Cells grown in culture are not alone: They are constantly communicating with one another by sending signals through their culture media that are picked up and transmitted by other cells in the media. When thousands of cells are cultured together in a dish, there are hundreds of thousands of these signals present every minute, all competing to be heard.
Scientists trying to direct cells to do useful things — like causing stem cells to turn into neurons or heart cells — typically try to overcome these signals by adding their own exogenous factors. These exogenous factors are often added at
The Ospedali Riuniti of Bergamo is the top center for the collection of umbilical cord blood in the Lombardy region, said the hospital, which received an award at the Policlinico di Milano (where the umbilical cord blood bank is located) for the second consecutive year for its commitment and professionalism with which it carries out its work, providing an important source of stem cells.
“Our collection program started in 2004,” explained Bruna Pasini, the head obstetrician, also in charge of the collection of umbilical cord blood for the hospital. “At that time we started to collaborate with the Milano
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Researchers in the U.S. say they may have found a new and better source for harvesting stem cells: the placentas that are often discarded after birth.
The research from Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland found there are far more stem cells in placentas than in umbilical cord blood, the traditional source for stem cells, and they can be safely extracted for transplantation.
“Yes, the stem cells are there; yes, they are viable; and yes, we can get them out,” declared Dr. Frans Kuypers, one of the scientists who led the research with fellow scientist Vladimir Serikov.
The study was
Bond strengthened: Eight-year-old Thamirabharuni, holding her brother who donated the stem cells, did not suffer from rejection or graft versus host disease as the tissue match was perfect – Photo: V. Ganesan
Eight-year-old Thamirabharuni and her one-year-old brother Pugazhendhi share a special kind of bond not commonly seen among siblings. Thanks to her brother, Thamirabharuni no longer suffers from thalassemia disease.
The stem cells transplanted in March helped her get rid of thalassemia. And hundred days after the procedure, one can safely say that her disease has been cured.
The stem cells that were transplanted came from two different sources
The extensive research on stem cells has revolutionised the way life-threatening diseases like leukaemia and aplastic anaemia can be treated.
But there are several steps before these diseases can be treated using stem cells.
To begin with, the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)-typing of the patient is done. Doctors then get into the process of finding a matched donor from the computerised list made available to them by National Marrow Donor Programme (NMDP), U.S., and New York Cord Blood Bank.
If registration of potential bone marrow donors has been in place for a long time, the emergence of a number of cord blood