Tag Archives: National Institutes of Health

GENE THERAPY AND STEM CELLS SAVE LIMB

Gregg Semenza, M.D., Ph.D.

Blood vessel blockage, a common condition in old age or diabetes, leads to low blood flow and results in low oxygen, which can kill cells and tissues. Such blockages can require amputation resulting in loss of limbs. Now, using mice as their model, researchers at Johns Hopkins have developed therapies that increase blood flow, improve movement and decrease tissue death and the need for amputation. The findings, published online last week in the early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, hold promise for developing clinical therapies.

“In a young, healthy individual, hypoxia
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Birth of new cardiac cells

A sophisticated imaging system, multi-isotope imaging mass spectrometry (MIMS), demonstrates cell division in the adult mammalian heart. Researchers were surprised to find that new heart muscle cells primarily arose from existing heart muscle cells, rather than stem cells.

Recent research has shown that there are new cells that develop in the heart, but how these cardiac cells are born and how frequently they are generated remains unclear.

In a study from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), researchers used a novel method to identify the new heart cells and describe their origins.

The research was published today in Nature.

“The question about how
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Uterine stem cells used to treat diabetes

Image via Wikipedia

Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have converted stem cells from the human endometrium into insulin-producing cells and transplanted them into mice to control the animals’ diabetes.

The endometrium, or uterine lining, is a source of adult stem cells. Normally, these cells generate uterine tissue each month as part of the menstrual cycle. Like other stem cells, however, they can divide to form other kinds of cells.

The study’s findings suggest the possibility that endometrial stem cells could be used to develop insulin-producing islet cells. These islet cells could then be used to advance the study
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Congress can codify sensible National Institutes of Health research rules

THE SWIRL of controversy that greeted President Obama’s executive order lifting the ban on federal funding of stem cell research in March didn’t make a significant return when the final rules were released over the summer. That’s because the National Institutes of Health successfully navigated a minefield of ethical and moral questions. To protect those regulations from politics and changes by another administration, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) soon will introduce the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2009. The legislation would codify Mr. Obama’s executive order permitting federal funding of such research within guidelines established by the NIH and
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Stem Cell Technology to fight Huntington’s Disease

Scientists at the UCSF-affiliated Gladstone Institutes and an international team of researchers have generated a human model of Huntington’s disease — directly from the skin cells of patients with the disease.

For years, scientists have studied Huntington’s disease primarily in post-mortem brain tissue or laboratory animals modified to mimic the disease. Today, in Cell Stem Cell, the international team shows how they developed a human model of Huntington’s disease, which causes a diverse range of neurological impairments. The new model should help scientists better understand the development of Huntington’s — and provide better ways to identify and screen potential therapeutics
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