Tag Archives: Harvard Medical School

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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Brain stem cell transplant may pave way for Parkinson’s

Neuron transplants have repaired brain circuitry and substantially normalized function in mice with a brain disorder, an advance indicating that key areas of the mammalian brain are more reparable than was widely believed.

Collaborators from Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) transplanted normally functioning embryonic neurons at a carefully selected stage of their development into the hypothalamus of mice unable to respond to leptin, a hormone that regulates metabolism and controls body weight. These mutant mice usually become morbidly obese, but the neuron transplants repaired defective brain circuits, enabling
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Dental stem cells to regrow and repair teeth

In a first, scientists, including one of Indian-origin, have used light to coax stem cells to regrow parts of teeth.

The study, led by David Mooney, a Core Faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard, is the first to demonstrate the ability to use low-power light to trigger stem cells inside the body to regenerate tissue.

The researchers used a low-power laser to trigger human dental stem cells to form dentin, the hard tissue that is similar to bone and makes up the bulk of teeth (…)

A number of biologically active molecules, such as regulatory proteins
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Maryland in the biotechnology spotlight: Cancer stem cell research gains traction, tackles new targets

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In the decades-long war on cancer, as of late, researchers had been making little progress in comparison to colleagues treating other conditions, such as cardiac or infectious diseases. “Cancer research has really plateaued out,” William Matsui, an associate professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins University‘s School of Medicine, said at the 2009 World Stem Cell Summit here on Tuesday. But pushing cancer stem cell research “gives us a novel way to study cancer,” said Matsui, who also runs a lab at the university’s Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Cancer and stem cells have had a fraught relationship—not in
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Diabetes Medication May Get New Life as Cancer Treatment

The drug metformin, a mainstay of diabetes care for 15 years, may have a new life as a cancer treatment, researchers said.
In a study in mice, low doses of the drug, combined with a widely used chemotherapy called doxorubicin, shrank breast-cancer tumors and prevented their recurrence more effectively than chemotherapy alone.

The findings add to a growing body of evidence that metformin, marketed as Glugophase by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and available in generic versions, could be a potent antitumor medicine.
They also lend support to an emerging theory that cancer’s ability to survive and resist therapy is regulated by cancer stem
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