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What are the odds? Stem cell recipient learns her donor is also in Ottawa – Ottawa Citizen

By daniellenierenberg

Colleen LeCours lay in a hospital bed at the General campus of The Ottawa Hospital on August 12, 2016, waiting for the only thing that could save her life a stem cell transplant from a stranger.

The donor could be anywhere in the world if a related blood donor cant be found, the call to find a match goes out to registries all over the globe and the donated stem cells are rushed across international borders.

What LeCours didnt know is that her donor, an 18-year-old Carleton University student named Timothy White, was just one floor below. Similarly, White didnt know that his recipient was in the same hospital.

There are currently more than 450,000 people on the Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Registry formerly known as OneMatch and 36 million on affiliated international registries. Still, some people never find a match. There are more than 900 Canadians in need of a transplant who have not found a match anywhere in the world.

What were the odds that the match for LeCours, now 57, would be found in the same city?

Astronomical, she said.

The chances that White would even ever be asked to donate were also very low only about one in a thousand. After he agreed to donate, he was not told where the recipient might be. I was told the recipient could be anywhere. They could be in Africa, said White, now 22 and a recent graduate in computer science.

White had signed up for the registry through a cheek swab booth at ComiCon less than six months earlier. A smart place to recruit would-be stem cell donors, he notes. The optimal donor is a male between the age of 17 and 35 and thats the ComiCon demographic.

He decided to register as a potential donor because he grew up in the scouting movement. One of the main philosophies is to do a good turn every day, he said.

The donation was a non-surgical procedure in which Whites blood was removed though a needle, the stem cells were separated from his blood and the remaining blood components returned to his body through another needle. The procedure started at about 8 a.m. and was over by about 5 p.m.

I figured if I gave someone a day for a thousand more days (of life) then I felt it was a fair trade. I have many years of life. Why not spend one day? said White.

LeCourss medical journey started in 2009 with an emergency room visit for abdominal pain. She was eventually diagnosed with Stage 4 follicular lymphoma, a blood cancer that affects infection-fighting white blood cells. At the time, LeCours was working for Gov.-Gen. Michalle Jean and was able to stay on the job most of the time during her six months of treatment.

Four years later, the lymphoma returned. It was back again two years after that, in a more aggressive form. The only treatment was stem cell transplant.

There are two main kinds of stem cell transplants autologous and allogenic. In an autologous transplant, stem cells are collected from a patients own blood and reintroduced after being treated to remove cancer cells. In an allogenic stem cell transplant, the stem cells come from a donor.

At this point, LeCours was a candidate for an autologous transplant. Once again, she underwent aggressive chemotherapy. A year later, the cancer returned.

Doctors told LeCours there wasnt much else they could do and advised her to get her affairs in order. But the hospitals transplant team felt she could be a candidate for an allogenic transplant. Theres risk rejecting donated stem cells can be fatal to the patient.

LeCours learned that her brother was a match. But the medical work-up would last about three months and she couldnt wait that long.

I wasnt sure I wanted to do it but I didnt have much choice, she said. They said, We have someone waiting in the wings.

And I said, He probably has wings.

After the transplant, LeCours recovered as an outpatient in the home of her brother and sister-in-law. It took three months to rebuild her immune system. Her only rejection symptoms were a bit of skin irritation.

In January 2018, LeCours received an email asking if she would like to exchange contact information with her donor. She replied that she would.

A few months later, she got a message with Whites co-ordinates and was astonished to find that her donor was in Ottawa. It took her a few weeks to formulate an email.

I didnt want to scare him. I just wanted him to know how incredibly grateful I was. And I wanted to pay it forward, said LeCours.

After careful consideration, she sent White an email on Oct. 8, 2018.

Today, being Thanksgiving, I have so much to be thankful for, namely you giving your stem cells and saving my life and the success of the stem cells grafting to my bone marrow, LeCours wrote. I cant thank you enough for your wonderful selfless act.

Stem cell donor 18-year-old Carleton University student Timothy White at The Ottawa Hospital, General campus, donating stem cells for Colleen LeCours in August 2016. At the time he did not know that LeCours would be the recipient. Courtesy Timothy White.jpg

She added that she didnt know anything about him except for his name and email address, and asked if they could meet. They got together for the first time over lunch in a burger restaurant.

As soon as I saw him, I broke down, said LeCours.

It has been three and a half years since the transplant and LeCours remains in remission. She invited White to her familys Thanksgiving this year, and the two meet to catch up every few months. Its one of the quirks of stem cell donation that the recipient assumes the blood type of the donor. LeCours, once O-positive, now has blood type A-negative, like White.

Im a grandmother. The fact that my grandson has his moma is huge.

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Why microneedling facials really work to revive 40+ skin – harpersbazaar.com

By daniellenierenberg

I call it peak bleak: its right about now when all of us beyond our thirties are really thinking that our skin looks particularly knackered. Its central heating, its illness, its being overtired, over worked and over partied and it makes for a combination of low-level dryness and dullness that no illuminating make-up seems to ameliorate (highlighter on a dehydrated cheekbone is never flattering). Hydrating sheet masks, richer moisturisers and glycolic peels make some strides to improve exhausted skin, but the thing Ive found to make the single biggest difference is microneedling.

Im not referring to deep derma rolling treatments here (brilliant as they are for long term rejuvenation, they do entail some down-time) but rather facials - and at-home facial treatments - that incorporate a level of gentle needling. What gives these facials the edge on less than young skin is twofold: firstly, as leading facialist Sarah Chapman explains, microneedling is electronic precision engineering, creating thousands of needle columns into the skin, each one penetrating into the dermis layer to rejuvenate your skin by supercharging collagen production, which in turn reduces the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and improves the overall texture of your skin. Which goes to say that it gets right to the root cause of a bleak complexion and directly revs it up.

Secondly, needling is astoundingly effective at aiding absorption of serums applied both during and after treatment (thanks to those tiny channels that Chapman described) and, quite frankly, the more hydrating serum you can get your skin to suck up, the better in terms of improving its plumpness and luminosity in both the short and long term.

Treatment wise, the best facial that incorporates needling is Chapmans Stem Cell Collagen Therapy treatment, 210. Chapman calls it the ultimate youth-boosting facial, a punchy claim that I must say its hard to dispute. The needling itself feels like nothing more than an electric toothbrush being whisked over the skin as it pushes in concentrated doses of botanical stem cells and peptides, while the finishing Dermalux red-light therapy adds to the impressive post-treatment glow. Whether you're looking for a facial that really delivers pre- or post-party, or simply want a fix to rid you of lacklustre skin, this is the facial to book.

At home, I like to needle every other day with a gentle manual 0.2-0.3mm roller: freshly rolled skin sucks in serum incredibly satisfyingly, and the increased microcirculation it induces adds to the don't you look well effect. Environs CIT Roller, 59, and Nannette de Gaspes Art of Noir Roller Noir, 35, both manage to be effective yet gentle. Do not be tempted to buy a cheap roller on Amazon or eBay; the needles are often hooked, which can rip the skin leading to redness and inflammation.

Roller Noir

35.00

Skinesis Intense Hydrating Booster

64.00

B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum

40.00

Peptide Veil

115.00

Rolling can be done on bare skin, but I find it more effective and comfortable to apply a thick layer of hydrating serum first, slathering on three times the amount Id usually apply of either Skinesis Intense Hydrating Booster, 64, or Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydrating Serum, 44. Start at the forehead and roll over each area three or four times horizontally, three or four times vertically, then diagonally in each direction, before moving onto the cheeks and finally chin and neck. Finish with a thick veil of cream (Im loving Decree Peptide Emollient Veil, 115) and youll wake up to skin that is anything but bleak.

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Girl, 3, dies in her parents arms on New Years Day after leukaemia battle – The Sun

By daniellenierenberg

A LITTLE girl who won the backing of thousands of strangers online died of leukaemia on New Year's Day.

Esme Handley was just three years old when she passed away.

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The adorable tot was diagnosed with blood cancer at just 22 months, after developing a bruise while she was on a family holiday in Greece.

Her parents Rebecca and Will broke the heartbreaking news on their daughter's Facebook Page, named Esme Lionheart after her love of lions.

They said: If you look to the sky tonight you will see a star shining brighter than any other.

Our darling girl went onwards with her journey at midday today.

"She was peaceful and in our arms and knew how ridiculously adored she was.

Esme Grace Angela Handley 13.08.2016 - 01.01.2020.

Rebecca, 38, and Will, 43, faced a battle to try and save their only daughter following her diagnosis.

They discovered she had the high risk acute myeloid leukaemia during a family trip to Greece before which Esme fell.

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When a bruise that developed shortly afterwards failed to disappear, the couple Googled Esme's symptoms and became concerned.

She was taken to hospital in Greece where the diagnosis was confirmed.

Esme was given a stem cell transplant in September 2018 alongside three rounds of chemotherapy but after six months the leukaemia returned in the tots bone marrow.

If you look to the sky tonight you will see a star shining brighter than any other. Our darling girl went onwards with her journey at midday today.

The family were not eligible for a second transplant on the NHS and were faced with raising 500,000 privately for the urgent treatment.

In November, her parents admitted that Esme could no longer expect to be cured and said their baby had simply had enough.

They said: Since diagnosis we have often spoken about a metaphorical 'sealed envelope' that contains Esme's fate.

"Yesterday we got to open that envelope and it was not what we had hoped.

The leukaemia is out of control and there is nothing more which can be done.

We have spoken with every single, leading paediatric consultant globally, tried all available drugs (some of which arent even licensed in kids), explored a ridiculous amount of supplements and complementary medicines, had healing circles far and wide sending prayers.....

But its not been enough. We dont get to keep our baby.

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And to be perfectly honest, even if there was something else they could come up with, right now, Im not sure we would be able to pursue it.

"Its very clear to see that Esme has simply had enough....and who could blame her?

Esme thrives when shes outdoors but all she has known for 18 months is hospitals. The treatment she has had wouldnt be tolerated by most adults.

She has been continually pumped full of drugs; had hundreds of blood transfusions; successfully come through one stem cell transplant; had surgery for three Hickman lines into her heart; had numerous tubes shoved up her nose and drops in her eyes, suffered countless horrendous infections including a type of pneumonia three times; lost her hair; lost her fingernails; vomited daily, had her skin break down, crack, be burnt from chemo; nearly died from sepsis; almost died from anaphylaxis; been blue-lighted to PICU after having a seizure which temporarily left her in a vegetative state thanks to a fungal brain infection....and it goes on.

Whilst we would do absolutely anything for her, ANYTHING, Im also not sure how much more we can tolerate either.

A month later, they described the heartbreaking cocktail of pain management Esme had to bear to soften her ever-increasing suffering".

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At the time, her parents posted: It's now three weeks to the day that we learnt that Esme's story will not have the happy ending we've all prayed for, three long weeks in which we've had to contemplate the unthinkable and bear witness to Esme's ever-increasing suffering.

In the first couple of weeks one of the biggest difficulties was accepting that the team's goal was no longer to cure but just to manage pain.

This sounds obvious but you suddenly find yourself inexplicably sad that the nurses are no longer asking you for Esme's heart rate or temperature every few hours.

At one point I even found myself crying when I bumped into another child being wheeled to theatre and realised Esme will never have another general anaesthetic.

Instead, getting ahead of Esme's pain has become a full-time occupation for us and the team, and Ezzie is now on an ever-escalating daily mix of paracetamol, topical morphine, oxycodone, ketamine and, most recently, methadone.

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The psychology team here warn against reading adult meanings into our children's innocent words but it's difficult not to tear up when Esme tells us repeatedly I don't think my bottom's ever gonna get better, it's the hurtiest bottom in the whole world ....or My arm/leg/back/headache is killing me.

They also described how Esme had been bedridden for three months and would never walk again.

But the tot had her own Christmas tree and was even taken out of the Royal Marsden Hospital over the festive period to see Christmas lights in Morden before a screening of Frozen 2 at Everyman Esher.

SIGNS OF LEUKAEMIA EVERY PARENT NEEDS TO KNOW

LEUKAEMIA is a type of blood cancer, some forms of which are more common in children.

There are no specific signs or symptoms which would allow for a doctor to make a diagnosis without lab tests.

In all types of leukaemia symptoms are more commonly caused by a lack of normal blood cells than by the presence of abnormal white cells.

As the bone marrow becomes full of leukaemia cells, it is unable to produce the large numbers of normal blood cells which the body needs.

Thiscan lead to:

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Now Will and Rebecca, of West Norwood, south London, hope to donate money in Esmes name.

They have already raised 425,000 on GoFundMe.

Rebecca said in November: When we began fundraising we were punchy with our target to ensure we had enough for a self-funded transplant and said that whatever remained would go to the CCLG, the UK's leading kids cancer charity.

Given how desperately poor the funding is into paediatric AML research, we feel even more strongly about this now.

So a large chunk of the cash we have remaining (after spending some on novel drugs and supportive care) will be donated to AML research to try and spare future families the pain and anguish we have experienced.

To donate in memory of Esme, visit her GoFundMe page here.

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The Mutuality Between Mothers and Their Developing Babies – Patheos

By daniellenierenberg

Medical science is learning more and more about pregnancy and fetal development. And what they are finding is mind-blowing. We now know that there is a radical mutuality in the relationship between the mother and her child in the womb. Both work together to build the placenta. And just as cells from the mothers body become part of the baby, cells from the baby become permanent parts of the mother.

From an interview in the Catholic magazine Crux with Prof. Kristin Marguerite Collier of the University of Michigan Medical School:

The placenta is the organ through which the mother and prenatal child interface. The placenta is an organ that is attached to the inside of the uterus and connects to the prenatal child through the childs umbilical cord.

What is not as well known about this organ is that the placenta is the only organ in human biology that is made by two persons, together, in cooperation. The placenta is built from tissue that is part from mom, and part from the growing baby. Because of this, the placenta is referred to as a feto-maternal organ. It is the only organ made by two people, in cooperation with providence. It is the first time mom and her baby come together, albeit at the cellular level, to do something in cooperation. . . .

In the creation of the placenta, cells from the trophoblast, which are from the embryo, reach down towards the mothers uterine wall while at the same time, the spiral arteries from the mothers uterus are reaching up towards the embryo. This process leads to the creation of the placenta.

The placenta is the only purposely transient organ in humans and unlike the rest of our organs, acts as many organs in one. The placenta functions to eliminate waste, like the kidneys would do, facilitates transfer of oxygen and carbon dioxide, like the lungs would do, and provides nutrients, like a GI tract would do. It even has endocrine and immune function. What used to be discarded as just the afterbirth is now regarded as a magnificently complex shared organ that supports the formation of the prenatal child.

Even more amazing to me is the phenomenon of fetomaternal microchimerism, named after the chimera of Greek mythology, a creature comprised of three different species:

In science, microchimerism is the presence of a small population of genetically distinct and separately derived cells within an individual. During pregnancy, small numbers of cells traffic across the placenta. Some of the prenatal childs cells cross into the mother, and some cells from the mother cross into the prenatal child. The cells from the prenatal child are pluripotent and integrate into tissues in her mothers body and start functioning like the cells around them. This integration is known as feto-maternal microchimerism.

The presence of these cells is amazing for several reasons. One is that these cells have been found in various maternal organs and tissues such as the brain, the breast, the thyroid and the skin. These are all organs which in some way are important for the health of both the baby and her mother in relationship. The post-partum phase is when there is need, for example, for lactation. The fetomaternal microchimeric cells have been shown to be important in signaling lactation. These cells have been found in the skin, for example, in Cesarean section incisions where they are helping to produce collagen. Baby is helping mom heal after delivery by the presence of her cells! It would be one thing for these cells to come into the mother and be inert, but is a whole other thing entirely that these cells are active and aid mom for example in helping to produce milk for her baby and helping her heal. These cells may even affect how soon the mother can get pregnant again and therefore can affect spacing of future siblings.

To think that a physical presence of the baby in her mother is helping protect her from cancer at the level of the cell, speaks to a radical mutuality at the cellular level that we are just beginning to understand. . . .

The big takeaway is that the science of microchimerism supports the fact that some human beings carry remnants of other humans in their bodies. Thus, we arent the singular-autonomous individuals we think of ourselves as being.

I came across another article that said that if the mother suffers organ damage during pregnancy, the baby can send its stem cells to repair the damage! (The article included a link to this medical journal.)

The Crux interviewer, Charles C. Camosy, wanted to bring out the implications for Marys relationship with Jesus. Yes, said Prof. Collierwho is a Christian, but not a CatholicMary would always have a part of Jesus with her, indeed, as a part of her. But this intimate mutual union is also true, she said, for all mothers.All mothers carry their children with them, on a cellular level, for their whole lives. And just as she has contributed to the formation of the bodies of her children, they have contributed to the formation of hers.

Prof. Collier then makes a startlingly comforting application. Mothers whose children have died, she said, often feel that their children are still with them. We now know that they are.

Illustration via Good Free Photos, Public Domain

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Firm adds a new wrinkle to anti-aging products – Williamson Daily News

By daniellenierenberg

HUNTINGTON Serucell Corporation, a cosmeceutical company based in Huntington, has developed the worlds only dual-cell technology to create and produce anti-aging skincare products, and they did it in Huntington.

Serucell KFS Cellular Protein Complex Serum is made start to finish at Serucells laboratory on the south side of Huntington.

This has been one of the best kept secrets in West Virginia, said Cortland Bohacek, executive chairman and a co-founder of Serucell Corporation.

The company soft launch was in September 2018 at The Greenbrier Spas. The Official online launch was April 2019 and is getting exposure with some well known sellers like Neiman Marcus, local dermatologist and plastic surgeons offices and several other retail locations from New York to California. It is also sold online at serucell.com.

One person that has tried the product is Jennifer Wheeler, who is also a Huntington City Council member.

As a consumer I have an appreciation of the quality of the product and the results Ive seen using it, she said. It has been transformative for my skin and seems like its success will be transformative for our city as well.

She said Serucell and the people behind it are impressive on every level.

In my role on council, Im especially grateful for the companys conscious effort to stay and grow in our city, Wheeler said.

A one-ounce bottle of the serum costs $225. The recommended usage is twice per day and it will last on average of about six weeks.

Serucells active ingredient is called KFS (Keratinocyte Fibroblast Serum), which is made up of more than 1,500 naturally derived super proteins, collagens, peptides and signaling factors that support optimal communication within the cellular makeup of your skin.

This is the first and only dual-cell technology that optimizes hydration and harnesses the power of both keratinocytes and fibroblasts, two essential contributors to maintaining healthy skin by supporting natural rejuvenation of aging skin from the inside out, said Jennifer Hessel, president and CEO of the company.

When applied to the skin, KFS helps boost the skins natural ability to support new collagen and elastin, strengthen the connection and layer of support between the upper and lower layers of your skin. The result, over time is firmer, plumper and smoother skin, according to Hessel.

Why it works so naturally with your skin is because it is natural, Hessel said. These proteins play an important role in strengthening the bond between the layers of your skin, and thats where the re-boot happens.

KFS is the creation of Dr. Walter Neto, Serucells chief science officer and co-founder of the company. Neto is both a physician and a research scientist, specializing in the field of regenerative medicine with an emphasis on skin healing and repair.

Neto said Serucells technology unlocks the key to how our cells communicate and harnesses the signaling power actions to produce the thousands of bioactive proteins necessary to support the skins natural rejuvenation.

Originally from Brazil, Neto studied at Saint Matthews University and completed his clinical training in England. His clinical research on stem-cell cancer therapies, bone and tissue engineering and wound and burn healing led to his discovery in cell-to-cell communication, and ultimately the creation of Serucells KFS Cellular Protein Complex Serum.

Neto received multiple patents for the production method of Serucell KFS Serum. He lives in Huntington with his wife and four golden retrievers and works alongside his longtime friend, Dr. Brett Jarrell.

I have known Brett since I was 18 years old, Neto said.

Jarrell practices emergency medicine in Ashland, Kentucky, and oversees all aspects of quality control for Serucell. He received his bachelors degree in biology from Wittenberg University, his masters degree in biology from Marshall University and his medical degree from the Marshall University School of Medicine. Jarrell completed his residency at West Virginia University and is board certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine.

Jarrell has served as a clinical instructor of emergency medicine at the Marshall School of Medicine, president of the West Virginia chapter of the American College of Emergency Medicine and he has published a number of peer-reviewed journal articles on stroke research.

Jarrell also lives in Huntington.

Another co-founder of the company is Dr. Tom McClellan.

McClellan is Serucells chief medical officer and director of research and is a well-respected plastic and reconstructive surgeon with a private practice, McClellan Plastic Surgery, in Morgantown.

McClellan completed his plastic and reconstructive surgery training at the world-renowned Lahey Clinic Foundation, a Harvard Medical School and Tufts Medical School affiliate in Boston, Massachusetts. While in Boston, he worked at Lahey Medical Center, Brigham and Womens Hospital, as well as at the Boston Childrens Hospital. McClellan is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

In addition to his practice and role at Serucell, McClellan utilizes his surgical skills through pro bono work with InterplastWV, a non-profit group that provides comprehensive reconstructive surgery to the developing world. He has participated in surgical missions to Haiti, Peru and the Bahamas.

McClellan lives in Morgantown with his family.

All three doctors here have strong connections to West Virginia, and we didnt want to leave, Neto said. We all want to give back to West Virginia, so that is the main reason we have our business here in Huntington.

We are building a company we believe can make a difference in the community, Hessel added. Our goal is to grow Serucell and build our brand right here in Huntington. There is a pool of untapped talent here in Huntington. When we expand our business here, we can provide another reason for young people to be able to stay and grow their careers, whether it is in science, operations or manufacturing. The team is a pretty excited to make an impact in the community where it all started.

Hessel decline to give sales numbers, but said the business has been growing each year since the product was introduced. She also declined to give the number of employees at the facility, but did say it has sales representatives across the country.

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None of these four beaming children would be alive today if a stranger had not given blood – The Sun

By daniellenierenberg

HERE are four beaming children none of whom would be alive today if a stranger had not given blood.

Each of their lives was saved by a transfusion, yet many of us never find the time to sign up to become a donor.

NHS Blood and Transplant is encouraging readers to make giving blood one of their New Year resolutions.

It is particularly calling on men to donate because their blood can be more suitable for treating patients. The families of these four survivors tell Lynsey Hope their stories.

'We worry every day he might suffer a serious bleed'

GEORGE CLAXTON lives with mum Faye, 36, a salon owner, dad Luke, 34, an electrical engineer, and sister Ella, six, in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. Faye says:

"When George was 14 months old he was diagnosed with a rare platelet disorder.

"The condition doesnt have a name but it means his blood cant clot properly.

"Tiny blood cells called platelets in his blood are the wrong shape and size and he has to take medication daily.

"We found out he had it after he suffered a virus and came out with a rash.

"Its called petechiae but can look similar to meningitis.

"We took George to A&E at Hinchingbrooke Hospital near Huntington. Blood tests came back negative and we were sent home.

"But two weeks later, we were back again.

"We were referred to specialists at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, who discovered George was bleeding under the skin.

"Its been hard to accept its a lifelong condition and not something that can be cured.

"There have been two occasions when George has needed a transfusion.

"The first was in June 2016.

"Doctors had to perform a transfusion before he had a tooth extracted to make sure he didnt bleed too much during the procedure.

"In May last year, he fell over in the school playground and hurt his elbow, causing a bleed in his joint.

"George has been brave from the start.

"He loves football but we worry every day he may have an accident that causes a serious bleed.

"He can also have spontaneous bleeds.

"His little sister was also diagnosed with the condition.

"She hasnt needed a transfusion yet but she may do and that is devastating for us as parents.

"Were so grateful to people who donate blood.

"It can enable people to live."

'Just an hour of your time could be the gift of a lifetime'

JESSICA FAY lives in Burnley with her mum Laura Bell, 32, dad Adam Fay, 39, who is a carer, and her brothers Kyle, 14, Denver, 13, Jayden, eight and Taylor, six. Laura, a full-time mum, says:

"Jessica was diagnosed with meningitis and septicaemia when she was 15 weeks old.

"I took her to the GP when she started feeling unwell.

"She wasnt feeding and had a high temperature.

"The doctor was concerned and said I must take her straight to hospital.

"Within hours of arriving at A&E, Jessica stopped breathing and was put on life-support.

"The disease had taken over her body and, one by one, her organs were shutting down.

"There was only one option. A blood transfusion might dilute the infection in her blood and give her a chance.

"There was a risk her body would reject the blood and we knew if that happened wed lose her.

"Incredibly though, that blood transfusion saved her life.

"She remained in intensive care for a week and, after three weeks, she came home.

"Jessica was being given so many treatments in those terrible few weeks that I didnt think too much about where the blood had come from.

"But when she recovered, I realised that without it she would not have made it. Unfortunately, Jessica suffered some brain damage because of what happened.

"She has social communication disorder and finds it hard to make friends.

"She is an incredible child and Im so grateful to whoever it was that took the time to donate blood for her.

"If someone hadnt donated that blood, Jessica would be dead.

"She has done all she can to give something back.

"Shes raised thousands of pounds for charity by organising events in the community.

"I would urge anyone who can to give blood it is just an hour of your time but it could be the gift of a lifetime to a child like Jessica.'

'Our baby can be in a lot of pain due to the disease'

EZRAH PINK was born with sickle cell disease. He lives with his mum Serena, 30, who looks after an office building, and her partner Courtney, 32, an estate agent, in Beckenham, Kent. Serena says:

"We knew before Ezrah was born that he might have sickle cell disease.

"When I was pregnant, doctors found out I carried a gene.

"About a week after he was born, they confirmed Ezrah had the disease.

"People with sickle cell produce unusual C-shaped red blood cells, meaning they sometimes get stuck or block blood vessels. At first, he didnt show any symptoms.

"He started having problems when he was around 11 months.

"Since then its been a whirlwind. We have been in and out of hospital.

"Id never known anyone with sickle cell so its been a tough learning curve and the condition will affect him for life.

"Ezrah has already had four blood transfusions.

"When one of his odd-shaped blood cells gets stuck, it causes what is called a sickle cell crisis and this can cause a great deal of pain.

"Ezrah is also prone to serious infections.

"He takes penicillin every day as well as folic acid to boost his immunity.

"Id never given blood before having Ezrah.

"It wasnt until the first time doctors told me that they were going to have to transfuse him that I realised how important it was.

"Im pregnant now so I cant do it myself just yet, but as soon as I can sign up, I will.

"You never know whats round the corner.

"Its not until it happens to someone close to you that you realise how important it is."

'While recovering he's had more than 50 transfusions'

JACOB JESSEL lives with mum Emma Riley, 47, an NHS project manager, dad Nick Jessel, 44, a sales manager, and brother Sam, eight, near Grimsby, Lincs. Emma says:

"Jacob was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder when he was seven.

"We went on a camping trip and he was bitten by a mosquito. A huge bruise came out, which covered most of his forearm.

"Our GP took blood and told us his blood count was dangerously low and that we had to take him straight to hospital.

"It was a huge shock and it was obvious to us that doctors feared he had leukaemia.

"Jacob was given an emergency bone marrow biopsy at Sheffield Childrens Hospital and we were told he probably had cancer.

"Waiting for the results of the biopsy was horrible.

"We were relieved when the tests came back negative, but more tests revealed he had an incurable bone marrow disorder.

"Doctors said hed need a transplant, which he had in 2017.

"There was only one match on the register at the time so we went ahead with it. But sadly that didnt work.

"About a month later, he had a transplant using his dads stem cells, which has been effective.

"While recovering, he had more than 50 blood transfusions.

"He now attends a follow-up clinic every four to six months to make sure his blood keeps working properly.

"Before Jacob was ill, I was one of these people who never got round to giving blood.

"I thought it was a good thing to do but I kept putting it off.

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"But every time a unit of blood was delivered to the ward for Jacob, I felt incredibly relieved that someone, somewhere, had taken the time to give blood.

"Now I give blood regularly. Its a good feeling to know you are helping someone else.

"I know how grateful the recipient will 7 be. Its the best gift anyone can give."

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Firm adds a new wrinkle to anti-aging products – The Logan Banner

By daniellenierenberg

HUNTINGTON Serucell Corporation, a cosmeceutical company based in Huntington, has developed the worlds only dual-cell technology to create and produce anti-aging skincare products, and they did it in Huntington.

Serucell KFS Cellular Protein Complex Serum is made start to finish at Serucells laboratory on the south side of Huntington.

This has been one of the best kept secrets in West Virginia, said Cortland Bohacek, executive chairman and a co-founder of Serucell Corporation.

The company soft launch was in September 2018 at The Greenbrier Spas. The Official online launch was April 2019 and is getting exposure with some well known sellers like Neiman Marcus, local dermatologist and plastic surgeons offices and several other retail locations from New York to California. It is also sold online at serucell.com.

One person that has tried the product is Jennifer Wheeler, who is also a Huntington City Council member.

As a consumer I have an appreciation of the quality of the product and the results Ive seen using it, she said. It has been transformative for my skin and seems like its success will be transformative for our city as well.

She said Serucell and the people behind it are impressive on every level.

In my role on council, Im especially grateful for the companys conscious effort to stay and grow in our city, Wheeler said.

A one-ounce bottle of the serum costs $225. The recommended usage is twice per day and it will last on average of about six weeks.

Serucells active ingredient is called KFS (Keratinocyte Fibroblast Serum), which is made up of more than 1,500 naturally derived super proteins, collagens, peptides and signaling factors that support optimal communication within the cellular makeup of your skin.

This is the first and only dual-cell technology that optimizes hydration and harnesses the power of both keratinocytes and fibroblasts, two essential contributors to maintaining healthy skin by supporting natural rejuvenation of aging skin from the inside out, said Jennifer Hessel, president and CEO of the company.

When applied to the skin, KFS helps boost the skins natural ability to support new collagen and elastin, strengthen the connection and layer of support between the upper and lower layers of your skin. The result, over time is firmer, plumper and smoother skin, according to Hessel.

Why it works so naturally with your skin is because it is natural, Hessel said. These proteins play an important role in strengthening the bond between the layers of your skin, and thats where the re-boot happens.

KFS is the creation of Dr. Walter Neto, Serucells chief science officer and co-founder of the company. Neto is both a physician and a research scientist, specializing in the field of regenerative medicine with an emphasis on skin healing and repair.

Neto said Serucells technology unlocks the key to how our cells communicate and harnesses the signaling power actions to produce the thousands of bioactive proteins necessary to support the skins natural rejuvenation.

Originally from Brazil, Neto studied at Saint Matthews University and completed his clinical training in England. His clinical research on stem-cell cancer therapies, bone and tissue engineering and wound and burn healing led to his discovery in cell-to-cell communication, and ultimately the creation of Serucells KFS Cellular Protein Complex Serum.

Neto received multiple patents for the production method of Serucell KFS Serum. He lives in Huntington with his wife and four golden retrievers and works alongside his longtime friend, Dr. Brett Jarrell.

I have known Brett since I was 18 years old, Neto said.

Jarrell practices emergency medicine in Ashland, Kentucky, and oversees all aspects of quality control for Serucell. He received his bachelors degree in biology from Wittenberg University, his masters degree in biology from Marshall University and his medical degree from the Marshall University School of Medicine. Jarrell completed his residency at West Virginia University and is board certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine.

Jarrell has served as a clinical instructor of emergency medicine at the Marshall School of Medicine, president of the West Virginia chapter of the American College of Emergency Medicine and he has published a number of peer-reviewed journal articles on stroke research.

Jarrell also lives in Huntington.

Another co-founder of the company is Dr. Tom McClellan.

McClellan is Serucells chief medical officer and director of research and is a well-respected plastic and reconstructive surgeon with a private practice, McClellan Plastic Surgery, in Morgantown.

McClellan completed his plastic and reconstructive surgery training at the world-renowned Lahey Clinic Foundation, a Harvard Medical School and Tufts Medical School affiliate in Boston, Massachusetts. While in Boston, he worked at Lahey Medical Center, Brigham and Womens Hospital, as well as at the Boston Childrens Hospital. McClellan is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

In addition to his practice and role at Serucell, McClellan utilizes his surgical skills through pro bono work with InterplastWV, a non-profit group that provides comprehensive reconstructive surgery to the developing world. He has participated in surgical missions to Haiti, Peru and the Bahamas.

McClellan lives in Morgantown with his family.

All three doctors here have strong connections to West Virginia, and we didnt want to leave, Neto said. We all want to give back to West Virginia, so that is the main reason we have our business here in Huntington.

We are building a company we believe can make a difference in the community, Hessel added. Our goal is to grow Serucell and build our brand right here in Huntington. There is a pool of untapped talent here in Huntington. When we expand our business here, we can provide another reason for young people to be able to stay and grow their careers, whether it is in science, operations or manufacturing. The team is a pretty excited to make an impact in the community where it all started.

Hessel decline to give sales numbers, but said the business has been growing each year since the product was introduced. She also declined to give the number of employees at the facility, but did say it has sales representatives across the country.

For more information, visit serucell.com.

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What a time to be alive: Reproductive breakthroughs of the 2010s that changed life as we know it – FOX 5 Atlanta

By daniellenierenberg

This undated screen grab shows the cell-division of two fertilized human embryos during the first 24 hours of embryonic development following IVF treatment at a private clinic in London. ( Jim Dyson/Getty Images )

LOS ANGELES - Some of the scientific advancements of the 2010s have been truly mind-blowing, and perhaps none more so than the leaps and bounds weve made in the realm of reproduction.

This was not only the decade in which the first three-parent baby was born, it was the era when a rogue scientist chose to make edits to a set of twin girls DNA, making real the long-imagined scenario of genetically altering human beings while simultaneously thrusting the deeply complicated ethical discussions surrounding this practice into the limelight.

These are the five most life-altering breakthroughs in reproduction from the past decade.

In 2018, Chinese biophysics researcher He Jiankui announced that he had used the gene-editing tool CRISPR to modify the genes of two twin girls before birth. He and his team said that their goal was to make the girls immune to infection by HIV through the elimination of a gene called CCR5.

When the news broke, many mainstream scientists criticized the attempt, calling it too unsafe to try. Where some people saw the potential for a new kind of medical treatment capable of eradicating genetic disease, others saw a window into a dystopian future filled with designer babies and framed by a new kind of eugenics.

At the time, Dr. Kiran Musunuru, a University of Pennsylvania gene-editing expert, said Hes work was unconscionable... an experiment on human beings that is not morally or ethically defensible.

Other experts believe Hes work could propel the field of gene editing forward.

The twins, known as Lulu and Nana, have continued to make headlines since their birth. The gene modification that He claims to have carried out may have caused some unintended mutations in other parts of the genome, which could have unpredictable consequences for their health long term something many scientists who argue against Hes work cite as a reason to hold off on using gene-editing technology on humans.

Only time will tell what will happen to Lulu and Nana and if the edits to their DNA ultimately help or hurt them, but their story pushed the topic of human gene-editing and the ethics surrounding it to the forefront of the global scientific community.

In 2016, a technique called mitochondrial transfer was used successfully for the first time to create a three-parent baby grown from a fathers sperm, a mothers cell nucleus and a third donors egg that had the nucleus removed.

This technique was developed to prevent the transmission of certain genetic disorders through the mothers mitochondria. The majority of a three-parent babys DNA would come from his parents in the form of nuclear DNA, and only a small portion would come from the donor in the form of mitochondrial DNA.

A team led by physician John Zhang at the New Hope Fertility Center in New York City facilitated the birth of the first three-parent baby in April 2016.

Using human pluripotent stem cells, researchers were able to make the precursors of human sperm or eggs. In other words, they reprogrammed skin and blood stem cells to become an early-state version of what would eventually become either sperm or an egg.

"The creation of primordial germ cells is one of the earliest events during early mammalian development," Dr. Naoko Irie, first author of the paper from the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute at the University of Cambridge told Science Daily. "It's a stage we've managed to recreate using stem cells from mice and rats, but until now few researches have done this systematically using human stem cells. It has highlighted important differences between embryo development in humans and rodents that may mean findings in mice and rats may not be directly extrapolated to humans."

A 2018 study showed that gene editing can allow two same-sex mice to conceive pups, and two female mice were able to successfully create healthy pups that then went on to reproduce themselves.

A team of researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, led by developmental biologist Qi Zhou, were able to use gene editing to produce 29 living mice from two females, seven of which went on to have their own pups. They were able to produce 12 pups from two male parents, but those offspring were not able to live more than two days.Whether or not the method can one day be used in same-sex human reproduction is still up for debate.

For the first time ever, Chinese scientists were able to clone two primates using the technique that produced Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell via nuclear transfer.

The two cloned female macaques were named Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, and their successful birth opened up the possibility of using the same cloning method to one day clone humans.

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The ethics of lab-grown "minibrains" – Quartz

By daniellenierenberg

For Alexander Fleming, leaving a petri dish out in the air led to his now famous discovery of antibiotics. For Madeline Lancaster, leaving stem cells in a shaker led to the discovery of a new model for neuroscience: brain organoids. These blobs of tissue, grown from human stem cells, resemble some of the essential parts of the human brain. Although they are as small as apple seeds, brain organoids may hold the key to understanding one of lifes great mysteries: the human brain.

Our brain is, arguably, the organ that most makes humans what we are. Our cerebral cortex, the outermost layer of the brain, underpins human cognition. When things go wrong in the cerebral cortex, either as we develop or as we age, this can cause neurological or psychiatric diseases. Neuroscientists have been trying to understand brain development and disease, but they have run into a pretty basic problem: We (usually) cannot collect brain tissue from living people. So neuroscientists arelimitedto studying tissue that is donated by those who have died or observing a living brain behave in an MRI.

To help fill in the gaps in our knowledge of the brain, scientists have turned to the proverbial lab rats (which are actually mice). Mice, rats, primates, and other animals have given scientists the chance to tease apart the roles of genes, molecules, and cells in brain development and disease. Some important insights were gained from these animals. Genetically engineered mice helped researchers understand how a protein called alpha-synucleincan misfold and clump together in theParkinsons-diseased brain, potentially injuring nerve cells. Research intoAlzheimers disease got a boost by mice that were genetically engineered to have mutations linked to Alzheimers. These mice have helped scientists understand how misfolded beta-amyloid proteins stick together in plaques in the brain, a hallmark of the disease.

But a mouse is not a human: mice do not behave as humans do; mouse brains are simpler than human brains; and the mouse genome is not the human genome. Researchers argue that modified mice or other animals do not reflect the complexity of humans, let alone the complexity of neurological or psychiatric conditions. For many conditions, researchers do not even know which gene defects are part of the underlying cause. Instead of creating a mouse that has the same gene defect as that found in human patients, researchers have had to make do with animal models that behave similarly to humans.

In one test for depression-like behavior, researchers hold mice upside down by their tail and measure how long they struggle against it. Mice that give up sooner are judged to show greater despair. But researchers are rightly skeptical. We can make models by challenging mice in different ways and looking at their behavior but its not at all clear that these animals have the same disease that we do, the neuroscientist Fred H. Gage, President of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies,said.

What then? Four millimeter brain organoids might seem an unlikely source for finding therapeutic breakthroughs for complex diseases. But much hope has been put into them since Madeline Lancasterpresented the first such minibrains in 2013. As with many scientific developments, her discovery had an element of serendipity, but cant be reduced to it.

Lancaster, then a postdoc in a Vienna laboratory, wanted to understand how developing brain cells switch from dividing, when they make more of themselves, to differentiation, when they turn into neurons or glia cells. To start off, Lancaster used techniques to coax stem cells, which can develop into pretty much any tissue, towards becoming neurons. But she had also been intrigued by the success of another research team, which grew mini-guts in Matrigel, a gelatinous protein mixture. So once Lancaster had coaxed the stem cells into becoming neural cells, she took clusters of them and put them into a drop of Matrigel. This gave the cells enough support to grow into larger and more complex structures.

Gently shaking the cells in a bioreactor, caused them to specialize into recognizable rudiments of the human brain. Within about two months, the brain organoids had grown structures similar to those found in the human brain, including the cerebral cortex, the seat of human cognition. Organoids also havegenetic similaritieswith the developing human brain. Moreover, many of the neurons in the organoids fired off electrical signals, the messages with which brain cells communicate.

Lancaster immediately realized one of the big promises of brain organoids: As stem cells are their starting material, researchers can take skin samples from adults and re-program those cells into stem cells. These then provide material for a personalized brain organoid. In their first presentation of organoids, the researchers grew personalized organoids from the skin cells of a person with microcephaly. Microcephaly, a condition where the brain is smaller than normal, is difficult to study using mouse models. The researchers took a step toward figuring out why neuron-producing cells stop their job too soon, which could ultimately result in too few neurons. When they added a copy of the faulty gene, the researchers grew organoids with more neuron-producing cells and, ultimately, more nerves.

Brain organoids certainly have their limitations: No two organoids are the same, potentially obscuring differences between personalized organoids. A lack of blood supply keeps the organoids small, as it limits the amount of oxygen that can get into their center. With about a couple of million neurons, a brain organoid has twice as many neurons as a cockroach, but far fewer than an adult zebrafish. Nevertheless, organoids have been used to investigate schizophrenia and autism, and scientists hope to use them to study a range of disorders, from Parkinsons to Alzheimers to eye conditions, like macular degeneration.

With time and intensive research, brain organoids are now better understood and being used in more complex experiments.One studyfound that organoids left to develop for 8 months formed neuronal circuits that sparked with activity, and grew light-sensitive neurons that responded when light was shone on them. Another lab has developedorganoids that produce brain waves similar to those of premature human babies.

Other researchers have developed workarounds to overcome the lack of blood supply. Inanother study, led by Fred Gage, neuroscientists transplanted human brain organoids straight into mouse brains. The organoids connected with the mouses blood supply, and connections between the human organoid and the animals brain sprouted.

This brings up ethical questions: the small blobs of brain tissue arent fully fledged brains, sitting in vats thinking about the meaning of life. The brain waves observed in some mature organoids alone are unlikely to be enough to produce complex brain functions. And, isolated from sensory input,it is unclear whether the organoids could even learn cognitive processes.

But implanting brain organoids into the brain of an actual living mouse could link the blob with the animals senses and motor system. These experiments hark to a related debate raging in science, about the creation and use of chimeras (animals into which human cells have been implanted). While in the US, the National Institutes of Health put in place a moratorium on funding research that investigates animal embryos containing human cells in 2015, in March 2019, Japanannounced a reversal of its ban, allowing scientists to grow human cells in animal embryos that are carried to term.

Arecent perspectivepublished inCellposited that, at the moment, the question isnt whether we humanize an animal into which a human brain organoid is implanted. Instead, it is important to ask whether the organoid enhances specific brain functions in the chimera, and at what point this enhancement crosses the line, becoming harmful and unethical. The authors argue that current studies are more likely to worsen brain function than to improve it.

At the moment, researchers need to make a surgical cavity to accommodate the organoid, which likely harms brain function. Once organoids can make up this deficit, which would be a notable achievement from a clinical perspective, and brain functions are enhanced above a critical threshold, perhaps the chimera should be given a higher moral status. This could go as far as giving the chimera the right of self-determination, the authors argue. Where this critical threshold lies is left open for debate, but the mirror test could be used to test for self-awareness in animals after organoid transplantation.

With brain organoids, the scientific community could be in danger of crossing yet another ethical line, some researchers warn. At this years meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, the largest annual meeting of neuroscientists, a group of scientists sounded the warning bell that research is coming close to creating sentient brain blobs in the lab, while some may have done so already.

The question here is at what point organoids, all on their own, develop consciousness or experience sentiments like pain. In 2018, a group of scientists, lawyers, ethicists, and philosophers, writing inNature,advocated for an ethical debate on brain organoids. With their initiative, they wanted to get ahead of the science, establishing guidelines before brain organoid research could raise immediate concerns.

At the meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Elan Ohayon, director and founder of the Green Neuroscience Laboratory in San Diego, and his colleagues argued that serious concerns already have become reality. Ohayon presented a computer model which he believes helps to pinpoint when sentience is likely to arise. He suggests that some of the activity seen in organoids is reminiscent of the activity seen in developing animals and thatorganoid cultures may be capable of supporting sentient activity and behavior. Ohayon calls for a set of criteria to be applied to organoids that could help determine sentience and set ethical rules.

Brain organoids likely have a long way to go until they develop consciousness. And there is also likely a long way to go until they help researchers achieve therapeutic benefits. However, the promise of these blobs is so great that giving up brain organoid research altogethergiven the suffering caused by neurological and psychiatric diseases, and the lack of other modelscould itself be unethical. Whether or not any ethical lines have been crossed already, it is high time that neuroscientists, and society, come to terms with the question: What will organoids be able to tell us, and are we prepared to pay the price?

This article originally appeared on JSTOR Daily. Read the original here.

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What a time to be alive: Reproductive breakthroughs of the 2010s that changed life as we know it – FOX 10 News Phoenix

By daniellenierenberg

This undated screen grab shows the cell-division of two fertilized human embryos during the first 24 hours of embryonic development following IVF treatment at a private clinic in London. ( Jim Dyson/Getty Images )

LOS ANGELES - Some of the scientific advancements of the 2010s have been truly mind-blowing, and perhaps none more so than the leaps and bounds weve made in the realm of reproduction.

This was not only the decade in which the first three-parent baby was born, it was the era when a rogue scientist chose to make edits to a set of twin girls DNA, making real the long-imagined scenario of genetically altering human beings while simultaneously thrusting the deeply complicated ethical discussions surrounding this practice into the limelight.

These are the five most life-altering breakthroughs in reproduction from the past decade.

In 2018, Chinese biophysics researcher He Jiankui announced that he had used the gene-editing tool CRISPR to modify the genes of two twin girls before birth. He and his team said that their goal was to make the girls immune to infection by HIV through the elimination of a gene called CCR5.

When the news broke, many mainstream scientists criticized the attempt, calling it too unsafe to try. Where some people saw the potential for a new kind of medical treatment capable of eradicating genetic disease, others saw a window into a dystopian future filled with designer babies and framed by a new kind of eugenics.

At the time, Dr. Kiran Musunuru, a University of Pennsylvania gene-editing expert, said Hes work was unconscionable... an experiment on human beings that is not morally or ethically defensible.

Other experts believe Hes work could propel the field of gene editing forward.

The twins, known as Lulu and Nana, have continued to make headlines since their birth. The gene modification that He claims to have carried out may have caused some unintended mutations in other parts of the genome, which could have unpredictable consequences for their health long term something many scientists who argue against Hes work cite as a reason to hold off on using gene-editing technology on humans.

Only time will tell what will happen to Lulu and Nana and if the edits to their DNA ultimately help or hurt them, but their story pushed the topic of human gene-editing and the ethics surrounding it to the forefront of the global scientific community.

In 2016, a technique called mitochondrial transfer was used successfully for the first time to create a three-parent baby grown from a fathers sperm, a mothers cell nucleus and a third donors egg that had the nucleus removed.

This technique was developed to prevent the transmission of certain genetic disorders through the mothers mitochondria. The majority of a three-parent babys DNA would come from his parents in the form of nuclear DNA, and only a small portion would come from the donor in the form of mitochondrial DNA.

A team led by physician John Zhang at the New Hope Fertility Center in New York City facilitated the birth of the first three-parent baby in April 2016.

Using human pluripotent stem cells, researchers were able to make the precursors of human sperm or eggs. In other words, they reprogrammed skin and blood stem cells to become an early-state version of what would eventually become either sperm or an egg.

"The creation of primordial germ cells is one of the earliest events during early mammalian development," Dr. Naoko Irie, first author of the paper from the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute at the University of Cambridge told Science Daily. "It's a stage we've managed to recreate using stem cells from mice and rats, but until now few researches have done this systematically using human stem cells. It has highlighted important differences between embryo development in humans and rodents that may mean findings in mice and rats may not be directly extrapolated to humans."

A 2018 study showed that gene editing can allow two same-sex mice to conceive pups, and two female mice were able to successfully create healthy pups that then went on to reproduce themselves.

A team of researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, led by developmental biologist Qi Zhou, were able to use gene editing to produce 29 living mice from two females, seven of which went on to have their own pups. They were able to produce 12 pups from two male parents, but those offspring were not able to live more than two days.Whether or not the method can one day be used in same-sex human reproduction is still up for debate.

For the first time ever, Chinese scientists were able to clone two primates using the technique that produced Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell via nuclear transfer.

The two cloned female macaques were named Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, and their successful birth opened up the possibility of using the same cloning method to one day clone humans.

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Fred Hutch science and research highlights 2019 – Fred Hutch News Service

By daniellenierenberg

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center researchers continued to explore the edge of human knowledge as they seek cures for cancer, HIV and other diseases. Here we highlight a sampling of the most interesting and important research from the past year.

Why does a common virus plague bone marrow transplant patients? New study challenges dogma, opens door to new therapies.

You may not have heard of cytomegalovirus, but the two of you have likely met.

In fact, odds are its dozing inside you right now.

Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, infects at least half of all adults worldwide. Most are unaware theyre infected because their healthy immune system keeps it in check. The virus slips into dormancy, becoming a passive and lifelong passenger.

But CMV can roar back to life in anyone with a compromised immune system. The results can be life-threatening, and the virus has plagued bone marrow transplant patients for decades.

Astudy in Sciencemay rewrite the story of why the virus wreaks such havoc and hint at how to stop it.

The research challenges long-held theories about how the body controls CMV. The twist: The immune systems defense against CMV isnt a solo performance. After years of studying a mouse model, a team of researchers led byDr. Geoffrey Hillshows that an unsung actor antibodies plays a vital role.

Antibodies are one of the bodys chief ways of defending itself against infection. These Y-shaped proteins can bind, like a lock and key, to bad actors and neutralize them.

Hills insight could pave the way for cheaper, safer therapies using antibodies to protect transplant patients against CMV. In a tantalizing hint, the researchers found that a dose of the right antibodies after transplantation can keep the virus dormant in mice, without the need for any other immune cells.

This is a big deal for the transplant field, said Hill, the studys senior author and director of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation at Fred Hutch. Were turning dogma on its head, and that could meet the urgent need for inexpensive and nontoxic therapies to improve patient outcomes.

Microbiome triggers top killer after bone marrow transplant and theres a potential way to stop it

Bone marrow transplants have beencuring some blood cancers for decades. But for just as long, a potentially fatal complication has lurked in the background.

In a bone marrow transplant, a patients diseased blood-forming stem cells are wiped out and then replaced by a donors healthy cells. Those donor cells are the key to the cure; they recognize and attack the patients cancer cells.

But sometimes they attack the patients healthy cells, too. This condition, called graft-vs.-host disease, can develop throughout the patients body in organs like the skin, liver, eyes and lungs.

If GVHD occurs in the gut, it can be lethal. Buthowthe disease occurs has been a mystery.

Until now.A studypublished in the journal Immunity identifies the complex chain of events that triggers GVHD in the gut. It involves a large cast of cells and molecules, including some from a surprising source: the trillions of tiny organisms that live in and on us known as the microbiome.

The scientists, led by Drs. Motoko Koyama andGeoffrey Hillof Fred Hutch, also found a promising clue as they traced the diseases complicated pathway. One of the key players in that pathway is a chemical signal called interleukin-12. By snuffing out that signal, the researchers could prevent the disease from happening in mice. They are now applying for funding to test this approach in transplant patients via a clinical trial.

For Hill and Koyama, the study caps years of experiments trying to solve this whodunit. The question was never just academic. Both have seen transplant patients suffer and die from GVHD.

Whether you live or die after a [donor] bone marrow transplant can, to a large extent, depend on whether or not you get graft-vs.-host disease of the gut, Hill said. Now that we understand that the gut both initiates and is itself the target of GVHD, we might be able to intervene to stop the whole process from starting.

High-tech approach solves real mystery in many cancers

Genetic mutations are the spark and fuel for cancer. Hundreds of DNA mutations have been linked to human cancers, and theyre easier than ever to find and catalog, thanks to new genomic technologies.

But its remained difficult to find out what those mutations are doing to drive cancer growth so that scientists can design new treatments to intervene.

In research published in the journal Nature, a coast-to-coast group of collaborators applied a powerful new method to do just that. The team showed how one commonly mutated gene actually drives cancer growth and how, potentially, to counteract it.

Even for very well-studied mutations, its frequently not obvious what the specific underlying processes are that promote cancer growth, said the studys co-leader, Dr. Robert Bradley of Fred Hutch. When we understand how to map a mutation to the development of cancer, then we can start to think about how to block that process for therapy.

The gene Bradley and collaborators studied, called SF3B1, was mutated in 19 different ways in the several different cancer types they looked at. That gene is so critical to a fundamental cell process that when it is mutated, things get screwed up all over the cell.

The biggest surprise to the scientists was that, out of all this complexity, an elegantly simple answer emerged. No matter how SF3B1 was mutated, no matter in what type of cancer they examined, no matter what else was out of whack in the cells, just one key process was central in driving cancer growth.

Once they knew what the problematic mechanism was, the scientists could intervene. In mice, implanted human tumors started to shrink when injected with the researchers custom-designed molecular repair kit.

The experimental treatment they designed is years away from human patients. For now, they hope their work prompts other researchers to study this mechanism to prove that its happening in many cancers with SF3B1 mutations.

Study reveals how blood vessels in the bone marrow protect dormant tumor cells, suggests a way to kill them in their sleep

Researchers at Fred Hutch may have found a way to essentially smother cancer cells in their sleep, preventing them from ever waking up and forming deadly metastatic tumors.

The work, led by translational researcher Dr. Cyrus Ghajar, has also turned on its ear the longstanding belief that chemotherapy cant kill dormant disseminated tumor cells cancer cells that escape early on and hide out in other regions of the body because those cells are in a sleeper state. Theyve stopped growing, so chemo which blindly targets all fast-growing cells, healthy and otherwise doesnt work.

Thats not quite the case.

Its always been assumed that dormant cells cannot be killed by any kind of chemotherapy because theyre not dividing, said Ghajar, who runs the Laboratory for the Study of Metastatic Microenvironments at Fred Hutch. But what were showing is thats not true. Theyre relying on survival signaling in their microenvironment, in this case specifically from blood vessels within the bone marrow. And if you can take away that signaling, you can sensitize them to chemotherapy.

Ghajars paper, published in Nature Cell Biology, is the culmination of more than four years work and proposes both a paradigm shift in how we view dormant disseminated tumor cells and a new therapy to potentially slay this sleeping giant. Although its still early days, Ghajar and his team slashed the metastatic relapse rate in his mice by more than two-thirds.

Cancer doesnt just spread because a primary tumor has reached a certain size or stage. Disseminated tumor cells, or DTCs, can break off before a tumor has even formed and travel to distant sites in the body where they lie dormant until something wakes them up and they start the deadly process of metastasis, or cancer spread/colonization.

One common hideout for these sleepy creeps is the bone marrow. Dormant tumor cells have been found in the bone marrow of breast cancer patients at the very earliest stage of the disease DCIS or stage 0 and Ghajar said theyre mostly likely present in other patients with early-stage disease, as well.

Past research has shown an association between DTCs in the bone marrow of cancer patients and metastatic recurrence and not necessarily just bone metastasis.

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Failed Alzheimers drug boosts CAR T-cell therapy

Engineered immune cells get a helping hand in new clinical trial for multiple myeloma patients

They may not have made a dent against Alzheimers. But it turns out experimental drugs called gamma secretase inhibitors, or GSIs, sure can bedevil cancer. Fred Hutch research describes how GSIs can reverse a crafty disappearing act that multiple myeloma pulls on the immune system. That ability to vanish even tricks T cells that are genetically programmed to home in on and attack myeloma cells.

* * *

How to boost cancer clinical trial participation

New study suggests loosening strict comorbidity criteria would open trials to thousands of previously exempt patients

A new study led by Dr. Joseph Unger offers a tantalizing solution to low clinical trial participation: loosen up the strict eligibility criteria. Low participation is a problem thats plagued cancer researchers for decades, with most estimates putting adult cancer patient involvement at less than 5%. In many cases, the patients clinical status that is, their various medical conditions exclude them from even being considered for a trial.

* * *

Baiting for B cells: A clever new way to make an AIDS vaccine

Researchers fish for rare blood cells that can evolve into HIV blockers

Scientists at Fred Hutch have developed a new strategy to counter the frustrating ability of HIV to sidestep vaccines designed to block it. It is a scheme that relies on one of the oldest tricks in the book for a fisherman: Use the right bait. The vaccine researchers were able to use a tiny chunk of protein as bait to fish for extremely rare white blood cells hidden within ordinary blood.

* * *

Special delivery: Gold nanoparticles ship CRISPR cargo

Scientists used their new golden courier to edit genes tied to HIV, genetic blood disorders

Tiny golden delivery trucks created at Fred Hutch can ship CRISPR into human blood stem cells, offering a potential way to treat diseases like HIV and sickle cell anemia. And the researchers behind those trucks have even bigger distribution dreams.

* * *

Immunotherapy prevents relapse in small leukemia trial

Engineered T cells kept leukemia from returning in 12 high-risk patients

The statistics are grim: For patients with high-risk acute myeloid leukemia, more than 60% will relapse within two years of a bone marrow transplant. The return of their cancer is the leading cause of death for these patients.

Butresults from a small trialof genetically modified immune cells hint at a way of protecting these patients. Scientists used engineered T cells to prevent relapse in 12 AML patients after a bone marrow transplant put their disease in remission. They all remain cancer-free after a median follow-up of more than three years.

* * *

Nanotech turns pro-tumor immune cells into cancer-killing triple agents

Strategy doubles survival in mice with cancer

Our immune cells usually do a great job of keeping us healthy, staving off infection and killing tumor cells. But sometimes, they betray us and join the enemy: cancer. Tumors often release factors that convince immune cells to help tumors instead of hurting them. But what if these double agent immune cells could be convinced to switch allegiance yet again? Nanotechnology could be the key to redirecting specialized immune cells to attack and shrink tumors. Research showed in mice that minuscule, dissolving polymer particles can ferry genetic instructions that temporarily rewire certain immune-suppressing cells into cancer fighters without causing bodywide toxicities.

* * *

Public health throws shade on tanning, and it works

New study shows sharp drop in melanoma rates in people under 30, but skin cancer rates still going up in those over 40

In a big win for cancer prevention, Fred Hutch and University of Washington researchers found a sustained, statistically and clinically significant downtrend in melanoma rates in people under 30 a near 25% drop over 10 years time.

Fred Hutch News Service writers Susan Keown, Daine Mapes, Jake Siegel, Sabrina Richards and Sabin Russell contributed reporting for these articles.

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Brown fat warms your body in cold weather | NOVA – NOVA Next

By daniellenierenberg

Have you ever wondered why the first cold day of fall feels so much colder than a day the exact same temperature at the end of the winter? Its not just a matter of perspective: Your body really is more prepared for cold conditions at certain times of the yearthanks to a mysterious form of fat.

When you experience cold, your body responds in a few noticeable ways. Your blood vessels constricta process called vasoconstrictiontaking blood away from your extremities and keeping it near your core. And you shiver, meaning certain muscles start shaking to produce heat. But shivering also triggers the release of a hormone called irisin, which jump-starts a lesser-known cold weather response: the activation and buildup of brown fat.

Brown adipose tissue, or brown fat, is different from the white fat we might think of when discussing diet or weight loss. White fat lines our skin and muscles, cushioning our organs and bones. But brown fat appears only in specific areas around the neck, spine, aorta, and kidneys. It builds up in clumps around major blood vessels, warming the blood as it passes through the body. If vasoconstriction is closing the window, brown fat is turning on the heater, says Yossi Rathner, a physiologist at the University of Melbourne.

We dont create enough brown fat to cause noticeable weight gain, but the small deposits are still powerful thanks to their high concentration of energy-creating mitochondria. Instead of burning calories to produce energy to power the body, the mitochondria in brown fat burn calories to produce heat. By acting like little heating stations for blood vessels, these soft clumps of insulation help us deal with the cold more efficiently than shivering, which expends a lot of energy, and vasoconstriction, which puts us at risk of frostbite.

Your body goes from a rickety radiator to a smooth central heating system by the end of the winter, says Francesco S. Celi, a professor of medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University.

But the effect only lasts for as long as we need it. When the temperature warms up, brown fat fades away. If we are not exposed to the cold, the brown fat will atrophy, says Barbara Cannon, a physiologist at Stockholm University. There may be a few stem cells left in the area for later regeneration, but it will nearly disappear, Cannon says.

Even a one-month tropical vacation is enough to deplete ones brown fat reserves, Celi says, creating that extra cold sensation a traveler might feel upon returning to a cold climate.

You could say brown fat is winter's undercover hero, dropping in when we need it most, and disappearing once the job is done. So, the next time a chilly day leaves you shivering, just remember help is on the way.

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New technology being used to heal serious wounds – WWLTV.com

By daniellenierenberg

NEW ORLEANS Nancy Van Den Akker went through a difficult time.

Compressed discs caused pain shooting down her leg. In May, she had surgery to fix that. Then there was another problem.

"Was about ready to start physical therapy when apparently some of the stitches in the side opened up. I had kind of these gaping holes there," said Nancy Van Den Akker.

It's harder for diabetics like Nancy to heal, so even with standard wound medicine the incision stayed open for three months. Then Tulane reconstructive plastic surgeon Dr. Abigail Chaffin asked Nancy to try new technology.

"What we're talking about today is living tissue. These are donated placentas from healthy mothers, undergoing planned C-sections, that give consent to donate tissue that would otherwise be discarded," explained Dr. Abigail Chaffin, a reconstructive plastic surgeon specializing in wound medicine who is the Medical Director of the MedCentris Wound Healing Institute at Tulane.

The tissue comes in many sizes. Dr. Chaffin spreads it out over the wound, then it's bandaged for a week. The tissue bathes the wound in growth factors and stem cells helping regenerate your own tissue, faster.

"These can be used for many different type of wounds, from diabetic ulcers, venous ulcers, non-healing surgical wounds, over any area of the body," said Dr. Chaffin.

This can keep people out of the operating room with anesthesia and from having a painful skin graft that leaves a big scar. It can also help prevent infection and limb amputation. She even used it successfully before surgery on a young patient whose wound did not heal for 10 years.

Nancy healed in four weeks with the treatment.

"It's all healed up. I don't even feel it. Within just a couple of weeks, I was able to start physical therapy," said Nancy Van Den Akker.

Every time someone is finished with the treatment the medical team rings a big bell hanging in the center.

Now that her medical team has declared Nancy healed, she can't wait to take the senior dog she rescued out for walks again.

Here are more before and after pictures:

The MedCentris Wound Healing Institute is doing a study at Tulane on the effectiveness of the new technology.

It's for any child or adult who has an open wound for at least four weeks.It is through your insurance and co-pay.

For more call 504-399-3605 or toll free, 1-855-HEAL-DAT.

Get breaking news from your neighborhood delivered directly to you by downloading the new FREE WWL-TV News app now in theIOS App StoreorGoogle Play.

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What a time to be alive: Reproductive breakthroughs of the 2010s that changed life as we know it – FOX 11 Los Angeles

By daniellenierenberg

This undated screen grab shows the cell-division of two fertilized human embryos during the first 24 hours of embryonic development following IVF treatment at a private clinic in London. ( Jim Dyson/Getty Images )

LOS ANGELES - Some of the scientific advancements of the 2010s have been truly mind-blowing, and perhaps none more so than the leaps and bounds weve made in the realm of reproduction.

This was not only the decade in which the first three-parent baby was born, it was the era when a rogue scientist chose to make edits to a set of twin girls DNA, making real the long-imagined scenario of genetically altering human beings while simultaneously thrusting the deeply complicated ethical discussions surrounding this practice into the limelight.

These are the five most life-altering breakthroughs in reproduction from the past decade.

In 2018, Chinese biophysics researcher He Jiankui announced that he had used the gene-editing tool CRISPR to modify the genes of two twin girls before birth. He and his team said that their goal was to make the girls immune to infection by HIV through the elimination of a gene called CCR5.

When the news broke, many mainstream scientists criticized the attempt, calling it too unsafe to try. Where some people saw the potential for a new kind of medical treatment capable of eradicating genetic disease, others saw a window into a dystopian future filled with designer babies and framed by a new kind of eugenics.

At the time, Dr. Kiran Musunuru, a University of Pennsylvania gene-editing expert, said Hes work was unconscionable... an experiment on human beings that is not morally or ethically defensible.

Other experts believe Hes work could propel the field of gene editing forward.

The twins, known as Lulu and Nana, have continued to make headlines since their birth. The gene modification that He claims to have carried out may have caused some unintended mutations in other parts of the genome, which could have unpredictable consequences for their health long term something many scientists who argue against Hes work cite as a reason to hold off on using gene-editing technology on humans.

Only time will tell what will happen to Lulu and Nana and if the edits to their DNA ultimately help or hurt them, but their story pushed the topic of human gene-editing and the ethics surrounding it to the forefront of the global scientific community.

In 2016, a technique called mitochondrial transfer was used successfully for the first time to create a three-parent baby grown from a fathers sperm, a mothers cell nucleus and a third donors egg that had the nucleus removed.

This technique was developed to prevent the transmission of certain genetic disorders through the mothers mitochondria. The majority of a three-parent babys DNA would come from his parents in the form of nuclear DNA, and only a small portion would come from the donor in the form of mitochondrial DNA.

A team led by physician John Zhang at the New Hope Fertility Center in New York City facilitated the birth of the first three-parent baby in April 2016.

Using human pluripotent stem cells, researchers were able to make the precursors of human sperm or eggs. In other words, they reprogrammed skin and blood stem cells to become an early-state version of what would eventually become either sperm or an egg.

"The creation of primordial germ cells is one of the earliest events during early mammalian development," Dr. Naoko Irie, first author of the paper from the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute at the University of Cambridge told Science Daily. "It's a stage we've managed to recreate using stem cells from mice and rats, but until now few researches have done this systematically using human stem cells. It has highlighted important differences between embryo development in humans and rodents that may mean findings in mice and rats may not be directly extrapolated to humans."

A 2018 study showed that gene editing can allow two same-sex mice to conceive pups, and two female mice were able to successfully create healthy pups that then went on to reproduce themselves.

A team of researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, led by developmental biologist Qi Zhou, were able to use gene editing to produce 29 living mice from two females, seven of which went on to have their own pups. They were able to produce 12 pups from two male parents, but those offspring were not able to live more than two days.Whether or not the method can one day be used in same-sex human reproduction is still up for debate.

For the first time ever, Chinese scientists were able to clone two primates using the technique that produced Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell via nuclear transfer.

The two cloned female macaques were named Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, and their successful birth opened up the possibility of using the same cloning method to one day clone humans.

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Warm up to that glass of carrot ginger juice: It boosts your immune function – TheHealthSite

By daniellenierenberg

Ginger and carrot are powerhouses of nutrition. They are endowed with essential nutrients like vitamins A and C, beta carotene, folate, so on and so forth. While carrot is a good option for people with type 2 diabetes, ginger has long been used in the traditional Indian medicines like Ayurveda and naturopathy to treat a host of ailments like cough and cold, inflammation, nausea, etc. So, sipping a glass of ginger carrot juice every day is a great idea for more reasons than one. Here, we share with you, the most crucial health benefits of ginger carrot juice.

White blood cells are essential components of your immune system. They are formed out of your bone marrow stem cells with the help of vitamin A. Carrot ginger juice is the storehouse of this nutrient. So, have a glass of this drink every day even if you dont like the taste. Smart tip: Add a few oranges to your glass of carrot orange juice.

Loaded with vitamin C, this detox drink is a natural crusader against cancer. This vitamin reduces your risk of breast and stomach cancers. Additionally, gingerol, a chemical component of ginger, can be useful in taming ovarian cancer cells, suggests a study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology. These components also strengthen your fight against colon cancer cells, finds the same study.

Carrot ginger juice is rich in vitamins C and E. Both play a very significant role in ensuring a healthy skin tone and texture. Vitamin C helps in the synthesis of collagen, a protein that gives your skin its structure, strength and elasticity. It also heals skin wounds. Vitamin E, on the other hand, protects your skin against the harsh UV rays of the sun. Rich in antioxidants, this vitamin also regulates the inflammation levels of your skin.

This is a super easy recipe which doesnt take more than 10 minutes for preparation.

Prep time: 10 minutesServes: 1

8 medium-sized carrots, washed, peeled and tops cut off8 medium-sized oranges, peeled and deveined1 3-inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled

Simply run all the ingredients in a juicer, pour the juice in a glass and serve.

Published : December 27, 2019 3:33 pm

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Face tools to get perfect winter glow – The Statesman

By daniellenierenberg

Incorporating a facial massage tool into your daily beauty routine might just be the fast-track way to get flawless skin and now, you dont need to be a professional to own one. The following beauty tools for hair, skin, and foot are the perfect winter season must-haves for that product lover who wants flawless, uplifted and natural glow in their skin.

Roller

This elegant tool provides gentle yet effective massages for the eye, face, neck and body areas. It is naturally cool to touch, immediately soothing your skin and depuffing areas prone to water retention like the under-eye area. With regular and continued use, your skin will glow and look younger every time. The gentle rolling motion eases tension knots in your facial muscles and anxieties away.

Derma Roller for hair growth

Just like the skin on our face, the scalp also loses collagen as we age, resulting in slow hair growth and dormant hair follicles. Derma Roller brings blood flow and nutrients to the scalp and induces new stem cells that support hair growth. Derma Roller is a safe and promising tool in hair stimulation and also is useful to treat hair loss.

Paraffin Socks for crack heels

A special, intensive and easy-to-use foot treatment mask that features a sock type design that envelopes the whole foot. The innovative rejuvenating formula guarantees deep and intensive regeneration and hydration of dry patches on hands, feet, and heels. It intensively smoothens out and firms the skin, lubricates and gently warms up, as well as improve the condition of the skin.

Face massager

A Face Massager through micro-vibration gives your facial muscles the right amount of stimulation in order to get a firming effect to improve the skin. It can also reduce wrinkles around eyes, lips, forehead, and neck, and instantly reshape the face contour to reveal your youthful look and energy! It can beautify your skin, only using it for 2 3 minutes per day.

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Local firm adds a new wrinkle to anti-aging products – Williamson Daily News

By daniellenierenberg

HUNTINGTON Serucell Corporation, a cosmeceutical company based in Huntington, has developed the worlds only dual-cell technology to create and produce anti-aging skincare products, and they did it in Huntington.

Serucell KFS Cellular Protein Complex Serum is made start to finish at Serucells laboratory on the south side of Huntington.

This has been one of the best kept secrets in West Virginia, said Cortland Bohacek, executive chairman and a co-founder of Serucell Corporation.

The company soft launch was in September 2018 at The Greenbrier Spas. The Official online launch was April 2019 and is getting exposure with some well known sellers like Neiman Marcus, local dermatologist and plastic surgeons offices and several other retail locations from New York to California. It is also sold online at serucell.com.

One person that has tried the product is Jennifer Wheeler, who is also a Huntington City Council member.

As a consumer I have an appreciation of the quality of the product and the results Ive seen using it, she said. It has been transformative for my skin and seems like its success will be transformative for our city as well.

She said Serucell and the people behind it are impressive on every level.

In my role on council, Im especially grateful for the companys conscious effort to stay and grow in our city, Wheeler said.

A one-ounce bottle of the serum costs $225. The recommended usage is twice per day and it will last on average of about six weeks.

Serucells active ingredient is called KFS (Keratinocyte Fibroblast Serum), which is made up of more than 1,500 naturally derived super proteins, collagens, peptides and signaling factors that support optimal communication within the cellular makeup of your skin.

This is the first and only dual-cell technology that optimizes hydration and harnesses the power of both keratinocytes and fibroblasts, two essential contributors to maintaining healthy skin by supporting natural rejuvenation of aging skin from the inside out, said Jennifer Hessel, president and CEO of the company.

When applied to the skin, KFS helps boost the skins natural ability to support new collagen and elastin, strengthen the connection and layer of support between the upper and lower layers of your skin. The result, over time is firmer, plumper and smoother skin, according to Hessel.

Why it works so naturally with your skin is because it is natural, Hessel said. These proteins play an important role in strengthening the bond between the layers of your skin, and thats where the re-boot happens.

KFS is the creation of Dr. Walter Neto, Serucells chief science officer and co-founder of the company. Neto is both a physician and a research scientist, specializing in the field of regenerative medicine with an emphasis on skin healing and repair.

Neto said Serucells technology unlocks the key to how our cells communicate and harnesses the signaling power actions to produce the thousands of bioactive proteins necessary to support the skins natural rejuvenation.

Originally from Brazil, Neto studied at Saint Matthews University and completed his clinical training in England. His clinical research on stem-cell cancer therapies, bone and tissue engineering and wound and burn healing led to his discovery in cell-to-cell communication, and ultimately the creation of Serucells KFS Cellular Protein Complex Serum.

Neto received multiple patents for the production method of Serucell KFS Serum.

Neto lives in Huntington with his wife and four golden retrievers.

Neto works alongside his longtime friend, Dr. Brett Jarrell.

I have known Brett since I was 18 years old, Neto said.

Jarrell practices emergency medicine in Ashland, Kentucky, and oversees all aspects of quality control for Serucell. He received his bachelors degree in biology from Wittenberg University, his masters degree in biology from Marshall University and his medical degree from the Marshall University School of Medicine. Jarrell completed his residency at West Virginia University and is board certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine.

Jarrell has served as a clinical instructor of emergency medicine at the Marshall School of Medicine, president of the West Virginia chapter of the American College of Emergency Medicine and he has published a number of peer-reviewed journal articles on stroke research.

Jarrell also lives in Huntington.

Another co-founder of the company is Dr. Tom McClellan.

McClellan is Serucells chief medical officer and director of research and is a well-respected plastic and reconstructive surgeon with a private practice, McClellan Plastic Surgery, in Morgantown.

McClellan completed his plastic and reconstructive surgery training at the world-renowned Lahey Clinic Foundation, a Harvard Medical School and Tufts Medical School affiliate in Boston, Massachusetts. While in Boston, he worked at Lahey Medical Center, Brigham and Womens Hospital, as well as at the Boston Childrens Hospital. McClellan is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

In addition to his practice and role at Serucell, McClellan utilizes his surgical skills through pro bono work with InterplastWV, a non-profit group that provides comprehensive reconstructive surgery to the developing world. He has participated in surgical missions to Haiti, Peru and the Bahamas.

McClellan lives in Morgantown with his family.

All three doctors here have strong connections to West Virginia and we didnt want to leave, Neto said. We all want to give back to West Virginia, so that is the main reason we have our business here in Huntington.

We are building a company we believe can make a difference in the community, Hessel added. Our goal is to grow Serucell and build our brand right here in Huntington. There is a pool of untapped talent here in Huntington. When we expand our business here, we can provide another reason for young people to be able to stay and grow their careers, whether it is in science, operations or manufacturing. The team is a pretty excited to make an impact in the community where it all started.

Hessel decline to give sales numbers, but said the business has been growing each year since the product was introduced. She also declined to give the number of employees at the facility, but did say it has sales representatives across the country.

For more information, visit serucell.com.

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How reindeer might help deliver the gift of scar-free healing to humans – The Globe and Mail

By daniellenierenberg

Almost 30 reindeer live on pastureland on the outskirts of Calgary where Jeff Biernaskie is among the researchers trying to determine if their unique healing abilities can be applied to human skin.

Todd Korol/The Globe and Mail

Kyle Hynes is 27. He likes kayaking, fishing and hiking with his dogs around the Rocky Mountains. He is a project manager at a helicopter company and talks with his hands when he gets excited.

He believes reindeer may hold the secret to making his life even better.

When Mr. Hynes was 5, he survived a house fire that left him with scars over 80 per cent of his body and forced him to endure years of surgeries.

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I do love my scars now, he said. But if I could get rid of my scars, I would be the happiest guy alive.

Mammals scar when serious skin wounds heal. Reindeer, however, are among the few exceptions to the rule, with the velvet on their antlers, specifically, healing flawlessly. Scientists at the University of Calgary believe human skin has the potential to heal with the same reindeer magic.

Almost 30 of the creatures live on pastureland on the outskirts of Calgary. Jeff Biernaskie is among the researchers experimenting on the animals. He is a cell biologist and neurobiologist by training focused on tissue regeneration. His team is trying to figure out how to make human skin respond to injury the way reindeer velvet does. The research has the potential restore both the appearance and function of skin for people such as Mr. Hynes.

Jeff Biernaskie is a cell biologist researching how reindeer velvet heals.

Todd Korol/The Globe and Mail

Reindeer sport velvet on their antlers for three to four months a year. The oily brown fuzz protects the antlers as they grow back each year. Reindeer both male and female depend on antlers for scrounging up food under the snow and for protection from predators. Males also show off their racks in mating season.

Dr. Biernaskie originally wanted to isolate the cells that might be responsible for antler growth, long thought to be stem cells that reside in two bony structures, called pedicles, on either side of the skull. Using anesthetic, his team removed small pieces of skin in order to access the pedicle and noticed that the wounds healed without scarring. Then they made more purposeful wounds and found the velvet regenerated seamlessly. By way of comparison, the scientists inflicted identical wounds elsewhere on the reindeers bodies and noted that the animals scarred at those sample sites.

When mammals are wounded, skin cells around the injury and the immune system rush to seal the site as quickly as possible to prevent infection. The natural response to injury, Dr. Biernaskie believes, is regenerative, but those signals are overwhelmed by scar-forming ones in the race to close the wound.

This, however, does not apply to embryonic cells, which are strictly regenerative. Fetal humans, Dr. Biernaskie says, heal perfectly. He says the cells that make up reindeer velvet exhibit genetic properties similar to those in embryonic cells. So if his team can activate regenerative genes and suppress those that form scars, humans may be able to regrow damaged tissue without flaws.

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It is almost like a circuit breaker," Dr. Biernaskie said. You have some that need to be turned on and others that need to be turned off.

Drugs, administered topically or intravenously, may be able to flip the switch, and Dr. Biernaskies lab is experimenting on mice.

His team has been working on the reindeer project for about five years and expects to reveal its findings next year. (The animals are known as caribou in North America and reindeer in Europe. The Calgary herd comes from European stock, so Dr. Biernaskie is sticking with reindeer in casual conversation. Also, its Christmas.)

Scars can be psychologically and physically disabling. Scars on joints, for example, limit mobility.

That becomes a massive burden on our economy, on our health-care system, but also on their quality of life, Dr. Biernaskie said.

Five years ago, the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society donated $1-million its largest single charitable contribution to support Dr. Biernaskies work. It put up another $1-million this year after his teams progress exceeded expectations.

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Mr. Hynes recognizes that science moves slowly but remains optimistic that he may benefit from Calgarys reindeer.

I live life to the fullest, but when I see this research come out, I get really excited to know that [there is] a possibility it could work for me, he said. [And] for other children who do get burns, theres something there that might cure them.

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Five hot topics in autism research in 2019 – Spectrum

By daniellenierenberg

This year, researchers unearthed clues to the causes of autism and how to treat it from a variety of sources.

Advances in tiny models of the human brain bared new details about the biology of autism and provided possible platforms for testing therapies. Studies of heart rate put a spotlight on the autonomic nervous system as a potential wellspring of autism traits. And others forged a controversial connection between the gut microbiome and autism.

A few studies revealed important information about the time points at which different forms of autism are amenable to therapy. This year also saw scrutiny of tests used for screening and diagnosis, revealing gaps and limitations in the system for identifying autistic children.

Here are the years top five topics in autism research.

Brain organoids start as mere clusters of stem cells, which then are coaxed to mature into brain cells. This year, the life span of these brains-in-a-dish grew to one year and then nearly two, enabling them to mature and mimic some aspects of the human brain. In the longest-lived organoids, researchers tracked changes in the expression of autism genes. Organoids derived from the skin cells of autistic people have a shortage of cells that suppress brain activity, they found. The finding supports the signaling imbalance theory of autism, which holds that the brains of autistic people are hyper-excitable.

This year, scientists also built tiny replicas of two brain areas bridged by a long fiber tract that might reveal how long-range connections are altered in the brains of people with autism.

Brain organoids spun from people with fragile X syndrome may help explain why some experimental fragile X drugs work in mice but not in people and generate leads for effective therapies. Organoids could provide a platform for testing treatments, too, as researchers can now churn out hundreds of these brain-like blobs in parallel and make them uniform in shape and composition.

More distant applications include studies of consciousness and the effects of microgravity on the brain. In a fledgling sign of the former, brain organoids showed synchronized neuronal firing patterns, some aspects of which look like those in preterm infants.

New evidence emerged tying autism to the workings of the autonomic nervous system, which controls breathing, heart rate and digestion. Differences in the system could explain a range of autism traits, including social difficulties and sensory sensitivity, as well as heart problems and digestive issues.

Many of these differences show up in the heart rate. Heart rate remains steady in autistic people as they breathe instead of the typical pattern of slowing slightly on exhale and quickening on inhale. This discrepancy arises after 18 months of age, around the same time that the conditions core traits emerge. Children with Rett syndrome also have unusual heart-rate patterns.

These differences may persist beyond childhood. One study showed that autistic adults resting heart rates rarely vary; an even heart rate suggests a lack of flexibility in responding to environmental changes.

Autistic children are unusually prone to gastrointestinal problems. This association may not be a coincidence: Certain genetic mutations or alterations in the microbiome the mix of microbes in the intestines may contribute to both autism and gut problems.

Four mouse studies in 2019 offered up fresh evidence some of it controversial to support this idea. In one study, researchers replaced the gut microbes in mice with those from autistic boys. The mice have repetitive behaviors, make fewer vocalizations and spend less time socializing than controls do, providing the first evidence that gut microbes contribute to autism traits.

But within hours of the studys publication, several experts criticized its small sample size and highly variable results. Others found a possible statistical error.

In an unrelated study, researchers revealed that oral doses of Lactobacillus reuteri, a type of gut bacteria found in yogurt and breast milk, boost social behavior in three mouse models of autism. And two other sets of findings suggested that mutations in NLGN3, a high-confidence autism gene, alter gut function. One of them showed that a mutation in this gene disrupts the mices microbiome.

Drugs for autism may be most effective when given during a critical period of brain development. Researchers delineated the windows for treating autism traits in mouse and rat models of the condition.

One study revealed that by the time mice reach adulthood, they have lost their ability to learn from social experiences. Giving adult mice an injection of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), the active ingredient in ecstasy, reopens the critical window for learning.

In another study, researchers fed the cholesterol drug lovastatin to rat models of fragile X syndrome. The treatment, if given at 4 weeks of age (the rat equivalent of childhood), prevents cognitive problems, the researchers found.

The timing of treatments may be more important for some forms of autism than for others. A study of mice missing UBE3A, the gene mutated in Angelman syndrome, showed that the earlier in life the gene is restored, the more the mice improve.

By contrast, a mutation in the autism gene SCN2A has many of the same effects on neurons when introduced into adolescent mice as it does when it is present from conception. And unpublished results show that correcting an SCN2A mutation in adulthood reverses these problems.

A series of studies this year called into question the accuracy of early screening and revealed racial disparities in autism diagnoses.

Some studies cast doubt on the utility of a widely used screening tool, the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers: The test identifies less than 40 percent of autistic children, and 85 percent of those it does flag do not have autism.

Of the toddlers the test flags, most do not receive follow-up evaluations. And for those who are seen again, a definitive diagnosis may not be possible right away. Some children who screen negative at age 3 meet the diagnostic criteria for autism only after age 5.

Not all children have equal access to autism evaluations, with black and Hispanic children at a disadvantage in several U.S. states. In New Jersey, black children are half as likely as white children to receive an autism assessment by age 3.

About 9 percent of autistic children may outgrow an autism diagnosis but still have other conditions that require support, highlighting the need for continued observation to adapt to their evolving needs.

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5 Things to Know About Hair loss and Scalp Care Centre Papilla Haircare – Singapore Tatler

By daniellenierenberg

By Gerald Tan December 23, 2019 Tatler Focus

The centre offers the latest scalp innovations that address all your hair thinning woes by getting to the root cause

While you are pampering your skin with the most luxurious creams and lotions, dont forget to show your crowning glory some tender loving care, too. Beautiful tresses require plenty of effort and dedication to upkeep, but when you are faced with unfortunate scalp ailments or hair-loss issues, however, maintaining its volume and healthy shine can seem like anuphill task.

Enter hair loss and scalp care centre Papilla Haircare, which might have the solution for all your hair woes.

From state-of-the-art equipment to medicallybacked technologies, here are five things to know about the brand:

Thankfully, advances in science and technology can help alleviate many hairrelated problems. Papilla Haircare has the latest innovative solutions. Located at Ngee Ann City, it is a one-stop hub that utilises the latest medicallybacked technologies. The centre collaborates with doctors and scientists to concoct serums rich in stem cells in its own Korean laboratory to ensure the highest safety standards.

(Related: 7 Natural Beauty Products Your Skin Will Love You For)

Boasting sleek black and gold accents, Papilla Haircares contemporary interiors are a reflection of its cutting-edge services. Its clinically proven programmes are the result of extensive scientific research, meticulously developed by a group of Korean dermatologists and hair transplant surgeons. Thanks to their efficacies, these remedies have also been adopted for post-procedure use at top hair transplant centres in South Korea.

(Related: 5 Foods To Eat For Healthy Hair And Nails)

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