An agreement on funding stem cell research is closer than previously thought. A change in direction on financing stem cell research by US President Barack Obama has excited the American scientific community, starting with the major universities in California, including the San Francisco State, San Jose’ University, Stanford, and Berkeley. This time it will be the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to open its wallet, ready to fund grants worth 58 million dollars to groups and researchers studying stem cells.
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In the decades-long war on cancer, as of late, researchers had been making little progress in comparison to colleagues treating other conditions, such as cardiac or infectious diseases. “Cancer research has really plateaued out,” William Matsui, an associate professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins University‘s School of Medicine, said at the 2009 World Stem Cell Summit here on Tuesday. But pushing cancer stem cell research “gives us a novel way to study cancer,” said Matsui, who also runs a lab at the university’s Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Cancer and stem cells have had a fraught relationship—not in
Led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, scientists have, for the first time, created stem cell-derived, in vitro models of sporadic and hereditary Alzheimer’s disease, using induced pluripotent stem cells from patients with the much-dreaded neurodegenerative disorder.
“Creating highly purified and functional human Alzheimer’s neurons in a dish – this has never been done before,” said senior study author Lawrence Goldstein, PhD, professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and director of the UC San Diego Stem Cell Program. “It’s a first step. These aren’t perfect models.
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) have agreed to collaborate on stem cell research. The agreement will make it easier to form cross-border teams that are working in similar areas. If the teams’ funding requests are approved, the researchers in each country will be supported by their respective agency, CIRM or MOST. The formal announcement, made today, adds details to a story that ChinaBio® Today originally broke late last week (…)
“Our collaboration will benefit patients in our countries and patients around the globe,” said Wan Gang, Minister, MOST. “We
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Drs. Scott Kitchen, Zoran Galic, Jerry Zack of the UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center and AIDS Institute and their colleagues demonstrated for the first time that human blood stem cells can be engineered into cells that can target and kill HIV-infected cells. The process could potentially be used against a range of chronic viral diseases.
The study, published Dec. 7 in the-peer reviewed online journal PLoS ONE, provides proof-of-principle, a demonstration of feasibility, that human stem cells can be engineered into the equivalent of a genetic vaccine.
“We have demonstrated in this proof-of-principle study that