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Stem Cells

Latest significant advancements in stem cell research. Reporting on the far-reaching impacts of stem cell research on society and humanity.

Human Skin Grown From Stem Cells Replicates The Real Thing

Researchers have successfully produced skin in the lab that reproduces the skin barrier. The advance presents a viable alternative to animal testing for cosmetics.

Singularity Surplus: Smile, You’re on Candid Camera!

Computers' EQ rises; lab-grown muscles get stronger; Texas goes big in wind power; and researchers create real-time video game interface of the human brain.

Singularity Surplus: Other News in Exponential Sci/Tech From the Week

Potential treatment for deadly brain cancer; climate change shrinks crops; banking your own stem cells just in case.

Stem Cells Repair, Strengthen Muscles in Aged Mice

Stanford’s Helen Blau, director of the Baxter Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology, studies a banal, but also ubiquitous, use of stem cells in the body: helping muscles repair themselves. The lab's most recent findings suggest that stem cell therapy could be used to help older patients recover from muscular injuries, for example from falls, or perhaps even weakness following surgery.

Simple Method for Creating Stem Cells Promises Cheaper, Faster Therapies

New research has found a way to develop the malleable stem cells using a much simpler method than the one that earned the 2012 Nobel Prize. In a paper published in Nature, researchers from Harvard University and Japan’s RIKEN Center show that by simply giving an adult cell an acid bath, they can convert it into a stem cell.

Progress in Efforts to Develop Lab-Grown Lungs: Functional Cells

Since the development of induced pluripotent stem cells in 2006, scientists have managed to use the manufactured stem cells like seeds to grow a wide range of tissues and rudimentary organs. But different tissue types have not proven equal, and researchers are still struggling to coax stem cells to take on certain roles: Lung cells have proved difficult to create. Columbia University researchers recently managed to develop functional lung and airway cells from human iPSCs.

Evidence Mounts for Gene Therapy as Treatment for Heart Failure

Damage done to the vital organ by heart failure has been the focus of much research into gene therapy, a process in which patients receive, usually inside an inert virus, replacement genes for those suspected of causing an illness. One genetic treatment has gotten as far as clinical trials in patients with heart failure, and initial results presented recently at an American Heart Association meeting, suggest that the gene therapy may just help hearts damaged by heart failure heal themselves.

Healing Damaged Hearts With Stem Cell Implants Gets New Technique

Stem cells aren't just good for growing new organs, they can also heal old or damaged ones from the inside. Thousands of patients whose hearts were damaged in a heart attack have undergone some form of stem cell therapy worldwide, and the results are promising. But there's a problem. Once in the heart, the cells don’t tend to stay put.

No More Lying About Your Age: Tissue Test Can Tell

What causes human to age? A study published recently provides a tool that may help future researchers answer that question. It’s a biological clock that can date the age of a cell by measuring methylation, a chemical modification that affects certain parts of DNA. Using the clock, any piece of tissue identified with the biological age of its human source.

Healthcare is ‘Ripe for Disruption’ – Join the Future of Medicine Executive Program This November

Last February, at Singularity University’s FutureMed, I talked to Dr. Peter Diamandis about medical tricorders and mining asteroids, got a guided tour of a surgical robot from Dr. Catherine Mohr (head of research for Intuitive Surgical), and watched 16-year-old phenom and International Science Fair Grand Champion, Jack Andraka, bring down the house with a talk on how to diagnose pancreatic cancer with carbon nanotubes. What does all this say about FutureMed? One, the event attracts some of the best and brightest. Two, both the participants and faculty span disciplines and specialties. Three, there’s this amazing synergy that only happens at FutureMed—great moments tend to materialize. Like the previous two FutureMeds, the February event sold out early—so, the team decided to put on a sequel at San Diego’s historic Hotel Del Coronado in November. If you missed the February FutureMed, it's not too late for 2013.

Stem Cell Breakthrough in Mice Points Toward a Way to Repair Tissue in Humans

Some Spanish researchers were the first to turn mature cells into stem cells inside the body itself. They prompted the cells of adult mice to regain the ability to develop into any type of specialized cell, which is normally only briefly present during embryonic development. The results were published in September in the journal Nature.

Sarah Murnaghan’s Two Double Lung Transplants Inspiring and Sobering

Sarah Murnaghan just turned eleven years old. She wouldn’t be here but for two lung donors, a crack team of surgeons, and a last-minute suspension of the rules.

Scientists Grow Miniature, but Distinctly Human, Brain in the Lab

Austrian researchers have used regenerative techniques to grow a miniature human brain in the lab, they reported recently in the journal Nature. Using a bioreactor to improve cellular growing conditions, scientists obtained a brain-like organ that exhibited differentiated brain regions but stopped growing after a few months.

Scientists Grow Teeth Using Stem Cells – Harvested From Urine?

Adults lose teeth due to poor hygiene, aging, disease or accidents. Traditionally, prosthetics are used to replace part or all of a lost tooth. But wouldn’t it be better if we could simply regrow lost or damaged teeth? Approaches using stem cells, while still in their infancy, may eventually do exactly that. Researchers led by Dr. Duanqing Pei, of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, have reported a potential method for growing teeth from stem cells obtained in urine.

Tiny Lab-Grown Heart Beats On Its Own

A growing number of researchers are looking to build hearts, like other organs, from biological tissue. Such hearts have the added benefit of using the patient’s own tissue, reducing the chance of rejection. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh medical school made a significant breakthrough: They created a heart that beat on its own.

Lab Grown Retinal Cells Implanted Into Blind Mice – And They Work

What if we could reverse degenerative forms of blindness with but an injection of new cells? Stem cell therapies—still promising, if not particularly speedy—may someday do just that. A recent paper in the journal Nature Biotechnology documents the successful implantation of photoreceptor cells, grown from embryonic stem cells, into the retinas of night-blind mice. The cells not only took root, but they remained present six weeks after implantation and formed the necessary neural connections to communicate visual data to the brain.

Functional 3D Human Liver Buds Made From Stem Cells in Mice

Researchers led by Takanori Takebe, MD and Hideki Taniguchi, MD, of Yokohama City University in Japan recently reported the first 3D vascularized organ derived from stem cells in the journal Nature. Though it is still years away from clinical trials in humans, the approach, used to generate human liver cell buds in mice, has implications for future transplantations of liver and potentially other organs in humans.

You can now place your order for a burger grown entirely in a lab

It may take some time before in vitro burgers replace old fashioned farmed burgers, but the feat is a delicious victory for environmentalists and scientists alike in search for alternate ways to feed the world’s addition to meat.

Girl Receives Engineered Trachea Treated With Her Own Stem Cells

In a medical breakthrough, South Korean doctors have successfully implanted an artificial trachea into a toddler who had been born without the windpipe.

Patient Receives 3D Printed Implant To Replace 75 Percent Of Skull

At the beginning of March of this year, a radical surgery was performed on an American patient: 75 percent of his skull was replaced with a 3D printed implant. The company that produced the implant, Oxford Performance Materials, made the announcement though offered little detail about the patient or the procedure. The surgery was given the green light by the Food and Drug Administration in February.

Scientists Create 581 Clones From Same Mouse

Scientists in Japan have taken cloning to a whole new level. They haven’t cloned a new species or even come up with a new technique. They have, however, managed to push the technique to...

New Studies Show Cells From Fetus End Up In Mothers’ Brains And Hearts

Microchimerism results when cells from two genetically distinct populations appear in the same tissue, organ, or individual, such as occurs during an organ transplant or during pregnancy. It has been known for some time that,...

Stem Cells Used To Bolster Body’s Cancer Fighting Cells

The researchers behind the current study seek a new tactic from stem cell pluripotency: instead of making one thing from another, they seek to take a good thing and simply make more of it.

European Project Aims To Create 1,500 New Stem Cell Lines

Europe certainly believes in the promise of stem cells. A joint public-private collaboration between the European Union and Europe’s pharmaceutical industry, called the StemBANCC project, will spend nearly 50 million euros to create 1,500 pluripotent...

Paralyzed Dogs Walk After Transplant Of Cells Taken From Their Noses

British researchers successfully restored the ability to walk in paralyzed dogs. Special cells taken from the dogs’ noses and transplanted to injured areas caused regrowth of neurons. Within six months the dogs amazingly regained...

Can You Hear Me Now? Stem Cells Restore Hearing In Deaf Gerbils – When Will It Work On Humans?

In a new study, scientists were able to restore partial hearing to deaf gerbils by implanting human embryonic stem cells in their ears. The breakthrough offers hope that one day a similar treatment may...

New Software Makes Synthesizing DNA As Easy As ‘Drag and Drop’ With Icons

Omri Amirav-Drory wants to be the Bill Gates of the DNA world. Windows revolutionized personal computers by providing a graphic user interface for MS-DOS. Afterwards people didn’t need to be trained in the arcane...

New Spray Containing Neonatal Cells Helps Skin Heal Faster

Another group of scientists are trying to bottle the miracle of regenerative medicine. A new skin cell spray was shown to improve the conventional treatment for leg ulcers. When applied prior to wrapping the leg...

Boy Who Received Stem-Cell Trachea Implant Doing Well After Two Years

Just as the Olympic Games are kicking off in London, one boy from the UK is pulling ahead in his race to live a normal, healthy life. Two years after becoming the first child...

Ten-Year-Old Girl Receives Major Vein Grown From Her Own Stem Cells

A 10-year-old Swedish girl has had a potentially life-threatening condition alleviated by receiving a vein grown from her own stem cells. Her condition, called extrahepatic portal vein obstruction, blocks the bloodflow between the intestines and...

First Stem Cell-Based Therapy Gets Approved – In Canada

A medical treatment that uses stem cells derived from bone marrow has just been approved in Canada. The drug, Prochymal, has already been used to treat children for a type of immune disease arising...

New Study Shows Gene Therapy For HIV Safe After A Decade

A clinical trial testing a gene therapy for HIV patients is now 11 years old. Recently, the researchers running the study published an examination of the patients after all this time. Of the study’s...

Toothless No More – Researchers Using Stem Cells to Grow New Teeth

It may be hard to remember what it was like to lose a tooth as a child, but many adults get an unpleasant reminder as they age when their teeth begin to fall out...

Retinal Implants Restore Partial Sight To Three Blind

The blind really are beginning to see again. After receiving retinal implants in a trial, two people in the UK and one in China – all blind – regained part of their vision. And...

Drug To Diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease Receives FDA Approval

Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lily just got FDA approval on a chemical that would enable clinicians to detect a biological marker for Alzheimer’s disease. They can detect the marker now, but currently quantifying it can...

Raising The Mammoth – Russian And Korean Scientists Set Out To Bring Back The Extinct Giant

South Korean and Russian scientists have agreed on a project right out of “Jurassic Park.” Maybe not as cool as resurrecting T. Rex, but bringing back a woolly mammoth is sure to attract paying...

Transforming Skin Cells into Neurons Leads to New Insights for Alzheimer’s

Researchers at UC San Diego have created a new weapon in the fight against Alzheimer's: living neurons in the lab. Lead by Laurence Goldstein, director of UCSD's Stem Cell Program, the team of scientists...

Embryonic Stem Cells Used To Improve Vision Of Blind Patients

Macular degeneration had left Sue Freeman, 78, legally blind. She couldn’t go for a walk by herself, she couldn’t go shopping or even cook by herself. Another woman, age 51, was suffering from Stargardt’s...

Latest Victory For Regenerative Medicine: Pituitary Grown From Embryonic Stem Cells

Chalk up another part of the body that can be grown from stem cells – at least in mice. Scientists in Japan have induced mouse embryonic stem cells to form a pituitary in the...

Freezing Life: Cryogenics Is The Last Hope For Many Endangered Species

The Great Barrier Reef is dying. As pollution and other man-made influences threaten the reef, which is not expected to survive past 2050, Australian scientists are taking measures to freeze the corals’ demise –...

Financial Priorities Force Geron To End Human Trials For Promising Stem Cell Treatment

The promise of future stem cell treatments just took a significant hit. Biopharmaceutical trailblazer Geron Corporation just called it quits as far as their stem cell research program goes. Citing an uncertain economy and a...

AIDS Turns 30: Are We Close to a Cure?

On June 5th, 1981, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report told the world about five rapidly deteriorating men who arrived at clinics in Los Angeles. They exhibited a disturbing array of symptoms - swollen...

First Planned Taste Test for Artificial Meat is Probably Doomed

What does artificial meat taste like? Our chances of learning the answer anytime soon look dismal. Vladimir Mironov at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has been developing bio-engineered meat for years. He...

France’s First Baby Born To Treat Siblings With Genetic Disorder (video)

Umut Talha's name means "our hope" in Turkish, and his birth brought some much needed good fortune into the lives of his siblings. The infant, born January 26th of this year, is France's first...

Man Cured of HIV Using Stem Cells. Fluke or Hope?

Timothy Ray Brown has officially been declared cured of HIV. A US citizen living in Germany with HIV, Brown was treated for leukemia in 2007 at the Charite University of Medicine in Berlin. As...

Stem Cells Into Intestinal Tissue, More Biological Alchemy for Your Body

It's time to check off another item on the list of body parts that we can recreate in a lab. Researchers at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have succeeded in transforming stem cells...

Japan Heals Paralyzed Monkeys Using Non-Embryonic Human Stem Cells

In the debate over stem cell research, it's not just about what you can do, it's how you can do it. Scientists in Japan recently announced that they had successfully treated small paralyzed monkeys...

Stem Cells in Injured Mice Give Them Huge Muscles for Life

A happy accident may hold the key to healing muscle diseases and granting humans incredible physiques. Researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Washington discovered that stem cells injected...

FDA Approves ACT’s Embryonic Stem Cell Trial For Blindness – Should We Get Excited?

For only the second time in history, the US FDA has granted approval for clinical trials for a therapy derived from human embryonic stem cells. Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), a Massachusetts based bio-firm, recently...

Scotland Injects Stem Cells into Man’s Brain to Heal Stroke Damage

There are few medical calamities that terrify as many people as a stroke. Of those that survive the sudden blocks or ruptures in their brain, nearly half suffer permanent damage that will never be...

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