on the cells
to profoundly change their make-up.
Details are published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Stem cells are master cells with the ability to form different kinds of
tissue. But those from adult bone marrow normally produce blood and immune
However, experiments have suggested it might be possible to coax them into
becoming nerves. [more]
'Natural' breast implant advance. BBC News
17, 2005 - US scientists say they have made a breakthrough to produce natural
breast implants using human stem cells.
The University of Illinois team took stem cells destined to become fat cells
and grew them on a special gel-like scaffold, they told a US conference.
The scaffold can be molded into any shape, which means the implants keep
their size and shape better than artificial ones.
There is also no risk of rupture and leakage, they said. [more]
English Professor Granted UK License to Develop Stem
Cells BBC News
2005 - Professor Ian Wilmut, who first cloned a sheep, Dolly, said on Tuesday
he has been granted a UK licence to use cell nuclear replacement to study
motor neurone disease.
He said in a statement that researchers at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh
and King's College London plan to generate stem cells that carry MND-causing
gene defects. By turning these stem cells into motor neurones they would have
a "unique opportunity" to discover what causes these cells to degenerate.
"This is potentially a big step forward for MND research," Shaw
said. "We have spent twenty years looking for genes that cause MND and
to date we have come up with just one gene. We believe that the use of cell
nuclear replacement will greatly advance our understanding of why motor neurones
degenerate in this disease, without having to first hunt down the gene defect."
Child with Cerebral Palsy Who Could Not See
or Speak Does Both Following Umbilical Cord Stem Cell Therapy Press Release
February 8, 2005 - During December 2004 the Sinclair Broadcast Group produced
and aired a 5 minute video news segment concerning the promise and utility
of umbilical cord stem cell therapy. The video focuses on Adam Susser and
his father, prominent Florida consumer affair's attorney, Gary Susser. Adam
was cortically blind and could not speak prior to receiving human umbilical
cord stem cells. He now can both see and speak.
Dr. Payne at Steenblock Research Institute wants those who elect to view
the video to be aware of this:
“In the video the FDA raises 2 issues: (1) potential disease contamination
of stem cells; and (2) rejection. The human umbilical cord stem cells (hUCSC)
used by physician Fernando Ramirez in Mexico (shown in the video) are rigorously
screened and certifiably free of major disease pathogens like Hepatitis A,
B, C, HIV, cytomegalovirus and such. Also, as no blood antigens get into the
hUCSC mix used by Ramirez et al, the likelihood of rejection is nil. And indeed,
in over 100+ cases I've followed over the last 2 years and in the hundreds
of documented cases worldwide involving use of pure cord blood-derived stem
cells, rejection is so rare (and so mild when it does crop up) as to be virtually
a non-issue.” [more]
Call for £100m UK Stem Cell Fund BBC News
2005 - Leading UK scientists and entrepreneurs are calling for the creation
of a charitable foundation to promote and fund stem cell research in Britain.
They believe this could accelerate work on developing new therapies for diseases
such as diabetes, Parkinson's, and for treating spinal injuries. The group
believes a fund of £100m would be necessary to anchor the UK's position
as a leader in the field. The call was made at the Centre For Life, a Newcastle
science park. [more]
Studies Suggest Adult Stem Cells Heal Hearts Philadelphia Inquirer
February, 2005 - While rancorous debate on stem cells has focused attention
on the ethics of destroying human embryos, studies around the globe are successfully
using adult stem cells for a genuine therapeutic breakthrough - healing human
In the last four years, studies involving a few hundred heart-failure patients
treated with adult stem cells have shown the treatment can improve cardiac
blood flow, strengthen pumping, reduce the chest pain of angina, and relieve
heart-failure symptoms such as breathlessness.
Researchers find this astonishing, not only because it suggests adult stem
cells are more versatile than had been thought, but because it defies medical
dogma that holds that heart tissue cannot be regenerated and damage is permanent.
"It looks extremely promising," said Emerson C. Perin, medical
director of the stem-cell institute at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston.
"I think we'll look back someday and say heart transplants were totally
Green Light For China's First stem Cell Therapy Test SciDev.Net
February 2005 – (BEIJING) Chinese scientists have been given approval
to conduct the country's first clinical trial using human stem cells, the
Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Health announced on Tuesday
Although the number of scientists working in stem cell research worldwide
is growing, most studies are still at the pre-clinical stage.
The researchers, at the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences,
are investigating the use of stem cells to treat leukaemia, a form of cancer
affecting blood cells.
The researchers have already tested the method by injecting stem cells into
rats, pigs and monkeys with leukaemia. The results showed that the stem cells
boosted production of blood cells — a process that takes place in the
bone marrow — and reduced the likelihood of leukaemia returning by more
than 60 per cent following bone marrow transplantation.
Zheng Bin, a scientist on the project, told SciDev.Net that the results suggest
the technique could be used to help human leukaemia patients. He added that
the treatment might also reduce the chances of leukaemia patients rejecting
transplanted marrow by boosting the ability of the patients' own marrow cells
to tolerate it. [more]
Scientist To Link Stem Cell, Cloning Research Associated Press
February, 2005 - LONDON - The scientist who attracted the world's attention
by cloning Dolly the sheep is about to take another major step for medical
research: cloning human embryos and extracting stem cells to unravel the mysteries
of muscle-wasting illnesses like Lou Gehrig's disease.
Ian Wilmut, who led the team that created Dolly at Scotland's Roslin Institute
in 1996, was granted a cloning license yesterday by British regulators to
study how nerve cells go awry to cause motor neuron diseases.
The experiments do not involve creating cloned babies, but the license has
nonetheless stirred fresh controversy over the issue and prompted abortion
foes and other biological conservatives to condemn the decision. [more]
Stem Cell Research MSNBC
2005 - With millions of dollars in stem cell research grants soon to be up
for grabs, California is starting to look a lot like El Dorado for medical
researchers and investors. And now a handful of other states, including New
Jersey, Wisconsin and New York, are racing to catch up with the Golden State,
mindful of the health and economic benefits that stem cell funding could bring.
“Everyone’s rushing to put together a stem cell program,”
says Andrew Cohn, a spokesperson for the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s
Alumni Research Foundation, which holds the patents for the university’s
stem cell discoveries. “People recognize that this field of study has
incredible potential, not only to cure disease, but also as an economic tool.”
Smith & Nephew Explores Stem Cell Bone Repair The Guardian
February, 2005 - The UK's largest medical device firm, Smith & Nephew,
has begun a research programme into using stem cells to help to repair muscle
and bone damage.
It is one of the first significant moves into the area by a large company
that has the resources to develop the technology commercially. Drug companies
have shied away from the early - and risky - stages of stem cell research,
though the major firms are monitoring the scientific progress carefully.
About 50 scientists are working on cell-based therapy at Smith & Nephew's
research labs, and five of them are investigating the potential of stem cells,
which are immature versions of normal cells that can be encouraged to differentiate
into different forms of tissue. In the future they could be used for treating
diseases as wide-ranging as paralysis and incontinence.
Smith & Nephew is looking at the potential for treating damage to skin,
bone, cartilage and ligaments. "We are looking at how you can use patient's
own stem cells to stimulate repair," said the chief executive, Sir Christopher
Ron Reagan to Host MSNBC News/Talk Show MSNBC News
February, 2005 - LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Ron Reagan, son of the late president
and conservative hero Ronald Reagan, will co-host a new political talk show
on MSNBC, the network said on Wednesday.
Reagan drew attention last year when he gave a spirited eulogy at his father's
funeral condemning politicians for using their religion for political gain
and for a speech on stem-cell research at the Democratic National Convention.
Bone Marrow Stem Cells Generate Heart Tissue Reuters
February, 2005 - NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A previously undescribed population
of adult human stem cells, derived from bone marrow, is capable of forming
three different cell types and of self-renewal.
These cells also appeared to repair the damage caused by a heart attack when
they were transplanted into rats, researchers report in the February issue
of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Losordo, of Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston and colleagues note
that transplant of these cells into the heart led to the growth of new heart
cells, cells that line the heart and smooth muscle cells.
SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Investigation, February 2005. [more]
Senator Proposes Stem Cell Institute New York
January, 2005 - Democratic leaders in the New York Senate are aggressively
supporting research on embryonic stem cells and announced legislation that
would commit $1 billion to a similar effort in New York. [more]
Hwang Woo-Suk’s Stem Cell Research Approved BBC World
January, 2005 - The stem cell research led by Hwang Woo-Suk’s team
of researchers at Seoul National University received the green light from
The Ministry of Health and Welfare stated on January 12 “The registration
of professor Hwang’s stem cell research institute and its research is
the first of its kind since the promulgation of the law on bioethics and safety
on January 1.”
Research on the search for cures for rare and incurable diseases such as
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are predicted to be launched
in earnest using the stem cells.
This research is effective only until a separate presidential decree on the
somatic cell embryo research is promulgated, as deliberated by the National
Bioethics Deliberation Association established at the end of the month. A
presidential decree may mean that the team would have to retrace the research
approval procedure. [more]
Human Stem Cells Become Nerve Cells in Study Reuters
January, 2005 - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Stem cells taken from human embryos
were coaxed into becoming motor neurons in an experiment that might one day
help scientists repair damaged nervous systems, researchers reported Sunday.
The study supports claims by stem cell researchers that they can train embryonic
stem cells to develop on demand into any type of tissue in the body.
They hope this technology will eventually transform medicine and allow cures
for a range of diseases -- in this case, nervous system injuries and diseases
such as Lou Gehrig's disease. [more]
U.S. Fertility Group Offers Embryo Stem Cells Reuters
January, 2005 - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A human genetics clinic said on Thursday
it had developed 18 new lines of disease-carrying embryonic stem cells and
was offering them to researchers eager to study their potential for treating
The action could be a small boost for scientists who have been stymied by
strict federal limitations on stem-cell research, including a ban on federal
funding for development of new lines of embryonic stem cells or for research
using new lines.
Although lines of normal stem cells have been previously made available,
the new batches are the first of diseased cells to be publicly released, said
Dr. Yury Verlinsky, chief executive officer of the Reproductive Genetics Institute.
They could be used to study a range of serious inherited human diseases including
a form of anemia called thalassemia, Fanconi anemia, and the brain-destroying
Huntington disease, he said.
The clinic developed the lines in its work screening embryos for couples
who are at risk of passing on genetic diseases and wish to have children.
Stem Cell Therapy Improves Heart Failure Reuters
January, 2005 - NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Patients with heart failure experienced
a marked improvement after being given an injection of their own stem cells,
investigators reported today at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Thoracic
Surgery in Tampa, Florida.
Dr. Amit N. Patel, from the University of Pittsburg, and his associates
previously found that stem cells injected during bypass surgery improve heart
function. The current study is the first in which a minimally invasive technique
was used, the researchers note.
The patients who got the stem cells experienced a much greater improvement
in heart function than comparison subjects. Moreover, ultrasound testing showed
that the hearts of stem cell-treated patients shrank from an abnormally large
size to a more normal size than did those of comparison subjects. [more]
N.J. Gov. Urges Bush to End Stem-Cell Restrictions Reuters
January, 2005 - PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - New Jersey's Acting Governor Richard
Codey on Tuesday urged President Bush to lift restrictions on federal funding
for stem-cell research given a recent report that says that available human
embryonic stem cells are contaminated.
Codey, in a letter to the president, challenged Bush's executive order restricting
federal funding for stem cell research to only those lines -- or batches of
cells -- that existed when the order was signed in 2001. Researchers hope
the cells could lead to cures for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and spinal cord
"Why should our national policy force our best scientists to spend years
researching a way to clean up contaminated stem cells when other stem cells
exist that can advance scientific knowledge today?" wrote Codey, a Democrat.
Codey took over last November when former Gov. James McGreevey stepped down
after confessing to a homosexual affair with a former aide. [more]
Critical Neurons Developed in Stem Cell Research Breakthrough
January, 2005 - With healthy cells grown in the lab, scientists can, in theory,
replace dying motor neurons to restore function and alleviate the symptoms
of disease or injury.
A team of scientists has succeeded in coaxing human embryonic stem cells to
become spinal motor neurons, which are critical nervous system pathways that
relay messages from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. They
dictate almost every movement, from the wiggling of a toe to the rolling of
University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists reported the landmark results,
which followed years of trial and error, in the January 30, 2005, edition
of the online journal Nature Biotechnology. Their findings are pivotal, because
they provide critical guideposts for scientists trying to repair damaged or
diseased nervous systems.
Short- and Long-Term Applications
The new development could one day help victims of spinal-cord injuries, or
pave the way for novel treatments of degenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic
lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as "Lou Gehrig's disease." With
healthy cells grown in the lab, scientists could, in theory, replace dying
motor neurons to restore function and alleviate the symptoms of disease or
Paraplegic Improving After Stem Cell Implant Knight Ridder/ Tribune
January, 2005 - A world of patients with spinal cord injuries is watching
Her recovery may be theirs, too, someday.
Nader, 26, of Farmington Hills, Mich., was the first American to travel to
Portugal, in March 2003, for experimental surgery for a spinal cord injury.
She was injured in July 2001 in an auto accident as she and her brother headed
out on a fast-food run after their parents' 25th wedding anniversary celebration.
The car flipped off the dark, winding road in the subdivision, and the air
bag deployed. She was paralyzed from the top of her arms down.
Done nowhere else
In the procedure, which is performed nowhere else in the world, a team of
doctors opened Nader's spinal cord to clear out any scar tissue or debris
at the site of the injury.
Then, using a long tube, they took a sample of olfactory mucosal cells from
the ridge inside her nose, the same cells that provide the sense of smell.
These cells are among the body's richest supply of adult stem cells and are
capable of becoming any type of cell, depending on where they are implanted.
In this case, these adult stem cells were to take on the job of neurons, or
nerve cells, once implanted in the spinal cord at the site of an injury. [more]
Cancer Stem Cells Hint at Cure Wired News
August, 2004 - Researchers have discovered cells that continually replenish
leukemia tumors. Killing these infinitely renewing cells could be key to halting
A genetic mutation causes the leukemia cells to divide out of control and
allows tumors to grow, according to research published in the Aug. 12 issue
of the New England Journal of Medicine. Previously, no one knew the exact
identity of these cells.
The study focused on the stem cells that lead to chronic myelogenous leukemia.
In recent years, researchers have discovered several similar stem cells, including
those behind acute myeloma leukemia, two brain cancers and breast cancer.
Finding cancers' stem cells is a rapidly growing area of research, Weissman
said, and it will be a main focus of the Institute of Cancer and Stem Cell
Biology, which he heads at Stanford. The institute was established in December
2002 through an anonymous $12 million donation. [more]
Baby Cord 'Bank' Nearing Launch BBC News
2004 - Stem cells from babies born in Scotland are soon to be collected for
the country's first national bank of umbilical cord blood. The special store
will be opened next month by the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service.
Stem cells are already being used in transplants on adults and children with
leukaemia, cancer and other diseases. Until now the only real choice for parents
north of the border had been to pay to have the cells stored privately.
From next month Scotland will be home to its own national bank with parents
donating their newborns' cord blood to help anyone for whom it might match.
Stem Cells Heal Hearts Keepmedia.com
September, 2003 - This week, medical researchers announced another stem cell
breakthrough: Stem cells injected into the heart "cured" four out
of five seriously sick heart patients waiting for transplant surgery. Blood
flow improved to the point that they were taken off the transplant wait list,
announced Hans Fernando Rocha Dohmann, who headed up the research team, according
"This is the first approach where you have an opportunity to actually
heal a heart," notes Dr. Michael Rosen of Columbia University (who specializes
in pacemaker research). "It's going to be a very long road, but it is
the most exciting thing .., [more]
Neural Subtype Specification of Fertilization and Nuclear Transfer
Embryonic Stem Cells and Application in Parkinsonian Mice Nature Biotechnology
September, 2003 - Existing protocols for the neural differentiation of mouse
embryonic stem (ES) cells require extended in vitro culture, yield variable
differentiation results or are limited to the generation of selected neural
subtypes. Here we provide a set of coculture conditions that allows rapid
and efficient derivation of most central nervous system phenotypes. The fate
of both fertilization- and nuclear transfer–derived ES (ntES) cells
was directed selectively into neural stem cells, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes
or neurons. Specific differentiation into -aminobutyric acid (GABA), dopamine,
serotonin or motor neurons was achieved by defining conditions to induce forebrain,
midbrain, hindbrain and spinal cord identity. Neuronal function of ES cell–derived
dopaminergic neurons was shown in vitro by electron microscopy, measurement
of neurotransmitter release and intracellular recording. Furthermore, transplantation
of ES and ntES cell–derived dopaminergic neurons corrected the phenotype
of a mouse model of Parkinson disease, demonstrating an in vivo application
of therapeutic cloning in neural disease. [more]
Dopamine Neurons Derived From Embryonic Stem Sells Function in an
Animal Model of Parkinson's Disease Nature Magazine
July, 2002 - Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Institute of Neurological
Disorders and Stroke, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
Parkinson's disease is a widespread condition caused by the loss of midbrain
neurons that synthesize the neurotransmitter dopamine. Cells derived from
the fetal midbrain can modify the course of the disease, but they are an inadequate
source of dopamine-synthesizing neurons because their ability to generate
these neurons is unstable. In contrast, embryonic stem (ES) cells proliferate
extensively and can generate dopamine neurons. If ES cells are to become the
basis for cell therapies, we must develop methods of enriching for the cell
of interest and demonstrate that these cells show functions that will assist
in treating the disease. Here we show that a highly enriched population of
midbrain neural stem cells can be derived from mouse ES cells. The dopamine
neurons generated by these stem cells show electrophysiological and behavioural
properties expected of neurons from the midbrain. Our results encourage the
use of ES cells in cell-replacement therapy for Parkinson's disease. [more]
Cell Versatility: How It May Cure Diseases Time, Inc
[Link for graphic photo
July, 2001 - Washington - Human embryonic stem cells, first isolated by researchers
in 1998, hold great medical promise but also have been the focus from the
outset of a contentious political and ethical debate.
Such cells, obtained from spare embryos slated to be discarded at fertility
clinics, could be used to create custom-designed cells for use in medical
treatment - insulin producing cells to cure diabetes, muscle cells for implant
in diseased hearts, brain cells to treat Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.
Scientists are excited about embryonic stem cells because of their versatility.
Scientists have known that even adults harbor stem cells in bone marrow and
elsewhere that are capable of replenishing vital tissues. Liver stem cells
give rise to more liver cells, for example. Recent research suggests that
even adult stem cells may be able to develop into more diverse kinds of tissue
than previously thought.
But it is the embryonic stem cells that are considered to be truly remarkable,
able to proliferate indefinitely once isolated and potentially to turn into
any of the dozens of specialized types of cells - skin, hair, muscle, kidney
- that make up the human body.