Scientists coax skin cells to behave like muscle cells

Helen Blau

Scientists have now shown that skin cells can be coaxed to behave like muscle cells and muscle cells like skin cells.
The fickleness of the cells, and the relative ease with which they make the switch, provide a glimpse into the genetic reprogramming that must occur for a cell to become something it’s not.

“We’d all like to understand what happens inside the black box (cell),” said Helen Blau, professor and member of Stanford University‘s Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine Institute and co-author of a new study on the subject.
Harnessing these genetic makeovers will allow scientists to better
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Diabetes Medication May Get New Life as Cancer Treatment

The drug metformin, a mainstay of diabetes care for 15 years, may have a new life as a cancer treatment, researchers said.
In a study in mice, low doses of the drug, combined with a widely used chemotherapy called doxorubicin, shrank breast-cancer tumors and prevented their recurrence more effectively than chemotherapy alone.

The findings add to a growing body of evidence that metformin, marketed as Glugophase by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and available in generic versions, could be a potent antitumor medicine.
They also lend support to an emerging theory that cancer’s ability to survive and resist therapy is regulated by cancer stem
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Your own stem cells can help treat heart disease

Transplanting own stem cells into heart of severe angina patients lessens their pain and improves their ability to walk, a new study has revealed.

The largest national stem cell study for heart disease showed that transplant subjects also experienced fewer deaths than those who didn’t receive stem cells.

In the 12-month Phase II, double-blind trial, subjects’ own purified stem cells, called CD34+ cells, were injected into their hearts in an effort to spur the growth of small blood vessels that make up the microcirculation of the heart muscle (…)

He also said that this study provides the first evidence that a person’s
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SWITZERLAND – Investments in Stem Cell Research

Image via Wikipedia

Halfway through February, the National Swiss Fund has established a national plan for stem cell research and regenerative medicine, providing 10 million francs (6,766,000 euros) in financing over 5 years. In November, the Foundation will make a decision on projects that have already been submitted. In January 2010, those which have been approved will get underway. The objective is to favor basic biological stem cell and regenerative medicine research, and to spread awareness internationally.

At the end of 2004 in a referendum, Swiss citizens approved a law that allows the use of excess embryonic
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Adult Stem Cell Research Helps Parkinson’s and Heart Failure Patients

Balanced Article on Stem Cell Research
In a surprisingly balanced article on stem cell research from the mainstream media, Adult Stem Cells have helped at least two more patients- one for congestive heart failure and the other for Parkinson’s disease.
In an article by Forbes Magazine, they took a fair look at stem cell treatments abroad. […]

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