Research With Adult Stem Cells Improve

This subject reminds me of Christopher Reeve, the former Hollywood actor who became an adviser on stem cell research, claiming scientists were on a brink of a major breakthrough using embryo stem cells. Some friends of mine hated the fact that Bush refused to endorse and fund embryo stem cell research using new embryo stem cells rather than a few existing ones. This is why hype in scientific research must be met with caution rather than making it political. The Hwang scandal in 2004, bares this out as well! Years later, all that hype was not justified! Similar to many claims about evolution! They figured evolutionary explanations about the past had so much success in keeping in the box, why couldn’t embryo stem cell research?

 

Adult stem cell research has grown by leaps and bounds, destroying such arguments made by the former adviser on stem cell research, Christopher Reeve and political figures like John Kerry.  If scientists decided to stay in the box with Reeve and Kerry’s ideals on stem cell research along with other scientists, then two years later Yamanaka’s breakthrough with reprogramming adult stem cells wouldn’t have never happened! A year later Scientific American reported…

“The end of the politically explosive, decadelong ethical battle over human embryonic stem cells may finally be in sight. Two groups of researchers report today that washing human skin cells in similar cocktails of four genes enabled them to reprogram the cells to resemble those harvested from embryos. The finding potentially paves the way for scores of labs to generate new stem cell lines without cloned embryos, which had long been considered the only realistic way of making human stem cells in the short run.”

No embryos required! Imagine that, only two years later after Kerry’s speech about Reeve. Other Adult stem research as discussed in this blog, became the year’s breakthrough in science. But reprogramming adult stem cells didn’t put itself in a box, rather scientists have now discovered another new method. And that method is using “stress”, although stress is not good for the heart, it’s good for reprogramming stem cells, says Sasai and Obokata, two Japanese researchers who used a modest acid bath to create stress with the most fit animal on the planet who can survive extreme conditions and that is the bacterium. Once exposed to the acid bath, the bacterium’s cells revert back to the embryonic stage but even more so than using  Yamanaka’s method.

Using a stress method is logical, especially knowing that the body is able to repair damage tissue. Regenerative medicine has a ways to go but is showing tremendous progress outside of the politically correct box!

 

 

Scientists Discover More Innovation With Stem Cells

The field of adult stem cell research is growing by leaps and bounds! There is an enormous progress taking place as we speak. Firstly, scientists discovered a better way to create induced pluripotent stem cells that can produce any cell type, thus being fully able to do what embryonic stem cells can do…

In Science Magazine… 

“Given the right instructions in the lab, mature cells can turn back into embryoniclike ones that researchers covet, but the process is frustratingly slow and inefficient. By removing a molecular brake, scientists have now figured out how to reprogram cells with almost 100% efficiency.”

“In a process called cellular reprogramming, researchers increase the expression of four genes in skin, blood, or other mature cells to turn them into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which can become any of the body’s cell types.”

“Scientists value the method because it allows them to make patient-specific cells in the lab that they can use to study disease—and perhaps someday to treat patients. However, the reprogramming procedure is hit-and-miss. The most efficient methods reprogram only about 10% of mature cells into iPSCs.”

What if scientists could reprogram stems cells right in your body? This concept is not far fetched! A state never produced in a lab before was successful in mice!

Science Daily…

“One of the greatest achievements in recent biomedical research was in 2006 when Shinya Yamanaka managed to create embryonic stem cells (pluripotent stem cells, induced in vitro, or in vitro iPSCs) in a laboratory from adult cells, via a cocktail of just four genes. Yamanaka’s discovery, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2012, opened a new horizon in regenerative medicine.”

“CNIO researchers have taken another step forward, by achieving the same as Yamanaka, but this time within the same organism, in mice, without the need to pass through in vitro culture dishes. Generating these cells within an organism brings this technology even closer to regenerative medicine.

The first challenge for CNIO researchers was to reproduce the Yamanaka experiment in a living being. They chose a mouse as a model organism. Using genetic manipulation techniques, researchers created mice in which Yamanaka’s four genes could be activated at will. When these genes were activated, they observed that the adult cells were able to retreat in their evolutionary development to become embryonic stem cells in multiple tissues and organs.

“María Abad, the lead author of the article and a researcher in Serrano’s group, said: “This change of direction in development has never been observed in nature. We have demonstrated that we can also obtain embryonic stem cells in adult organisms and not only in the laboratory.”

The reprogrammed adult stem cells can also be removed from the body for further study. Unlike origin evolutionary research where scientists are trying to come up with a way to produce life from dead chemicals in a lab in order to take credit on the way nature has been designed, this article says no such thing, what was reprogrammed is not what happens in evolution. Even though evolution was given some props, this was an amazing year for real science that includes adult-stem cell research!

Human Skin Stem Cells Treating Various Disorders

What is a stem cell? It’s basically a “blank” cell, which is capable of becoming other cell types like muscle cells or nerve cells or even skin cells. Adult stem cells can become a built-in repair system for the human body, replenishing other cells as long as a person remains alive!

This research has become more important in recent years than ever before for treating various diseases and disorders! Speaking of which, there has been exciting news coming out with reprogramming skin cells for new treatments!

Science Daily writes…

“The study is the first successful attempt to employ human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) to produce a population of cells that are critical to neural signaling in the brain. In this instance, the researchers utilized cells crafted from human skin and transplanted them into animal models of myelin disease.”

“This study strongly supports the utility of hiPSCs as a feasible and effective source of cells to treat myelin disorders,” said University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) neurologist Steven Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study. “In fact, it appears that cells derived from this source are at least as effective as those created using embryonic or tissue-specific stem cells.”

“The discovery opens the door to potential new treatments using hiPSC-derived cells for a range of neurological diseases characterized by the loss of a specific cell population in the central nervous system called myelin…”

There was great hype with embryonic stem cells with the claim that scientists think human embryonic stem cells could lead to cures for many ailments, including heart disease, diabetes, some forms of blindness and possibly cancer. However, as science progresses, adult stem cells can replace embryonic ones and be even more effective. For instance, using one’s own stem cells from their own body for treatment lessens the odds greatly of rejection! Also, there is not controversy by destroying another human in the process!

Adult stems cells are in abundance! They can be collected from various  pregnancy-related tissues, and body tissues where they can be also reprogrammed as you seen in this article to the embryonic stage! How exciting is that? :)

Your Intelligently Designed Retina

There are amazing processes which goes on before you can see! Your retina performs an array of multiple digital transformations! A recent study by opthalmologists from the University of Tübingen, Germany has discovered that your eye goes digital. What was thought to be continuous analog signals to the retina are really created spikes (action potentials) that represent on-or-off conditions which is the basis of digital programming!

Currently Biology describes a vast amount of complexity where the eye massages its digitized information for the brain.

Action potentials allow for much faster and temporally more precise signal transmission than graded potentials, thus offering advantages in certain situations…”

“The retina in our eyes is not just a sheet of light sensors that – like a camera chip – faithfully transmits patterns of light to the brain. Rather, it performs complex computations, extracting several features from the visual stimuli, e.g., whether the light intensity at a certain place increases or decreases, in which direction a light source moves or whether there is an edge in the image.”

“To transmit this information reliably across the optic nerve — acting as a kind of a cable — to the brain, the retina reformats it into a succession of stereotypic action potentials – it “digitizes” it. Classical textbook knowledge holds that this digital code – similar to the one employed by computers – is applied only in the retina’s ganglion cells, which send the information to the brain. Almost all other cells in the retina were believed to employ graded, analogue signals. But the Tübingen scientists could now show that, in mammals, already the bipolar cells, which are situated right after the photoreceptors within the retinal network, are able to work in a “digital mode” as well.”

There are at least 8 classes of the bipolar cell patterns that were classified by the researches.  Why would this be considered the end of the dogma? Action potentials have been discovered before, but were considered only rare exceptions rather than the norm. The press release goes on to say that the discovery opens up new questions. But as one reads this, evolution is not even mentioned! Normally they just give credit to evolution or just speculate on the spot, but how could they mention it, considering that they were talking about computer cables with digital codes! These concepts as you know are designed by a thought process rather than a mindless one!

This is a classic example of when science improves that leads to astounding discoveries, nature appears more intelligently designed than ever before! The autonomous bipolar cells cannot “know” nor understand what the brain needs. Bipolar cells require pre-programming in order to send vital information to the brain and have the brain understand that vital information so it could react the right way. Formatting of the signal takes place using a code that the brain is able to understand! And it is required to get there fast, that is why digital was the way to go!

The exquisite interaction of parts here, sending digitally-encoded information down a “cable” of sorts, is truly one of the most amazing and mind-boggling things ever discovered!  We are not talking about just a camera with a chip; rather we are talking about the whole Photoshop!

So when we look at nature, before we think what we are seeing, just think of how many processes it took to get us to see what we are seeing! There is a quite an amazing list of intermediaries which includes; the cornea, the aqueous humor, the lens, the vitrious humor, the rods and cones, the bipolar cells, the retinal ganglion cells, the optic nerve, and who knows what else which has yet to be discovered, has massaged, transformed and formatted the signal from the initial impingement of photons on the cornea!