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Racial Disparities In NIH R01 Funding May Be Partly Caused By Topic Choice : Shots – Health News – NPR

By daniellenierenberg

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Dr. Raj & Stem Cell Therapy Innovation – LATF USA

By daniellenierenberg

For anyone who has had hip replacement surgery, Im sure they will agree that it is better to get hit by a bus than to undergo another one. Last year after several years of suffering, I decided to take the leap and go for the hip replacement that my specialist recommended. I was told that it was a common surgery and that it was the best solution for me. Between us; it was probably the most painful thing I have ever gone through. So much so, that at the time, I just wanted to die. Not only did the pain persist for several weeks after the operation, but I was on painkillers for days, which eventually added to my suffering. I had to use a walker for the first 2 weeks and then depended on a cane for over 2 months before I could walk on my own.

My entire demeanor changed, as well as the way I dealt with what once were minor things in life. I feared slipping in the shower, going down the stairs or walking my dogs. No one had prepared me for this. Ive had my share of surgeries including a double mastectomy when I was diagnosed with breast cancer but pain wise; this one was by far the worse. I was hoping after a very long recovery that I would never have to face this situation again. Unfortunately, a year later, I am starting to feel pain on the other side and dread the re-experience of my nightmare.

Although, I heard about Stem Cell, I did not know much about it. So I started to investigate for myself, speak to people, enquire about the procedure and look for a doctor in my area who specialized in Stem Cell. I was willing to do just about anything before considering another hip replacement. After extensive research, I came across Dr. Raj, a Double-Board Certified Orthopedic doctor in Beverly Hills, CA. Going to his website; I learned that he has been in private practice for 10 years. He has been named as one of Americas Top Orthopedists, been featured on the Best of LA and has received numerous other accolades and awards as one of the Top Orthopedic doctors. Providing the ultimate in state-of-the-art orthopedic care, Dr. Rajs practice is always on the cutting-edge of surgical and nonsurgical technologies, such as PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injections, stem cell injections for tendinitis and arthritis, minimally invasive surgery and more.

He is Board Certified as a Medical Legal Specialist in America, as well as, Canada and Dubai (Trial, Testimony, Deposition, IME) with a Subspecialty in Hip and Knee Surgery in Los Angeles, including Sports Surgeries.

He is also an Undergraduate from Dalhousie University in Halifax and Canada. He pursued his medical education at Memorial University PGME, before doing his internship and residency in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. Now that I had found Dr. Raj, all I needed was to get myself educated. So lets start by what are stem cells? This is what I read: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), commonly called stem cells, are precursor cells that havent decided yet what they are going to be in the body. They can differentiate into multiple forms including bone, cartilage, fat and other connective tissues. They play a significant role in the reparative processes throughout the human body.

Where do we find stem cells?

They may be harnessed from fat tissue, bone marrow, synovial tissue or umbilical cord tissue. While stem cell therapy is a promising technology, there is much we are still learning about the causes and pathways that lead to symptomatic osteoarthritis. We have not optimized the factors found in stem cell therapies. To be sure, only the good cells and growth factors are injected into a specific joint. And that is why further research is necessary before being approved by the FDA.

My next move would be to consult with Dr. Raj who would tell me the medical truth, beginning with this question:

What is the current state of Stem Cells and its success rate?

It's relatively new. It's been popular for about 20 years, internationally. In areas like Germany and Korea, it was utilized a lot more. It became popular here when athletes like Kobe Bryant started going to Germany for modified versions of PRP, which led on to regenerative technologies. We have a stigma correlating stem cells with abortions and issues like that. This in itself is completely different. We are not utilizing amniotic stem cells or placenta stem cells. We're utilizing your own stem cells. For issues such as a hip replacement, the most powerful stem cells are the ones in your body. Bone marrow stem cells work well on joints. Joints have zero blood supply. So, if God or the higher power created us where we had blood supply going through our joints, like a cut in our skin - we would constantly replenish or repair. A break in our bone would repair. If you get stem cells and you're in decent enough shape, you will heal no matter what because these stem cells will deposit. Will you heal straight? Probably not - that's where we come into play.

The reason why joints; hips, knees and shoulders degenerate is because there is no blood supply. So, if you have a cut or a loss of cartilage, it stays like that and accumulates overtime. The only way you can control it is externally. You get stronger, you lose weight and you increase your range of motion. But you can't control anything internally.

So regenerative technology is basically utilizing these cells to regenerate cartilage and repair. These are the same cells that flow through our body - and upon signal of an injury will heal skin to skin, bone to bone, tendon to tendon, muscle to muscle. Our joints are just an alcove of joint fluid and no blood supply. The whole concept is - throughout the years, we did steroid injections - they're like band aids. Basically they mask pain. What does masking pain do? It propagates injury. Because we put the band aid on, we don't feel it and we do more. We take this little cut or loss of cartilage and we make it even more over time.

Why is it that specialists do not recommend seeing a surgeon at a certain stage?

There are a lot of people who think one way and everyone is entitled to their own opinions. You can't change opinions.

Are people afraid of stem cells?

Some people are afraid because of stem cells causing cancer. But that's embryonic stem cells.

What is the process?

Bone marrow stem cells are the best because there is a higher chance of live stem cells. Less manipulation, meaning that - in a Mayo Clinic study 4 or 5 years ago, which has a two year follow through on people who are ready to get replacements for joint or knee - they had an 80% success rate where they didn't need it. I do replacements and I do stem cells.

How do you determine what's better for the patient?

My knowledge and years of experience. Also, my knowledge with fitness and being athletic myself. Understanding at a certain point, someone is mechanically compromised. Bone on bone is a term that's been used for years. There are a lot of people who think they are 'bone on bone." Coming from Canada, the US is notorious for doing unnecessary surgeries and replacements. It's the highest rate of replacements in the world. I do not like the term 'bone on bone' because a surgeon will look at an x-ray and say you're bone on bone because that's all they do: replacements. They become a 7-11 or 99 Cents store, lining up 21 people a day. That's not the right way to do things. You don't want to be one of those 21 people getting a replacement because you're not getting that surgeon's full attention. The reality is - you have a PA or an old plastic surgeon who's doing most of your surgery and there is more likelihood of issues. Amongst every specialty there is a lot of ignorance. The whole concept is - you preserve what you have for as long as you can. You have beauty on the outside; you need beauty on the inside too. What's beauty on the inside? Feeling good, you're less inflamed and your joints are healthy.

How does it work with a stem cell procedure?

I extract bone marrow from your pelvis. Take approximately 6 ccs. Under slight sedation, it takes about 5 minutes to take it. Then we separate it via an FDA approved technique. Per FDA, we cannot add anything to it, nor would I want to. We cannot harvest it because the longer it's outside of the body, the better it is. Basically, we then inject those pure cells right away into the joint. It's a four month process for an 80% of regeneration. So, it's not just reduction of inflammation, it's regeneration. It will be a year for a 100% effect. I've had probably about 20% of patients who have taken 6 months+. I've had over a 95% success rate with this technology.

Are you one of the only doctors doing this in LA?

I'm one of them. There are some family and pain management doctors who are doing it. I'm the only Orthopedic surgeon doing it. I'm sure different practitioners are starting to.

Dr. Raj and patient Paula Abdul

How often do you do the stem cell procedure?

You do it one time. It's a powerful injection and there are people Ihave 6 years out who are doing well.

Does it hurt after the fact?

No, not at all. You can walk and move. For example, with your hip - I would combine it with physical therapy to increase your range of motion. Once you have the anti-inflammatory effect, you have to take advantage of it. If you don't increase your range of motion - what happens is - you're walking on one nail vs. 100 nails. You want to dissipate the force over a greater area so that there's a higher chance of external success. Then you strengthen the muscles.

Are there people who are not good candidates for it?

Yes, when it's too far gone. Like I said, people are told they're bone on bone when they're not. They show you different views. It's a marketing gimmick. That person is lined up and ready to sell. Age is relative. There's physiologic age. It really depends on the person. Hypothetically, if you're an inflamed mess, a drinker and abusive to your body, then nothing is going to work. If you take care of yourself and you're motivated with the right protoplasm, then it's going to work.

What about the skeptics or the ones who think it's bad for you?

Don't get me wrong; amniotic stem cells are good for certain situations. Embryonic is bad. It means that it's too far gone. You want live stem cells in an area that does not have blood supply. The data is out there. How can you argue against a Mayo Clinic study with an 80% success rate? How can you argue against the hospitals for special surgery in New York that's doing it, or the Steadman Hawkins Clinic, I'm doing it. Top facilities in the world are doing it and a number of top athletes who are getting it done with success rates. Who's ignorant? Is it that one surgeon or everyone else?

Does insurance cover it?

No, not yet. Insurances are very backwards in terms of their understanding. They would rather cover a replacement.

Is it expensive?

If you break it down par and par and avoid a replacement, not really. On average, you're talking about $7,000, versus hospital, surgeon, facility fees+++,which can be about $25,000.

You're very progressive.

There are a lot of things that I do to try and reduce pain significantly.When I use screws, I use screws that are made out of calcium so they dissolve in your body. Some of my colleagues use tourniquet, I don't use one. I control bleeding and do it in less than an hour. The whole concept is, you don't have atourniquetsqueezing your leg and toxins causing significant pain.

And there you have it. Everything is a risk in life, we do not know if we will wake up tomorrow or if you will get hit by a car and so on so why not try this procedure. I believe that I am lucky enough to have met Dr. Raj. I have taken the decision to undergo the stem cells therapy FDA approved or not, anything before going under the knife one more time. Stay tuned, I will give you a report on the progress.

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Dr. Raj & Stem Cell Therapy Innovation - LATF USA

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Global Cosmetic Skin Care Market 2019: Industry Analysis and Detailed Profiles of Top Industry Players LOral, Unilever, New Avon Company, Este Lauder…

By daniellenierenberg

Global Cosmetic Skin Care Market report covers the present scenario and the growth prospects of the global market and includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in the market. It intends to supply an entire 360-degree perspective of this market concerning cutting edge technology, key advancement, drivers and restraints and prospective trends with impact analysis. This study also analyzes the market status, market share, growth rate, future trends, market drivers, opportunities and challenges, risk and entry barriers. This Global Cosmetic Skin Care Market report presents the market competitive landscape and a corresponding detailed analysis of the major vendor/key players in the market.

Global cosmetic skin care market is set to witness a substantial CAGR of 5.5% in the forecast period of 2019- 2026. The report contains data of the base year 2018 and historic year 2017. Increasing self-consciousness among population and rising demand for anti- aging skin care products are the factor for the market growth.

Key Market Competitors:

Few of the major competitors currently working in the global cosmetic skin care market are LOral, Unilever, New Avon Company, Este Lauder Companies, Espa, Kao Corporation, Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., Procter & Gamble, Beiersdorf, THE BODY SHOP INTERNATIONAL LIMITED, Shiseido Co.,Ltd., Coty Inc., Bo International, A One Cosmetics Products, Lancme, Clinique Laboratories, llc., Galderma Laboratories, L.P., AVON Beauty Products India Pvt Ltd, Nutriglow Cosmetics Pvt. Ltd, Shree Cosmetics Ltd among others.

Market Definition:

Cosmetic skin care is a variety of products which are used to improve the skins appearance and alleviate skin conditions. It consists different products such as anti- aging cosmetic products, sensitive skin care products, anti- scar solution products, warts removal products, infant skin care products and other. They contain various ingredients which are beneficial for the skin such as phytochemicals, vitamins, essential oils, and other. Their main function is to make the skin healthy and repair the skin damages.

Segmentation:Global Cosmetic Skin Care Market

Global Cosmetic Skin Care Market By Product (Anti-Aging Cosmetic Products, Skin Whitening Cosmetic Products, Sensitive Skin Care Products, Anti-Acne Products, Dry Skin Care Products, Warts Removal Products, Infant Skin Care Products, Anti-Scars Solution Products, Mole Removal Products, Multi Utility Products), Application (Flakiness Reduction, Stem Cells Protection against UV, Rehydrate the skins surface, Minimize wrinkles, Increase the viscosity of Aqueous, Others), Gender (Men, Women), Distribution Channel (Online, Departmental Stores and Convenience Stores, Pharmacies, Supermarket, Others), Geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, Middle East and Africa) Industry Trends and Forecast to 2026

Competitive Analysis:

Global cosmetic skin care market is highly fragmented and the major players have used various strategies such as new product launches, expansions, agreements, joint ventures, partnerships, acquisitions, and others to increase their footprints in this market. The report includes market shares of cosmetic skin care market for Global, Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific, South America and Middle East & Africa.

Table Of Content: Cosmetic Skin Care Market

Part 01: Executive SummaryPart 02: Scope Of The ReportPart 03: Cosmetic Skin CarePart 04: Global Cosmetic Skin Care Market SizingPart 05: Global Cosmetic Skin Care Market Segmentation By ProductPart 06: Five Forces AnalysisPart 07: Customer LandscapePart 08: Geographic LandscapePart 09: Decision FrameworkPart 10: Drivers And ChallengesPart 11: Market TrendsPart 12: Vendor LandscapePart 13: Vendor Analysis

Continue. .

For Detailed TOC @ https://www.databridgemarketresearch.com/toc/?dbmr=global-cosmetic-skin-care-market

Market Drivers:

Market Restraints:

Key Developments in the Market:

Key Insights in the report:

The report provides insights on the following points:

About Data Bridge Market Research:

Data Bridge Market Research set forth itself as an unconventional and neoteric Market research and consulting firm with unparalleled level of resilience and integrated approaches. We are determined to unearth the best market opportunities and foster efficient information for your business to thrive in the market. Data Bridge endeavors to provide appropriate solutions to the complex business challenges and initiates an effortless decision-making process.

Contact:

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Email: Corporatesales@databridgemarketresearch.com

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Global Cosmetic Skin Care Market 2019: Industry Analysis and Detailed Profiles of Top Industry Players LOral, Unilever, New Avon Company, Este Lauder...

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Top 5 stories on cosmetic formulation and science – CosmeticsDesign-Asia.com

By daniellenierenberg

1 VIDEO: Alternative animal testing device may soon be available to the cosmetics industry

The team behind an alternative animal testing device, skin-on-a-chip, is forming new start-up to commercialise the product and offer its services to the cosmetic industry.

At this years Society of Comstics Scientists (SCSS) Suppliers Day, we sat down with Dr. Massimo Alberti, from Polaris Science to learn more about the innovation, which is backed by The Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech).

Alberti and his colleagues successfully reconstructed human skin on a compact, microfluidic device which can reduce or eventually replace animal testing.

The device is a system where you can stimulate blood flow, recreate the microenvironment in which the skin or the tissue you want to study is absolutely close to the physiological condition, said Alberti, who believes will be a game-changer for the industry.

[The cosmetic industry] is constantly struggling with the cost of R&D and need to bring products on the market as fast as they can. At the same time, the whole supply chain is affected because the ingredient providers and research organisations that have to follow those needs and also be able to provide those kinds of service rapidly and reliably, he said.

2 Dior collaborates with leading Japanese lab to study the mechanism of skin metabolism

The research arm of LVMH is collaborating with the Centre for iPS Cell Research and Application of Kyoto University (CiRA) to study the mechanism of skin metabolism for Parfums Christian Dior.

The aim of the joint project is to explore how oxidative metabolism affects skin keratinocyte self-renewal or differentiation capabilities.

The effects of age on mitochondrial status, skin regeneration and differentiation will be investigated with the hope of contributing to major therapeutic discoveries in the skin and cutaneous rejuvenation, said CiRA in a press statement.

Under the direction of Nobel Prize laureate Shinya Yamanaka, CiRA is a leading centre for induced pluripotent stem cell research.

According to CiRA, iPS cells are cells generated by introducing a small number of factors into body cells such as skin cells and blood cells.

3 Super hydrator: Kao develops new formulation that targets rough and dry skin

Kao Corporation has developed a novel formulation which it claims can smooth away roughness caused by dry skin.

Developed by the Japanese firms Skin Care Laboratory, Material Science Laboratory, and Analytical Science Laboratory, the formulation is a combination of large water-content alpha-gel and an OXP-SI polymer.

The combined formula was found to be absorbed into regions with micro-scaling. According to Kao, micro-scaling is a condition in which the horny layer skin is thinly exfoliated in pieces.

According to a survey conducted by Kao, an increasingly large number of Japanese women now suffer from dry skin. Among them, more than 90% were found to have micro-scaling on the skin surface.

4 Moisture-retaining membrane: Kao develops new formula with fine fibre tech to reduce moisture-loss on skin

Further research on Kaos fine fibre technology has revealed its effects on protein expression in the stratum corneum and potential to improve skin condition with what the firm claims is a unique formula.

Kao Corporation first announced the development of its fine fibre technology in 2018. The technology creates a barely-visible film on the skins surface, creating an ultra-thin membrane on looks and feels natural.

Since then, the companys Skincare Research Laboratory and Analytical Science Laboratory have developed a novel formula based on fine fibre tech which claims to control water evaporation on the surface of skin.

Futher research found that controling the moisture premaebility affects the expression of the proteins that were linked to healthy skin conditions.

5 Base notes with benefits: Down Under expands wood oils portfolio to meet APAC consumer demands

Australian ingredient provider Down Under Enterprises has launched a collection of native Aussie wood oils to cater to the increasingly complex demands of APAC beauty consumers.

The collection consists of locally-scoured Australian blue cypress oil, Australian buddha wood oil, Australian sandalwood oil, Indian sandalwood oil and Australian white cypress wood oil.

Phil Prather, head of marketing and operations at Down Under Enterprises, told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that the firm believed there was a need for more variety of oils that offer functional benefits.

For instance, Prather elaborated, buddha wood oil and blue cypress oil have anti-inflammatory properties while white cypress oil has demonstrated skin brightening properties.

What we want formulators to understand is that these oils are more than just a base note. These oils can provide functional properties for their formulations. Properties that are based on clear science that has been published in clinical papers, he said.

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9 Iconic Anti-Aging Eye Creams, and Their More Affordable Dupes – Yahoo Lifestyle

By daniellenierenberg

We know we're not alone when we say that we could easily spend a large chunk of our salaries on skincare. Between the constant new launches and those OG holy grails, there are just too many opportunities to shop. As beauty editors, we're lucky enough to have access to the most luxurious products on the market, but we're well aware that it's not always feasible to shell out so much money on lotions and potionsespecially on a polarizing product like eye cream.

Some folks swear by the stuff for refining fine lines and keeping puffiness at bay, while others just don't see the point. We happen to identify with the former and as such are quite looped into the formulas that perform best. On the other hand, we're committed to bringing you the affordable options that still get the job done. Luckily, there are plenty of lower-costproducts that can help mitigate the effects that aging has on the delicate orbital skin.

Here, find nine iconic eye creams beauty insiders swear by and the similar, more affordable dupes that will help you leave tired eyes in 2019. Just because there are bags under your eyes doesn't mean you have to pay designer prices to get rid of them. (Unless you want to, in which case, you also have our blessing.)

MZ Skin Soothe & Smooth Collagen Activating Eye Complex ($149)

Beautycounter Countertime Ultra Renewal Eye Cream ($69)

Savings: $80

How they're similar:The hero ingredient in both of these potent eye treatments is albizia bark, otherwise known as Persian silk tree. This extract can help eliminate toxic collagen inhibitors likeglycogens. On top of reducing the appearance of crow's-feet and other fine lines, you can also expect either of these products to de-puff and brighten the eye area.

IS Clinical Youth Eye Complex ($98)

Image Skincare Ageless Total Eye Lift Crme ($48)

Savings: $50

How they're similar:You can thank a number of exfoliating and hydrating acids and highly efficacious stabilized vitamin C for the lifting and plumping effects you'll see when using these science-backed formulations. Both are highly respected among skincare professionals, so you really can't go wrong here.

Royal Fern Phytoactive Anti-Aging Eye Cream ($190)

Miracle Age Miracle Age Repair Eye Cream ($56)

Savings: $134

How they're similar:While the Royal Fern option is beloved for its ultra-clean approach to effective, result-oriented skincare, the price tag certainly says a lot about the barrier of entry for experiencing the products. While you're saving up, try the similarly natural select by Korean label Miracle Age, which boasts cooling aloe, moisturizing shea butter, and plumping ceramides.

Tata Harper Restorative Eye Creme ($105)

Youth to the People Superfood Peptide Eye Cream ($35)

Savings: $70

How they're similar:Aloe barbadensis leaf extract is at the forefront of both of these plant-based products. Each of their ingredient lists is densely populated with organic, botanical ingredients that deliveryouth-preserving results.

PCA Skin Ideal Complex Restorative Eye Cream ($88)

Boots No7 Protect Perfect Advanced Intense Eye Cream ($22)

Savings: $66

How they're similar: While the PCA Skin version is admittedly more advanced in its formulation (hello, orange stem cells!), each of these formulas contains wrinkle-reducing peptides as well as light-reflecting titanium dioxide.

Goop by Juice Beauty Perfecting Eye Cream ($90)

Mario Badescu Olive Eye Cream ($18)

Savings: $72

How they're similar: It's no surprise that the Goop option is cleaner than the Mario Badescu cream (and most others on the market, honestly), but oliveleaf drives the hydration factor in both formulas. You'll get a luxurious-feeling, deeply hydrating cream either way.

SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex ($98)

Yes To Blueberries Age Refresh Eye Firming ($29)

Savings: $69

How they're similar:Powerful, yet natural, blueberry is the antioxidant that helps each of these creams reverse the signs of damage while also preventing new lines and wrinkles from setting in.

SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair ($102)

Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Eye Cream ($39)

Savings: $63

How they're similar:Retinoids are at play here, with SkinMedica's use of vitamin A and Olay's implementation of retinol. In addition to smoothing out the delicate eye area, both formulas visibly firm and brighten while also working to even out the skin tone.

Dermalogica AGE Smart Age Reversal Eye Complex ($80)

First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy A.M. Gel Cream ($36)

Savings: $44

How they're similar:Both of these lightweight gel creams absorb quickly and offer skin-firming effects from tree barks and peptides. The Dermalogica utilizes retinol to encourage cell turnover, while red algae and seaweed help the First Aid Beauty select deliver similar results.

Up next,I have access to free beauty products, and I still choose these drugstore buys.

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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Lab-grown mini brains shed light on how humans split from great apes – The Conversation UK

By daniellenierenberg

Humans diverged from chimpanzees and other great apes roughly 6m years ago. But despite us being closely related, human brains are vastly different enabling us to engage in complex language, science, art, morality and much more. But what exactly was it that enabled our brains to reach such mindboggling heights?

We know that the human brain has dramatically expanded in size over the past 6m years. Humans are in fact the mammals with the largest brain relative to body size. But which specific evolutionary genetic changes enabled larger and more complex brains has long remained a bit of a mystery. Now a new study, published in Nature, offers clues.

One important reason why it has been so hard to study primate brain development is that, until relatively recently, scientists did not have access to living, developing brain tissue. This is what can ultimately allow us to functionally test theories of brain evolution as we can essentially watch how a brain develops over time in a dish and manipulate biological pathways to see what role they play in brain development.

But in the last few years, scientists have worked out how to make lab-grown models of developing brain tissue so-called brain organoids to begin to address these questions.

Organoids are clusters of cells that organise themselves into mini versions of our organs, such as the brain or the liver. Thats because they are made by culturing stem cells, which have the potential to develop into any tissue of the body. These stem cells can be generated directly from cells of adult origin, such as skin or blood cells. They are then grown in a gel that allows them to develop three dimensionally. And thats exactly what the researchers behind the new study did.

So what kind of genetic changes do we think contributed to human brain evolution? Only about 1.5% of our DNA actually consists of genes with instructions for making proteins. Proteins are the molecules that do most of the work in cells and determine the cells structure and function. It was once thought that the remaining 98.5% of DNA was junk with no clear purpose. However, it is now known that some of this DNA may play an important role in controlling which genes are expressed meaning determining how they are turned on and off.

The number of changes in protein-coding regions of DNA are far too few to explain the striking differences observed between humans and other primates. In fact, of the genetic regions that have changed the most since our divergence from chimpanzees, 92% do not overlap with protein-coding DNA.

It is predicted that at least a third of these regions play a role in controlling the expression of genes. It has long been hypothesised that the majority of differences observed between the brains of great apes and us are due to changes in the timing and expression of genes, rather than changes to the gene itself. The vast majority of our genes are therefore identical.

The main focus of the new study was to identify how genes are regulated differently in humans compared to other primates. The authors did this by generating brain organoids from human, chimpanzee and macaque stem cells and compared these at various points over the course of four months. This mimics how a brain forms in the womb, with organoids consisting of multiple growing buds of brain tissue that first consist largely of neural progenitor cells that in later stages begin to make neurons.

From the outside, brain organoids look more like small popcorn than a mini brain and do not reach sizes larger than around five or six millimetres due to a lack of blood supply.

The authors observed that human brain development occurs at a slower pace than the other two primates. This delayed maturation of the human brain makes sense as, given more time, the cells that generate neurons will have a longer period to expand their population, giving rise to more neurons and a bigger brain later on.

The researchers were also able to look at the expression of genes in individual cell types of the brain organoids. They measured the expression of a gene by looking at the levels of a messenger molecule that is made from reading DNA and is necessary to direct the formation of proteins. By comparing gene expression in cells that were developing to become the cerebral cortex which plays an important role in advanced cognitive processes such as awareness, thought, memory, language and consciousness they detected 98 genes that were differently expressed in humans.

Gene expression doesnt tell the whole story though. Its rate is ultimately controlled by a process called gene regulation. In order to identify potential regulatory mechanisms, the authors pinpointed regions of DNA that are accessible or open at the various stages in particular cells. These accessible regions of DNA have the potential to interact with proteins and can regulate gene expression.

By comparing organoids between human and chimpanzee, the researchers were able to identify regions of DNA that were differently accessible in humans potentially playing a regulatory role. Regulatory regions of DNA are more likely to be found in close proximity to the genes they are regulating the expression of. More than 60% of the genes that were expressed differently in humans were also in close proximity to differently accessible regions. This suggests that human-specific development and gene expression is a result of evolutionary changes in regions of DNA that are capable of regulating gene expression.

A significant proportion of the regions of DNA that we already know have changed the most since our divergence from chimps were found to overlap with those being different in terms of accessibility suggesting the team has indeed highlighted key regulatory processes responsible for making us humans.

This study takes the first steps in pinpointing interesting candidate genetic regions responsible for human brain complexity. The authors do not dive deeper into the mechanisms of what the altered expression of a specific gene actually means in terms of how the brain grows and functions. It does, however, provide an excellent resource and starting point to direct future research in this direction.

This research is not only important in understanding what makes us human, but also in working out how certain human disorders may arise. Several studies have found that mutations in regions of DNA with human-specific changes are associated with neurodevelopmental disorders.

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Stem Cell Therapy Market By 2026 Industrial Analysis, Global Research With Geron Corporation, Vericel Corporation, Pluristem Therapeutics, Cytori…

By daniellenierenberg

This Stem Cell Therapy Market research report is a careful investigation of current scenario of the market and future estimations which spans several market dynamics such as websites, annual reports of the companies, journals, and others.

Stem Cell Therapy Market is expected to reach USD 15.63 billion by 2025, from USD 7.72 billion in 2017 growing at a CAGR of 9.2% during the forecast period of 2018 to 2025. The Stem Cell Therapy market report contains data for historic year 2016, the base year of calculation is 2017 and the forecast period is 2018 to 2025 (Updated values listed in sample report).

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Stem cell therapy is the therapy which uses stem cells for the treatment or prevention of a disease. Bone marrow transplant is the widely applicable therapy which is followed by umbilical cord blood. Research is going on to develop various sources (such as cord blood cells, bone marrow and skin) to use these cells for treatment of various disorders like neurodegenerative diseases and conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and other conditions. Some of the major players operating in the global stem cell therapy market are

Others: ViaCyte, Inc, AbbVie, Mesoblast Ltd., Roslin Cells, Regeneus Ltd, ReNeuron Group plc,, International Stem Cell Corporation, Aastrom Biosciences, Inc., Advanced Cell Technology, Cryo Cell International, Cytori Therapeutics, Inc., Geron Corporation, and Invitrogen and others. The global stem cell therapy market is highly fragmented and the major players have used various strategies such as new product launches, expansions, agreements, joint ventures, partnerships, acquisitions, and others to increase their footprints in this market. The report includes market shares of the global stem cell therapy market for global, Europe, North America, Asia Pacific and South America.

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Major Market Drivers and Restraints:

Drivers:

Restraints:

Segmentation:

The global stem cell therapy market is segmented based on

Type

Product

Application

End Users

Geographical Segments

On the basis of type, the market is segmented into

Allogeneic stem cell therapy

Autologous stem cell therapy

The allogeneic stem cell therapy segment is expected lead the market because of commercialization of allogeneic stem cell therapy products and wide application with easy scale up process.

Based on products, the market is segmented into

Adult stem cells

Human embryonic stem cells

Induced pluripotent stem cells and others

The adult stem cells accounts highest share in market due to ability to generate trillions of specialized cells which may lower the risks of rejection and repair tissue damage.

Based on application, the market is segmented into

Musculoskeletal disorders

Wounds and injuries

Cardiovascular diseases

Surgeries

Gastrointestinal diseases, and other applications

The musculoskeletal disorders segment leads the market due to availability of stem cell-based products for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, high prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders and bone & joint diseases.

Based on end users, the market is segmented into

Therapeutic companies

Cell and tissues banks

Tools and reagent companies

Service companies

The growing number of stem cell donors, improved stem cell banking facilities and because of the research and development therapeutic companies held the largest share in stem cell therapy.

By Geography

North America (U.S., Canada, Mexico)

South America (Brazil, Argentina, Rest of South America)

Europe (Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Russia, Turkey, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Rest of Europe)

Asia-Pacific ( Japan, China, South Korea, India, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Rest of Asia Pacific)

Middle East & Africa (South Africa, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Rest of Middle East & Africa)

The rest is here:
Stem Cell Therapy Market By 2026 Industrial Analysis, Global Research With Geron Corporation, Vericel Corporation, Pluristem Therapeutics, Cytori...

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Fit and healthy teacher dies 20 days after discovering he had leukaemia at 33 – The Sun

By daniellenierenberg

WHEN teacher Matt Meads started suffering with stomach pains, night sweats and tiredness - he quickly dismissed it as end of school year fatigue.

He was fit and healthy, and avoided drinking and smoking.

8

But just three weeks after first falling ill, Matt died - aged just 33 - and after just three chemo sessions.

He and his wife Abi were devastated when they discovered his symptoms were actually a sign ofleukaemia.

Heartbroken Abi, 27, from Nottingham, is now sharing his story to raise awareness and to urge others to be vigilant for signs of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a rare and aggressive form of blood cancer.

"I've got so many people around me offering help and support but I still feel really lonely because I've lost my best mate, my husband, my soulmate," Abi said.

It comes as blood cancer charity Bloodwise warns thousands of people are dying of the disease because it's diagnosed too late.

Matt and Abi first suspected something was wrong on July 6, when he began feeling more and more fatigued.

8

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And when he started vomiting to the point of being unable to keep ice cubes down, Abi urged him to go to the doctor.

At first he was told by his GP he had gastroenteritis or constipation but he soon returned to the hospital for a second time where they did a blood test.

Abi, who works as a teacher too, said: "Obviously I wish it was spotted sooner.

"I don't feel any anger towards to the hospital.

"I genuinely believe they did everything they could for him.

"He would say he was feeling sick."He would send a text saying he wasn't feeling well so was going to bed. I was out with some friends.

8

"He said something about feeling hot as well, but we didn't put that down to anything because it was the middle of summer and everyone was feeling hot.

"He was sleeping a lot, particularly at weekends which he would spend mostly asleep.

"But we're both teachers, it was coming up to the end of the school year and we had both got a lot of work on.

"We put it down to the job, and just tried to keep going because we had five weeks off soon.

"We thought it was the usual fatigue that we feel at the end of the year.

"There were sickness bugs going around at both of our schools so it wasn't anything out of the ordinary.

"He was referred to A&E for the second time thinking it was gallstones.

I've got so many people around me offering help and support but I still feel really lonely because I've lost my best mate, my husband, my soulmate

"They did some blood tests on him, sent him for a CT scan. The doctor came back and basically said that it was leukaemia."

Despite the devastating diagnosis, Abi said her brave husband remained positive as he came to terms with what was really happening.

She added: "Matt was a really positive person and was always somebody who believed what would be would be, it is what it is and all that stuff.

"So when the doctor told him he was quite composed.

"He didn't really give anything away about what he was feeling.

"It was obviously a massive shock for him but he didn't really respond in the way I would have done. He was listening to the doctor.

8

8

"The doctor actually stopped at one point because he was explaining what would happen next.

"He actually stopped at one point to ask him if he was okay, it was really big news and is he taking it all in?

"Matt's response was, 'yes, but there's nothing I can do about it. It is what it is'.

"He was definitely really brave."

And Abi says the diagnosis came as even more of a shock given how healthy he was.

8

She was forced to watch her husband go from happy and sporty to intensive care within days, before he passed away from a pulmonary embolism after just three chemotherapy sessions.

She said: "We knew he was poorly, but maybe not quite how poorly he was.

"I certainly wasn't expecting a phone call from the hospital.

"I don't know how I am now. It's hard. I don't think I really started to grieve until after the funeral.

"It's hard to think ahead for anything. It's a case of taking everything one day at a time.

"Some days are better than others. Some days are horrific and I don't want to get out of bed.

What is Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia?

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) is a type of blood cancer that starts from young white blood cells called lymphocytes in the bone marrow.

Adults and children can get it but it is most often diagnosed in younger people.

It'svery rare, with around 650 people diagnosed with the condition each year in the UK.

Many symptoms of ALL are vague and non specific. It may feel like the flu as symptoms are caused by too many abnormal white blood cells and not enough normal white cells, red cells and platelets.

Symptoms can include:

Recently blood cancer charity Bloodwise warned thousands of patients in England could be unnecessarily dying from blood cancer because they are diagnosed too late.

Experts analysed NHSdata and found 28 per cent of patients are told they have the disease after needing emergency treatment for their symptoms.

Figures show there are around 40,000 cases of blood cancer - a group of diseases including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma - each year in the UK.

Around 77 per cent of patients will survive for three years if they are diagnosed after visiting their GP, Bloodwise says.

In contrast, the same survival rate plummets to just 40 per cent for patients who are diagnosed as an emergency.

This is because symptoms develop over a few weeks and become more severe as the number of immature white blood cells increases.

"Matt was a really happy person. He was really positive.

"He was kind, caring, loving, wicked sense of humour. He would make a joke about anything and was very quick-witted.

"As a teacher he would have done anything for his students. He would have done anything for his family.

"He was just a really positive person who would have done anything for anybody.

"He loved his sport. He would go to the gym, he loved being outside and walking. He liked cycling. He was careful about what he ate.

"Everything the doctors warn you about, he didn't do. He didn't drink, he didn't smoke, he had a good diet, he exercised.

If you've got any of the symptoms which are lasting or you can't explain why you've got them, you need to go to the doctor and get checked out and be persistent in asking for a blood test

"He always put sun-cream on because he was paranoid he might catch skin cancer or something.

"He did everything he could to try and prevent anything from happening to him.

"As the doctors said there was nothing he could have done to prevent this."

Abi is now speaking out to urge others to get checked out and insist for a blood test if they have persistent symptoms of blood cancer.

She said: "If you've got any of the symptoms which are lasting or you can't explain why you've got them, you need to go to the doctor and get checked out and be persistent in asking for a blood test.

8

"You know your own body. It's as simple as having a blood test.

"If you've got it for days and it's not getting any better, if you're in any doubt, get it checked.

"We didn't know what the symptoms were.

"The only one I knew was bruising, but Matt didn't have any bruises until he was in hospital. So the one thing I knew wasn't relevant.

"I didn't realise about the night sweats, fatigue or heavy breathing.

"We never expected it would be that.

"We had thought worst case scenario it was gallstones or an impacted bowel, so when he came and said leukaemia it was just unexpected.

"When you're poorly you have all these possibilities going through your head but you never think it's going to be that.

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"I had a really good chat with Matt's consultant where I questioned whether I should have done more, if I had spotted things sooner, whether if I had been more pushy in getting him to hospital.

"But the symptoms are vague and it can come on within days. It doesn't have to be something that has been happening for weeks or months."

You can donate on Abi's fundraising page in memory of Matt here.

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Anti-Aging Drugs Market Innovations, And Top Companies – Forecast To 2028| Allergan, Johnson and Johnson, Nu Skin – Healthcare News

By daniellenierenberg

New York City, NY: Oct 16, 2019 Published via (Wired Release) MarketResearch. Biz has a big history of serving detail research reports that help to create business opportunities through competitive study. One of the report we provide is Anti-Aging Drugs market analyzing market latest trends, identifying your rivals, validating opportunities, examining threats to your company, and changing your go-to-market and positioning strategy respectively.

The report on the Global Anti-Aging Drugs Market 2019 has been portrayed by experienced and knowledgeable market analysts and researchers. It is a phenomenal compilation of vital studies that explore the competitive landscape, segmentation, geographical exploration, and revenue, production, and consumption growth of the Global Anti-Aging Drugs market. Players can use the accurate market facts and figures and statistical analysis provided in the report to understand the current and upcoming growth of the Anti-Aging Drugs market. The Global Anti-Aging Drugs market size was XX Mn US$ and it is expected to reach XX Mn US$ by the end of 2028, with a CAGR of XX% during 2019-2028. The report includes CAGR, market shares, sales, Anti-Aging Drugs gross margin, value, volume, and other crucial market figures that give an exact view of the growth of the Anti-Aging Drugs market 2019.

Advanced primary and secondary research techniques and tools have been used by our Anti-Aging Drugs market analysts to compile this report. We use research sources and tools that are highly reliable and trustworthy. The Anti-Aging Drugs market report provides effective guidelines and recommendations for leading players to secure a position of strength in the worldwide market. Anti-Aging Drugs Market Emerging players can also use this research study to plan business strategies and get informed about upcoming challenges in the market. We provide an extensive competitive analysis that includes detailed company profiling of key players, a study on the Anti-Aging Drugs nature and characteristics of the competitors landscape, and other important studies.

For Detail Insight Go With This Free Sample Report Enabled With Respective Tables and Figures:https://marketresearch.biz/report/anti-aging-drugs-market/request-sample

Major Players of the Global Anti-Aging Drugs Market 2019

La Roche-Posay, DermaFix, Nu Skin, Allergan, Procter & Gamble, BIOTIME Inc, Elysium Health Inc, Solta Medical, LORAL and Johnson and Johnson

Market Segmentation:

Segmentation by Product Type: serums and Supplements, antioxidants and Enzymes, stem cells and Drugs. Segmentation by Application: skin and Hair, skeletal and Muscles, age Related Disorders

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Contrasting RenovaCare (OTCMKTS:RCAR) and Haemonetics (OTCMKTS:HAE) – Covington Journal

By daniellenierenberg

RenovaCare (OTCMKTS:RCAR) and Haemonetics (NYSE:HAE) are both medical companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, risk, earnings, profitability, dividends, valuation and institutional ownership.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for RenovaCare and Haemonetics, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Haemonetics has a consensus price target of $144.40, suggesting a potential upside of 15.46%. Given Haemonetics higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Haemonetics is more favorable than RenovaCare.

Risk and Volatility

RenovaCare has a beta of 2.42, suggesting that its share price is 142% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Haemonetics has a beta of 0.79, suggesting that its share price is 21% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares RenovaCare and Haemonetics revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Haemonetics has higher revenue and earnings than RenovaCare.

Profitability

This table compares RenovaCare and Haemonetics net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

99.1% of Haemonetics shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.9% of RenovaCare shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.3% of Haemonetics shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Haemonetics beats RenovaCare on 9 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

RenovaCare Company Profile

RenovaCare, Inc., a development-stage company, focuses on the acquisition, development, and commercialization of autologous cellular therapies for use in medical and aesthetic applications. It is developing CellMist System for spraying a patient's own skin stem cells onto burns and wounds for self-healing; and SkinGun, a solution sprayer device for delivering the cells to the treatment area. The company was formerly known as Janus Resources, Inc. and changed its name to RenovaCare, Inc. in January 2014. RenovaCare, Inc. is based in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Haemonetics Company Profile

Haemonetics Corporation, a healthcare company, provides hematology products and solutions. The company operates through five segments: North America Plasma; Americas Blood Center and Hospital; Europe, Middle East and Africa; Asia Pacific; and Japan. It offers automated plasma collection devices and related disposables, including NexSys PCS plasmapheresis system and PCS2 equipment and disposables, plasma collection containers, and intravenous solutions, as well as information technology platforms for plasma customers to manage their donors, operations, and supply chain; and NexLynk DMS donor management system. The company also provides automated blood component and manual whole blood collection systems, such as MCS brand apheresis equipment to collect specific blood components from the donor; disposable whole blood collection and component storage sets; SafeTrace Tx and El-Dorado Donor donation and blood unit management systems; Hemasphere software that provides support for blood drive planning; and Donor Doc and e-Donor software to enhance the donor recruitment and retention. In addition, it offers hospital products comprising TEG diagnostic systems that enables clinicians to assess the coagulation status of a patient at the point-of-care or laboratory setting; TEG Manager software, which connects various TEG analyzers throughout the hospital, providing clinicians remote access to active and historical test results that inform treatment decisions; Cell Saver Elite +, a surgical blood salvage system for cardiovascular, orthopedic, trauma, transplant, vascular, obstetrical, and gynecological surgeries; OrthoPAT, a perioperative autotranfusion system for orthopedic procedures; and BloodTrack, a suite of blood management and bedside transfusion solutions that combines software with hardware components, as well as an extension of the hospital's blood bank information system. Haemonetics Corporation was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Braintree, Massachusetts.

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The Afterlife of Afterbirth – MedPage Today

By daniellenierenberg

Laura Wilson didn't know about placenta donation until she was on the operating table.

"I had a cesarean, so they came in while I was being prepped for surgery," Wilson says in a YouTube video. "It was something I hadn't heard of before."

But when she was told placental tissue could be used to help people suffering from serious wounds, the mother of three boys quickly signed off on the consent forms.

"It was fun to think, ok, this could go to some good use instead of just going with everything else" in the medical waste bag, she says.

Wilson isn't the only mother to suddenly face a decision about placenta donation in the operating room. In an article on the motherhood website Scary Mommy, Caila Smith said she was in the hospital about to have an emergency C-section when a nurse asked her if she wanted to donate her twins' placentas. Another woman described getting a call from her doctor's office after scheduling her C-section and being asked to donate.

While most pregnant women have heard about cord blood donation, far fewer are familiar with placenta donation which can actually refer to the placenta, umbilical cord, and amniotic fluid, or "birth tissue." All are now sought as rich sources of stem cells. The eleventh-hour decision raises questions about just how informed patients' consent actually is, and what their donations are ultimately used for, particularly given the explosion in stem cell clinics offering questionable therapies.

"If women are being approached when they're in labor, about to go into a C-section, it's not the optimal time to be making decisions like that," Leigh Turner, PhD, a bioethicist at the University of Minnesota who has tracked the rise in stem cell clinics, told MedPage Today.

"Maybe they think it's for altruistic purposes," he added. "They may not realize there's a large for-profit marketplace out there."

It's difficult to track what donations are actually used for, although placental material does have seemingly legitimate applications in wound care and research. Still, those markets can be lucrative information that isn't usually offered to a mother, who is not compensated for the organ, when she is making her decision.

As more hospitals launch placenta donation programs, more mothers may be faced with the choice at an emotional, vulnerable time in their lives.

"I wanted to do this in case one day my boys would need this," Wilson says in the video, which was posted to YouTube by a company called Birth Tissue Recovery to promote its placenta donation program.

Rise in Placenta Donations

St. David's Medical Center in Austin, Texas, launched its placenta donation program about a year and a half ago in partnership with GenCure, a company that describes itself as non-profit and says it "applies advances in regenerative medicine to help heal patients suffering from trauma, disease or the aging process" on its website.

GenCure's placenta donation program involves collecting the placenta and the umbilical cord, according to spokesperson Ashley Frolick. The company also collects cord blood through the Texas Cord Blood Bank, which it owns.

In most cases, mothers are told about the option to donate when they arrive at the hospital, Frolick said, although they are only eligible if they are having a C-section, which is often an emergency situation.

Michelle Kocks, RN, coordinator of the placenta donation program at St. David's, said patients are persuaded by the fact that they're helping others, and because the placenta will otherwise be discarded as medical waste -- a potential incentive for hospitals to run programs, as they would otherwise have to pay for medical waste disposal. (Hospitals are uniformly mum about why, exactly, they agree to facilitate donations that go to outside entities, or whether money changes hands.)

"Once [women] learn about the benefits ... they love being able to be a part of the program," Kocks told MedPage Today, adding that about 20% of eligible women who undergo C-section deliveries become donors. Frolick said nurses and doctors are not paid for referrals, and neither are the women who are giving birth.

Other hospitals are launching placenta donation programs. Rochester General Hospital added theirs in July, and Mount Carmel St. Ann's Hospital in Westerville, Ohio, had its first donation in April. Both are working with MTF Biologics, which also claims non-profit status and says it focuses on bone and skin grafts.

St. Joseph Mercy in Ann Arbor, Michigan, launched its program this summer in partnership with Gift of Life Michigan, the first hospital in the state to do so.

Other hospitals with new programs include Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo, New York, which works with ConnectLife (formerly UNYTS); and Maple Grove Hospital in Minnesota, which works with for-profit MiMedx.

MiMedx has been plagued by scandals including charges involving its marketing and accounting practices, and allegations that it shipped more product than had been ordered and booked that as sales. This summer, the Department of Veterans Affairs advised its facilities not to use injectable amniotic tissue products from the company for not meeting purity and sterility standards. The VA also warned against using such products for managing plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, or osteoarthritis "since evidence is currently limited or lacking" for their efficacy.

MiMedx runs placentadonation.com through its subsidiary MiMedx Tissue Services.

Loralei Thornburg, MD, an ob/gyn at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said her institution discussed a placenta donation program with ConnectLife, but didn't create one because they treat too many high-risk cases.

"Most of the hospitals where you see it being done tend to [have] lower-risk, more normal populations," Thornburg said. "One of our lower-risk hospitals started looking into it ... because that's who's eligible. I do primarily high risk. They don't want a 28-week placenta with preeclampsia."

GenCure partners with six hospitals in Texas on placenta donation. Frolick said the birth tissue that it collects is provided to "partners who will then create therapeutic products that may be used to help treat burns, diabetic ulcers, traumatic injuries, and can go on to develop other FDA-approved therapies."

That could include stem cell therapies, Frolick said. These treatments have long taken advantage of a grey area in FDA regulation, which stipulates that human cell and tissue products are exempt from the extensive and expensive drug or biologic approval process as long as they meet certain criteria.

'It's Going to Be Marked Up and Sold Again'

Summa Health, a health system in northern Ohio, offers "placenta tissue injections" for "damaged tissue found in tendons, ligaments, inflamed tissue and degenerated joints."

A PubMed search reveals no studies of the therapy for any indication.

"I'm not aware of anything in this whole sector being shown to be effective or safe with good, solid data," stem cell researcher Paul Knoepfler, PhD, of the University of California Davis, told MedPage Today.

The rise in placenta and birth tissue donation parallels an increase in unregulated stem cell clinics around the country, with well over 1,000 today, up from 570 when Turner first started tracking them in 2016. The FDA has long waged war with these clinics, which purport to treat everything from pain to Parkinson's disease with stem cells. A federal judge handed the agency a victory in June when it ruled that FDA could block Florida-based U.S. Stem Cell from injecting patients with a stem-cell "extract" made from their own fat cells.

Given the ruling, Turner said clinics may shift from using fat or bone marrow to procure stem cells, to placental or birth tissue products -- also referred to as amniotic stem cell treatments -- especially since they can just be bought and injected. Also, they don't require collecting or processing material from patients.

But the amniotic stem cell supply chain isn't easy to trace.

"It's the part of the marketplace that's most obscured, and that we know the least about," Turner said.

Summa Health did not return a request for comment as to where it gets the material for its placenta tissue injections.

An investigation by ProPublica found that one company, R3 Stem Cell, sourced its amniotic stem cell products from Utah Cord Bank, which began as a private bank where parents stored cord blood and other birth tissue.

Apart from stem cell therapies, other uses of placental material such as wound care can also be lucrative, especially since these products also fall under FDA's "minimally manipulated" and "homologous use" requirements for human cell and tissue products, side-stepping the agency's costly and time-consuming approval process.

John Lantis, MD, a wound care expert at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, said he's skeptical of claims that amniotic and placental skin grafts provide superior healing compared with regular skin grafts.

"The number of products out there delivering real stem cells is highly questionable," Lantis told MedPage Today. "No one knows if active placental tissues are better. No one has studied it in a meaningful fashion, so a regular skin graft may work just as well."

One of the most widely used products for lower extremity wounds, Lantis said, is EpiFix, which is made by MiMedx. It is synthesized from "dehydrated human amnion/chorion membrane" -- placental material -- according to the company's website. In 2013, the FDA warned the company about marketing the product without approval, which the firm eventually obtained.

If women knew more about the money, power, and scandal behind their donations, they might see donation differently, Turner said.

"What if women were given the full account, that some biobank is going to acquire it, process it, assign it value, and then it's going to be marked up and sold again," Turner said. "Some women might think twice."

2019-10-15T12:00:00-0400

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The Afterlife of Afterbirth - MedPage Today

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Sarah Ferguson reveals highlight of my life as she celebrates 60th birthday – Express

By daniellenierenberg

The Duchess of York, affectionately known by British royal fans as Fergie, shared the cover of The Perfect World Magazine, where she can be seen giving Sir David Attenborough an honorary award. Fergie, who turns 60 today, revealed in an Instagram post that moment is one of the best of her life.

She wrote on Instagram: "Thank you all for the birthday messages! This is one of the highlights of my life."

In the cover, Fergie can be seen smiling as she hands the award, shaped like a rhino, toSir Attenborough, the world-famousEnglish broadcaster and natural historian.

Fergie andSir Attenborough attended together last September thePerfect World Foundation gala dinner, where she will present him the award.

The same award has been previously given toMark Shand, the late brother of the Duchess of Cornwall, and primatologist Dr Jane Goodall.

In the early afternoon, the Duchess of York published on Instagram another picture, showing her wearing a colourful sari.

She added in the caption: "Colourful moments"

Fergie's Instagram messages come after her former husband Prince Andrew celebrated her birthday on social media.

Earlier this morning, the Duke of Yorkpublished two identical messages dedicated to Fergie on both Instagram and Twitter.

READ MORE:How Fergie was 'forced to cancel birthday party due to crisis'

The messages read: "Wishing Sarah Ferguson a very Happy 60th Birthday!"

On Instagram, the message was accompanied by three pictures, one depicting Sarah surrounded by members of the York family, including Princess Eugenie's husband Jack Brooksbank and Princess Beatrice's fiancee Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.

The second picture shows Fergie surrounded by children supported by the charity she is a patron of, Street Child UK.

And the third snap depicts Eugenie, Beatrice and Fergie together while carrying out an engagement.

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Fergie has previously spoke with enthusiasm about her approaching 60th birthday.

Speaking at a charity event held onbehalf of Street Child and hosted by Hello, the Duchess said:"I think it's really important that my life is beginning at 60, I'm so excited by it."

Outspoken Fergie also revealed she has undertaken laser treatment to her skin to look her best for her milestone birthday.

Similarly, the Duchess had laser also before the wedding of her youngest daughter Princess Eugenie, which helped to make her skin glow.

But these haven't been the only beauty treatments Fergie has undertaken in the past years.

In March this year, Fergie travelled to the Bahamas toundergo stem cell therapy - an alternative to surgery which is yet to be proven fully safe and effective on humans and is therefore not widely available in the UK.

This therapy helped her solving a painful problem related to her feet, which eventually forced her to stop wearing high heels.

I went to the Bahamas in March to have the treatment.

I think my toes were ruined by all the riding I did when I was young.

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Medical Skin Care Products Market Promising Growth Opportunities over 2017 2025 – Lake Shore Gazette

By daniellenierenberg

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

Medical Skin Care Products Market: Drivers and Restraints

The medical skin care products is primarily driven by the need of natural based active ingredients products which are now trending in the market. Consumers demand medical skin care products which favor health and environment. Moreover, the consumers are updated with the trends so that various companies end up providing such products to satisfy the customers. For instance, a single product face mask has thousands of different variants.

This offers consumers different options to select the product depending on the skin type. Moreover, the market players catering to the medical skin care products are offering products with advanced technologies. For instance, Santinov launched the CICABEL mask using stem cell material based on advanced technologies. The stem cells used in the skin care product helps to to protect and activate the cells and promote the proliferation of skin epidermal cells and the anagenesis of skin fibrosis.

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Medical Skin Care Products Market: Segmentation

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

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

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

Medical Skin Care Products Market: Overview

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

Medical Skin Care Products Market: Region-wise Outlook

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

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Medical Skin Care Products Market: Key Market Participants

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

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Meet the wounded veteran who got a penis transplant – MIT Technology Review

By daniellenierenberg

Ray almost missed it, the message that would change his life. On a Saturday in March 2018, just as he was about to take his dog for an afternoon walk, he pulled his phone from his pocket and discovered a string of voicemails. Eight years had passed since the bomb had blown up underneath him while he was on patrol in Afghanistan, five since hed first met his doctor. Hed been on the waiting list a year. He was getting impatient.

He dialed back. This is it, he thought. It has to be.

A nurse picked up. Ray needed to come to the hospital immediately, she said. They had a donor. He was getting a new penis.

Ray had carried his unseen injury for yearsalways furtive, always anxious, always wondering how anyone who found out might react. Having lost both legs in the blast didnt bother him that much; Ray often left the house in the summertime wearing shorts, his prosthetics shining in the sun. But his other injury? Aside from his parents, hardly anyone knewnot even the guys he went to war with.

For men like Ray who lose their genitals, the usual treatmentif there was anywas phalloplasty: a rolled tube of tissue, blood vessels, and nerves taken from the forearm or thigh and transplanted to the groin, an ersatz penis that needs an external pump to get erect. When he first met with plastic surgeon Richard Redett, an expert in genital reconstruction at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, phalloplasty was what he was offered. But soon after, Redett decided Ray could be a candidate for one of the worlds first full penis transplants. Not a crude substitute; the real thing.

This was actually something that could fix me, says Ray. I could go back to being normal again.

Penis transplantation is a radical frontier of modern medicine: extremely rare, expensive, and difficult to perform. Replacing a major organ like a damaged liver is one thing: it contains just one type of tissue. But grafting a penis from a deceased donor onto a living recipient is a chaotic amalgamation that entails stitching millimeters-wide blood vessels and nerves with minuscule sutures.

In 2013, when Ray first went to Johns Hopkins, there was no precedent for such a transplant. Since then, only four patients have had one.

South African urologist Andre Van der Merwe completed the first-ever successful transplant in 2014, sewing a donor penis onto a 21-year-old whose own had turned gangrenous after a grisly circumcision. In 2016, doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital transplanted a donor organ onto 64-year-old Thomas Manning, who had lost his penis to cancer. A year later, Van der Merwe and his team at Tygerberg Academic Hospital in Cape Town repeated their procedure on a 41-year-old victim of another circumcision gone wrong. Ray became patient number four.

After getting off the phone with the nurse that Saturday afternoon, he went into action. With military precision, Ray called his parents, packed the items he would need, boarded his dog, and made his way to the hospital. He checked in, as requested, at 1:30 on Sunday morning. At 2 a.m. Monday, he lay anesthetized on an operating table. And 14 hours after that, Redett and his team had completed the procedure. It was the most extensive penis transplant ever performed, and the first for a military veteran anywhere in the world.

Ray had been a US Navy corpsman trudging through Afghanistan when Taliban fighters ambushed his squad in 2010. As he rushed to give first aid to a downed soldier, he stepped on a roadside bomb. I remember everything froze and I was upside down, he says. I remember thinking a quick thought: This isnt good. And then I was on my back. The butchers bill was steep: both of his legs up to and including the thigh were blasted off, along with his penis, his scrotum, and an upside-down-U-shaped chunk of his abdominal wall. Only a handful of people know the full extent of his injuries.

Two years later, while he was learning to walk on prosthetic legs, his urologist at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center referred him to the reconstructive surgery group at Johns Hopkins.

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At the time, Hopkins was a leader in vascularized composite allotransplantation, more commonly called VCA surgery. Its used in face, hand, armand penis transplants, taking multiple types of tissue from a donor and hooking up blood vessels and nerves so they work for the recipient. In December 2012, Hopkins surgeons completed their first bilateral arm transplant, on an infantryman who had lost both his arms and legs to a roadside bomb. If anyone could help Ray, it was these surgeons.

At their first meeting, Redett talked about phalloplasty, which didnt excite Ray much. He resolved to go through with it, thinking it was the only choice. Yet Redett soon changed course, deciding that Ray was a better candidate for a transplant.

In fact, it was probably the only surgical fix given the extent of the damage. Van der Merwe calls Rays procedure the most complex to date, largely because of the scope of his injury. To repair it, Hopkins doctors didnt just transplant the penis itself. They also transplanted the donors scrotum and extensive amounts of tissue from the thigh and lower abdomen.

When I heard they wanted to do it, I felt this huge sigh of relief, says Ray.

For him, it was almost either you do this transplant, or you live the rest of your life with your defect, Redett says.

Jared Soares

Ray, who is now in his mid-30s, is a thin man of average height, with touches of gray in his beard and a wobbly gait, a result of the prosthetics he now calls his legs. He hasnt discussed his surgery since April 2018, when he gave a short interview to the New York Times. But this March, one year after his surgery, he agreed to talk to me so long as MIT Technology Review protected his identity. (His name has been changed in this article.) He did so, he says, because he wants other veterans to know about their options.

And many others are affected. A total of 1,367 American infantrymen sustained significant genital injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2001 and 2013. Such hidden wounds of war represent a relatively new problem. Bombs from below used to be a death sentence, but better body armor and modern casualty care ensure that more wounded soldiers surviveand more of them with devastating genital-urinary trauma. In a report last year, military urologists wrote that groin injuries have increased to a level never before reported in the history of war.

The US Department of Defense recognized the problem as long ago as 2008, when it set up an institute to research various reconstructive transplants. Eventually, the TOUGH ProjectTrauma Outcomes and Urogenital Healthplaced a figure on it: among infantrymen with genital urinary injuries from Iraq and Afghanistan, 502 were injured so severely that a penis transplant might be their only recourse.

Quantifying the number of such injuries is easy. Outlining the psychological toll they take on guys in their 20s and 30s is much harder.

Even those closest to the trauma, like Timothy Tausch, have to use anecdotes to explain. Hes an Army lieutenant colonel and director of trauma and male reconstructive urology at Walter Reed. As soon as they wake up, theyre not asking about where their legs are, he says. Theyre asking where the testicles and the penis are. You cant put a number on how significantly this affects one of these wounded warriors lives.

Yet some experts wonder if the procedure is really necessary. Kidney and heart transplants save lives, but someone who lost a penis isnt going to die without a new one. Getting one may even be inviting a different set of psychological issues. (It bears mentioning that a poorly documented transplant attempt happened in 2006 in China, but the 44-year-old recipient apparently demanded reversal after his wife panicked, shocked at the idea he had someone elses penis.) In the months following Rays surgery, Hiten Patel, a chief resident at the Johns Hopkins Brady Urological Institute, wrote that a penis transplant lacks both life-saving and life-enhancing properties when compared to a readily available alternative in phalloplasty.

Others argue that for young men devastated by their wounds a transplant is, in fact, both life-saving and life-enhancing. Suicide risk among US veterans is already high: one study found that those deployed between 2001 and 2007 were 41% more likely to take their lives than civilians. Ray himself entertained thoughts of suicide after his injury. The idea gradually faded once he realized he could have gone to war and died; instead he was alive, on the first step of a long climb back.

Even though we do a pretty good job with phalloplasty reconstruction, its still a quantum leap to put on a real penis, says Curtis Cetrulo, one of the surgeons who operated on Thomas Manning in 2016. Phalloplasty recipients, for example, may regain some erotic sensation, but they must use a pump to achieve an erection or have intercourse.

Ray wouldnt say the transplant saved his life, exactly, but it has improved it.

This surgery was a way for me to overcome that little subconscious voice or whatever it was that would always keep me feeling different from everyone else, he says. It was one of those injuries that really stresses you out and you think, Why would I keep going? I guess I always just kept this real hope that theres an answer out there.

Several hours before the hospital contacted Ray, Richard Redett had received a phone call of his own. He had gotten it enough times before to know the words by heart: We may have a donor.

Usually such calls were dead ends: the potential transplant almost never met Redetts strict criteria. For Rays surgery to stand a chance, the donor had to be a young, healthy guy; the organ had to be a good color match and average in size; and, crucially, it had to be no more than two hours away, so that once it had been removed from the donors brain-dead but still living body, it could be brought to Johns Hopkins before it started decaying.

If you do an arm transplant, we know exactly how long that will hold up on ice. But nobody really knows that for a penis, he says.

I remember everything froze and I was upside down.

This particular call on that Saturday in March was more promising. There was a brain-dead patient nearby who was donating his organs, including his penis. Over a rapid string of conversations, Redett evaluated the patients medical history and determined when his team could get there. By the afternoon, Redett knew he had his donor.

Still, no doctor had ever worked with a graft as large as the one Ray required. To transplant a penis, you need the two dorsal arteries and the two dorsal veins from the donor. Fortunately, Rays two penis nerves were intact. But to transplant the abdominal wall and scrotum, even more veins are necessary. Fail to take those, and the new scrotum and abdominal tissue will die, along with much of the skin of the penis.

Over five years, Redett and his team had deciphered the topography of penis transplantation with cadavers and food coloring. It was basically a grand perfusion experiment: inject dye into the blood vessels of a dead man, and watch for blush on the skin to know which vessels are required as part of the transplant. We were injecting every blood vessel we could find down in the region with blue and red food color, he says. We just needed to know which vessels, and we needed to get very quick, very efficient, and very safe. We knew this had the potential to be a very long operation.

On the Sunday afternoon, his team boarded a chartered jet to meet their donor (the donors identity and the state hes from cant be disclosed). At 6 p.m., they entered the procurement room. Other doctors and medical staff, 25 in all, were there grabbing solid organs: lungs, heart, kidneys, liver. Its a bloody choreography, finding your place in an organ procurement. Redett and his team sliced into and isolated the lower abdominal wall, thigh tissue, scrotum, and penis, dissected out the requisite arteries and veins, and let the other doctors take what organs they needed before finishing.

Once they had removed and packed Rays graft, nothing else mattered except speed. Bodily tissue begins to break down the instant its deprived of blood. If enough toxins are released, the tissue can swell so much it asphyxiates. Its why you throw transplants on ice, as Redetts crew did for their Learjet flight back to Baltimoreit delays the breakdown process.

Its also why surgeons train, practice, and visualize their maneuvers. Redetts team had already run dry rehearsals of their procedure. In the operating room, they had set up the table where Ray would lie, figured out where the ice machine went, placed the optical microscope Redett would use, and even tested every power outlet to make sure they wouldnt short a circuit.

As the team ate snacks from their go-bags on the plane back to Hopkins, other surgeons wheeled Ray into the operating theater. By this time it was 11 p.m. on Sunday, almost 24 hours after he had arrived at the hospital. They prepared him by removing all the diseased tissue and exposing the blood vessels, nerves, urethra, and penile stump. At 2 a.m. Monday, Redett and his fellow surgeons took their placessome standing above Ray, the rest tending to the graft at another tableand steeled themselves. The gravity of his mission consumed Redetts thoughts.

We felt very confident we could do it, but we had never done it, he says. If youre not anxious for something like that, youre not thinking hard enough.

In the Johns Hopkins operating room, a surgical microscope with a craned neck like a brachiosaurus magnified the view by up to 20 times, enabling Redett to see the very tip of the needle-point instruments that hold the sutures for stitching together vessels barely two millimeters thick.

The threads are smaller than a human hair, he says. Unless youre under a scope, you cant really even see it.

They began by sewing Rays urethra onto the donors. Then came the arteries and veins that bring blood to the skin of the abdominal wall, scrotum, and penis shaft. Next they sutured Rays penile nerves, which were buried deep underneath his pelvic bone, to the nerves of the donor penis. Finally, Redetts team stitched together the skin.

You know how to do it, but until that last blood vessel is hooked up and you release the clamps and blood flows through itI mean, thats a huge sigh of relief, says Redett.

A kidney transplant usually takes three hours. The first penis transplant surgery in 2014 took nine. Redetts team needed an additional five hours to complete Rays transplant. In a surgery that long, doctors are allowed to take bathroom breaks, and even slug some coffee. Redett did neither.

Ray's first memory after he came out of the anesthesia was the heat. His room was warm to help keep his transplant at body temperature. It wasnt until two days later that Ray looked down and saw his new penis for the first time.

It was swollen and still had a lot of healing to do, he says. In the back of your mind, you know this is a transplant, and you wonder if its going to be too much for you to handle. Once I went through with the surgery, all of those concerns just went away.

The surgery wasnt just technically complex; it also required weighing various ethical questions. For example: if they were giving Ray a scrotum, should they give him testicles too? The answer was no: transferring sperm-generating tissue might have made it possible for Ray to have the donors genetic kids. (In the end, the donor had not given consent to use his sperm.)

Another matter was the prospect of lifelong immunosuppression. In penis transplant surgeries, its critical: Van der Merwe had to cut off half of the penis he transplanted in 2014 because the patient stopped taking his medication and rejection set in.

The world is not designed for a guy like me, says Ray.

The team came up with a novel answer to this problem. In a procedure spearheaded by Gerald Brandacher, scientific director of the reconstructive transplantation program at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, bone marrow and stem cells from the donors vertebral bones were isolated in the lab. Two weeks after his transplant, Ray was injected with a large amount of the donors bone marrow cells.

In organ transplants of any type, recipients are typically given a cocktail of immunosuppressant drugs every day. Ray, on the other hand, requires just one pill.

Its kind of like reeducating the immune system, says Brandacher. It allows us to minimize the need for immunosuppression but not completely stop it.

Minimizing the drugs needed after a transplant, in fact, may be what really got the US military interested in surgery like Rays. Immunosuppressants ensure that the body doesnt attack a new organ, but they also weaken the immune system and can lead to toxic complications like kidney failure. For a heart or lung, the trade-off is obvious: immune problems versus death. For a penis, the question is more muddled.

If we can get to a point where we have therapy that doesnt require that level of toxicity, the calculus changes completely, says Lloyd Rose, a former program manager for rehabilitative medicine research in the US Army. Then a transplant can become a surgery for anybody whos missing a hand or a foot or a face or a penisor anything.

If vets with transplants have to take fewer pills, it means fewer complications as they get older, and an easier life. It also saves the government money in the long term. The issue is so important to the military that the $12 million Congress appropriates each year for the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine is now spent primarily on immunosuppressive researchnot on paying for things like penis transplants.

On a hot afternoon last April, a year after his surgery, I met Ray for the first time. He balanced his modest frame on his partmetal, part-polymer prosthetic legs, and in his left hand he carried a cane. Even with the support, he picked his way gingerly along the sidewalks until we made our way over to a public bench near a coffee shop.

When I got hurt, one thing I did realize is that the world is not designed for a guy like me, being blown up, he told me matter- of-factly. I knew then I would have to change myself to fit the world.

While he doesnt hide his prosthetics when we met, he wore gym shortshis unseen injury still causes him some consternation. Its not that he hasnt accepted his new penis. On the contrary, Ray doesnt seem to think about it as a donor organ at all. Its just that so few people know what happened to him, and hes not quite ready, and may never be ready, to identify himself.

It may not necessarily be that people are going to say bad things about it, he says. But its just one of those things. Its a private thing.

Jared Soares

Still, those around him recognized a change. A close friend of Rays, one of the few who know, says she noticed a little boost following the procedure. It was such a profound wound, there was a no-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel kind of feeling, she says. Now hes much more confident Its this feeling of being whole again.

In some ways, Ray is still figuring out how his transplanted organ will shape the contours of his life. Hes not dating at the moment, and knowing that he cant be a biological father, he wonders if that will deter women who may want to start a family.

In other ways, the surgery has made a huge difference to his daily emotional state. Hes more outgoing, less afraid to meet new people, and more fit, mentally and physically, piecing back together a life interrupted. Important questionssuch as whether hes able to pee standing up (he can), whether he gets erections (he does)already have answers.

He told me, which was the best news I could hear, that it feels normal, says Redett.

It took six months before the nerves of his transplanted penis started firing. Stitching nerves together isnt like splicing a wire; a nerve cells axons, the long threads along which impulses are sent from one cell to another, have to grow all the way out to the organ theyre supplying. Now, more than a year removed from surgery, those nerve signals have grown only stronger. Im still getting sensation back. Its pretty close, Ray says. This is not going to be a quick fix, but Ive seen improvement over time.

Where penis transplant surgery for wounded veterans goes is still up in the air. South Africas Van der Merwe, the originator of the transplant, says the VCA procedure itself is now proven; its future depends on other matters. Theres the problem of who pays, and of finding appropriate donors. And then theres the immunosuppression issue that the military is trying to solve.

The risks of immunosuppression in many peoples minds also outweigh the benefit of doing an arm, or a face, or a genital transplant, Redett says. We disagree, but that will slow down progress.

Ray barely blinked when I asked him some of these questions at our second meeting, in July. Dealing with immunosuppression, he says, is easy: he takes a pill and washes his hands frequently. Guys who need it and can handle it, he says, should get a transplant. He feels no ambivalence about that phone call, when doctors told him they were ready to sew on the donor penis for which he had waited five years.

I dont regret it, Ray says. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Andrew Zaleski, a writer based near Washington, DC, covers science, technology, and business.

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Which Plastic Surgery Procedures Have Members of the Royal Family Had Done? – Showbiz Cheat Sheet

By daniellenierenberg

The members of the British royal family are always in the public eye. They cant blow their noses without people hearing about it. But with so much attention, comes even more scrutiny.

The royals are under pressure to be perfect at all times. Every move they make is photographed by the paparazzi and the public isunforgiving. Even after they gave birth, people expected both Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton to be back to their normal thin frames in a matter of days.

When celebrities are feeling the pressure to keep up appearances, many of them seek out plastic surgery procedures. Does the royal family do the same?

For many people, the Duchess of Cambridge is the epitome of style and grace. Youd be hardpressed to find a photo of Middleton looking less than perfect. Because of this, people have often wondered if the future Queen Consort has had any work done.

Earlier this year, Dr. Munir Somji of Dr. Medi Spa Clinic in London claimed that Middleton was one of his clients.

He shared before and after pictures of the Duchess on his Instagram.

Our Kate loves a bit of baby Botox, he wrote under the photos, which have since been deleted.

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The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of the @Natural_History_Museum, visited the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity to hear how it is championing and helping to protect UK wildlife. The Angela Marmont Centre (AMC) is a unique scientific hub located in the Natural History Museum, and is dedicated to the study of the UKs natural world. The AMC helps public visitors identify their finds, provides vital training in wildlife identification, and leads research and citizen science projects that are helping to transform our understanding of over 80,000 species of wildlife known to exist in the UK today. With populations of many UK species declining, and a significant proportion threatened with local extinction, the AMC brings together a host of individuals and organisations all dedicated to building understanding of the UKs wildlife, so that it can be better protected for future generations. AMC staff work with colleagues from across the Natural History Museum to carry out a range of scientific research to study how and why the UKs wildlife is changing. This ranges from applying ground-breaking scientific techniques, including analysis of environmental DNA through to detecting and identify the miniscule insects and microorganisms that play an important role in healthy environments. At the AMC today The Duchess viewed some of the Museums specimens and saw DNA sequencing live in action.

A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on Oct 9, 2019 at 5:20am PDT

Note the reduction of fine lines on the forehead, he continued. But also note the depression of the medial (middle part) brow but elevation of the lateral tail of the brow.

So many people started believing the rumor that Kensington Palace gave a statement to the New York Post.

A spokesperson for the palace said that the post by Dr. Somji was categorically not true and in addition, The Royal Family never endorse commercial activity.

One royal who has been open about the procedures shes had done is the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson.

Ive had a lot of help to look like this at 60! she said in an interview withDaily Mail.

Ive started the laser treatment, but its not finished yet, she continued. The collagen needs to rebuild. I hope it will all be done by my birthday.

She also had this treatment before her daughter, Princess Eugenies, wedding last year. The procedure was done by Dr. Gabriela Mercik in a facility in London.

I dont like the frozen look, Ferguson said of why she chooses more natural procedures. Im so animated and I like to be myself. I dont like the thought of needles and am very glad if I look well and happy Im really happy to be open about what Ive had done.

Originally, the Duchess tried botox but has since switched to less invasive procedures, like her most recent treatment which refines the skins texture.

Shes also had mesotherapy, which is a non-surgical cosmetic treatment.

I need to repair the damage that was done on the beach when I was a child, she continued. Its why I had the mesotherapy, the vitamin cocktail to hydrate and boost the skin.

Not only does Ferguson get work done on her face, but she makes sure her feet are perfect as well!

I think my toes were ruined by all the riding I did when I was young, she said. They shaved the bone here. And implanted stem cells, 20 million of them taken from my midriff, into my feet to make new cartilage. It takes about six months to heal but now I can walk in heels!

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AVROBIO Announces First Patient Dosed in Phase 1/2 Trial of Gene Therapy for Cystinosis – Business Wire

By daniellenierenberg

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AVROBIO, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVRO) (the Company) today announced that the first patient has been dosed in the Companys AVR-RD-04 investigational gene therapy program for cystinosis, a devastating lysosomal storage disease, in an ongoing Phase 1/2 clinical trial sponsored by academic collaborators at the University of California San Diego. The gene therapy is derived from the patients own hematopoietic stem cells, which are genetically modified to produce functional cystinosin, a crucial protein that patients with cystinosis lack.

The trial will enroll up to six patients with cystinosis, a rare inherited disease caused by a defect in the gene that encodes for cystinosin. The cystinosin protein enables transport of the amino acid cystine out of lysosomes. When it is absent, cystine accumulates and crystalizes, causing progressive damage to the kidneys, liver, muscles, eyes and other organs and tissues. Cystinosis affects both children and adults; they face shortened life spans and often painful symptoms, including muscle wasting, difficulty breathing, blindness and kidney failure.

Cystinosis is a debilitating and progressive disease, and new treatment options are sorely needed. The current standard of care does not avert deterioration; at best, it can attenuate symptoms. Thats why gene therapy is particularly exciting: It has the potential to change the course of disease -- and the lives of patients -- by addressing the underlying cause of cystinosis, said Birgitte Volck, MD, PhD, President of Research and Development at AVROBIO. We believe we can engineer patients own stem cells so they sustainably produce the functional protein that is needed to prevent a toxic buildup of cystine and halt progression of the disease. We are so pleased that this investigational gene therapy is now in the clinic in collaboration with Dr. Stephanie Cherqui at UC San Diego.

The single-arm trial will enroll four adults and a potential follow-on cohort of two adults or adolescents at least 14 years of age who are currently being treated with cysteamine, the standard of care for cystinosis. If started at an early age and taken on a strict dosing schedule, cysteamine can delay kidney failure. However, the treatment regimen is highly burdensome, with side effects that can be severe and unpleasant, and many patients find it difficult to adhere to this treatment regimen. Even if compliance is high, cysteamine therapy cannot prevent kidney failure or avert other complications.

For people with cystinosis, there are no healthy days. They must take dozens of pills a day, around the clock, just to stay alive. It is a relentless disease and we urgently need new treatments, said Nancy J. Stack, President of the Cystinosis Research Foundation, which supported development of the gene therapy with more than $5.4 million in grants to Dr. Cherquis lab at UC San Diego. We believe that we are now an important step closer to the potential cure that our community has been working toward for many years.

The trials primary endpoints are safety and tolerability, assessed for up to two years after treatment, as well as efficacy, as assessed by cystine levels in white blood cells. Secondary endpoints to assess efficacy include changes in cystine levels in the blood, intestinal mucosa and skin and cystine crystal counts in the eye and skin. Efficacy will also be evaluated through clinical tests of kidney function, vision, muscle strength, pulmonary function and neurological and psychometric function, as well as through assessments of participants quality of life after treatment. The trial is funded by grants to UC San Diego from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) as well as the Cystinosis Research Foundation.

This investigational gene therapy starts with the patients own stem cells, which are genetically modified so that their daughter cells can produce and deliver functional cystinosin to cells throughout the body. With this approach we aim to prevent the abnormal accumulation of cystine that causes so many devastating complications, said Stephanie Cherqui, PhD, an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at UC San Diego School of Medicine, and consultant to AVROBIO. We have been working toward this trial for years and we are grateful for all the support that brought us to this moment.

About AVR-RD-04

AVR-RD-04 is a lentiviral-based gene therapy designed to potentially halt the progression of cystinosis with a single dose of the patients own hematopoietic stem cells. The stem cells are genetically modified so they can produce functional cystinosin with the aim of substantially reducing levels of cystine in cells throughout the patients body. Before the infusion of the cells, patients undergo personalized conditioning with busulfan to enable the cells to permanently engraft. The Phase 1/2 clinical trial is being conducted under the name CTNS-RD-04 by AVROBIOs academic collaborators at the University of California, San Diego.

About Cystinosis

Cystinosis is a rare, inherited lysosomal storage disorder characterized by the accumulation of cystine in all the cells of the body, resulting in serious and potentially fatal damage to multiple organs and tissues and the shortening of patients life spans. The kidneys and eyes are especially vulnerable; more than 90% of untreated patients require a kidney transplant before age 20. An estimated 1 in 170,000 people are diagnosed with cystinosis.

About AVROBIO, Inc.

AVROBIO, Inc. is a leading, Phase 2 gene therapy company focused on the development of its investigational gene therapy, AVR-RD-01, in Fabry disease, as well as additional gene therapy programs in other lysosomal storage disorders including Gaucher disease, cystinosis and Pompe disease. The Companys plato platform includes a proprietary vector system, automated cell manufacturing solution and a personalized conditioning regimen deploying state-of-the-art precision dosing. AVROBIO is headquartered in Cambridge, MA and has offices in Toronto, ON. For additional information, visit http://www.avrobio.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may be identified by words such as aims, anticipates, believes, could, estimates, expects, forecasts, goal, intends, may, plans, possible, potential, seeks, will and variations of these words or similar expressions that are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements regarding the therapeutic potential of our product candidates, the design, commencement, enrollment and timing of ongoing or planned clinical trials, including the ongoing Phase 1/2 trial of the Companys AVR-RD-04 investigational gene therapy, the anticipated benefits of our gene therapy platform, the expected safety profile of our product candidates, timing and likelihood of success of our current or future product candidates, and the market opportunity for our product candidates. Any such statements in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Results in preclinical or early stage clinical trials may not be indicative of results from later stage or larger scale clinical trials and do not ensure regulatory approval. You should not place undue reliance on these statements, or the scientific data presented.

Any forward-looking statements in this press release are based on AVROBIOs current expectations, estimates and projections about our industry as well as managements current beliefs and expectations of future events only as of today and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those set forth in or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risk that any one or more of AVROBIOs product candidates will not be successfully developed or commercialized, the risk of cessation or delay of any ongoing or planned clinical trials of AVROBIO or our collaborators, the risk that AVROBIO may not realize the intended benefits of our gene therapy platform, including the features of our plato platform, the risk that our product candidates or procedures in connection with the administration thereof will not have the safety or efficacy profile that we anticipate, the risk that prior results, such as signals of safety, activity or durability of effect, observed from preclinical or clinical trials, will not be replicated or will not continue in ongoing or future studies or trials involving AVROBIOs product candidates, the risk that we will be unable to obtain and maintain regulatory approval for our product candidates, the risk that the size and growth potential of the market for our product candidates will not materialize as expected, risks associated with our dependence on third-party suppliers and manufacturers, risks regarding the accuracy of our estimates of expenses and future revenue, risks relating to our capital requirements and needs for additional financing, and risks relating to our ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection for our product candidates. For a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, and other important factors, any of which could cause AVROBIOs actual results to differ materially and adversely from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see the section entitled Risk Factors in AVROBIOs most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties and other important factors in AVROBIOs subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AVROBIO explicitly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements except to the extent required by law.

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Minibrains Grown In The Laboratory Produce Brainwaves. Now What? – Forbes

By daniellenierenberg

Its hard to study the human brain. It is the most complex in the animal kingdom with its massive collection of neurons, 80-100 billion to be exact, three times more than chimpanzees. Research relating our brains to the brains of mice and monkeys can only go so far. And because of this complexity, scientists often came up short when studying diseases such as schizophrenia, autism, and Alzheimers in the brains of monkeys and mice.

Enter minibrains.

Minibrains are small clusters of human brain cells that can be grown in a Petri dish. Floating through the agar, these small gray lumps dont look particularly impressive, but they are allowing scientists to study actual living human brain tissue in ways they couldnt before.

Minibrains may look just like pea-sized gray globules, but once they started producing brainwaves, they received a lot of attention.

Growing these minibrains gives scientists a chance to study a host of psychological issues and diseases, and perhaps make advancements that they would not have made previously. Minibrains will even be sent to space to study how the human brain develops in zero-G.

But then came the surprise. These lab-grown brains started producing brainwaves.

These brainwaves, equivalent to brain wave patterns in a pre-term infant, were seen by a group of researchers at the University of California San Diego. They reported in a recent paper in Cell Stem Cell that these minibrains began showing neural activity after two months, and in four to six months, they reached levels of neural activity never before seen in a lab. At ten months, they were equivalent to pre-term babies, complete with lulls and flutters of activity.

Dan Zhang, a 4th year MD, PhD student, examines minibrains through a microscope. (Photo by Jessica Kourkounis for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Minibrains are created by using stem cells, in this case, human skin cells. When stem cells are placed in a conducive environment, they can develop into any organ.

But minibrains are still a far cry from a full human brain. To develop into a mature brain, these minibrains would need to communicate with other areas of a larger brain and have some sort of connection with the outside world. But this might not be far off. Already, scientists have given minibrains retinal cells so they can sense light.

While some note that these minibrains are nowhere near real human brains, others begin to feel uneasy at seeing this neural activity. What does it mean? In this quickly developing field, how soon will these minibrains develop even further? There is an ethical code when dealing with animals in the lab - should this code apply to minibrains too? Could they one day feel pain, have memories, or even become self-aware?

There is now a need for clear guidelines for research, says Dr. Nita Farahany and collaborators in a 2018 Letter to Nature. They point out that as research develops and these minibrains become more advanced, it is less far-fetched to believe that one day these minibrains might have some sort of sentience or feelings such as pleasure or pain. The benefits of minibrain research are promising, but they caution, to ensure the success and social acceptance of this research long term, an ethical framework must be forged now, while brain surrogates remain in the early stages of development.

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Sarah Ferguson opens up about years of plastic surgery from Botox to fillers to stem cell therapy – Evening Standard

By daniellenierenberg

The hottest luxury and A List news

Ahead of her 60th birthday on TuesdaySarah Fergusonhas opened up about her cosmetic treatments at the hands of her friendDr.GabrielaMercik- an aesthetician who has given her everything from laser facelifts to organic fillers.

In a candid interview with the Daily Mail, Ferguson and Mercik talked about thecosmetic procedures the Duchess of York has had done over the years,with Ferguson revealing she was Mercik'sguinea pig with new treatments.

The pair spoke to The Daily Mail about their close relationship, as well as Fergusons history with both invasive and non-invasive procedures including botox, mesotherapy and even stem cell therapy - specifically for Fergusons feet.

Sarah Ferguson in October 2019 (Getty Images for BFI)

Ferguson said she was comfortable talking about her treatments, sayingIm really happy to be open about what Ive had done.

Sarah Ferguson in 2010 (Getty Images)

Ferguson revealed in the interview that she used to get Botox, however as technology has advanced shes opted to move away from it. She explained, I had Botox a long time ago when there was nothing else available.

With her aesthetician calling it passe now, Ferguson added, I really dont like the frozen look. Im so animated and I like to be myself. I dont like the thought of needles and am very glad if I look well and happy.

Botox is a cosmetic procedure which is designed to help diminish wrinkles and fine lines, by injecting a chemical solution with a micro needle into specific target areas.

Sarah Ferguson in 2019 (PA)

It was revealed in the Daily Mail that Ferguson started getting mesotherapy in 2013, though she has since moved away from it in favour of other treatments.

Ferguson said that she had chosen mesotherapy to tackle sun damage, saying, I need to repair the damage that was done on the beach when I was a child. Its why I had the mesotherapy, the vitamin cocktail to hydrate and boost the skin.

According to HealthLine, mesotherapy involvesinjecting a mixture of vitamins, enzymes, hormones, and plant extracts. Designed to tighten skin and rejuvenate it, it also removes excess fat and is used by people to do everything from reduce cellulite, diminish wrinkles and tighten loose skin.

HealthLine continues, The technique uses very fine needles to deliver a series of injections into the middle layer (mesoderm) of skin. The idea behind mesotherapy is that it corrects underlying issues like poor circulation and inflammation that cause skin damage.

(Getty Images for GFI)

Following this, Ferguson chose to move onto organic fillers.

Face fillers are designed to both fade wrinkles as well as plump up parts of your face that you want to add volume to. In the case of Fergusons, hers were organic and were described as being non-invasive injectables.

Sarah Ferguson in 2017 (Getty Images)

One of Fergusons more unusual facial procedures involved something called a thread lift. She explained, Before I had it done I thought,Oh this is going to be painful, but it wasnt bad. My skin responded well. I think if you look at photos of me after I had it done, I look much better.

However, Mercik added that Ferguson had since swapped the threads for laser because its non-invasive.

Both Ferguson and Mercik explained what a thread lift involves. Patients have medical threads inserted into the skin to create a supportive mesh that pulls the face upwards - with the threads dissolving after 6-8 months and results lasting two years.

Ferguson explained, Its like garden trellising for sweet peas. You insert the threads under the skin with a fine needle and they hold everything up. They also encourage collagen production. It takes a couple of months, then the sweet peas bloom!

Mercik went into more technical details, explaining, We inserted nano peptides (synthetic growth factors) under the skin which, with the synthetic threads, stimulate collagen production.

Sarah Ferguson at Princess Eugenie's wedding (Getty Images)

Sarah Ferguson revealed that she personally swears by Merciks 6-Dimension Ultimate Laser Treatment facelift. Revealing to the Daily Mail that she much prefers it to Botox, Ferguson explained that she had actually had it done by Mercik prior to her daughter Princess Eugenies wedding.

She explained, Above all, it was being joyful for Eugenie that made me look good. But Id had some laser treatment on my face which helped, too.

She also added that she was undergoing it at the moment, ahead of her birthday on Tuesday. She said, Ive started the laser treatment, but its not finished yet. The collagen needs to rebuild. I hope it will all be done by my birthday.

Merciks laser facelift is non-invasive, pain-free, involves no recovery time and accomplished in no more than 90 minutes. It reportedly helps promote the skins natural production of youth-restoring collagen and is said to continue the work as the weeks pass.

Following a sunscreen-averse childhood (which involved Fergusons mother thinking Nivea moisturiser was sunscreen), Ferguson revealed that she was now very careful about preventing sun damage now - especially after her father and best friend died of skin cancer. She explained, It made me realise you have to look after your skin just as much as your other organs. It isnt just about aesthetics. We have to think about our skin health.

Thats why I dont go in the sun now, she continued. The tan I have is out of a bottle. Fake.

One of Fergusons more recent procedures includes a trip off to the Bahamas, which saw her undergo stem cell therapy to improve her feet. She explained, I think my toes were ruined by all the riding I did when I was young. They shaved the bone here and implanted stem cells 20 million of them taken from my midriff into my feet to make new cartilage.

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Biohack Your Way To Beauty And Health Using Your DNA And Stem Cells At These Wellness Retreats Around The World – Singapore Tatler

By daniellenierenberg

(Image: Four Seasons) By Chloe Pek October 11, 2019

Need a different type of getaway? From DNA and blood testing to harvesting your own stem cells, these facilities might make you want to forgo your usual spa retreats

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With so many resorts offering customised retreats tailored to every individual, today's well-travelled spa-goers are no longer satisfied with one-size-fits-all programmes. But beyond personalising activities and treatments to your fitness goals, these destinations are taking bespoke programmes to the next levelones that look into your genetic makeup and medical health to "biohack" your way to beauty and wellness.

(Related: The Tatler 10: Asia's Top Wellness Retreats)

Surrounded by the tropical rainforest in Nusa Dua, south Bali, Revivo Wellness Resort is an intimate retreat that offers 16 Balinese-style suites within three villas. The resort offers a regular schedule of three-day immersive programmes depending on individual goals, from relaxation to weight loss, as well as bespoke retreat programmes. And if you would like to take the personalisation to the next level, Revivo offers three DNA-centric plans that you can add to your programme.

In collaboration with DNA test provider GenePlanet, the Nutrifit and Nutrifit Premium plans offer individually tailored nutritional advice and lifestyle plans, based on your unique DNA makeup. Youll also return with a comprehensive report with analysis from up to 58 different DNA tests to facilitate your wellness goals. Beauty junkies can opt for the Nutriskin plan, which advises on skincare rituals, cosmetics, and diets to achieve optimum skin health.

revivoresorts.com

Surrounded by tropical gardens and white-sand beaches on Mexicos beautiful Riviera Nayarit, the newly renovated Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita offers guest rooms and suites, as well as private beach-front retreats for travellers. Besides a breathtaking oceanside golf-course, the resort also boasts the award-winning Apuane Spa, offering everything from signature massages to holistic therapies.

It is also the only spa in Four Seasons collection that offers DNA testing. Based on results from a simple cheek swab, wellness curators at the resort will create a custom programme that is tailored to your fitness goals and optimal for your genetic makeup, with recommendations to improve your health and diet.

fourseasons.com

(Related: 5 Women's Only Retreats For The Solo Female Traveller)

A preventive health and anti-ageing clinic in Switzerland, Nescens Clinique de Genolier is a luxury destination for medical tourists, overlooking Lake Geneva and the Alps. Programmes include La Cure Nescens, targetted at weight loss; Better-Aging Program which targets lifestyle issues like weight loss, fitness, detox and stress through spa treatments; and the new Nescens Stem Cell Advanced Program, which harnesses your own stem cells to combat signs of ageing.

The programme comprises a very in-depth check-up that includes physical examination, laboratory tests, diagnostic imaging, and cardiology to detect any underlying conditions. Then, following medical consultations with the specialists, a plastic surgeon will extract lipid content via liposuction. Your own stem cells are then separated and re-injected into problem areas together with lipofilling and hydrating mask treatments, to stimulate collagen production and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

nescens.com

Tucked in a secluded cove by the Caribbean sea, BodyHoliday Saint Lucia is an all-inclusive fitness and spa resort that offers an extensive collection of wellness amenities, including an Ayurvedic temple, wellness centre, freshwater pools, fitness studios, as well as a BodyScience Clinic.

The clinics BodyScience Plus programme offers an in-depth analysis that begins prior to your arrival, requiring guests to complete an online health survey, DNA tests, and other diagnostics recommended by the clinics doctors, such as blood and urine tests. When you arrive, you will receive a personalised plan that will include Ayurvedic meals, a schedule of activities such as yoga, personal training or meditating, and also spa treatments. The programmes are specific to various wellness goals such as digestive health, weight loss, detox, destress and more.

thebodyholiday.com

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Biohack Your Way To Beauty And Health Using Your DNA And Stem Cells At These Wellness Retreats Around The World - Singapore Tatler

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BEYOND LOCAL: Expert recommends ‘path of cautious optimism’ about the future of stem cell treatment – ElliotLakeToday.com

By Dr. Matthew Watson

This article, written byKatharine Sedivy-Haley, University of British Columbia, originally appeared on The Conversation and is republished here with permission:

When I was applying to graduate school in 2012, it felt like stem cells were about to revolutionize medicine.

Stem cells have the ability to renew themselves, and mature into specialized cells like heart or brain cells. This allows them to multiply and repair damage.

If stem cell genes are edited to fix defects causing diseases like anemia or immune deficiency, healthy cells can theoretically be reintroduced into a patient, thereby eliminating or preventing a disease. If these stem cells are taken or made from the patient themselves, they are a perfect genetic match for that individual, which means their body will not reject the tissue transplant.

Because of this potential, I was excited that my PhD project at the University of British Columbia gave me the opportunity to work with stem cells.

However, stem cell hype has led some to pay thousands of dollars on advertised stem cell treatments that promise to cure ailments from arthritis to Parkinsons disease. These treatments often dont help and may harm patients.

Despite the potential for stem cells to improve medicine, there are many challenges as they move from lab to clinic. In general, stem cell treatment requires we have a good understanding of stem cell types and how they mature. We also need stem cell culturing methods that will reliably produce large quantities of pure cells. And we need to figure out the correct cell dose and deliver it to the right part of the body.

Embryonic, 'induced and pluripotent

Stem cells come in multiple types. Embryonic stem cells come from embryos which makes them controversial to obtain.

A newly discovered stem cell type is the induced pluripotent stem cell. These cells are created by collecting adult cells, such as skin cells, and reprogramming them by inserting control genes which activate or induce a state similar to embryonic stem cells. This embryo-like state of having the versatile potential to turn into any adult cell type, is called being pluripotent.

However, induced pluripotent and embryonic stem cells can form tumours. Induced pluripotent stem cells carry a particularly high risk of harmful mutation and cancer because of their genetic instability and changes introduced during reprogramming.

Genetic damage could be avoided by using younger tissues such as umbilical cord blood, avoiding tissues that might contain pre-existing mutations (like sun-damaged skin cells), and using better methods for reprogramming.

Stem cells used to test drugs

For now, safety concerns mean pluripotent cells have barely made it to the clinic, but they have been used to test drugs.

For drug research, it is valuable yet often difficult to get research samples with specific disease-causing mutations; for example, brain cells from people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Researchers can, however, take a skin cell sample from a patient, create an induced pluripotent stem-cell line with their mutation and then make neurons out of those stem cells. This provides a renewable source of cells affected by the disease.

This approach could also be used for personalized medicine, testing how a particular patient will respond to different drugs for conditions like heart disease.

Vision loss from fat stem cells

Stem cells can also be found in adults. While embryonic stem cells can turn into any cell in the body, aside from rare newly discovered exceptions, adult stem cells mostly turn into a subset of mature adult cells.

For example, hematopoietic stem cells in blood and bone marrow can turn into any blood cell and are widely used in treating certain cancers and blood disorders.

A major challenge with adult stem cells is getting the right kind of stem cell in useful quantities. This is particularly difficult with eye and nerve cells. Most research is done with accessible stem cell types, like stem cells from fat.

Fat stem cells are also used in stem cell clinics without proper oversight or safety testing. Three patients experienced severe vision loss after having these cells injected into their eyes. There is little evidence that fat stem cells can turn into retinal cells.

Clinical complications

Currently, stem cell based treatments are still mostly experimental, and while some results are encouraging, several clinical trials have failed.

In the brain, despite progress in developing treatment for genetic disorders and spinal cord injury, treatments for stroke have been unsuccessful. Results might depend on method of stem cell delivery, timing of treatment and age and health of the patient. Frustratingly, older and sicker tissues may be more resistant to treatment.

For eye conditions, a treatment using adult stem cells to treat corneal injuries has recently been approved. A treatment for macular degeneration using cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells is in progress, though it had to be redesigned due to concerns about cancer-causing mutations.

A path of cautious optimism

While scientists have good reason to be interested in stem cells, miracle cures are not right around the corner. There are many questions about how to implement treatments to provide benefit safely.

In some cases, advertised stem cell treatments may not actually use stem cells. Recent research suggests mesenchymal stem cells, which are commonly isolated from fat, are really a mixture of cells. These cells have regenerative properties, but may or may not include actual stem cells. Calling something a stem cell treatment is great marketing, but without regulation patients dont know what theyre getting.

Members of the public (and grad students) are advised to moderate their excitement in favour of cautious optimism.

Katharine Sedivy-Haley, PhD Candidate in Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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