Tag Archives: National Institutes of Health

New stem cell technique promises abundance of key heart cells

Cardiomyocytes, the workhorse cells that make up the beating heart, can now be made cheaply and abundantly in the laboratory.

A team of Wisconsin scientists describes a way to transform human stem cells — both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells — into the critical heart muscle cells by simple manipulation of one key developmental pathway. The technique promises a uniform, inexpensive and far more efficient alternative to the complex bath of serum or growth factors now used to nudge blank slate stem cells to become specialized heart cells.

“Our protocol is more efficient and robust,” explains Sean Palecek, the senior
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New stem cell therapy could be used to halt Huntington’s advance

A team of researchers at the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures has developed a technique for using stem cells to deliver therapy that specifically targets the genetic abnormality found in Huntington’s disease, a hereditary brain disorder that causes progressive uncontrolled movements, dementia and death. The findings, now available online in the journal Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, suggest a promising approach that might block the disease from advancing.

“For the first time, we have been able to successfully deliver inhibitory RNA sequences from stem cells directly into neurons, significantly decreasing the synthesis of the abnormal huntingtin protein,” said Jan A.
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New hope for SCID disease

Children born with so-called “bubble boy” disease have the best chance of survival if they undergo a hematopoietic stem cell transplant as soon after birth as possible, according to a detailed analysis of 10 years of outcome data by researchers at the Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.

Researchers say the findings support expanding newborn screening for severe combined immune deficiency (SCID), a disorder that leaves affected infants so vulnerable to infection that most die within the first year of life if untreated.

The study, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, analyzed data on 240 children
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Woman With Lymphoma Saved By Adult Stem Cell Research

Kim and Jay Case with their dog, Shiloh, at Citizen's Lake Campground in Monmouth on Wednesday morning. Kim won her battle with cancer because of an adult stem cell transplant

When Kim Case was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, doctors told her she had little chance of survival.

Months later when she was recovering from the disease, they changed their tune.

“The doctors called me their miracle patient,” Case said.

Case, who lives in Gaston, Ore. with her husband, Jay — who’s originally from Monmouth — was diagnosed in August 2004 with a rare form of cancer called NK T-cell
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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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