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Exciting new technologies could change the way we age – TheSpec.com

By daniellenierenberg

On April 15, 2002, the FDA approved a temporary treatment for wrinkles that would revolutionize aging. All of a sudden, you could waltz into a derms office and get your frown lines ironed out faster than it would take to iron an actual shirt. It was called botulinum toxin, Botox for short.

Eighteen years later, a few units of Botox every three months has become the norm for millions around the world (more than seven million yearly in the U.S. alone). Now, if someone had told your grandparents, or even your parents, 20 years ago that people would be getting their foreheads frozen to look younger, they likely would have scoffed at the idea. So just imagine what other wild fixes could be coming to a medi-spa near you.

Its exciting to think about how the next 10 years will look, says Dr. Rohan Bissoondath, medical director of Calgarys Preventous Cosmetic Medicine clinic. With lifespan increasing, people are routinely going to be living into their hundreds, so we want to look great as well. From magic pills to creams that mimic injections, we take a look at the incredible innovations on the horizon.

You wont need surgery to lift your face

The way science is progressing, facelifts are set to become obsolete, says Dr. Lisa Kellett of Torontos DLK on Avenue. I think that the gold standard will eventually be finding ways to regenerate and kick-start our own collagen instead of doing a facelift. Kellett is already trying out cutting-edge technology to accomplish this, such as a laser that delivers growth factors right in the dermis to regenerate tissue. Its pretty snazzy stuff, but she anticipates even greater advances in coming years. I think well be able to use stem cells in conjunction with technology to regenerate collagen I think thats what well be doing one day.

Youll (hopefully) be able to nix wrinkles without needles

Botox in a cream? This has been in the pipeline for a while, says Bissoondath. The challenge is getting the molecules to penetrate the skin so that they can act on the muscle. Maybe on crows feet because its a thinner area, thinner muscles; that may be an area where we see some utility for it, but its still out there. Topical Botox had some success in trials, but scientists still have kinks to work out. In the meantime, a Botox cream might be beneficial even if it doesnt reach muscles, says Bissoondath. I see the potential for having it in a cream and applying it to the whole face, not necessarily affecting facial expressions, but giving an improved glow and better skin quality.

Therell be more all-in-one solutions

If you want to smooth, you get Botox. If you want to brighten, you get IPL. If you want to tighten, you get Thermage. But what if there was a treatment that did it all? I think thats the future of aging, says Kellett, who is just about to launch such a treatment at her clinic. Marketed as the next generation of laser and light-based platform technology, Etherea MX is a multiple modality device that can tackle everything from dark spots and skin laxity to textural issues and wrinkles. It means that when patients come in, theyre not just doing one thing, says the doc. Instead, in the same appointment, shes able to address a variety of concerns with a single machine.

Youll be able to take a pill instead of hitting the gym

OK, this is very cool. Something I think is possible is a pill to replace exercise, says Bissoondath, who adds that this could be developed in the not so distant future. With the advances were making in understanding the functions of our body down to the cellular level and intracellular level, and understanding how our mitochondria actually ages, were looking at ways now where we can manipulate that from a pill perspective. The pill wouldnt deliver all the benefits of physical activity, such as the positive impact on our mood, but it would replicate its effects on our body. It wont take the place of walking around outside and soaking up nature it cant do the mental part of it. But as far as the physiologic, biochemical part of it, were really understanding that better and making big strides. Its exciting.

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How Groups of Cells Cooperate to Build Organs and Organisms – The Scientist

By daniellenierenberg

Efforts to use regenerative medicinewhich seeks to address ailments as diverse as birth defects, traumatic injury, aging, degenerative disease, and the disorganized growth of cancerwould be greatly aided by solving one fundamental puzzle: How do cellular collectives orchestrate the building of complex, three-dimensional structures?

While genomes predictably encode the proteins present in cells, a simple molecular parts list does not tell us enough about the anatomical layout or regenerative potential of the body that the cells will work to construct. Genomes are not a blueprint for anatomy, and genome editing is fundamentally limited by the fact that its very hard to infer which genes to tweak, and how, to achieve desired complex anatomical outcomes. Similarly, stem cells generate the building blocks of organs, but the ability to organize specific cell types into a working human hand or eye has been and will be beyond the grasp of direct manipulation for a very long time.

But researchers working in the fields of synthetic morphology and regenerative biophysics are beginning to understand the rules governing the plasticity of organ growth and repair. Rather than micromanaging tasks that are too complex to implement directly at the cellular or molecular level, what if we solved the mystery of how groups of cells cooperate to construct specific multicellular bodies during embryogenesis and regeneration? Perhaps then we could figure out how to motivate cell collectives to build whatever anatomical features we want.

New approaches now allow us to target the processes that implement anatomical decision-making without genetic engineering. In January, using such tools, crafted in my lab at Tufts Universitys Allen Discovery Center and by computer scientists in Josh Bongards lab at the University of Vermont, we were able to create novel living machines, artificial bodies with morphologies and behaviors completely different from the default anatomy of the frog species (Xenopus laevis) whose cells we used. These cells rebooted their multicellularity into a new form, without genomic changes. This represents an extremely exciting sandbox in which bioengineers can play, with the aim of decoding the logic of anatomical and behavioral control, as well as understanding the plasticity of cells and the relationship of genomes to anatomies.

Deciphering how an organism puts itself together is truly an interdisciplinary undertaking.

Deciphering how an organism puts itself together is truly an interdisciplinary undertaking. Resolving the whole picture will involve understanding not only the mechanisms by which cells operate, but also elucidating the computations that cells and groups of cells carry out to orchestrate tissue and organ construction on a whole-body scale. The next generation of advances in this area of research will emerge from the flow of ideas between computer scientists and biologists. Unlocking the full potential of regenerative medicine will require biology to take the journey computer science has already taken, from focusing on the hardwarethe proteins and biochemical pathways that carry out cellular operationsto the physiological software that enables networks of cells to acquire, store, and act on information about organ and indeed whole-body geometry.

In the computer world, this transition from rewiring hardware to reprogramming the information flow by changing the inputs gave rise to the information technology revolution. This shift of perspective could transform biology, allowing scientists to achieve the still-futuristic visions of regenerative medicine. An understanding of how independent, competent agents such as cells cooperate and compete toward robust outcomes, despite noise and changing environmental conditions, would also inform engineering. Swarm robotics, Internet of Things, and even the development of general artificial intelligence will all be enriched by the ability to read out and set the anatomical states toward which cell collectives build, because they share a fundamental underlying problem: how to control the emergent outcomes of systems composed of many interacting units or individuals.

Many types of embryos can regenerate entirely if cut in half, and some species are proficient regenerators as adults. Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) regenerate their limbs, eyes, spinal cords, jaws, and portions of the brain throughout life. Planarian flatworms (class Turbellaria), meanwhile, can regrow absolutely any part of their body; when the animal is cut into pieces, each piece knows exactly whats missing and regenerates to be a perfect, tiny worm.

The remarkable thing is not simply that growth begins after wounding and that various cell types are generated, but that these bodies will grow and remodel until a correct anatomy is complete, and then they stop. How does the system identify the correct target morphology, orchestrate individual cell behaviors to get there, and determine when the job is done? How does it communicate this information to control underlying cell activities?

Several years ago, my lab found that Xenopus tadpoles with their facial organs experimentally mixed up into incorrect positions still have largely normal faces once theyve matured, as the organs move and remodel through unnatural paths. Last year, a colleague at Tufts came to a similar conclusion: the Xenopus genome does not encode a hardwired set of instructions for the movements of different organs during metamorphosis from tadpole to frog, but rather encodes molecular hardware that executes a kind of error minimization loop, comparing the current anatomy to the target frog morphology and working to progressively reduce the difference between them. Once a rough spatial specification of the layout is achieved, that triggers the cessation of further remodeling.

The deep puzzle of how competent agents such as cells work together to pursue goals such as building, remodeling, or repairing a complex organ to a predetermined spec is well illustrated by planaria. Despite having a mechanistic understanding of stem cell specification pathways and axial chemical gradients, scientists really dont know what determines the intricate shape and structure of the flatworms head. It is also unknown how planaria perfectly regenerate the same anatomy, even as their genomes have accrued mutations over eons of somatic inheritance. Because some species of planaria reproduce by fission and regeneration, any mutation that doesnt kill the neoblastthe adult stem cell that gives rise to cells that regenerate new tissueis propagated to the next generation. The worms incredibly messy genome shows evidence of this process, and cells in an individual planarian can have different numbers of chromosomes. Still, fragmented planaria regenerate their body shape with nearly 100 percent anatomical fidelity.

Permanent editingof the encoded target morphology without genomic editing reveals a new kind of epigenetics.

So how do cell groups encode the patterns they build, and how do they know to stop once a target anatomy is achieved? What would happen, for example, if neoblasts from a planarian species with a flat head were transplanted into a worm of a species with a round or triangular head that had the head amputated? Which shape would result from this heterogeneous mixture? To date, none of the high-resolution molecular genetic studies of planaria give any prediction for the results of this experiment, because so far they have all focused on the cellular hardware, not on the logic of the softwareimplemented by chemical, mechanical, and electrical signaling among cellsthat controls large-scale outcomes and enables remodeling to stop when a specific morphology has been achieved.

Understanding how cells and tissues make real-time anatomical decisions is central not only to achieving regenerative outcomes too complex for us to manage directly, but also to solving problems such as cancer. While the view of cancer as a genetic disorder still largely drives clinical approaches, recent literature supports a view of cancer as cells simply not being able to receive the physiological signals that maintain the normally tight controls of anatomical homeostasis. Cut off from these patterning cues, individual cells revert to their ancient unicellular lifestyle and treat the rest of the body as external environment, often to ruinous effect. If we understand the mechanisms that scale single-cell homeostatic setpoints into tissue- and organ-level anatomical goal states and the conditions under which the anatomical error reduction control loop breaks down, we may be able to provide stimuli to gain control of rogue cancer cells without either gene therapy or chemotherapy.

During morphogenesis, cells cooperate to reliably build anatomical structures. Many living systems remodel and regenerate tissues or organs despite considerable damagethat is, they progressively reduce deviations from specific target morphologies, and halt growth and remodeling when those morphologies are achieved. Evolution exploits three modalities to achieve such anatomical homeostasis: biochemical gradients, bioelectric circuits, and biophysical forces. These interact to enable the same large-scale form to arise despite significant perturbations.

N.R. FULLER, SAYO-ART, LLC

BIOCHEMICAL GRADIENTS

The best-known modality concerns diffusible intracellular and extracellular signaling molecules. Gene-regulatory circuits and gradients of biochemicals control cell proliferation, differentiation, and migration.

BIOELECTRIC CIRCUITS

The movement of ions across cell membranes, especially via voltage-gated ion channels and gap junctions, can establish bioelectric circuits that control large-scale resting potential patterns within and among groups of cells. These bioelectric patterns implement long-range coordination, feedback, and memory dynamics across cell fields. They underlie modular morphogenetic decision-making about organ shape and spatial layout by regulating the dynamic redistribution of morphogens and the expression of genes.

BIOMECHANICAL FORCES

Cytoskeletal, adhesion, and motor proteins inside and between cells generate physical forces that in turn control cell behavior. These forces result in large-scale strain fields, which enable cell sheets to move and deform as a coherent unit, and thus execute the folds and bends that shape complex organs.

The software of life, which exploits the laws of physics and computation, is enabled by chemical, mechanical, and electrical signaling across cellular networks. While the chemical and mechanical mechanisms of morphogenesis have long been appreciated by molecular and cell biologists, the role of electrical signaling has largely been overlooked. But the same reprogrammability of neural circuits in the brain that supports learning, memory, and behavioral plasticity applies to all cells, not just neurons. Indeed, bacterial colonies can communicate via ionic currents, with recent research revealing brain-like dynamics in which information is propagated across and stored in a kind of proto-body formed by bacterial biofilms. So it should really come as no surprise that bioelectric signaling is a highly tractable component of morphological outcomes in multicellular organisms.

A few years ago, we studied the electrical dynamics that normally set the size and borders of the nascent Xenopus brain, and built a computer model of this process to shed light on how a range of various brain defects arise from disruptions to this bioelectric signaling. Our model suggested that specific modifications with mRNA or small molecules could restore the endogenous bioelectric patterns back to their correct layout. By using our computational platform to select drugs to open existing ion channels in nascent neural tissue or even a remote body tissue, we were able to prevent and even reverse brain defects caused not only by chemical teratogenscompounds that disrupt embryonic developmentbut by mutations in key neurogenesis genes.

Similarly, we used optogenetics to stimulate electrical activity in various somatic cell types totrigger regeneration of an entire tadpole tailan appendage with spinal cord, muscle, and peripheral innervationand to normalize the behavior of cancer cells in tadpoles strongly expressing human oncogenes such as KRAS mutations. We used a similar approach to trigger posterior regions, such as the gut, to build an entire frog eye. In both the eye and tail cases, the information on how exactly to build these complex structures, and where all the cells should go, did not have to be specified by the experimenter; rather, they arose from the cells themselves. Such findings reveal how ion channel mutations result in numerous human developmental channelopathies, and provide a roadmap for how they may be treated by altering the bioelectric map that tells cells what to build.

We also recently found a striking example of such reprogrammable bioelectrical software in control of regeneration in planaria. In 2011, we discovered that an endogenous electric circuit establishes a pattern of depolarization and hyperpolarization in planarian fragments that regulate the orientation of the anterior-posterior axis to be rebuilt. Last year, we discovered that this circuit controls the gene expressionneeded to build a head or tail within six hours of amputation, and by using molecules that make cell membranes permeable to certain ions to depolarize or hyperpolarize cells, we induced fragments of such worms to give rise to a symmetrical two-headed form, despite their wildtype genomes. Even more shockingly, the worms continued to generate two-headed progeny in additional rounds of cutting with no further manipulation. In further experiments, we demonstrated that briefly reducing gap junction-mediated connectivity between adjacent cells in the bioelectric network that guides regeneration led worms to regenerate head and brain shapes appropriate to other worm species whose lineages split more than 100 million years ago.

My group has developed the use of voltage-sensitive dyes to visualize the bioelectric pattern memory that guides gene expression and cell behavior toward morphogenetic outcomes. Meanwhile, my Allen Center colleagues are using synthetic artificial electric tissues made of human cells and computer models of ion channel activity to understand how electrical dynamics across groups of non-neural cells can set up the voltage patterns that control downstream gene expression, distribution of morphogen molecules, and cell behaviors to orchestrate morphogenesis.

The emerging picture in this field is that anatomical software is highly modulara key property that computer scientists exploit as subroutines and that most likely contributes in large part to biological evolvability and evolutionary plasticity. A simple bioelectric state, whether produced endogenously during development or induced by an experimenter, triggers very complex redistributions of morphogens and gene expression cascades that are needed to build various anatomies. The information stored in the bodys bioelectric circuitscan be permanently rewritten once we understand the dynamics of the biophysical circuits that make the critical morphological decisions. This permanent editing of the encoded target morphology without genomic editing reveals a new kind of epigenetics, information that is stored in a medium other than DNA sequences and chromatin.

Recent work from our group and others has demonstrated that anatomical pattern memories can be rewritten by physiological stimuli and maintained indefinitely without genomic editing. For example, the bioelectric circuit that normally determines head number and location in regenerating planaria can be triggered by brief alterations of ion channel or gap junction activity to alter the animals body plan. Due to the circuits pattern memory, the animals remain in this altered state indefinitely without further stimulation, despite their wildtype genomes. In other words, the pattern to which the cells build after damage can be changed, leading to a target morphology distinct from the genetic default.

N.R. FULLER, SAYO-ART, LLC

First, we soaked a planarian in voltage-sensitive fluorescent dye to observe the bioelectrical pattern across the entire tissue. We then cut the animal to see how this pattern changes in each fragment as it begins to regenerate.

We then applied drugs or used RNA interference to target ion channels or gap junctions in individual cells and thus change the pattern of depolarization/hyperpolarization and cellular connectivity across the whole fragment.

As a result of the disruption of the bodys bioelectric circuits, the planarian regrows with two heads instead of one, or none at all.

When we re-cut the two-headed planarian in plain water, long after the initial drug has left the tissue, the new anatomy persists in subsequent rounds of regeneration.

Cells can clearly build structures that are different from their genomic-default anatomical outcomes. But are cells universal constructors? Could they make anything if only we knew how to motivate them to do it?

The most recent advances in the new field at the intersection of developmental biology and computer science are driven by synthetic living machines known as biobots. Built from multiple interacting cell populations, these engineered machines have applications in disease modeling and drug development, and as sensors that detect and respond to biological signals. We recently tested the plasticity of cells by evolving in silico designs with specific movement and behavior capabilities and used this information to sculpt self-organized growth of aggregated Xenopus skin and muscle cells. In a novel environmentin vitro, as opposed to inside a frog embryoswarms of genetically normal cells were able to reimagine their multicellular form. With minimal sculpting post self-assembly, these cells form Xenobots with structures, movements, and other behaviors quite different from what might be expected if one simply sequenced their genome and identified them as wildtype X. laevis.

These living creations are a powerful platform to assess and model the computations that these cell swarms use to determine what to build. Such insights will help us to understand evolvability of body forms, robustness, and the true relationship between genomes and anatomy, greatly potentiating the impact of genome editing tools and making genomics more predictive for large-scale phenotypes. Moreover, testing regimes of biochemical, biomechanical, and bioelectrical stimuli in these biobots will enable the discovery of optimal stimuli for use in regenerative therapies and bioengineered organ construction. Finally, learning to program highly competent individual builders (cells) toward group-level, goal-driven behaviors (complex anatomies) will significantly advance swarm robotics and help avoid catastrophes of unintended consequences during the inevitable deployment of large numbers of artificial agents with complex behaviors.

Understanding how cells and tissues make real-time anatomical decisions is central to achieving regenerative outcomes too complex for us to manage directly.

The emerging field ofsynthetic morphology emphasizes a conceptual point that has been embraced by computer scientists but thus far resisted by biologists: the hardware-software distinction. In the 1940s, to change a computers behavior, the operator had to literally move wires aroundin other words, she had to directly alter the hardware. The information technology revolution resulted from the realization that certain kinds of hardware are reprogrammable: drastic changes in function could be made at the software level, by changing inputs, not the hardware itself.

In molecular biomedicine, we are still focused largely on manipulating the cellular hardwarethe proteins that each cell can exploit. But evolution has ensured that cellular collectives use this versatile machinery to process information flexibly and implement a wide range of large-scale body shape outcomes. This is biologys software: the memory, plasticity, and reprogrammability of morphogenetic control networks.

The coming decades will be an extremely exciting time for multidisciplinary efforts in developmental physiology, robotics, and basal cognition to understand how individual cells merge together into a collective with global goals not belonging to any individual cell. This will drive the creation of new artificial intelligence platforms based not on copying brain architectures, but on the multiscale problem-solving capacities of cells and tissues. Conversely, the insights of cognitive neurobiology and computer science will give us a completely new window on the information processing and decision-making dynamics in cellular collectives that can very effectively be targeted for transformative regenerative therapies of complex organs.

Michael Levinis the director of the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University and Associate Faculty at Harvard Universitys Wyss Institute. Email him atmichael.levin@tufts.edu. M.L. thanks Allen Center Deputy DirectorJoshua Finkelsteinfor suggestions on the drafts of this story.

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Emerging Evidence Supports the Use of Narsoplimab in HSCT-TMA – OncLive

By daniellenierenberg

During the 2020 European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation Annual Meeting, Rafael F. Duarte, MD, PhD, FRCP, of the Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro Majadahonda in Madrid, Spain, presented 2 real-world clinical cases in which the investigational monoclonal antibody narsoplimab (OMS721) demonstrated clinical benefit in patients with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation-associated thrombotic microangiopathy (HSCT-TMA).

Because the selection of patients for clinical trials has limitations, and more so, because running a trial is a hard endeavor for this difficult complication, [I wanted to share] some hands-on experience that we have had with narsoplimab outside of the trial with some case studies of patients who have been treated in a compassionate-use basis, said Duarte.

First, Duarte shared a case of a 19-year-old female who received narsoplimab following matched-sibling allogeneic HSCT to treat her B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) in first complete remission.

At 5 months, the patient experienced late-onset acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and severe HSCT-TMA with lower gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding and ischemic ulcers. While skin involvement of GVHD resolved, she received initial treatment with 1 dose of eculizumab (Soliris) due to persistent GI symptoms after steroids, mesenchymal stromal cells, and extracorporeal photopheresis. Additionally, she received 4 mg/kg of narsoplimab once or twice weekly for a total of 18 doses.

We asked for narsoplimab purely on the basis that this was a severely immunocompromised patient who had experienced complications before and who had been receiving a lot of immunosuppression for the treatment of GVHD, said Duarte. We tried to minimize immunosuppression, so we thought narsoplimab would be a good option.

According to Duarte, the patients GI bleeding and microangiopathy hemolytic anemia resolved quickly and dramatically after starting narsoplimab. Additionally, she became transfusion independent with platelet counts above 100 x 109 per liter.

At 21 months, the patient remains in complete remission (CR) of B-ALL and is devoid of signs of HSCT-TMA after discontinuing narsoplimab.

Subsequently, Duarte presented another, more complex case of a 48-year-old male with HIV and Hodgkin lymphoma who was in his third CR.

Following CCR5-32/32 HSCT, the patient experienced very early HSCT-TMA on day 0. Subsequently, he had rapid severe renal failure that required hemodialysis.

Initial treatment with calcineurin inhibitor withdrawal did not elicit any response, so he was started on narsoplimab at 4 mg/kg twice weekly on day 6. He received a total of 8 doses of narsoplimab.

The patients lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), bilirubin, and schistocyte counts improved rapidly following narsoplimab initiation. Additionally, the patient derived partial improvement of renal function and fluid management, although he required continued dialysis.

Despite this, at 31 days post-transplant, the patient had multiple secondary complications as a result of the CCR5-32/32 HSCT and experienced sudden death. The death was not thought to be related to TMA and no autopsy was granted.

We dont have a better explanation regarding what happened with this patient, unfortunately, Duarte explained. We think we are seeing that many of the patients who undergo transplant with this mutated CCR5-32/32 tend to have greater mortality and greater complications than HIV-positive patients who undergo transplant with standard [procedure].

Duarte also presented findings from the pivotal, phase 2 trial, in which narsoplimab demonstrated high rates of CRs, as well as improved laboratory and clinical markers among patients with HSCT-TMA.

Narsoplimab was previously granted a breakthrough therapy designation by the FDA for the treatment of patients with high-risk TA-TMA. In addition, the agent was granted an orphan drug designation for TA-TMA therapy and complement-mediated TMA prevention.

Findings from the single-arm, open-label phase 2 trial demonstrated a 54% CR rate in all treated patients (n = 28) with the mannan-binding lectin-associated serine protease-2 inhibitor (95% CI, 34%-72%). Additionally, patients treated per protocol recommendations (n = 23), which entailed 4 weeks or more of dosing, achieved a CR rate of 65% (95% CI, 43%-84%).

At 100 days following HSCT-TMA diagnosis, 68% of all treated patients, 83% of patients treated per protocol, and 93% of treatment responders (n = 15) were alive.

Eligible patients had to be 18 years of older at screening, which occurred during the patients first visit. Additionally, patients had to have persistent HSCT-TMA as defined by a platelet count less than 150,000 per L, evidence of microangiopathy hemolysis such as the presence of schistocytes, serum LDH greater than upper limit of normal, or haptoglobin less than the lower limit of normal, and renal dysfunction defined as doubling of serum creatinine compared with pre-transplant level. All of the following had to be present for at least 2 weeks following modification or discontinuation of calcineurin inhibitors.

Patients who had eculizumab therapy within 3 months of screening, positive direct Coombs test, or active systemic bacteria or fungal infection that required antimicrobial therapy beyond prophylactic antimicrobial therapy as a standard of care were excluded from the study.

Response-based efficacy requiring improvement in TMA laboratory markers of platelet count and LDH and improvement in clinical status, as well as safety, served as the primary end points of the trial. Secondary end points included survival and change from baseline laboratory markers.

Regarding laboratory markers, LDH had to be less than 1.5 L. For patients who had a baseline platelet count of 20,000/L, improvement was defined as a tripling of baseline platelet count more than 30,000 and freedom from platelet transfusion. For patients with a baseline platelet count of more than 20,000, improvement was defined as an increased count of least 50% and absolute count of more than 75,000, as well as freedom from platelet transfusion.

Clinical improvement was based off any of the following improvements in specific organ function. Patients could derive blood improvement defined as transfusion freedom; renal improvement defined as a reduction of creatinine of more than 40%, normalization of creatinine and more than 20% reduction of creatinine, or discontinuation of renal replacement therapy; pulmonary improvement defined as extubation and discontinuation of ventilator support, or discontinuation of non-invasive mechanical ventilation; gastrointestinal improvement defined as improvement assessed by MAGIC (Mount Sinai GVHD International Consortium) criteria; or neurological improvement defined as limited to stroke, posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome, seizures, and weakness.

Eligible patients had an average age of 48, and 71% were male. Moreover, 96% of patients had malignant underlying disease. Regarding risk factors, 64% had GVHD, 75% had significant infection, 14% had non-infectious pulmonary complications, such as idiopathy pneumonia syndrome or diffuse alveolar hemorrhage, and 50% had neurological signs.

Moreover, the study population was defined as high risk as 93% of patients had multiple risk factors associated with poor outcome.

Regarding safety, any-grade toxicities were observed in 92.9% of patients treated with narsoplimab. The most common adverse effects (AEs) included nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hypokalemia, neutropenia, and fever.

Additionally, 21% of patients died while on study; however, all deaths were attributed to common complications of HSCT.

Investigators concluded that similar AEs are associated with patients who undergo transplant and that narsoplimab was generally well tolerated.

These are very highly encouraging results with narsoplimab in patients with very severe TMA who are unresponsive to other treatments. These results suggest that narsoplimab may be of benefit in these severely ill, complex patients with TMA, including those in the most complex clinical scenarios, Duarte concluded.

Reference

Duarte R. MASP-2 inhibition with the investigational agent narsoplimab for the treatment of HSCT-TMA: overview of data and case discussion. Presented at: 2020 European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation Annual Meeting; August 30-September 2, 2020; Virtual. Session IS28-4.

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Unraveling the use of CBD in veterinary medicine – Jill Lopez

By daniellenierenberg

It was about the 3rd week into Bastions recovery from his TPLO surgery and he was already having a rough time. Bastion was a gregarious yellow Labrador who had his injured stifle about 25 days ago. Fortunately, his family elected for him to have his stifle surgically reconstructed. Initially, he had recovered well from surgery. But one day in particular, he presented to the hospital because he had a brief setback. He was limping far more severely than what would be normally expected at this stage of recovery.

The osteotomy from his surgery had not yet completely healed and he was still in the middle of his prescribed 5 weeks of exercise strict restriction. His family was trying their best but Bastion wasnt having it. He was too active at home and his humans were growing frustrated. Anti-anxiety medications had been dispensed but they were not given. Instead, his family had decided to give him CBD oil at home. When I asked why the prescribed medications had not been given, the client responded, I found CBD oil at the local farmers market and I figured it would work just as well.

Like Bastion, an increasing number of pets are receiving cannabidiol (CBD) supplements. The popularity of CBD continues to rise and many clients are incorporating CBD as part of the medication protocol for their pets, either as an adjunct or, as alternative treatment option.

Perhaps the initial interest in the benefits of CBD can be traced back to 1998, or possibly earlier, when scientists at the National Institutes of Health discovered that CBD could protect cells from oxidative stress. These findings fueled interest in the human medical field and, in large part, that appeal has been transmuted into veterinary medicine. The regard for this molecule has risen to such levels that in many homes, CBD is being used as the sole treatment option for a variety of medical conditions.

Veterinarians are becoming more fluent in the fascinating pharmacology regarding the use of this phytocannabinoid. A recent survey indicated that most veterinarians (61.5%) felt comfortable discussing the use of CBD with their colleagues, but only 45.5% felt comfortable discussing this topic with clients.1 Furthermore, veterinarians and clients in states with legalized recreational marijuana were more likely to talk about the use of CBD products to treat canine ailments than those in other states.2 Lastly, CBD was most frequently discussed as a potential treatment for pain management, anxiety and seizures.1 At first glance, the use of CBD has tangential or limited relevance in the world of veterinary surgery. However, as one takes a closer look at the putative, and proven benefits, it is clear that we are just scratching the surface of its therapeutic benefits. This article takes a brief dive into the world of CBD and its promise in the field of veterinary surgery.

Pain

Whether you perform surgery within a specialty discipline (oncology, orthopedics, neurology, soft tissue surgery, mixed animal, oral/dental, etc), or surgery is only a small part of your general practice, every veterinarian endeavors to aggressively manage pain. The first choice for pain relief among many clinicians are the medications that have been more extensively studied including, but not limited to, anti-inflammatories, gabapentinoids, opioids, local anesthetics, and other analgesics (acetaminophen, amantadine, cerenia etc). These medications or a combination thereof, have been prescribed to treat pain from orthopedic surgery, soft tissue surgery, surgical neuropathic conditions, pain from intestinal surgery, to name just a few. In the most basic schema, pain is divided into four categories: nociceptive pain (a response to damaged tissue), neuropathic pain (a response to directly-damaged sensory or spinal nerves), centralized pain (the result of pain signals being improperly amplified), and inflammatory pain.1 Cannabinoids may have a role to play in mediating all four of these types of pain states. When tissue is damaged, histamine, serotonin, TNF-alpha, IL-1-beta, IL-6, and Il -17 6, and interleukin 17 are released.2 Cannabinoids bind to the CB1 receptors and attenuate the pain signal by slowing down the release of those neurotransmitters.3 This process can take place locally or in the central nervous system.3 Cannabinoids have also been shown to inhibit the release of GABA, a well known neurotransmitter associated with pain.3 Although there is a paucity of clinical research on the use of CBD to treat postoperative pain in the veterinary medical setting, there has been heartening research conducted in humans. Indeed, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine concluded that there is, substantial evidence that cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults.

Opioids have long been the go to option, or cornerstone of pain management, however, the potential for the adverse events associated with the use of opioids in veterinary patients is universally accepted.38 I have seen how distressing it can be for a family to see their pet experiencing any of the unpleasurable side effects of opioids including urine retention, delayed bowel movements, whining, panting, disorientation, or other manifestations of dysphoria. Those are just some of the challenges that clinicians face when using opioids for chronic pain management. Considering the ongoing consequences of the opioid epidemic, there is a search for pain management solutions that are innovative, prone to less adverse events, and are more effective. As the scientific community begins to evaluate the evidence for use of CBD , it is clear that more research is needed.

Anecdotal reports of CBDs efficacy as a pain reliever are ubiquitous but more are turning to scientific data for evidence of CBDs efficacy. A study in 2020 evaluating effects of CBD hemp extract on opioid use and quality of life indicators in chronic pain patients found that over half of chronic pain patients (53%) reduced or eliminated their opioids within 8 weeks after adding CBD-rich hemp extract to their regimens.5 Almost all CBD users (94%) reported quality of life improvements.5 And in a recent study evaluating orally consumed cannabinoids for long-lasting relief of allodynia in a mouse model, found that cannabinoids reduced hyperalgesia and a similar effect was not found with morphine.4 Mouse vocalizations were recorded throughout the experiment, and mice showed a large increase in ultrasonic, broadband clicks after sciatic nerve injury, which was reversed by THC, CBD, and morphine.4 The study demonstrated that cannabinoids provide long-term relief of chronic pain states.4 If research shows that use of cannabinoids in animals, specifically, CBD, can help to decrease the use of opioids for pain management, that would help make more animals comfortable and potentially help to fight the tragic epidemic of human prescription opioid abuse. Further research is needed in a variety of species, specifically, both the canine and feline species.

Bone Healing

Both general veterinary practitioners and veterinary surgeons commonly diagnose and treat fractures. A large retrospective study of fracture incidence in dogs in North America has not been published since 1994; however, the findings from that study are still informative regarding the frequency of bone injuries. That study demonstrated that approximately 24% of all patients in the population studied over a 10 year period were affected by a disorder of the musculoskeletal system, with fractures contributing the largest proportion (over 29%) of all of the diagnosis of the appendicular skeletal system.7 Although that research is dated, the conclusions from this study - at the very least, indicate that fractures are commonplace in the clinical veterinary setting.7 Fracture repair has gradually become more straightforward due to improvements in technology. Because of these innovations, speciality surgeons and general practitioners who repair fractures have begun to see better surgical outcomes. So whether you primarily stabilize fractures with implants, or if external coaptation of fractures with the intention to refer (or perhaps as the primary means of fixation) is your treatment of choice, all veterinary practitioners aim to help fractured bones heal quickly. Despite these technological improvements, bone healing can be protracted or non existent with some fractures. There are a variety of options at a veterinarians disposal to kick-start the healing process but perhaps in the near future, CBD may be added to that armamentarium. The effect of CBD in fracture healing has been investigated evaluating bone callus formation in femur fractures in a rat model.8 The findings demonstrated enhanced biomechanical properties of healing fractures in those given CBD compared with a control group.8 This effect was not found in those only given 9-THC. Moreover, the bone forming effects (osteogenic) of CBD were weakened when test subjects were given equal amounts of CBD and 9-THC.6 Another in vivo research study indicated that when CBD is incorporated into a surface that promotes bone growth (osteoconductive scaffold) it can stimulate stem cell migration and osteogenic differentiation.9 Further studies are needed to better evaluate the role of CBD in healing and bone metabolism of companion animals so that these findings can be applied in the clinical setting.

Additionally, cannabis has been shown to be a useful addition in treatment plans optimized to improve bone health in laboratory studies. A study endeavored to more closely understand the role of CB2 receptors in maintaining bone health. CB2 receptors in bone cells have been linked to maintaining bone density and stimulating growth, and may therefore have a part in reversing the effects of osteoporosis.10 One study evaluating role of CB2 receptors, found that in mice whose genes had been altered to remove the CB1 or CB2 receptors, those that developed signs of bone weakness that were far more pronounced than those in the control group.12 Another study in 2009, investigated the relationship between CB2 expression and bone disease in humans. The study found that people with dysfunctional CB2 receptors to have significantly weaker hand bones.11

Arthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) affects many dogs, large and small. Most often, OA is the consequence of a developmental orthopedic disease that often affects a single joint or a pair of joints, and, less often, affects multiple joints. It is axiomatic that Mother Nature likes symmetry thus developmental orthopedic diseases frequently affect both left and right joints. For example, hip dysplasia is reportedly bilateral in >60% of affected dog,s13 and elbow dysplasia is bilateral in approximately 50% of affected dogs.14 Osteoarthritis occurs secondary to a myriad of primary orthopedic conditions that affect a variety of joints including: the hip (most common causes of OA in the hip: hip dysplasia, Perthes disease); stifle (patellar luxation, cranial cruciate ligament disease, osteochondritis dissecans [OCD]); elbow (elbow dysplasia, elbow OCD, fragmentation of the medial coronoid process, incomplete ossification of the humeral condyle); shoulder (shoulder OCD, developmental shoulder subluxation); tarsus (OCD of the talus), and carpus (carpal laxity, carpal subluxation secondary to chondrodystrophy); and metacarpophalangeal (MCP) and metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint degenerative osteoarthritis (digital osteoarthritis) .

Cannabinoids were found to treat pain secondary to inflammation in a variety of studies on humans. Some of the most compelling research has shown that cannabis can reduce the inflammation in the joint caused in human patients diagnosed with immune mediated arthritis.15 One study found that cannabinoids could simultaneously reduce the secretion of cytokines involved in inflammation from one type of TH immune cells, which were being under-produced, while also increasing their numbers to correct their scarcity.15 Furthermore in a study in 2003, researchers found that plant-based cannabinoids could suppress the expression of interleukin-1betaone of the most prominent markers for inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritisby as much as 50%.16 And finally, in 2006, transdermal applications of CBD were shown to decrease biomarkers that can contribute to neurogenic inflammation in a sample of arthritic rats. 17

A report published in the journal of PAIN, lead by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine revealed the results of a large, double blinded, placebo controlled study on the positive effects CBD had in the fight against osteoarthritis.18 The study was designed with two main goals: The first portion of the research studied the effect CBD had on the inflammatory molecules and cells in mice.18 The second portion of the study, investigated whether CBD improved the quality of life in dogs diagnosed with osteoarthritis. In lab tests and in mouse models, CBD significantly decreased the production of natural chemicals that promote inflammation and it increased the natural chemicals that fight inflammation.18 Essentially, what they saw was a drop in proinflammatory cytokines and an increase in anti-inflammatory cytokines. 18 For dogs with osteoarthritis, CBD significantly decreased pain and increased mobility in a dose-dependent fashion. Importantly, A lower dose of liposomal CBD was as effective as the highest dose of nonliposomal CBD, indicating that the effect of CBD was quicker and more effective when CBD was delivered encapsulated in liposomes than without.18 Blood samples indicated no significant harmful side effects, or adverse events, over the 4-week analysis period.18 Although this study is very promising and it supports the safety and therapeutic potential of hemp-derived CBD for relieving arthritic pain in dogs, it is important to consult with your pets veterinarian before giving any supplement or medication.

In the veterinary population, use of cannabidiol and other alternative treatments may have the potential to obviate the need for other medications, and thus spare patients from adverse effects associated with their use. More likely, the use of cannabinoids could be additive or synergistic in a multimodal treatment strategy and could increase quality-of-life issues associated with painful arthritic conditions.

Intervertebral Disk Disease

As our patients age, discs in the spine also undergo degenerative changes. Thus, degeneration of intervertebral discs is evitable. This process of degeneration is multifactorial process and it involves hypoxia, inflammation, neoinnervation, accelerated catabolism, and reduction in water and glycosaminoglycan content.39 The magnitude and severity of disc degeneration can vary widely between patients. The most common locations of clinically relevant disc disease are located in the cervical spine, thoracolumbar spine, and the lumbosacral spine.40 Although there are various manifestations of disc disease, broad classifications of Hansen Type I and Type II are typically used to describe the condition. In short, disc material may either extrude (acute herniations) or protrude (chronic herniations), both of which compress the spinal cord which ultimately can cause pain, paresis, paralysis and other neurological deficits.40 The prevalence of thoracolumbar disc disease dogs has been estimated at 3.5%.40 Depending on the neurologic examination, diagnosis, severity, prognosis, and other factors, surgery may be recommended to decompress the spinal cord.

After surgical decompression, there are a host of challenges that the the patient, the family, and the surgeon, may have to work through including a potentially protracted recovery, recurrence of neurological signs, post surgical pain, spinal instability, urinary disorders, (cystitis, urinary tract infection, urinary retention, micturition disorders), ascending myelomalacia, and others.41 Could CBD play a part in helping to improve those affected by disc disease pre-, intra-, or post-operatively and what types of spinal disorders could benefit from CBD? A study conducted on the use of CBD in mice with degenerative disc disease showed promise in mitigating the effect of disc damage and wear.19 Instead of being ingested orally, CBD was injected at the site of the disc. Researchers investigated the effects of cannabidiol intradiscal injection using a combination of MRI and histological analyses.19 A puncture was created in the disc and then CBD was injected into the disc (30, 60 or 120 nmol) shortly after.19 The effects of intradiscal injection of cannabidiol were analyzed within 2 days by MRI.17 Fifteen days later, the group that received cannabidiol 120 nmol was resubmitted to MRI examination and then to histological analyses after the cannabidiol injection.19 What they found was that cannabidiol significantly decreased the effects of disc injury induced by the needle puncture.19 These results suggest that this compound could be useful in the treatment of intervertebral disc degeneration perhaps using a novel route of administration.

Unfortunately, the exact mechanism for how CBD oil helped protect disc damage is still being investigated. The hope is that the neuroprotective properties of cannabidiol can also be found in the study of canine and feline disc disease to ultimately improve functional recovery.

References:

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Abd-Elsayed A., Deer T.R. (2019) Different Types of Pain. In: Abd-Elsayed A. (eds) Pain. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-99124-5_3

Manzanares J, Julian MD, Carrascosa A. Role of the Cannabinoid System in Pain Control and Therapeutic Implications for the Management of Acute and Chronic Pain Episodes Curr Neuropharmacol. 2006 Jul; 4(3): 239257.

Abraham AD, Leung EJ, Brenden A, Wong BA, Rivera ZM, Kruse LC, et al. Orally consumed cannabinoids provide long-lasting relief of allodynia in a mouse model of chronic neuropathic pain. 2020 Jun;45(7):1105-1114. doi: 10.1038/s41386-019-0585-3. Epub 2019 Dec 7.

Capano A, Weaver R, Burkman E. Evaluation of the effects of CBD hemp extract on opioid use and quality of life indicators in chronic pain patients: a prospective cohort study. Postgrad Med. 2020 Jan;132(1):56-61. doi:10.1080/00325481.2019.1685298. Epub 2019 Nov 12.

Abraham AD, Leung EJ, Wong BA, Rivera ZM, Kruse LC, Clark JJ, Land BB. Orally consumed cannabinoids provide long-lasting relief of allodynia in a mouse model of chronic neuropathic pain. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2020: 45:11051114.

Johnson, J., Austin, C., & Breur, G. Incidence of Canine Appendicular Musculoskeletal Disorders in 16 Veterinary Teaching Hospitals from 1980 through 1989. Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology, 07(02), 5669. (1994). doi:10.1055/s-0038-1633097

Kogan NM, Melamed E, Wasserman E. Cannabidiol, a Major Non-Psychotropic Cannabis Constituent Enhances Fracture Healing and Stimulates Lysyl Hydroxylase Activity in Osteoblasts J Bone Miner Re. 2015 Oct;30(10):1905-13. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.2513. Epub 2015 May 10.

Kamali, A., Oryan, A., Hosseini, S., Ghanian, M. H., Alizadeh, M., Baghaban Eslaminejad, M., & Baharvand, H. Cannabidiol-loaded microspheres incorporated into osteoconductive scaffold enhance mesenchymal stem cell recruitment and regeneration of critical-sized bone defects. Materials Science and Engineering: (2019). C, 101, 6475. doi:10.1016/j.msec.2019.03.070

Bab I, Zimmer A. Cannabinoid Receptors and the Regulation of Bone Mass. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2007 153:182-188 doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0707593

I. Idris, A. Cannabinoid Receptors as Target for Treatment of Osteoporosis: A Tale of Two Therapies. Current Neuropharmacology. 2010. 8(3), 243253. doi:10.2174/157015910792246173

Meliha Karsak et al. The Cannabinoid Receptor Type 2 (CNR2) Gene Is Associated with Hand Bone Strength Phenotypes in an Ethnically Homogeneous Family Sample. Human Genetics. 2009. 5:629-36 doi:10.1007/s00439-009-0708-8.

Loder, R. T., & Todhunter, R. J. The Demographics of Canine Hip Dysplasia in the United States and Canada. Journal of Veterinary Medicine. 2017 115. doi:10.1155/2017/5723476

ONeill DG, Brodbelt DC, Hodge R,. Church DB, Meeson RL. Epidemiology and clinical management of elbow joint disease in dogs under primary veterinary care in the UK. Canine Medicine and Genetics. 2020 volume 7:1

Susan H. Pross et al. Differential Suppression of T-cell Subpopulations by THC (delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol). International Journal of Immunopharmacology 12, no. 5 (1990): 539-44. doi:10.1016/0192-0561(90)90118-7

Robert B. Zurier et al. Suppression of Human Monocyte Interleukin-1 Production by Ajulemic Acid, a Nonpsychoactive Cannabinoid. Biochemical Pharmacology. 2003 4:649-55. doi:10.1016/s0006-2952(02)01604-0.

D.c. Hammell et al. Transdermal Cannabidiol Reduces Inflammation and Pain-related Behaviours in a Rat Model of Arthritis. European Journal of Pain. 2015 6:936-48. doi:10.1002/ejp.818

Verrico, C. D., Wesson, S., Konduri, V., Hofferek, C. J., Vazquez-Perez, J., Blair, E., Halpert, M. M. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of daily cannabidiol for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis pain. 2020. Pain. doi:10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001896

Silveira, J. W., Issy, A. C., Castania, V. A., Salmon, C. E. G., Nogueira-Barbosa, M. H., Guimares, et al. Protective Effects of Cannabidiol on Lesion-Induced Intervertebral Disc Degeneration. 2014. PLoS ONE 9:12 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113161

Yam, M., Loh, Y., Tan, C., Khadijah Adam, S., Abdul Manan, N., & Basir, R. . General Pathways of Pain Sensation and the Major Neurotransmitters Involved in Pain Regulation. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2018 19(8), 2164. doi:10.3390/ijms19082164

Costigan, M., Scholz, J., & Woolf, C. J. Neuropathic Pain: A Maladaptive Response of the Nervous System to Damage. Annual Review of Neuroscience. 2009 32(1), 132. doi:10.1146/annurev.neuro.051508.135531

Arora A, Taliyan R, Sharma PL. Ameliorative Potential of Cannabis Sativa Extract on Diabetes Induced Neuropathic Pain in Rats. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research 1. 2010 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/216536386_Ameliorative_potential_of_cannabis_sativa_extract_

Mark S. Wallace et al., Efficacy of Inhaled Cannabis on Painful Diabetic Neuropathy. 2015. Pain 16(7): 616-27 doi:10.1016/j.jpain.2015.03.008.

Gruen, M. E., Roe, S. C., Griffith, E., Hamilton, A., & Sherman, B. L.. Use of trazodone to facilitate postsurgical confinement in dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. (2014) 245(3), 296301. doi:10.2460/javma.245.3.296

Serra, G., & Fratta, W. A possible role for the endocannabinoid system in the neurobiology of depression. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health. 2007. 3(1), 25. doi:10.1186/1745-0179-3-25

Kim, E. J., Pellman, B., & Kim, J. J. Stress effects on the hippocampus: a critical review. Learning & Memory. 2015. 22(9), 411416. doi:10.1101/lm.037291.114

Demirakca, T., Sartorius, A., Ende, G., et al. Diminished gray matter in the hippocampus of cannabis users: Possible protective effects of cannabidiol. 2010. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2010.09.020

Mateus M. Bergamaschi et al. Cannabidiol Reduces the Anxiety Induced by Simulated Public Speaking in Treatment-Nave Social Phobia Patients. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011 36(6):1219-26 doi:10.1038/npp.2011.6.

Jos Alexandre S Crippa et al. Neural Basis of Anxiolytic Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder: A Preliminary Report. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2010. 25: 1doi:10.1177/0269881110379283.

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Zieba, J., Sinclair, D., Sebree, T., Bonn-Miller, M., Cannabidiol (CBD) reduces anxiety-related behavior in mice via an FMRP1-independent mechanism. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior. 2019. doi:10.1016/j.pbb.2019.05.002

Pamplona, F. A., da Silva, L. R., & Coan, A. C. Potential Clinical Benefits of CBD-Rich Cannabis Extracts Over Purified CBD in Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy: Observational Data Meta-analysis. 2018. Frontiers in Neurology, 9. doi:10.3389/fneur.2018.00759

Palmieri B, Laurino C, Vadal M. A therapeutic effect of cbd-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars. Mar-Apr 2019;170(2):e93-e99. doi: 10.7417/CT.2019.2116.

Sangiovanni, E., Fumagalli, M., Pacchetti, B., Piazza, S., et al.. Cannabis sativa L. extract and cannabidiol inhibit in vitro mediators of skin inflammation and wound injury. (2019). Phytotherapy Research. doi:10.1002/ptr.6400

B. Van Klingeren and M. Ten Ham. Antibacterial Activity of 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol. 1976. 42(1-2): 9-12 doi:10.1007/bf00399444.

Giovanni Appendino et al. Antibacterial Cannabinoids From Cannabis Sativa: A StructureActivity Study. 2008. Journal of Natural Products 71(8):1427-430, doi:10.1021/np8002673

McIver, V., Tsang, A., Symonds, N., Perkins, N., et al. Effects of topical treatment of cannabidiol extract in a unique manuka factor 5 manuka honey carrier on second intention wound healing on equine distal limb wounds: a preliminary study. 2020. Australian Veterinary Journal. doi:10.1111/avj.12932

White, D. M., Mair, A. R., & Martinez-Taboada, F. Opioid-free anaesthesia in three dogs. Open Veterinary Journal. 2017 7(2), 104. doi:10.4314/ovj.v7i2.5

Hansen T, Smolders LA, Tryfonidou MA, et al: The Myth of Fibroid Degeneration in the Canine Intervertebral Disc: A Histopathological Comparison of Intervertebral Disc Degeneration in Chondrodystrophic and Nonchondrodystrophic Dogs. Vet Pathol 2017 Vol 54 (6) pp. 945-952.

40. Jeffery ND, Levine JM, Olby NJ, et al: Intervertebral disk degeneration in dogs: consequences, diagnosis, treatment, and future directions. J Vet Intern Med 2013 Vol 27 (6) pp. 1318-33.

41. Balducci F, Canal S, Contiero B, et al: Prevalence and Risk Factors for Presumptive Ascending/Descending Myelomalacia in Dogs after Thoracolumbar Intervertebral Disk Herniation. J Vet Intern Med 2017 Vol 31 (2) pp. 498-504.

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Unraveling the use of CBD in veterinary medicine - Jill Lopez

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Stem cells made from skin cells treats sickle cell anemia …

By daniellenierenberg

Using a new type of stem cells made from ordinary skin cells, U.S. researchers said on Thursday they treated mice with sickle cell anemia, proving in principle that such cells could be used as a therapy.

U.S. and Japanese researchers last month reported they had reprogrammed human skin cells into behaving like embryonic stem cells, the bodys master cells. They call the cells induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells for short.

Hanna and colleagues working in Rudolf Jaenischs lab at Whitehead Institute took skin cells from diseased mice and inserted four genes that reprogram the cells into becoming iPS cells.

Pluripotent or multipurpose cells, such as embryonic stem cells and the new cells, can morph into any type of cell in the human body.

The researchers then coaxed these mouse master cells into becoming blood-forming stem cells and substituted the faulty gene that causes sickle cell anemia with a working one.

When they transplanted these cells into the diseased mice, tests showed normal blood and kidney function, they report in Fridays issue of the journal Science.

The four genes needed to turn skin cells into master cells are delivered using a type of virus called a retrovirus.

Once they enter the genome, there is the danger that they can silence some genes that are important or they can activate some dangerous genes that shouldnt be activated, Hanna said.

Another obstacle is that one of the four genes used is c-Myc, which is known to cause cancer.

Hanna and colleagues got around that by removing the c-Myc gene after it had done its job of converting the skin cells into iPS cells. It is far from solving the problem, he said.

Scientists hope to use stem cells to treat a host of diseases like diabetes, Parkinsons disease and spinal injuries. And the new technique for making stem cells will make them easier to study.

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Stem Cells in Skin Care: What They Do and How They Work …

By daniellenierenberg

If you think light therapyis a high-tech way to heal your skin, wait until you hear about this trending skin care ingredient thats going to sound incredibly brilliant: stem cells.

Dermatologists have turned to stem cells to fight wrinkles and improve skin turnover and overall appearance. Yep, you heard right. Stem cells, the same ones used in innovative medical research to treat Alzheimers and certain types of cancer, are now being sold over the counter in the form of creams, serums and other skin care products. Except theres one major difference here: These stems cells are usually derived from plants (or occasionally animals). However, they work similarly to human stem cells and may offer anti-aging benefits for your skin.

Human stem cells are unique because of their ability to divide. In certain organs, they can even become specialized to repair and replace damaged tissues. Stemcellsare rapidly dividingcellsin the body that have the ability to give rise to morestemscellsor become other types ofcellswith more specialized function, explains Dr. Sejal Shah, board-certified dermatologist and RealSelf contributor in New York City. Plant stem cells serve similar functions, she says.

Both plant and human stem cells contain proteins and amino acids, adds Dr. Michele Green, board-certified dermatologist and RealSelf contributor in New York City. These signal the bodys cells to rejuvenate and may result in younger-looking skin, she says.

As mentioned above,stemcellscontain amino acids and peptides, which are skin care powerhouse ingredients for skin rejuvenation. These are the building blocks forcellrejuvenation, so over the past few years, there have been a variety of both animal- and plant-basedstemcellsin skin care products, explains Green. Stemcellsnaturally have antioxidant properties and they nourish skincellswhich promotescell turnover and increases collagen production.

This could result in fewer lines and wrinkles, improved skin texture and tone, and younger, better-looking skin, she says.

But keep in mind, its not actually living stem cells that youre seeing in your face cream, Shah notes. Most cell skin care products contain plant stem cells, and more specifically, stem cell extracts. Thats not necessarily a bad thing, though. She says these extracts are often rich in antioxidants and may provide growth factors to help renew and repair the skin. The extracts themselves can benefit the skin, but its not accurate to think that part of this type of product will then become a new skincell. Remember, plantcellscannot become humancells,and they are no longer living once they have been processed and added into skin care.

Dr. Eve Lupenko, board-certified dermatologist at Greenberg Cosmetic Surgery in New York City, is starting to use treatments containing plant-derived stem cells in her practice. The reason why we prefer to use plant stem cells is that you dont have to worry about transmitting human and animal diseases, she says. We are seeing plant-based stem cells in skin care products these days because they repair the skin on a cellular level (a much deeper level). Most regular skin care products dont penetrate into those areas of the actual skin cells.

The efficacy of stem cells in skin care depends on who you ask. Some dermatologists like Lupenko swear by them. Stem cells have the potential to repair skin cells, and they also protect your skin from external factors and create a more youthful look, she says. They go into the skins cellular level, and they are able to deliver moisture and reparative agents to where they need to go.

Others arent convinced about why exactly stem cells are suddenly buzzing in the skin care world. They can be rich in antioxidants and often contain hydrators and moisturizers, so they can be good for the skin, Shah says. But do I think they are more effective than non-stem cell products? Not necessarily.

Green sees the potential in using stem cells in conjunction with other treatments. The products work, however, you can improve the benefits dramatically with other procedures such as the Fraxel laser, thermage, injectable fillers, botox and PRP, a mix of micro-needling with platelet-rich plasma.

If youre interested in trying out stem cells, work with your dermatologist to determine which products would work best for your skin, recommends Lupenko. Its important to use them regularly if youd like to see results, she says.

And even though you might find some stem cell products derived from animals, Green recommends sticking with plant-based stem cells. Theres more research in their efficacy, she says.

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Why The FDA’s Recent Approval Of New Vaccine Is A Gigantic Win In The War On Cancer – Innovation & Tech Today

By daniellenierenberg

The global war against the coronavirus pandemic continues to wage on while researchers and medical experts seek to find a cure for COVID-19 symptoms. While many believe this is here to stay for an indefinite period, others feel that this too, shall pass.

The number of confirmed cases and death rates only seem to darken our world with over 400,000 confirmed cases in New York, the death toll is now over 31,000, with over 233,000 confirmed cases in Florida, the death toll is now over 4,000, and with over 250,000 confirmed cases in Texas, the death toll is now over 3,000.

And here we are in July 2020 where you can simply add those statistics and drive to find a cure for COVID-19 to our to-do list in the war on cancer and other diseases that still have not seen a cure.

With Florida continuing to make headlines by the day, most recently with one family facing federal charges after allegedly marketing a toxic bleach solution as a cure for multiple ailments, including COVID-19, the timing for our society to come together to help find a cure is essential.

And no, were not kidding. The Florida family (Mark Grennon and his three sons) were charged Wednesday with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, and criminal contempt, according to the Department of Justice.

As for the Florida community, one Tampa business has been conducting the first-in-human clinical study for cutaneous melanoma. Morphogenesis, a clinical-stage company developing novel cell and gene therapies has been making headlines after receiving FDA approval to expand its human clinical trials into two more types of cancer: Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC).

Using its ImmuneFx (IFx) cancer vaccine technology that initiates the power of the immune system on the destruction of tumor cells, Morphogenesis of Tampa will focus its newly FDA approved trials on understanding these two new cancers, which follows in the footsteps of successful human trials on cutaneous melanoma, conducted in cooperation with Moffitt Cancer Center in 2019.

Other MCC and cSCC clinical trial sites across the country include the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, the University of Colorado, and the Dana Farber / Harvard Cancer Center. So why so many trial sites?

Well, according to Morphogenesis CEO Dr. Patricia Lawman, clinical trials need patients, which to qualify, requires an individual having been diagnosed with advanced Merkel or cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, and having failed or refused other therapies.

As a cell and gene company, the mission from the beginning was to learn from the body and use the bodys building blocks and communication systems to treat chronic disease. Morphogenesis, according to Lawman, was built to identify, isolate and proliferate stem cells and progenitor cells to treat diseases such as diabetes.

With the world united to change the way in which chronic diseases are treated by engaging the innate intelligence of the body, how do companies (on a local level) push for national change?

The ability to genetically modify stem cells to enhance functionality is one aspect of this, but in order to perform a biological function, the stem cells must differentiate into mature cells, e.g. hematopoietic stem cells differentiate into macrophages that perform phagocytic and antigen presentation functions and T cells that kill cancer cells or virally infected cells. Morphogenesis means the evolution of form, which connotes the change for stem cells to these functional cells capable of mitigating chronic disease.

And what this means for our bodies, according to Lawman, is that regardless of the species, our bodies have developed systems that maintain structure and function over a long period of time. When we need to control blood sugar, beta islet cells produce just enough insulin as needed.

Indeed with modern technology, you would think that this is a relatively easy process to control.

There is an exquisite feedback system that regulates this. When things go awry, our best solution has been to provide insulin through pumps that are controlled in part by constant glucose monitors. This one example of where modern technology has tried to solve a problem mimicking how the body works.

However, even providing insulin through a pump cant do what a pancreas can. When it comes to dealing with foreign invaders, the immune system is unequaled. No drug, small molecule or compound can eliminate an invader as well as a fully functional immune system. We can kill cancer cells (while not foreign, they are still invaders) with chemo and radiation, but given the proper assurance, the immune system can eliminate the invader and do it with fewer adverse effects. Almost always, the body performs healing functions better than a synthetic drug or compound.

The companys recent FDA approval to move forward with stage 2 of its clinical trials is a gigantic win for the companys mission. The ability to expand our proof of concept studies from a single skin cancer into other, quite different skin cancers under the same Investigational New Drug (IND) is the next step in the execution of our clinical development plan.

And that starts with Morphogenesis focus on easily accessible tumors.

Since our therapy can be used to treat virtually any type of cancer, we wanted to start out with easily accessible tumors that could be directly injected with our plasmid DNA. The safety data collected from the cutaneous melanoma, Merkel cell carcinoma and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma Phase 1 trials is a Segway into a Phase 2 skin cancer basket trial testing IFx-Hu2.0 as a monotherapy and in combination with a checkpoint inhibitor.

But anytime there is discussion over stem cell research or breakthroughs in the war on cancer, of course comes naysayers and disbelievers.

One thing that Dr. Lawman has noticed is the bias within scientific circles.

In scientific circles, there has been a bias against simple solutions, including the assumption that to get efficient transfer of genetic material you need viral vectors for all applications. These vectors are complicated to manufacture and use and pose a certain amount of risk to the patients. Plasmid DNA or mRNA, on the other hand, are much safer and are a viable alternative to viruses.

As an example, we inject our plasmid DNA directly into a patients tumor. We get sufficient uptake and expression of our protein to initiate an immune cascade with the effect spreading to multiple tumor antigens. The use of a viral vector in this case would be an unnecessary complication and risk.

Now in todays landscape with COVID-19 putting more pressure on experts to find a cure, Morphogenesis, like any company, is similarly faced with logistical challenges and supply issues.

COVID-19 has certainly affected patient recruitment to our trials. Hopefully, ways will be developed for patients to receive treatment for their terminal diseases even if restrictions continue. Otherwise, the death rate for these patients will be much higher than COVIDs. The biggest challenge for us is the continual process of raising funds that all small biotechs face.

As for ImmuneFx, the companys newest vaccine, we got the exclusive.

Beyond the Phase 2 skin cancer trial, we will be opening trials for head and neck cancer, gastric cancers, cervical cancer and colorectal cancer. The value add here is that successful trial results in multiple types of cancer will substantiate the efficacy and expand our label claims.

But with new products and solutions, come criticism. Lawman added that the one thing that is not usually discussed in such conversations is the importance of the safety profile of a new product.

Some of the new cellular immunotherapies not only come with a hefty price tag, the cost of treating the adverse side effects caused by the therapies can be as much as double the cost of the therapy itself (up to $1.5M total). Some of the newer gene therapies can have a price tag of up to $2M per treatment.

Not only can our plasmid DNA be cost effectively manufactured, it is causing minimal side effects, i.e. what we saw in hundreds of companion animals with naturally occurring cancers is being born out in human patients. Both of these cost saving factors means that ultimately, millions of people will have access to cancer treatment who otherwise would have none.

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Study: Brain cells of people with autism differ even before theyre born – Study Finds

By daniellenierenberg

PHILADELPHIA Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder which creates difficulties with social interactions, communication, and repetitive behaviors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism affects one in 54 children in the United States. Although autism typically isnt diagnosed until children are at least 18 months-old, a new study finds that abnormal brain cell development likely occurs much earlier.

Researchers say this even occurs while babies are still in the womb.

To study developing brain cells, a team from Kings College London and Cambridge University use a type of cell known as an induced pluripotent stem cell (or iPSC). Essentially, iPSCs are adult cells that scientists force to become immature embryonic-like stem cells. Scientists can program iPSCs to become one of many different cell types, including neurons. Since iPSCs are forced to restart their cellular development, they mimic the processes occurring in the womb. This allows them to serve as a useful means of studying early brain development.

Using iPSCs from hair samples is the most ethical way to study early brain development in autistic people, explains study author Dwaipayan Adhya in a media release. It bypasses the need for animal research, it is non-invasive, and it simply requires a single hair or skin sample from a person.

Adhya is a molecular biologist at the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge and Department of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience at Kings College London.

To create the iPSCs, the study analyzes hair samples from nine adults with autism and six neurotypical adults. The hair cells were then treated with growth factors (naturally occurring bodily substances that regulate cell division and survival). The authors looked at the cells appearance and genetic makeup at different phases of development.

The scientists results reveal iPSCs from neurotypical people look different from those participants with autism. At day nine, neurons from neurotypical people develop a characteristic pattern of neural rosettes, which have a dandelion-like shape. In contrast, cells from people with autism have smaller rosettes or dont form them at all. Cells from autistic individuals also express lower levels of important developmental genes.

The use of iPSCs allows us to examine more precisely the differences in cell fates and gene pathways that occur in neural cells from autistic and typical individuals, co-author Deepak Srivastava explains. These findings will hopefully contribute to our understanding of why there is such diversity in brain development.

The brain has been the ultimate black box. Here, the authors have used nerve cells derived from peripheral stem cells to peek inside this box. This important study suggests that this is possible and is deepening our understanding of autism, says John Krystal, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Biological Psychiatry.

The study is published in the June 22 edition of Biological Psychiatry.

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Im Optimistic That We Will Have a COVID-19 Vaccine Soon – The Atlantic

By daniellenierenberg

Read: The plan that could give us our lives back

The science is paying off. Novavax, a Maryland-based company working on this type of vaccine, recently reported the results of its Phase 1 trial. The levels of antibodies generated were stunning, about four times higher than those in individuals who are recovering from a COVID-19 infection.

Scientists are also using different strains of another virus, adenovirus, as a vector or a missile to deliver genes that code for these same spike proteins and that also provoke an immune response. The vector has been engineered in the lab to be replication-defective; that is, the vector is able to deliver the spike gene into humans but once its done its job, the vector cannot replicate any further. At least three groups are testing these vectors. A University of Oxford group, in partnership with AstraZeneca, has employed an adenovirus from chimpanzees and has already entered Phase 3 trials in humans. The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center group, in partnership with Janssen Pharmaceutica, is using Ad26, a human adenovirus, and the Chinese-based CanSino Biologics has begun Phase 3 trials with yet another human adenovirus, Ad5.

These examples are not just beautiful science (although they are beautiful science). By harnessing the increased power of the biological sciences, researchers are developing entirely new ways of rapidly developing vaccines.

My optimism doesnt stop with these early results, although they are key. Im also encouraged because at least five very different approaches (Ive walked through only three above) are being explored to make a vaccine. As we say in Canada, if you want to win, you have to take many shots on goal.

Equally important is the unprecedented global collaboration among scientists around the world, as well as the high degree of cooperation between scientists and clinicians, biopharmaceutical companies, government, philanthropic funders, and regulators. They are all working together toward the common goal of developing as quickly as possible a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19.

I dont know which of the vaccine candidates undergoing clinical testing in humans will ultimately be shown to be safe and effective. They might all prove effective, albeit in different age groups or in people with different preexisting conditions. But the encouraging news is that all of the vaccine candidates that have entered trials in humans so far are safe and have elicited high levels of antibodies against COVID-19. Some have also been shown to activate the cellular arm of our immune system, another crucial component of our defenses against foreign pathogens.

The public-health imperative to obtain a safe and effective vaccine as quickly as possible goes hand in hand with the mandate that the approval process be above any political considerations and solely based on data from the clinical trials. Anything else risks losing the publics confidence in a vaccine or, in a worst-case scenario, might result in a vaccine that is less effective than those that might be approved later, or the widespread administration of a vaccine that turns out to have serious adverse side effects. That would be a public-health tragedy.

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What I learnt from checking in to the ‘Immunity Hotel’ – Telegraph.co.uk

By daniellenierenberg

There isnt a third person in our marriage but there is a rival. My husband is passionate about a family-run fasting clinic in Uberlingen, overlooking Lake Constance, Germany. He goes alone twice a year and was there at the beginning of lockdown. He happily remained there for six weeks unable to get home. Buchinger Wilhelmi was founded seventy years ago by Otto Buchinger, a medical officer in the navy who cured himself of paralysis caused by rheumatic fever by fasting for 19 days in 1918. Now one of the worlds leading therapeutic fasting centres, Buchinger is run by Ottos great-grandson, Leonard Wilhelmi.

The German government demanded that the clinic remain open during lockdown, concerned that hospital over-crowding would necessitate patients being moved there. This proved unnecessary. But after Easter, having taken the requisite health and hygiene precautions, they encouraged guests. They are currently full with a completely different clientele, according to owner, Raimund Wilhelmi (Ottos grandson.) Normally, two-thirds of our guests are repeat guests. Now, fifty percent have come for the first time and they are much younger. There is a significant difference in the demographic because people are waking up to a new awareness about health as Covid affects everybody. His son, Leonard, adds: The medical community agree that the main causes in violent reactions to Covid are diabetes, high blood pressure and being over-weight. We have been treating these conditions for decades and our goal is now to equip people with a better immune system to fight Covid.

The minute my husband heard about their new immune-boosting programme, he signed us up for atwo weeks' holiday in August. This was an extravagance at a cost of over two thousand pounds a person. Health is our most valuable commodity, he reassured me. After an hour in this sleek minimalist medical centre, my sixteen-year-old daughter burst into tears. All her boarding school issues were ignited. My inner rebel similarly baulked at the first 24 hours that we had to spend eating in our rooms, until the results of our Covid tests, taken on arrival, came through. (Thankfully they were negative or we would have been quarantined in our rooms for our entire stay.)

There was something convict-like about dining on trays in our monastically simple rooms. Thank goodness the clinic do not advise couples share rooms 80 per centof guests go alone so we each had our own room. As Andrew was doing the full ten-day fast of 250 liquid calories a day, which I couldnt stomach(I was on 800 solid calories a day and Daisy, 1800,) a shared room would have destroyed our marriage. Not because Andrew had an enema on the bed every other day but because his preternatural joy freaked us out. His pious enthusiasm for the regime initially made us hate it. Until we were fully institutionalised, (or as Daisy said indoctrinated) the stricture wore us out.

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Stem Cells Market is Expected to Thrive at Impressive CAGR by 2025 – Scientect

By daniellenierenberg

This report studies the Stem Cells market size (value and volume) by players, regions, product types and end industries, history data 2013-2017 and forecast data 2018-2025; This report also studies the global market competition landscape, market drivers and trends, opportunities and challenges, risks and entry barriers, sales channels, distributors and Porters Five Forces Analysis.

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Stem cells are a class of undifferentiated cells that are able to differentiate into specialized cell types. Commonly, stem cells come from two main sources: Embryos formed during the blastocyst phase of embryological development (embryonic stem cells) and Adult tissue (adult stem cells).

Both types are generally characterized by their potency, or potential to differentiate into different cell types (such as skin, muscle, bone, etc.).

Stem Cells market, by technology, is Cell Acquisition, Cell Production, Cryopreservation, Expansion, and Sub-Culture. Stem Cell Therapy in China is not mature, so in this report we mainly cover Stem Cell Banking market.

Stem Cells market, by technology, is Cell Acquisition, Cell Production, Cryopreservation, Expansion, and Sub-Culture. Stem Cell Therapy in China is not mature, so in this report we mainly cover Stem Cell Banking market.

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Geographically, this report is segmented into several key regions, with sales, revenue, market share and growth Rate of Stem Cells in these regions, from 2013 to 2025, covering

North America (United States, Canada and Mexico)

Europe (Germany, UK, France, Italy, Russia and Turkey etc.)

Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam)

South America (Brazil etc.)

Middle East and Africa (Egypt and GCC Countries)

The various contributors involved in the value chain of the product include manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, intermediaries, and customers. The key manufacturers in this market include

CCBC

Vcanbio

Boyalife

Beikebiotech

By the product type, the market is primarily split into

Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cell

Embryonic Stem Cell

Adult Stem Cell

Other

By the end users/application, this report covers the following segments

Diseases Therapy

Healthcare

We can also provide the customized separate regional or country-level reports, for the following regions:

North America

United States

Canada

Mexico

Asia-Pacific

China

India

Japan

South Korea

Australia

Indonesia

Singapore

Malaysia

Philippines

Thailand

Vietnam

Rest of Asia-Pacific

Europe

Germany

France

UK

Italy

Spain

Russia

Rest of Europe

Central & South America

Brazil

Rest of Central & South America

Middle East & Africa

GCC Countries

Turkey

Egypt

South Africa

Rest of Middle East & Africa

The study objectives of this report are:

To study and analyze the global Stem Cells market size (value & volume) by company, key regions/countries, products and application, history data from 2013 to 2017, and forecast to 2025.

To understand the structure of Stem Cells market by identifying its various subsegments.

To share detailed information about the key factors influencing the growth of the market (growth potential, opportunities, drivers, industry-specific challenges and risks).

Focuses on the key global Stem Cells manufacturers, to define, describe and analyze the sales volume, value, market share, market competition landscape, SWOT analysis and development plans in next few years.

To analyze the Stem Cells with respect to individual growth trends, future prospects, and their contribution to the total market.

To project the value and volume of Stem Cells submarkets, with respect to key regions (along with their respective key countries).

To analyze competitive developments such as expansions, agreements, new product launches, and acquisitions in the market.

To strategically profile the key players and comprehensively analyze their growth strategies.

About Us:

Precision Business Insights is one of the leading market research and management consulting firm, run by a group of seasoned and highly dynamic market research professionals with a strong zeal to offer high-quality insights. We at Precision Business Insights are passionate about market research and love to do the things in an innovative way. Our team is a big asset for us and great differentiating factor. Our company motto is to address client requirements in the best possible way and want to be a part of our client success. We have a large pool of industry experts and consultants served a wide array of clients across different verticals. Relentless quest and continuous endeavor enable us to make new strides in market research and business consulting arena.

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Here are some must-try beauty products for $25 or less (and a couple splurges) – Commercial Appeal

By daniellenierenberg

Jean Chen Smith, Correspondent for Memphis Commercial Appeal Published 6:01 a.m. CT Aug. 28, 2020 | Updated 11:26 a.m. CT Aug. 28, 2020

Lily Lolo's Lip Gloss Set offers two colors perfect for day or night.(Photo: Lily Lolo)

You dont have to spend a ton of money on beauty products that are safe, effective and easy to use.With so many options in the marketplace today, it's easy to get lost among the offerings.

Here are someof our favoritebeauty finds under $25.

Beauty Society, an American skincare and cosmetics company that specializes in affordable products, was named one of 2019s top eco-friendly skincare companies because of itsrefilling and biodegradable packaging practices. Its matte liquid lipsticks ($22) are smudge free and long lasting. The unique formula prevents color from bleeding, which makes for fewer applications.

Details: beautysociety.com

Actsyl-3 ($25)is a fast-absorbing, non-greasy, formulated serum designed to improve follicle thickness and stimulate hair stem cells. The Actsyl-3 serum contains Redensyl (3%) and Capixyl (2%) two ingredients proven to help regrow hair. Key peptides also help to strengthen hair roots and improve scalp health all without affecting hormones.

Details: actsyl.com

Trinny Londons Eye2Eye / Eyeshade ($24) is a collection of flattering shades that function as both eyeshadows and eyeliners. Rich in pigment, moisturizing and easy to use, these glide on smoothly, allowing you to smudge, smoke or line your eyes. The company also carries a full line of accessories such as The Elizabeth ($20), which is a bright yellow bag for storing your makeup essentials.Fifteen percent of the proceeds for every The Elizabeth sold go to The Princes Trust, which supports the Change A Girl's Life Campaign, an initiative of Women Supporting Women.

Details: trinnylondon.com

Wonderskin Wonder Blading Lip Gloss ($22.50) delivers draw-dropping shine that makes lips look plump without a sticky or tacky feel. The high-lacquer finish can last for hours and works great over any of the companys coordinating Peel & Reveal Lip Colors.

Details: wonderskin.com

Crabtree & Evelyn's Petal Power Lip Scrub ($18) helps to cleanse and hydrate your lips using shea butter and coconut oil.It is gentle enough to use daily and great for exfoliating the dead skin from dry, chapped lips.

Details: crabtree-evelyn.com

Facial Works Sea Mist Calming Cucumber Toning Mist ($24) is the perfect travel companion.This is a soothing and calming toner providing antioxidant benefits from CleanSea Complex and is packed with Sea Whip, an anti-inflammatory ingredient from the Caribbean Sea. This 1-ounce bottle is travel-sized, so you can bring it with you anywhere. A full-size bottle is also available.

Details: thefacialworks.com

Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick will keep you protected.(Photo: Beautycounter)

Refresh and renew with Beautycounters Citrus Mimosa Body Wash ($25), a gentle and moisturizing cleanser that energizes with a citrus scent. Certified vegan and cruelty-free, this will leave your skin feeling soft, clean and hydrated.Dont forget the sunscreen!The Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 30C ($21) comes in a convenient stick form with plenty of protection. Water-resistant and formulated with non-nano zinc and California poppy, the SPF 30 formula provides an effective shield from UVA and UVB rays, while moisturizing with cocoa butter, without leaving a white residue on your skin. Best of all, it is reef-friendly and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

Details: beautycounter.com

These Purifying Facial Towelettes From Rooted Beauty will keep you refreshed.(Photo: Rooted Beauty)

On the Grove Collaborative website, you can find affordable beauty products that adhere to the highest standards.The site prioritizes products made with sustainable, plant-based ingredients that arent tested on animals. Each brand must meet strict guidelines regarding safety, ethics, environmental impact and animal welfare. Purifying Facial Towelettes ($6.95) from Rooted Beauty will keep you refreshed throughout the day. They remove dirt, oiland makeup with free-radical-fighting white tea, calming calendula and the R7 complex, which contains antioxidant-rich roots.Throw Lily Lolos Lip Gloss Set ($25) into your bag the colors are perfect for both day and night.

Details: grove.co/roven

Sjal Skincare's Balans is a gentle pore cleanser.(Photo: Sjal Skincare)

Sjal Skincare Balans ($75) is a lightweight deep pore cleanser that hydrates, detoxifies and protects the skin. This powerhouse cleaner contains potent ingredients such as pearl extract for brightening, African whitewood extract and fig leaf extract, a natural barrier to protect the skin against water loss.

Details: sjalskincare.com/products/balans

Westmore Beauty-Skin Conditioning Exfoliator ($39) is a creamy exfoliator packed with moisturizing ingredients like shea butter and squalene. The oil-free formula contains gentle exfoliating beads to instantly smooth away dirt and dry skin, making your skin feel soft and silky. Fragrance-free and made without the use of parabens, sulfates or phthalates, this is something you will want to put on your skin.

Details:westmorebeauty.com

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Cells Reach Out and Touch, Providing Evidence of Foresight and Design – Discovery Institute

By daniellenierenberg

Photo: Cichlid fish, by Russell D. Fernald and Sabrina S. Burmeister / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5).

Anarticle yesterdayforEvolution Newsabout allostery showed how an individual protein or RNA can send information to its distant domains. Information sharing can also occur between chains of molecules arranged in a signaling cascade, where each one triggers action in the next. This is a bit more like the Rube Goldberg technique, except that in cells, it is much more logical and reliable. Here are new examples ofmechanosensing(the ability to sense a touch) andmechanotransduction(the ability to pass on touch information). A paper onbioRxivexplains, Cells sense the physical properties of their environment, translate them into biochemical signals and adapt their behaviour accordingly.

One such system is the MAPK/ERK pathway that all eukaryotic cells use to get information from the cell surface into the nucleus. A diagram onWikipedias page makes it clear that many individual factors take part. Once the EGFR receptor triggers ERK on the cells exterior membrane, a signaling cascade begins with at least 16 cofactors and proteins transporting the information to the cell nucleus, which responds by transcribing code proteins or enzymes. ERK signals can also spread throughout the cytoplasm, leading to a variety of responses depending on the nature of the triggering molecule.

Now, Japanese scientists have noticed a further response in neighboring cells. When one cells ERK pathway is triggered, that cell shrinks. Neighboring cells sense the change and respond by shrinking themselves, causing a chain reaction.Researchers at Kyoto Universitylikened this to how crowds do The Wave at sporting arenas, passing collective motion throughout the stadium.

Cells are tightly connected and packed together, so when one starts contracting from ERK activation, it pulls in its neighbors, elaborates [Tsuyoshi] Hirashima. This then caused surrounding cells to extend, activating their ERK, resulting in contractions thatlead to a kind of tug-of-war propagating into colony movement.[Emphasis added.]

The response involves both chemical and mechanical factors. Our work clearly shows that the ERK-mediatedmechano-chemical feedback systemgenerates complicated multicellular patterns, the lead author comments.

Another touch-sensitive mechanism is the so-called Hedgehog (Hh) pathway, so named because defects in its function cause fruit fly embryos to look like the spiny animals. Hedgehog pathways are often associated with the primary cilium, an organelle that sticks out like an antenna from the cell membrane and senses its environment. When triggered, it also causes a cascade of reactions inside the cell.

Craig Albertson, a researcher at theUniversity of Massachusetts, Amherstwas curious why cichlid fish can evolve so quickly to environmental changes, including changing the shapes and densities of bone in their jaws. This capacity for phenotypic plasticity is not evolution of a Darwinian kind, but rather a programmed response to environmental cues.

Albertson works with a system cichlid fishes known throughout the scientific world as champions of phenotypic plasticity thatcan alter, in a single season, jawbone hardness or shape to match feeding conditions.They are also well known for their rapid evolution and diversity in jaw shapes, which hasenabled cichlids to adapt to many different food sources, including algae, plankton, fish, snails and even the scales of other fishes.

Albertson speculated that this capacity for rapid response to environmental cues might be associated with the Hedgehog signaling pathway. By tuning the amount of Hh signal, his research team discovered that more bone was deposited, or vice versa.

Albertson, explains, Bone cells in these fish are innatelysensitive to differentmechanical environments. But we were able to play with this system using a single molecular switch you turn up the Hh signal and the cells become more sensitive to the environment, or you turn the molecular sensor down and the cells become almost deaf to the environment.

Like ERK, the Hedgehog signaling pathway involves numerous factors that interact in chain reactions. And it is triggered by a mechano-sensor on the cell, the primary cilium.

An important clue came as Albertson learned more about how this molecular pathway works. He explains, There isa well-known mechano-sensor on most cells, including those that make the skeleton, called the primary cilium. Cells that lack this organelle are unable to sense or respond to environmental input, includingmechanical load.It turns out that several key protein components of the Hedgehog pathway are physically associated with this structure, making it an obvious candidate for an environmentally sensitive signal.

The team believes this kind of response to environmental cues could be responsible for other kinds of rapid evolution in other animals. The Hh signal has also been shown to regulate plasticity inbeetle horns, so there may be something special that positions it to be anenvironmental sensor across tissues and animals, Albertson says. This is not Darwinism; it is pre-programmed response using molecular machines capable of sensing touch.

How does skin stretch when a body grows? The answers may rely on mechanosensitive factors.Nature News and Views said recently, Stretching the skin of mice reveals thatmechanical strain is communicated by a subpopulation of stem cellsthat proliferate and promote mechanical resistance,and so generate extra skin.

One of the most remarkable examples of touch communication was announced this month inNature. Researchers at theUniversity of Montrealconfirmed the existence of nanotubes that grow out of cell membranes and reach across comparatively large distances to touch other cells, affect their behaviors, and even share organelles with them. They found these nanotubes in the retinas of mice, and believe they are responsible for controlling blood flow in the capillaries.

For the first time, we have identifieda communication structure between cellsthat is required to coordinate blood supply in the living retina, said Dr. Adriana Di Polo, a neuroscience professor at Universit de Montral and holder of a Canada Research Chair in glaucoma and age-related neurodegeneration, who supervised the study.

We already knew that activated retinal areas receive more blood than non-activated ones, she said, butuntil now no one understood how this essential blood delivery was finely regulated.

These nanotubes tunnel through the mass of retinal cells to distant capillaries, where they contact pericytes, cells that have the ability to control the amount of blood passing through a single capillary simply by squeezing and releasing it. This touch communication allows a retinal cell to tell the capillary it needs more blood or less blood.

Using a microscopy technique to visualize vascular changes in living mice, we showed that pericytes project very thin tubes, calledinter-pericyte tunnelling nanotubes, tocommunicate with other pericytes located in distant capillaries, said Alarcon-Martinez. Through these nanotubes,the pericytes can talk to each other to deliver blood where it is most needed.

Video micrographs show that even mitochondria can be passed down these nanotubes. The paper inNaturesays:

Here we identify nanotube-like processes that connect two bona fide pericytes on separate capillary systems, forming a functional network in the mouse retina, which we named interpericyte tunnelling nanotubes (IP-TNTs). We provide evidence that these (i) have an open-ended proximal side and a closed-ended terminal (end-foot) that connects with distal pericyte processes via gap junctions, (ii)carry organelles including mitochondria, which can travelalong these processes, and (iii) serve as a conduit for intercellular Ca2+waves, thusmediating communication between pericytes.

The cells literally reach out and touch other pericytes bound to other capillaries, and hand off signals and organelles. This gives the retinal cells, dependent on a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients, a way to fine-tune their own blood supply. The gap junctions act like filters: Small particles, such as ions, can pass through this junction, but larger objects, such as organelles, cannot. Tunneling nanotubes had been noted between cells in a petri dish before, but a companion article onNature News and Viewscalls this the firstin vivoevidence for the existence of a type of TNT-like protrusion. Maybe it wont be the first for long. The research teams headline calls them, Nanotubes in the eye that help us see.

These are just some of the ways that cells respond to mechanical forces. The chains of reactions can be very elaborate and irreducibly complex. But first, they have to be triggered by well-designed mechanosensors that can feel a factor in the environment and then pass along that information to downstream processes that can do something about it. Undoubtedly many more examples of mechanosensing and mechanotransduction remain to be discovered. Its hard to conceive of any of these systems arising piecemeal by accumulated mistakes (mutations).

Instead, they appear as systems of coordinated parts that were planned to adapt to changes, providing robustness. It is exciting to ponder how such pre-programmed responses to environmental cues could trigger rapid adaptations, giving rise to some of the spectacular variations seen in birds, beetles, fish, and other organisms. Prematurely attributed to Darwinian processes, these examples of phenotypic plasticity actually show foresight and design.

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Cells Reach Out and Touch, Providing Evidence of Foresight and Design - Discovery Institute

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Demand for Medical Skin Care Products Market Driven by Shifting Consumer Perceptions and Growing Awareness – Scientect

By daniellenierenberg

Medical skin care products are used for beautifying or to address some other skin care problems. The cosmetic industry is booming and skin care forms a very huge part of this industry. The aesthetic appearance is so important that people spend a lot on skin care products and treatment. People being more technologically aware of the various new skin care products trending in the market. In addition to the aesthetic application, the medical skin care products are also used to address issues such as acne, pimples or scars.

Medical Skin Care Products Market: Drivers and Restraints

The medical skin care products is primarily driven by the need of natural based active ingredients products which are now trending in the market. Consumers demand medical skin care products which favor health and environment. Moreover, the consumers are updated with the trends so that various companies end up providing such products to satisfy the customers. For instance, a single product face mask has thousands of different variants. This offers consumers different options to select the product depending on the skin type. Moreover, the market players catering to the medical skin care products are offering products with advanced technologies. For instance, Santinov launched the CICABEL mask using stem cell material based on advanced technologies. The stem cells used in the skin care product helps to to protect and activate the cells and promote the proliferation of skin epidermal cells and the anagenesis of skin fibrosis.

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Medical Skin Care Products Market: Segmentation

On the basis of product type the medical skin care products market can be segmented as:

On the basis of application, the medical skin care products market can be segment as:

On the basis of distribution channel, the medical skin care products market can be segment as:

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Medical Skin Care Products Market: Overview

Medical skin care products are used to address basic skin problems ranging from acne to scars. There are various advancements in the ingredients used to offer skin care products to the consumers. For instance, the use of hyaluronic acid and retinoids is the latest development in the industry. The anti-aging creams are at the forefront as the help treating issues such as wrinkles, scars, acne, and sun damage. Another, product in demand is the probiotic skincare which include lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.

Medical Skin Care Products Market: Region-wise Outlook

In terms of geography, medical skin care products market has been divided into five regions including North- America, Asia- Pacific, Middle-East & Africa, Latin America and Europe. North America dominated the global medical skin care products market as international players are acquiring domestic companies to make their hold strong in the U.S. LOral is accelerating its U.S. market by signing a definitive agreement with Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. to acquire CeraVe, AcneFree and Ambi skin-care brands for US$ 1.3 billion. The acquisition is expected LOreal to get hold of the brands in the price-accessible segment. Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing region owing to the increasing disposable income and rising awareness towards the skin care products.

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Medical Skin Care Products Market: Key Market Participants

Some of the medical skin care products market participants are Avon Products Inc., Beiersdorf AG, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Kao Corporation, LOral S.A., Procter & Gamble, Shiseido Company, The Estee Lauder Companies Inc., Unilever PLC, Revlon, Clinique Laboratories, llc., Murad, LLC., SkinCeuticals, RMS Beauty, J.R. Watkins and 100% PURE.

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Our client success stories feature a range of clients from Fortune 500 companies to fast-growing startups. PMRs collaborative environment is committed to building industry-specific solutions by transforming data from multiple streams into a strategic asset.

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Foetal cells are used to make the Oxford coronavirus vaccine. But they came from a foetus in 1973 – ABC News

By daniellenierenberg

Religious leaders have raised ethical doubts over one of Australia's primary coronavirus vaccine hopes because scientists have used foetal cells in its development.

Developers at Oxford University and pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca are using cell lines from an electively aborted foetus in the vaccine candidate, with Anglican, Catholic and Greek Orthodox leaders questioning the practice.

But using foetal cells in vaccine development isn't new and the Catholic Church has previously expressed qualified support for the use of vaccines derived from these cells under certain circumstances.

We spoke to Bill Lott, a virologist at QUT's Institute of Health and biomedical innovation, to understand the role of foetal cells in vaccine development.

The foetal cells used in vaccine development are derived from a small number of foetuses which were legally terminated decades ago.

The Oxford vaccine uses HEK (human embryonic kidney) 293 cell lines, obtained from a female foetus in the Netherlands in 1973.

"We're using tissues that were from foetuses that were aborted 40, 50, 60 years ago," Dr Lott said.

"It doesn't require newly aborted foetuses."

While living human cells can only divide around 50 times, those foetal cells have been genetically modified so they can divide an infinite number of times.

"That's why we can use the cells that we harvested [decades ago] today," Dr Lott said.

"They're not the actual original cells, they've been immortalised and then propagated over the decades."

This means we'll never need to replace specimens used in development.

"Just by analogy, buying ivory is illegal [because] if you create a market for ivory, then it creates the demand to kill more elephants," Dr Lott said.

"In this case, that's not happening because these foetuses were aborted 60 years ago, 50 years ago, and using these immortalised tissues now is not going to create a need to go and get new ones."

In fact, scientists would prefer to keep using HEK 293 cell lines because they have been repeatedly tried and tested in a laboratory setting and found to be safe.

"When you're making a vaccine you require safety testing," Dr Lott said.

"If we went back and used a different cell type, you're throwing an unknown into the consideration.

"So that will severely slow down your ability to make these things.

"Using HEK 293, we've used it for decades and we know that it's safe."

This week, Australia's Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth pointed out the use of foetal cells had been a "reality" in past vaccine development.

"The reality for vaccines is that they need cell cultures in order for us to grow them," he said.

"The human cell is a really important part of their development.

"There are strong ethical regulations surrounding the use of any type of human cell, particularly foetal human cells.

"This is a very professional, highly powered research unit at Oxford University.

"I think we can have every faith that the way they have manufactured the vaccine has been against the highest of ethical standards internationally."

Breaking down the latest news and research to understand how the world is living through an epidemic, this is the ABC's Coronacast podcast.

So, how do foetal cells help with vaccine development? Dr Lott explained they operate like a "vaccine factory".

First, scientists need to develop the vaccine candidate and then combine it with an adenovirus vector.

An adenovirus is a particular type of common virus that causes illnesses like bronchitis, pneumonia and a sore throat.

For instance, when you get a cold, you may be infected with an adenovirus, a coronavirus or a rhinovirus.

A vector is an organism that spreads infection by moving pathogens from one host to another.

So an adenovirus vector? "That's an adenovirus that has been sort of emptied out and then you put a different kind of genome in there to make protein," Dr Lott said.

The next step is to put the vaccine/adenovirus vector combination into a big vat of foetal cells.

"The viral vector infects these HEK 293 cells really, really efficiently," Dr Lott said.

"One reason why you use the HEK 293 is because you get essentially 100 per cent infection with the adenoviral vector.

"And what it does is it turns the HEK 293 cells into a vaccine factory."

What do we mean by "vaccine factory"? Dr Lott explains foetal cells begin producing "tons and tons of that modified adenovirus" which they then "spit out into the liquid bit of the cells" called the cell culture media.

"[The foetal cells] start cranking out this massive amount of modified adenovirus, and then you purify those things away from the cell tissue," he said.

"You pull the [cell] media off, and it's just going to be full of the vaccine and essentially no tissue.

"And that's what your vaccine is."

The foetal cells will operate as this "vaccine factory" regardless of whether the vaccine is effective or not so the next step generally involves animal and then human trials of varying scale.

Inherent in the whole process is stripping away the conditioned cell media, where the foetal cells are contained.

The head of the World Health Organization has warned we may never get a silver bullet for COVID-19. What could that future look like in Australia?

That means a successful vaccine developed using foetal cells will have no remnants of those cells in the final product.

"You purify the vaccine away from the cells that they were grown in, and then you destroy all the cells," Dr Lott said.

"So then you're going to take that liquid and you'll purify it some more, but there are not going to be any [foetal] cells in there.

"There's nothing left when it becomes the vaccine that gets delivered."

Foetal tissue has been used with innovative effect in various strands of medical research.

The difference is some of those processes require fresh foetal cells not the "immortalised" cells vaccine developers can use.

"The vaccine work is pretty straightforward," Dr Lott said.

"But cancer research, the research into the mechanisms of various things cystic fibrosis, haemophilia, rheumatoid arthritis that all required fresh foetal tissue."

Scientists studying Zika virus used foetal cells to discover that the virus crossed the placental membrane and caused brain damage in unborn foetuses.

"[That research] brought out a whole raft of therapies and protections for unborn foetuses [and] "saved a lot of lives, including [the lives of] unborn foetuses," Dr Lott said.

Foetal cell lines have been used in the development of various vaccines, including for chicken pox, Ebola, polio, rubella, shingles, Hepatitis A, and rabies.

Foetal tissue has also facilitated breakthroughs in the treatment of various medical issues including cystic fibrosis, haemophilia, IVF, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, AIDS, and spinal cord injuries.

Scientists have many different methodologies for developing vaccines and there are a variety of reasons why foetal cells aren't always used.

Billions are being poured into the race to find a coronavirus vaccine, with the winner owning a powerful political tool. During the last pandemic an Australian company got there first.

"Some of them don't use it because of ethical issues," Dr Lott said.

"Some of them don't use it because they're not using an adenovirus [vector], so they don't really need the HEK 293.

"And there are other [development] strategies.

"There's an mRNA strategy that's very popular.

"So some of them don't require it."

The development of a coronavirus vaccine was time critical because of the virus' devastating public health and economic impacts, Dr Lott said.

Therefore, it was important for scientists to diversify their methodologies in order to develop a vaccine as quickly as possible.

Both stem cells and foetal cells are critical to innovations in medical research but what's the difference between the two?

Dr Lott explains stem cells are basically the earliest iteration of a foetal cell before the cell differentiates itself into, for example, a hair cell, liver cell, eye cell or skin cells.

"A stem cell is simply a cell that can turn into a different cell types," Dr Lott said.

"That first embryonic stem cell can eventually turn into any kind of cell in your body.

"So you've got embryonic stem cells, and then you've got adult stem cells, and in between are the foetal stem cells [which] are partially differentiated.

"So foetal cells contain not only stem cells some of the foetal cells have already differentiated into their final cell type."

In 2005 and again in 2017, the Catholic Church expressed qualified support for the use of foetal-cell-derived vaccines but only if there was no available alternative.

A 2005 "moral reflection" issued by Pope Benedict XVI specifically addressed the issue.

"As regards the diseases against which there are no alternative vaccines which are available and ethically acceptable, it is right to abstain from using these vaccines if it can be done without causing children, and indirectly the population as a whole, to undergo significant risks to their health," the Pope wrote.

"However, if the latter are exposed to considerable dangers to their health, vaccines with moral problems pertaining to them may also be used on a temporary basis.

"We find a proportional reason, in order to accept the use of these vaccines in the presence of the danger of favouring the spread of the pathological agent."

In 2017, the life ethics arm of the Catholic Church issued a statement that: Catholic parents could vaccinate their children with a "clear conscience" that "the use of such vaccines does not signify some sort of cooperation in voluntary abortion".

Earlier this year and in the context of the coronavirus vaccine race, John Di Camillo, an ethicist with the National Catholic Bioethics Center, confirmed: "One is allowed to make use of [vaccine derived from foetal tissue] where there's a serious threat to the health or life of the individual, or of the greater population.

"This does not amount to a strictobligationto use it, but it certainly can be a legitimate choice in conscience if theres that serious reason, and there's no other reasonable alternative."

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Nurse working on Covid-19 frontline had ‘virus symptoms’ that turned out to be leukaemia – iNews

By daniellenierenberg

When nurse Neri Pucci suddenly felt ill during a hospital shift his first thought was that hed picked up Covid-19.

Working long shifts on an A&E ward, the 28-year-oldpresumed being exposed to patients with the virus was the reason he was suffering a fever, night sweats, a cough, a sore throat, breathlessness and a headache.

But several tests for coronavirus were negative and blood analysis showed his white blood cells had sky rocketed.

Medics quickly determined he had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a cancer that progresses quickly and aggressively and requires immediate treatment.

And so instead of finishing the shift he was due to work, the Italian, who has worked for the NHS for five years, was kept in hospital as an in-patient.

Hes been undergoing gruelling chemotherapy over the last 12 weeks and remains isolated in a room with restricted visitors.

Because Neri took a career break and returned as temporary staff, he is not entitled to NHS sick pay. His colleague has set up a GoFundMe appeal to support him which has so far raised more than 9,400.

Ive had a lot of love and support from family, friends, colleagues and people around the world, its fantastic, said Neri.

Neri has worked at Londons The Royal Free Hospital A&E since 2014 and last year, for a change of scene, took a post as a nurse on a cruise ship. He returned to the hospital in June and took ill after just six weeks.

I knew my colleagues were struggling during the pandemic and I felt I should come back and help, he said. Wearing full PPE for a 12-hour shift is quite exhausting, it makes you hot and sweaty. I had seen patients who had Covid, and of course took all precautions. So when I got ill I thought it must be the virus. I felt dizzy, short of breath and my heart was racing and then my knees went purple.

It was a lot to take in when they said it was leukaemia and I needed to stay in hospital.

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is rare, with around 790 people diagnosed with the condition each year in the UK, according to the NHS. Most cases develop in children, teenagers and young adults.

The disease is caused by a genetic mutation in the stem cells, although why this happens is not yet fully understood but there are certain risk factors.

Symptoms of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

The disease usually starts slowly before rapidly becoming severe. Symptoms listed by the NHS are pale skin, feeling tired and breathless, repeated infections over a short time, unusual and frequent bleeding, such as bleeding gums or nosebleeds, high temperature and night sweats.

Sufferers can also get bone and joint pain, easily bruised skin, swollen lymph nodes, tummy pain) caused by a swollen liver or spleen, unintentional weight loss and a purple skin rash.

In some cases, the affected cells can spread from your bloodstream into your central nervous system. This can cause neurological symptoms, including headaches, seizures or fits, being sick, blurred vision and dizziness.

Neri was transferred to University College Hospital and his parents left their home town of Florence to stay in London to support their only child.

He has suffered side effects from the chemotherapy including nausea, fatigue, numb fingers and headaches and says hes found isolation difficult.

Im extremely vulnerable to infections and even more so with Covid around, he said. Im in a side room and there is strict visitation.Im allowed one visitor a week for just two hours, so that means only my mum can come one week and then my dad the next. Its very hard. The nurses have been so kind and I feel very well looked after.

Neri is now waiting on a bone marrow transplant, which will leave him immunocompromised for months. He will likely need at least a year off work, depending on how soon he has the procedure.

His friend who set up the fundraising appeal, Miguel Montenegro, wrote: The funds we raise will be used to support his accommodations costs and bills so that he can carry on focusing on his recovery and can remain in the country to obtain the best care possible.

He is looking forward to getting better as soon as possible as he wishes to return to work promptly and continue providing people with the best care he is capable of.

Do you have a real life story? Email claudia.tanner@inews.co.uk.

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The Truth About Cosmetic Treatments was a startling and sad documentary – iNews

By daniellenierenberg

According to a young Mancunian woman festooned with eyeliner, tattoos and pumped-up lips, a major motivation for having cosmetic treatments is to make yourself look more like Kylie Jenner and the Kardashians. Big lips, square jaw, tiny waist, big bum, big boobs now its become commercial enough that we can get it, she explained.

This may not be an aspiration shared by everyone but you might expect that the people who provide these appearance-altering procedures would be subject to strict regulation. Not so, as medical journalist Michael Mosley was horrified to discover in the startling documentary, The Truth about Cosmetic Treatments. You dont need a licence or even any training to start injecting somebodys face with fillers, despite the risks of disfiguring infections or blindness.

The rush for self-renovation has been accelerated by social media and the way that established treatments, such as face-lifts and nose jobs, requiring full-scale surgery, are being replaced by less invasive techniques.

Teaming up with blogger Mehreen Baig, Mosley explored the freaky world of lip and nose fillers, microneedling and botox, and bravely volunteered to have his own crows feet blitzed by a gadget which, as its operator enthused, melts the skin instantaneously. Once the rawness and swelling on his face had subsided, Mosley was disgruntled to find that it hadnt made much difference.

Other customers were left similarly deflated. Julie, whose fractionated CO2 laser treatment left her face covered in tatters of dead skin, enjoyed some improved skin elasticity, but tests revealed no noticeable dermatological changes. The only treatment that seemed to have a significant effect was the stem-cell facelift undergone by Kim, who paid 6,000 for the privilege of having the cells injected into her cheekbones. She was delighted with her smoother, younger-looking face.

Mosley had assembled a panel of punters to look at before and after photos and assess whether the treatments had made the contestants look more attractive. They lost their personality, one man said. As dermatologist Tamara Griffiths warned, then, its a case of buyer beware.

THEARTSDESK.COM

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Cytovia Therapeutics and NYSCF Announce Filing of Provisional Patent for iPSC-Derived NK Cells to Produce Unlimited On-Demand NK and CAR-NK Cells for…

By daniellenierenberg

NEW YORK, Aug. 25, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cytovia Therapeutics, an emerging biopharmaceutical company and the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research institute today announced the filing of a provisional patent application with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) for the differentiation of Natural Killer (NK) cells from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The NYSCF Research Institute is a pioneer and acknowledged leader in stem cell technology, having developed the NYSCF Global Stem Cell Array, the premier automated robotic platform for reprogramming skin or blood into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and differentiating them into disease-relevant cell types.

Cytovia and NYSCF are also collaborating on the process development of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) of iPSC NK and CAR-NK cells with the potential to file additional patents on the engineering, expansion and GMP manufacturing processes of iPSC NK cells to treat cancer.

Dr. Daniel Teper, CEO of Cytovia commented, This first patent application filing on iPSC-NK cells is an important milestone for Cytovia, positioning us as a pioneer in this emerging field. The use of iPSC-NK cells constitutes a transformational approach to cancer treatment, enabling the use of precision cell therapy for many patients. Cytovia plans to initiate first clinical trials with iPSC NK-cells in 2021.

Susan L Solomon, Chief Executive Officer of NYSCF added, We are delighted by the progress made by the NYSCF and Cytovia team in the differentiation and expansion of NK cells from an iPSC source. These iPSC-NK cells can be genetically modified to create iPSC-CAR-NK cells. In the coming months, the collaboration will focus on developing a standardized GMP process to support Cytovias iPSC-NK and iPSC-CAR NK therapeutic candidates for cancer.

ABOUT CAR NK CELL THERAPYChimeric Antigen Receptors (CAR) are fusion proteins that combine an extracellular antigen recognition domain with an intracellular co-stimulatory signaling domain. Natural Killer (NK) cells are modified genetically to allow insertion of a CAR. CAR-NK cell therapy has demonstrated initial clinical relevance without the limitations of CAR-T, such as Cytokine Release Syndrome, neurotoxicity or Graft vs Host Disease (GVHD). Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC) - derived CAR-NKs are naturally allogeneic, available off-the-shelf and may be able to be administered on an outpatient basis. Recent innovative developments with the iPSC, an innovative technology, allow large quantities of homogeneous genetically modified CAR NK cells to be produced from a master cell bank, and thus hold promise to expand access of cell therapy for many patients.

ABOUTTHE NEW YORK STEM CELL FOUNDATION RESEARCH INSTITUTE The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute is an independent non-profit organization accelerating cures and better treatments for patients through stem cell research. The NYSCF global community includes over 190 researchers at leading institutions worldwide, including the NYSCF Druckenmiller Fellows, the NYSCF Robertson Investigators, the NYSCF Robertson Stem Cell Prize Recipients, and NYSCF Research Institute scientists and engineers. The NYSCF Research Institute is an acknowledged world leader in stem cell research and in the development of pioneering stem cell technologies, including the NYSCF Global Stem Cell Array, which is used to create cell lines for laboratories around the globe. In 2019, NYSCF launched the Womens Reproductive Cancers Initiative, which aims to shift paradigms in the way these cancers are studied and treated, in collaboration with leading cancer experts across the globe. NYSCF focuses on translational research in an accelerator model designed to overcome barriers that slow discovery and replace silos with collaboration. For more information, visitwww.nyscf.org

ABOUT CYTOVIA THERAPEUTICS, INCCytovia Therapeutics Inc is an emerging biotechnology company that aims to accelerate patient access to transformational immunotherapies, addressing several of the most challenging unmet medical needs in cancer and severe acute infectious diseases. Cytovia focuses on Natural Killer (NK) cell biology and is leveraging multiple advanced patented technologies, including an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) platform for CAR (Chimeric Antigen Receptors) NK cell therapy, next-generation precision gene-editing to enhance targeting of NK cells, and NK engager multi-functional antibodies. Our initial product portfolio focuses on both hematological malignancies such as multiple myeloma and solid tumors including hepatocellular carcinoma and glioblastoma. The company partners with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and CytoImmune Therapeutics. Learn more atwww.cytoviatx.com

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Autologous Cell Therapy Market Along With Covid-19 Impact Analysis and Business Opportunities Outlook 2027 – Scientect

By daniellenierenberg

Transparency Market Research (TMR)has published a new report titled, Autologous cell therapy Market Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 20192027. According to the report, the globalautologous cell therapy marketwas valued atUS$ 7.5 Bnin2018and is projected to expand at a CAGR of18.1%from2019to2027.

Get PDF Sample Copy of Report: (Including TOC, List of Tables & Figures, Chart) :https://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/sample/sample.php?flag=S&rep_id=715

Overview

Rise in Prevalence of Neurological Disorders & Cancer and Others to Drive Market

REQUEST FOR COVID19 IMPACT ANALYSIS https://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/sample/sample.php?flag=covid19&rep_id=715

Bone Marrow Segment to Dominate Market

Neurology Segment to be Highly Lucrative Segment

Hospitals Segment to be Highly Lucrative Segment

North America to Dominate Global Market

Competitive Landscape

Read our Case study at :https://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/casestudies/innovative-medical-device-manufacturing-start-up

The global autologous cell therapy market has been segmented as follows:

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2.https://www.biospace.com/article/personal-mobility-devices-market-rising-in-various-regions-owing-to-increased-geriatric-population/

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7 Derm-Approved Tips To Even Your Skin Tone (You’ll Seriously Glow!) – mindbodygreen.com

By daniellenierenberg

Much like vitamin C, retinol (or retinoids, retinoic acid, or Retin-A), is a favorite ingredient for skin care professionals thanks to its renowned efficacy. It also works to help even skin tone twofold.

First up: Retinol spurs collagen production: "Retinol binds to retinoid receptors within skin cells," says board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D. This "activates genes that upregulate collagen production."

Second, it also increases cell turnover at the cellular level. "Besides stimulating production of new collagen, retinol enhances cell turnover," says Zeichner. "This means it sheds dead and damaged cells that make the skin look dull." And while retinol thickens the lower layers of the skin, he says, it thins out the top layer (the stratum corneum), which creates a dewy glow.

Retinol, however, tends to have less tolerability, although modern formulas are usually more gentle and sophisticated. Adding one to your routine usually takes an adjustment period where the skin may experience peeling, flaking, redness, and dryness. Some with highly sensitive skin are never fully able to tolerate the ingredient, while others will do so quickly.

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7 Derm-Approved Tips To Even Your Skin Tone (You'll Seriously Glow!) - mindbodygreen.com

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