Tag Archives: Harvard University

Scientists create stem cells to help decipher diseases

Douglas A. Melton

Scientists have created stem cells from patients suffering from 10 incurable diseases, from Down syndrome to diabetes and Parkinson’s – immortal cells that might one day be turned into repair material for wasting muscles or damaged brains.
The Harvard University-led team has taken skin and bone marrow cells from diseased patients and re-programmed those cells to behave like cells from days-old embryos.

The feat allows scientists for the first time to watch muscular dystrophy and other diseases unfold in a petri dish, “that is, to watch what goes right or wrong,” said Doug Melton, co-director of the Harvard
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US Patent for Stem Cell Treatments

SANUWAVE Health Inc. received a patent issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office entitled “Use of Pressure Waves for Stimulation, Proliferation, Differentiation and Post-Implantation Viability of Stem Cells.”

The claims of the patent relate to the use of shock waves for stimulation of proliferation inside the body of donor stem cells. The proliferated donor stem cells are then harvested for further laboratory proliferation to create either autologous or allogeneic transplant cells.

In another step, shock waves are used to pre-treat the targeted location for tissue regeneration, to stimulate blood vessel formation and thus increase survival rate for transplanted stem cells.

Furthermore,
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Stem cells against brain cancer

In a breakthrough, Harvard scientists have discovered that stem cells loaded with the herpes virus can be used to specifically target and kill brain tumours.

Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital have a potential solution for how to more effectively kill tumour cells using cancer-killing viruses.

The work, led by Khalid Shah, an HSCI Principal Faculty member, found that trapping virus-loaded stem cells in a gel and applying them to tumours significantly improved survival in mice with glioblastoma multiforme, the most common brain tumour in human adults and also the most difficult to treat (…)

Shah and his
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Stem cells used to make “heart disease-on-a-chip”

Harvard scientists have merged stem cell and ‘organ-on-a-chip’ technologies to grow, for the first time, functioning human heart tissue carrying an inherited cardiovascular disease.

The research appears to be a big step forward for personalized medicine, as it is working proof that a chunk of tissue containing a patient’s specific genetic disorder can be replicated in the laboratory.

The work, published in Nature Medicine, is the result of a collaborative effort bringing together scientists from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Boston Children’s Hospital, the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Harvard Medical
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Stem cell progeny tell their parents when to turn on

Stem cells switch off and on, sometimes dividing to produce progeny cells and sometimes resting. But scientists don’t fully understand what causes the cells to toggle between active and quiet states (…)

New research in Elaine Fuchs’ Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development focused on stem cells in the hair follicle to determine what switches them on. The researchers found cells produced by the stem cells, progeny known at Transit-Amplifying Cells or TACs, emit a signal that tells quiet hair follicle stem cells to become active.

“Many types of mammalian stem cells produce TACs, which act as an intermediate between
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