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Stem-Cell Cures Without the Controversy
Wall Street Journal ^ | December 7, 2012 | Matt Ridley

Posted on 12/08/2012 9:49:01 PM PST by neverdem

The chief medical ambition of those who study stem cells has always been that the cells would be used to repair and regenerate damaged tissue. That's still a long way off, despite rapid progress exemplified by the presentation of the Nobel Prize next week to Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University for a key stem-cell breakthrough. But there's another, less well known application of stem cells that is already delivering results: disease modeling.

Dr. Yamanaka used a retrovirus to insert four genes into a mouse cell to return it to a "pluripotent" state—capable of turning into almost any kind of cell. Last month a team at Johns Hopkins University and the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, using a version of Dr. Yamanaka's technique, successfully grew nerve cells from a patient suffering from a rare disease called Riley-Day syndrome, which is linked to early mortality, seizures and other symptoms and caused by a fault in one gene.

But the purpose was not to put these cells back into the patient. Instead the scientists tested 6,912 chemical compounds on the cells to see if they could find one that "rescued" the "expression" of the gene: that is to say, caused it to produce the protein it is supposed to produce. One of the compounds worked, inducing the gene to be actively transcribed by the cell.

In the not-very-distant future, when something is going wrong in one of your organs, one treatment may be to create some stem cells from your body in the laboratory, turn them into cells of that organ, or even rudimentary structures, and then subject them to experimental treatments to see if something cures the problem. The goal of personalized medicine, in other words, may be reached by stem-cell researchers before it's reached by geneticists.

Further breakthroughs are coming thick...

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Testing
KEYWORDS: adultstemcells; diseasemodeling; ipsc; pah; stemcalls; stemcells

1 posted on 12/08/2012 9:49:10 PM PST by neverdem
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To: Coleus; Peach; airborne; Asphalt; Dr. Scarpetta; I'm ALL Right!; StAnDeliver; ovrtaxt; ...
Therapeutic revascularisation of ischaemic tissue: the opportunities and challenges for therapy using vascular stem/progenitor cells.

Feeder-Independent Derivation of Induced-Pluripotent Stem Cells From Peripheral Blood Endothelial Progenitor Cells

'Junk DNA' drives embryonic development

FReepmail me if you want on or off my stem cell/regenerative medicine ping list.

2 posted on 12/08/2012 10:14:27 PM PST by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: neverdem
Discussions about stem cells need to clearly differentiate autologous stem cells transplants, those from the patient’s own body, from other sources such as human embryos.

My wife underwent successful cancer treatments using her own stem cells. Otherwise, I may have never understood the difference.

3 posted on 12/09/2012 5:53:41 AM PST by Makana
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To: Makana

Also needs to differentiate adult stem cells, which are taken from a matching, consenting adult donor via a simple process similar to donating any other specific component of blood. Quite ethical, useful, and safe.

4 posted on 12/09/2012 6:13:43 AM PST by Fire_on_High (RIP City of Heroes and Paragon Studios, victim of the Obamaconomy.)
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