With the motto Advancing Science to Heal the World the BU stem cell scientists who founded the Center for Regenerative Medicine(CReM) could be pegged as starry-eyed idealists or scientific superheroes. Or perhaps a bit of both.
CReM codirectors Darrell Kotton, Gustavo Mostoslavsky, and George Murphy have established themselves as venturesome researchers who are willing to share their discoveries with almost anyone. And they do it for free—bucking the prevailing trend to patent, publish, and protect scientific breakthroughs. The trio’s “open source biology” is just one of the things they teach to the next generation of stem cell researchers at CReM.
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Dozens of people who were blinded or otherwise suffered severe eye damage when they were splashed with caustic chemicals had their sight restored with transplants of their own stem cells — a stunning success for the burgeoning cell-therapy field, Italian researchers reported Wednesday.
The treatment worked completely in 82 of 107 eyes and partially in 14 others, with benefits lasting up to a decade so far. One man whose eyes were severely damaged more than 60 years ago now has near-normal vision.
“This is a roaring success,” said ophthalmologist Dr. Ivan Schwab of the University of California, Davis, who
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.
A patient who underwent therapy with knee stem cells one year ago, returned for followup with Dr. Dennis Lox, a Sports and Regenerative Medicine expert who practices in the Tampa Bay, Florida area.
Dr. Lox noted the patient had marked reduction in pain, self reported improvement in functional level (daily tasks that he could perform), and repeat x-rays showed signs of cartilage regrowth. In the academic world, metrics is important. Metrics refers to readily definable measurable improvements. Not self reports of improvements.
X-rays or MRI evidence of repair is a metric. Interestingly, in veterinary medicine the placebo response is not a
Twenty-three local high school students spent their summer vacations in a very unusual place: the Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC.
The students celebrated their graduations this month from the USC Early Investigator High School (EiHS) and the USC CIRM Science, Technology and Research (STAR) programs. These are the only programs that offer comprehensive training in stem cell research to high school students.
“The goal of these unique programs is to educate bright young minds at the stage where they’re still formulating ideas and still open and receptive to new discoveries, and