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Growing Nerve Cells
Science Central ^ | 03.16.06

Posted on 03/16/2006 1:51:52 PM PST by Coleus

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Plan on wearing green this St. Patrick's Day? Bet you can't top a mouse with green skin. As this ScienCentral News video explains, this mouse is green for a very serious reason. It's invaluable to researchers learning how to grow nerve cells.

Knitting New Neurons

Even for scientists, it's not every day you see a hairless mouse glowing bright green under a fluorescent light. And for scientists searching for stem cells that could grow into nerve or brain cells, seeing such a mouse meant finding a possible whole new source of such cells.

The scientists had given the mouse a gene so that areas would glow green where such stem cells might be found. They expected part of the mouse around the head to glow green. Instead, the entire mouse was aglow. "I'll never forget the minute that we made that observation," says Robert Hoffman, president of AntiCancer, Inc., where the finding took place.

Because of that moment, which Hoffman says was, in fact, a "lucky discovery," company scientists have been working on what could be a new source of adult stem cells.

Their most recent research, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), shows that they've been able to use stem cells taken from a mouse hair follicle to help regenerate damaged nerves in mice. In previous research, also published in PNAS, they showed the stem cells could become special brain cells called neurons.

 

arm hair
Hoffman says this trail of discovery began when they were trying to locate the source of adult stem cells for the brain. They were using a genetic modification technique that makes only the specific cells they're looking for glow green under fluorescent light. They expected to find appropriate cells somewhere around the brain. But when the entire mouse glowed, they knew there might be a promising source of stem cells elsewhere.
"So, we took a look at the skin under the microscope" says Hoffman, "and we immediately guessed, and we guessed right that these hair follicle stem cells are very similar to the brain stem cells."

Researchers have been looking at stem cells as a way help the body repair itself, even with injuries that are now often considered permanent, such as brain, spinal cord or nerve injuries. Embryonic stem cells have been shown to be very useful, but many object to their use on ethical grounds.

Research such as that done by Hoffman and his team is looking into adult stem cells. Hoffman says, "Perhaps we don't have to worry about embryonic stem cells or invasive procedures to get stem cells." Adding that only the hairs and the follicle would have to be removed. "Dermatologists can do this in seconds," he explains.

In their first experiments, they tried to, according to Hoffman, "convert the hair follicle stem cells into brain cells in the laboratory." When that worked, he says, "Then we knew there was a real relationship between the hair follicle stem cells and the brain stem cells." They then put them in mice, and found they still formed neurons.

 

PNAS logo

This material is made possible by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academies.

NAS logo

From there they worked with mice with injured nerves. "We injected these hair follicle stem cells into the area where the nerve or the spinal cord is severed… [and] found that the nerve or spinal cord could be regenerated because we injected these hair follicle stem cells," says Hoffman.

He says they must still do a lot of testing, over several years, with mice before they'll be ready to see how this might apply to people.

This work was published in the December 6, 2005 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and was funded by the National Institutes of Health.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: adultstemcells; hair; hairfollicles; nervecells; neurons; spinalcord; stemcells
Embryonic stem cells have been shown to be very useful, but many object to their use on ethical grounds. >>

that is NOT true,  embryonic stem cells: have never successfully cured a person, have been rejected by patients just as they do when receiving a donor organ and have also killed people by growing teratomas (tumors), they grow uncontrollably like cancer cells,   read on for the truth on how adult/non-embryonic  stem cells have helped people:

Spinal Cord Patient Speaks out: Embryonic stem cell helps patents not patients

Canadian tries Russian stem cell treatment

Adult Stem Cell Research Treats Spinal Cord Injury Patient

REGENERATING HOPE FOR A PARALYSIS CURE (macrophages are injected into the spinal cord)

Doctors in Russia Prove that Non-Embryonic Stem Cells can be Used in Treating Spinal Cord Injuries

Adult stem cells work there is NO need to harvest babies for their body parts.

Benefits of Stem Cells to Human Patients - Do No Harm 


1 posted on 03/16/2006 1:51:54 PM PST by Coleus
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To: 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; annalex; ...


2 posted on 03/16/2006 1:52:21 PM PST by Coleus (What were Ted Kennedy & his nephew doing on Good Friday, 1991? Getting drunk and raping women)
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To: Coleus

I was almost hoping this meant there's hope for some spineless Republicans congress critters...


3 posted on 03/16/2006 2:04:28 PM PST by el_texicano (Liberals, Socialist, DemocRATS, all touchy, feely, mind numbed robots, useless idiots all)
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To: Coleus
"We injected these hair follicle stem cells into the area where the nerve or the spinal cord is severed… [and] found that the nerve or spinal cord could be regenerated because we injected these hair follicle stem cells,"

Since hair follicle cells and neurons are from the same anlage (ectoderm) and since hair follicle cells are continously regenerating, this finding makes good logical sense.

4 posted on 03/16/2006 2:09:17 PM PST by Rudder
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To: AntiGuv; PatrickHenry

biotech


5 posted on 03/16/2006 2:10:08 PM PST by King Prout (DOWN with the class-enemies at Google! LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE'S CUBE!)
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To: King Prout; Junior
Thanks. I'll leave this one to AntiGuv to ping. Maybe it's for Junior's archives.
6 posted on 03/16/2006 2:11:55 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: PatrickHenry

ok.

an irreverent aside: wouldn't be at all pleasant to develop male-pattern-baldness of the brain after treatment with hair-to-neuron stem cells :)


7 posted on 03/16/2006 2:13:27 PM PST by King Prout (DOWN with the class-enemies at Google! LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE'S CUBE!)
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To: Coleus

Professional bump...will comment on later


8 posted on 03/16/2006 2:15:20 PM PST by Pharmer (How am I supposed to rule the world when I surrounded by freakin liberal idiots!)
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To: King Prout
That's a kink to be worked out.
9 posted on 03/16/2006 2:15:32 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: PatrickHenry
yeah... it'd be a pity for a restored brain to go all nappy-time prematurely
10 posted on 03/16/2006 2:17:00 PM PST by King Prout (DOWN with the class-enemies at Google! LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE'S CUBE!)
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To: King Prout
I'm waving goodbye now.
11 posted on 03/16/2006 2:18:42 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: PatrickHenry
awww... I'm crestfallen! Just when I was getting a lock on this particular style of jest, you brush me off! And I was really getting the hank of it, too.

Ah, well... the mane thing is for the researchers to trim that possibility out of the genetics.

12 posted on 03/16/2006 2:22:54 PM PST by King Prout (DOWN with the class-enemies at Google! LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE'S CUBE!)
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To: Rudder
Since hair follicle cells and neurons are from the same anlage (ectoderm) and since hair follicle cells are continously regenerating, this finding makes good logical sense.

I'd agree with you. The authors, though, claim the cells are pluripotent.

13 posted on 03/16/2006 2:23:49 PM PST by tallhappy (Juntos Podemos!)
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To: King Prout

So hair stem cells and brain stem cells are related? Hmmm, maybe now we understand blondes better! /joke, please don't slap me!!!


14 posted on 03/16/2006 2:30:04 PM PST by piytar
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To: King Prout
It's no fur, pelting me with so many puns all at once. It makes me bristle with anger.
15 posted on 03/16/2006 2:34:48 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: King Prout

!!!


16 posted on 03/16/2006 2:37:09 PM PST by From many - one.
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To: PatrickHenry; b_sharp; neutrality; anguish; SeaLion; Fractal Trader; grjr21; bitt; KevinDavis; ...
FutureTechPing!
An emergent technologies list covering biomedical
research, fusion power, nanotech, AI robotics, and
other related fields. FReepmail to join or drop.

17 posted on 03/16/2006 2:37:20 PM PST by AntiGuv
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To: PatrickHenry
Off Beachcombing?
18 posted on 03/16/2006 2:40:23 PM PST by From many - one.
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To: Coleus; MotleyGirl70

My cat would love one of those.


19 posted on 03/16/2006 2:41:22 PM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: piytar

I'm not blonde, so I'm nodding in agreement ;)


20 posted on 03/16/2006 2:41:38 PM PST by King Prout (DOWN with the class-enemies at Google! LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE'S CUBE!)
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To: PatrickHenry; King Prout

I think you two need to part company now.


21 posted on 03/16/2006 2:43:20 PM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: Coleus
We injected these hair follicle stem cells into the area where the nerve or the spinal cord is severed… [and] found that the nerve or spinal cord could be regenerated because we injected these hair follicle stem cells

Wow, that's simply incredible. From hair of all things. Makes sense though. How many hairs do I lose every time I brush my hair and yet they keep coming back (thank goodness or else I'd be bald).

22 posted on 03/16/2006 2:44:21 PM PST by Kaylee Frye
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To: PatrickHenry
It's no fur, pelting me with so many puns all at once. It makes me bristle with anger.

(you shoulda know'd this was coming...)
[a-hem!]
keep your hair on!

the root cause of that barrage was the way you gave the interchange the shaft, dim-bulb!

23 posted on 03/16/2006 2:45:06 PM PST by King Prout (DOWN with the class-enemies at Google! LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE'S CUBE!)
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To: Larry Lucido; PatrickHenry
hoggin' yer turf, eh? can you toupee the weave of puns PH and I have already plugged into this thread?

I truly hope so, as all the jests I have left are all limp and greasy

24 posted on 03/16/2006 2:47:49 PM PST by King Prout (DOWN with the class-enemies at Google! LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE'S CUBE!)
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To: From many - one.

*grins*


25 posted on 03/16/2006 2:48:36 PM PST by King Prout (DOWN with the class-enemies at Google! LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE'S CUBE!)
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To: King Prout
I had assumed that your prior brush with me was sufficient to convince you, but now I must, as it were, wrestle you to the mat and implant this thought in your fuzzy brain -- you are a fringe player in this game. Thus far I have only been teasing. Does that shock you? No matter how you bob and weave, or even wiggle, the bald truth is that you cannot top this post!
26 posted on 03/16/2006 4:16:33 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: PatrickHenry
it would be a close shave were I to make such an attempt, but I do believe your last snippet of wit would come out a cut above. glad to have ironed that out - I was dyeing to see you untangle your puns once again. Neither upbraid me nor snarl at this concession - it is, I assure you, no play to beard you.
27 posted on 03/16/2006 4:37:52 PM PST by King Prout (DOWN with the class-enemies at Google! LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE'S CUBE!)
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To: PatrickHenry
plucky, ain't I?
28 posted on 03/16/2006 4:39:36 PM PST by King Prout (DOWN with the class-enemies at Google! LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE'S CUBE!)
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To: King Prout
As I comb through your recent offering, searching for a filament of meaning, it seems utterly threadbare. Indeed, you seem hare brained. Actually, you are growing cilia with each post, and I shall leave you stranded.
29 posted on 03/16/2006 4:58:57 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: Larry Lucido

like the frog that eats the lightning bug, it would be cool to see the mouse glow in the cat's abdomen.


30 posted on 03/16/2006 6:20:35 PM PST by Coleus (What were Ted Kennedy & his nephew doing on Good Friday, 1991? Getting drunk and raping women)
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To: Coleus

They better hurry up if they expect to get any hair from me!


31 posted on 03/16/2006 6:31:20 PM PST by strategofr (Hillary stole 1000+ secret FBI files on DC movers & shakers, Hillary's Secret War, Poe, p. xiv)
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To: PatrickHenry

" Actually, you are growing cilia with each post"

LOL!


32 posted on 03/16/2006 6:36:33 PM PST by strategofr (Hillary stole 1000+ secret FBI files on DC movers & shakers, Hillary's Secret War, Poe, p. xiv)
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To: Coleus

"like the frog that eats the lightning bug, it would be cool to see the mouse glow in the cat's abdomen."

Never heard of that frog eating a lightning bug thing.


33 posted on 03/16/2006 6:38:46 PM PST by strategofr (Hillary stole 1000+ secret FBI files on DC movers & shakers, Hillary's Secret War, Poe, p. xiv)
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To: PatrickHenry
I have shed all hope of victory in this battle
34 posted on 03/16/2006 7:49:40 PM PST by King Prout (DOWN with the class-enemies at Google! LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE'S CUBE!)
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To: Coleus; All
OK FReeper as a professional cell biologist and pharmacologist I am offering my opinion on this matter:

In all fairness, the discovery of green and yellow fluorescent protein (GFP and YFP) and the knowledge of how to transfect it into cells and into rodent models is the stuff of real Nobel prizes. The ability to to fluorescently tag proteins allows us to visually see their biological behavior using microscopic fluorescent imaging systems (both of which I am a known expert ;>) and we all know what we think as the MSM goes "experts tell us". But trust me, I know my shit it this area.)

In this area too many liberals are seeing this as "STEM CELL RESEARCH!!!!!!!!" and not for it really is... This technology allows us to track the development of the nervous system from zygote to adult but understand how various neurons form and how they truly effect our behavior

GFP is the the greatest tool for drug discovery since the use of tritium (3H, yes radioactive!!!!) labeled drugs. This stuff has many uses as our industry gene jockeys can tag this protein on receptor genes and make cells that don't normally show a drug receptor of interest but make that receptor glow!. We can then study through image analysis, the physiological effects of the drug/receptor interactions.

As for what that leads to... Maybe a cure for Alzheimer's, stroke, spinal cord injury, ALS.
35 posted on 03/16/2006 7:59:27 PM PST by Pharmer (How am I supposed to rule the world when I surrounded by freakin liberal idiots!)
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To: el_texicano

LOL, I think you actually have to have a spine in a first place. It only works for repair - I doubt they could grow a whole new one...


36 posted on 03/16/2006 9:54:56 PM PST by farlander (Strategery - sure beats liberalism!)
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