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!

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Major Progress For Adult Stem Cell’s Future Treatments

Research conducted by Derrick Rossi at Boston’s Children Hospital had a huge breakthrough.  By programming an RNA messenger (mRNA) a certain way, they can safely insert genetic switches into a cell without changing the DNA with virus vectors! PhysOrg said that these induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) are “apparently identical to human embryonic stem cells, the initial building blocks of all the organs of the body.”

This solves not one major problem but all three problems since induced pluripotent stems were discovered back in 2007.  Shinya Yamanaka deserves a Noble Prize for his discovery and the progress made by Rossi is simply, “awesome” and perhaps he too in the future deserves a Nobel Prize!

“Because the mRNA carries genetic instructions, but does not enter the DNA of the target cells, the resulting tailored cells should be safe to use in treating patients, Rossi said, unlike the iPS cells now being created around the world.

“Our findings address three major impediments to clinical translational use of iPS cells,” Rossi said in an interview. “The method: does not in any way breach genomic integrity as it does not necessitate integrating genes or viruses into the target cells’ DNA; it is orders of magnitude more efficient at producing iPS cells than conventional iPS methods, which were notoriously inefficient; and it gives us a way to directly program and direct the fate (development) of the iPS cells towards clinically useful cell types.”

This is not the only breakthrough happening in adult stem cell research, recently there were some researchers at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the University of Sydney that “found a way to increase the number of blood-forming stem cells when growing them outside of the body.”

Physorg reports…

“By using a unique stretchy surface that allows the cells to pull on it, the researchers found they could generate up to three times more stem cells than using current methods alone. Published today in the leading biotechnology journal Nature Biotechnology, lead author Professor John Rasko from the Centenary Institute and RPA Hospital announced these findings could significantly improve the outcomes of stem cell transplants.”

Huge breakthrough here because the more that can be grown in the lab, the less they have to harvest from the body like umbilical cords, bone marrow, and other areas and thus, the more patients can benefit!  On another breakthrough this time coming from the University of Buffalo, researchers have found a way to keep adult stem cells from aging!

In science daily

“UB scientists created the new cell lines — named “MSC Universal” — by genetically altering mesenchymal stem cells, which are found in bone marrow and can differentiate into cell types including bone, cartilage, muscle, fat, and beta-pancreatic islet cells. The researchers say the breakthrough overcomes a frustrating barrier to progress in the field of regenerative medicine: The difficulty of growing adult stem cells for clinical applications.”

This discovery could help speed up the development of cost-effective treatments for diseases including heart disease, diabetes, immune disorders and neurodegenerative diseases! Also, lowering costs of stem cell therapies and being able to produce individually-tailored cell lines. And finally this latest breakthrough adult stem cell research “electrified the field,” because of the new ability to reprogram adult stem cells to behave just like embryonic stem cells!

This is great science! A science who’s research is not getting more complex with fifty different explanations due to falsifications in the data that in itself is mere speculation while many of them cannot be tested nor verified. But in instead this research is producing a better understanding for the improvement of mankind!

Because the mRNA carries , but does not enter the DNA of the target cells, the resulting tailored cells should be safe to use in treating patients, Rossi said, unlike the iPS cells now being created around the world.“Our findings address three major impediments to clinical translational use of iPS cells,” Rossi said in an interview. “The method: does not in any way breach genomic integrity as it does not necessitate integrating genes or viruses into the target cells’ DNA; it is orders of magnitude more efficient at producing iPS cells than conventional iPS methods, which were notoriously inefficient; and it gives us a way to directly program and direct the fate (development) of the iPS cells towards clinically useful cell types.”

Regeneration Medicine Holds Promising Treatments

Back in March 2008, President Obama with agreement of party opposition leader at the time, John McCain were very critical of the Bush administration for its restrictions on embryonic stem cell research implying that it hinders the scientific process. Well in 2010, the hype about embryonic stem cells seems to have dimmed considerably since then because many researchers are following promising leads with adult stem cells…

“…Scientists identified a new growth factor that stimulates the expansion and regeneration of hematopoietic (blood-forming) stem cells in culture and in laboratory animals…Researchers believe that umbilical cord blood could serve as a universal source of stem cells for all patients who need a stem cell transplant, but the numbers of stem cells in cord blood units are limited, so there is a clinical need to develop a method to expand cord blood stem cells for transplantation purposes…Scientists at Duke University Medical Center -Science Daily

Imagine being able to grow a new finger, arm, or leg!  News broke of a scientist from Columbia had become the first to grow “complex, full-size bone from human adult stem cells,” Wouldn’t it be fabulous for doctors to give their patients a new jaw? Currently reconstructive surgery consists of taking pieces of bone from the patient’s hip or leg to replace facial injuries.

This isn’t all, stem cells for regeneration are being studied in other animals like the Freshwater Polyp Hydra which has been under research for the last 300 years. Recently, it’s genome was mapped. Despite its small size and apparent simplicity, this creature is designed with a regeneration mechanism. Also, this little creature has as many genes as a human does, yet it can regrow parts and humans cannot!  Dr. Robert Steele of UC Irvine said, “Having the Hydra genome sequenced also enhances our ability to use it to learn more about the basic biology of stem cells, which are showing great promise for new treatments for a host of injuries and diseases.”

What is embryonic stem cell research? None of the current stories that deal with stems cells has anything to do with ES research! No Mr. President, the Bush administration’s restrictions on ES were not hindering science rather stem cell research is going full steam ahead with adult stem cells and the only reason why the restrictions were lifted was strictly political, paying back those who helped him get into office. As for John McCain, it was a matter of trying to get more votes, he also was wrong while ignoring the progress of adult stem cell research!

Regeneration also holds a insight on biblical history. It is interesting to note that regeneration once existed with humans and mammals. The explanatory power of evolution “survival of the fittest” seems non-existant. For why would evolution lost such an advantage? From a biblical point of view, we know before the fall of Adam, there was no sickness, no death, animals were able to regenerate. Adam had a designed mechanism in his body that allowed for his regeneration. When the fall occurred as sin enter into the world, the function was lost.

Today, regeneration medicine is combating cumulative effects of millennia of decay – mutations, and a deteriorating environment as the result of sin. Also, genetic bottlenecks resulting from Noah’s Flood that could have squeezed out other health capabilities that may have existed in the first generations of people, before mutations accumulated and became fixed in the post-Flood era.

Now it’s highly unlikely if not impossible for science to make human immortals rather regeneration methods hold promising treatments to help benefit mankind!

Adult Stem Cells Making Noise Again In The News

Using the patient’s own adult stems cells, the Crohn’s disease is no more according to successful stem cell therapy by doctors in Barcelona, Spain. Crohn’s Disease millions worldwide, in the United States about 600,000 are affected with this disease. Crohn’s disease has very little treatments to combat the symptoms, leaving the person with a very dimished lifestyle.  The new successful adult stem cell therapy gives great hope for people afflicted with this disease.

“11 of 12 Crohn’s Disease patients in the USA who underwent the stem cell therapy had very good results.   That is almost 92%!!!3 of 4 patients in Italy who received this stem cell treatment had excellent results.  That is 75%. If we put them both together, 14 of 16 had great results from the Adult Stem Cells– that is 87.5%Can we call the stem cells a cure yet???” –DM Blog

I wouldn’t call it a cure yet, as the human body is very complex, so more people need to be treated successfully using adult stem cells in order to call this a cure for Crohn’s Disease but in the meantime it’s certainly headed in the right direction! It’s such good news!

More good news in adult stem cell research include…

“House Joint Resolution 1035, by state Rep. John Enns, would send a constitutional amendment to a vote of the people that would allow 10 percent of the interest earnings on the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund to be used for adult stem cell research.

“I really believe adult stem cell therapies hold the cures for many diseases – Parkinson’s Disease, spinal cord injuries, heart failure, cancers – and there are already nearly 70 research treatments that use adult stem cells,” said Enns, R-Enid. “By focusing on this promising research, Oklahoma can attract new businesses, create new high-paying jobs, potentially save lives, and do it all without the ethical compromises required by funding embryonic stem cell research.””

President Obama out to find some funding for adult stem cell research instead of paying back those who supported him such as special interests who are so focused on funding for embryonic stem cell research that they disregard adult stem cell research! Adut stem cell research is making another case to become 2009 science discovery of the year!