The team at Children’s Hospital Boston and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute were working with a new type of cell called induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells, which closely resemble embryonic stem cells but are made from ordinary skin cells.
In this case, they wanted to study a rare, inherited premature aging disorder called dyskeratosis congenita. The blood marrow disorder resembles the better-known aging disease progeria and causes premature graying, warped fingernails and other symptoms as well as a high risk of cancer.
One of the benefits of stem cells and iPS cells is that researchers can make them from a person with a disease and study that disease in the lab. Harvard’s Dr. George Daley and colleagues were making iPS cells from dyskeratosis congenita patients to do this (…)
A team of researchers has now compared the ability of cells derived from different types of human stem cell to reverse disease in a rat model of Parkinson disease and identified a stem cell population that they believe could be clinically relevant.
Parkinson disease results from the progressive loss of a specific subpopulation of nerve cells. Current treatments provide only relief from the symptoms of the disease and cannot reverse the nerve cell loss.
Stem cells are considered by many to be promising candidate sources of cells to reverse nerve cell loss in individuals with Parkinson disease through their ability to regenerate and repair diseased tissues.
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International Stem Cell Corporation, a California-based biotechnology company, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted the Company a patent for a method of creating pure populations of definitive endoderm, precursor cells to liver and pancreas cells, from human pluripotent stem cells. This patent is a key element of ISCO’s metabolic liver disease program and allows the Company to produce the necessary quantities of precursor cells in a more efficient and cost effective manner.
The patent, 8,268,621, adds to the Company’s growing portfolio of proprietary technologies relating to the development of potential treatments for incurable diseases using human parthenogenetic Stem Cells (hpSC).
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Researchers at Queen Mary, University of London, studied equivalent cells taken from mouse brains. Principal investigator Silvia Marino, Professor of Neuropathology at Queen Mary, University of London, and her team showed that medulloblastomas can grow from a type of brain stem cell and that these cancers are a distinct form of the disease which may require a completely different approach to treatment.
Like a Hole in the Head: Living with a Brain Tumour
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Everyday new avenues are being explored to find novel therapies for hard to treat diseases. One exciting new approach is the use of autologous Adult Stem Cells. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is one of the many notable diseases adult stem cell therapy could potentially impact. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disorder in which an individual’s own immune system attacks the ‘myelin sheath’. The myelin sheath serves to protect the nerve cells within the body’s central nervous system (CNS). In addition to fatigue and depression, the damage caused by MS may result in many types of mild and severe symptoms including:
Numbness in the limbs
Muscle control problems
Loss of vision
Loss of balance
Speech and Swallowing Problems
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