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EDITORIAL: London researchers illustrate potential of stem cell therapies

By daniellenierenberg

When researchers and, especially, the general public became aware of the potential medical uses of stem cells the possibilities seemed endless. The National Institutes of Health said this: ... a renewable source of replacement cells and tissues to treat a myriad of diseases, conditions, and disabilities, including Parkinsons disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal cord injury, burns, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.

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Dispute over Stem Cells: A Timeline

By NEVAGiles23

See Inside

For more than 40 years government officials have grappled with how to regulate and fund the controversial research

Despite its promise, stem cell research in the U.S. has been stymied, time and again, by bioethical landmines. The explosive debate revolves around the fact that, until recently, the only way to get pluripotent stem cells was to extract them from human embryos left over from in-vitro fertilizationa process that destroyed the five-day-old embryo. The ongoing debate about when life begins has led many to oppose stem cell research on the grounds that it is immoral to destroy something that could eventually grow into a person. On the other hand, promoters argue that the potential to help millions of people with stem cell therapies outweighs the sanctity of cells that are not viable outside the womb and that often go unused. Arguments on both sides are based on personal beliefs that may never be reconciled, so the debate hinges on whether the federal government should fund research that many citizens find morally objectionable. The following box chronicles stem cell research regulation in the U.S.

1970s

The Supreme Court legalizes abortion in 1973. The ensuing debate on the ethics of experimenting on fetal tissue prompts Congress to issue a moratorium on federal funding for research on human embryos the following year.

1990s

In 1995 President Clinton lifts the ban on funding for study of stem cells left over from in-vitro fertilization, but leaves other restrictions in place. In response, Congress passes the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, prohibiting funding for all research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death, regardless of the source of the embryo.

2000s

President George W. Bush announces that federal funding will be made available for research on the approximately 60 existing embryonic stem cell lines, but not new ones. Congress twice votes to loosen the restrictions on funding for research using embryonic stem cells left over from in-vitro fertilization but President Bush vetoes the legislation both times.

In 2009, early in his first term, President Barack Obama removes the ban on federal funding for new stem cell lines but signs an omnibus bill preserving the Dickey-Wicker Amendment. The move retains restrictions against federal funding for the direct creation of new stem cell lines, but opens up funding for research on newly created lines developed with private or state money.

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Lifeline Skin Care Launches Daily Defense Anti-Aging Skincare Complex Using Groundbreaking Technology and Science to …

By Dr. Matthew Watson

Carlsbad, CA (PRWEB) April 10, 2014

Most baby boomers grew up not knowing about the importance of sun protection. The term SPF wasnt even invented until 1962. So lets blame those lines and wrinkles, age spots and skin laxity on the sun! According to the Environmental Protection Agency, as much as 90 percent of skin aging is caused by sun exposure. New ingredients are emerging that are changing the long-held belief that UV skin damage is irreversible. In fact, studies show when the skin is exposed to extracts from human stem cells it helps repair and rejuvenate itself. Lifeline Skin Care, the only line of skin care products in the world based on growth factors from human stem cells, will launch its new Daily Defense Complex in April in spas and physician offices nationwide. The super-potent formula will firm, tone and defend skin and also integrates easily into post-procedure protocols and homecare regimens.

Lifeline Skin Care uses growth factors that have been extracted from human stem cells, said Simon Craw, Ph.D., of International Stem Cell Corporation, the parent company of Lifeline Skin Care. Stem cells have the natural ability to identify and repair damaged cells. In the laboratory, we discovered how stem cells can rejuvenate many different types of cells, including skin cells. The proteins and growth factors that are extracted from these stem cells can reduce the appearance of the signs of aging--lines, wrinkles and loss of radiance.

Dermatologists believe that women dont get serious about anti-aging skin care until theyre in their 30s, when fine lines and wrinkles begin to appear. But the 40th birthday is the real game changer, said Dr. Elizabeth Hale of Complete Skin MD in New York City. After age 40, fine lines deepen into full fledged wrinkles, and dark spots and age spots begin to surface. Its at this point that women start to look for more advanced and results-oriented skin care ingredients.

Key ingredients in the new Daily Defense Complex help to repair previous photoaging and protect against future UV damage. Collagen and elastin production have been proven in vitro to increase by 46-55%. Collagen and elastin are two key proteins that make skin appear firmer and younger-looking.

Daily Defense Complex is designed for all skin types but it is particularly recommended for mature or photodamaged skin. It retails for $160.00 and is available from physicians, spas and lifelineskincare.com. For more information, please visit http://www.lifelineskincare.com

About Lifeline Skin Care Lifeline Skin Care develops, markets and sells advanced topical anti-aging skin care products based on technology developed and patented by International Stem Cell Corporation. The technology uses ingredients that have been extracted from ISCOs human, parthenogenetic stem cells and are known to reduce the visible signs of skin aging. Lifeline is distributed in the USA and internationally through physicians and spas. For more information visit http://www.lifelineskincare.com

About International Stem Cell Corporation International Stem Cell Corporation is focused on the therapeutic applications of human parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSCs) and the development and commercialization of cell-based research and cosmetic products. ISCO's core technology, parthenogenesis, results in the creation of pluripotent human stem cells from unfertilized oocytes (eggs) hence avoiding ethical issues associated with the use or destruction of viable human embryos. ISCO scientists have created the first parthenogenetic, homozygous stem cell line that can be a source of therapeutic cells for hundreds of millions of individuals of differing genders, ages and racial background with minimal immune rejection after transplantation. hpSCs offer the potential to create the first true stem cell bank, UniStemCell. ISCO also produces and markets specialized cells and growth media for therapeutic research worldwide through its subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology (http://www.lifelinecelltech.com), and stem cell-based skin care products through its subsidiary Lifeline Skin Care (http://www.lifelineskincare.com). More information is available at http://www.internationalstemcell.com.

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Planaria deploy an ancient gene expression program in the course of organ regeneration

By raymumme

13 hours ago Isolated planarian pharynx: two tissue types in this digestive organ are shown. In red, cilia of the epithelial layer ensheathing the organ are labeled with an antibody against acetylated tubulin. In green, the complex longitudinal and circular muscle fibers are shown as labeled by the anti-myosin heavy chain antibody Tmus-13. Credit: Carrie Adler, Ph.D., Stowers Institute for Medical Research

As multicellular creatures go, planaria worms are hardly glamorous. To say they appear rudimentary is more like it. These tiny aquatic flatworms that troll ponds and standing water resemble brown tubes equipped with just the basics: a pair of beady light-sensing "eyespots" on their head and a feeding tube called the pharynx (which doubles as the excretory tract) that protrudes from a belly sac to suck up food. It's hard to feel kinship with them.

But admiration is another thing, because many planaria species regenerate in wondrous waysnamely, when quartered they reconstruct themselves from the pieces. Sliced through the "waist", they regenerate the missing tail or head; bisected lengthwise, worms duplicate their mirror image. This capacity is not what's surprising, as biologists know that 30% of their body cells are stem cells. The question is, how do stem cells in a planaria fragment know how to generate what's missing?

In the April 15, 2014 issue of the online journal eLife, Stowers Institute for Medical Research Investigator Alejandro Snchez Alvarado and colleagues address that issue by identifying genes worms use to rebuild an amputated pharynx. They report that near the top of the pharynx regeneration hierarchy is a master regulator called FoxA. These findings support an evolutionarily conserved role for FoxA proteins in driving construction of endoderm-derived organs and reveal how stem cells sense loss of a particular structure on a molecular level.

Mammals can deploy adult stem cells to replace skin or immune system cells, among others. But when it comes to re-creating entire structures, amphibian, fish and planarian species are the champs. "When mammals are severely injured, they just heal the wound and call it a day," says Snchez Alvarado, who is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. "But if a salamander loses a limb, it will first heal the wound and then start assembling the missing parts. Right now, the mechanisms cells use to realize what structure is missing and then restore it remain completely mysterious."

To unravel the mystery, the team conducted two "screens". First, they amputated the worm pharynx, which prohibits feeding for about a week as planaria rebuild a new one. Around day 3 post-amputation, the team conducted microarray analysis to identify any gene switched on by amputation and amassed about 350 candidates. To test them, they then fed inhibitory RNAs designed to suppress expression of each gene separately to new batches of worms, repeated the amputations and observed whether worms regained feeding ability. That narrowed the list to 20 candidates that when lost hampered feeding and in most cases interfered with pharynx formation.

According to Carrie Adler, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the Snchez Alvarado lab who led the study, analysis showed most of the 20 factors either had a generic function in stem cells (which was interesting but not what they were after) or were specifically required for pharynx regeneration. Among the latter, one factor showing a particularly robust effect was a DNA-binding protein called FoxA. "Targeting FoxA completely blocked pharynx regeneration but had no effect on the regeneration of other organs," says Adler.

High resolution microscopy analysis showed that stem cells ramped up FoxA expression soon after they converged on the amputation site. "Currently, we think that FoxA triggers a cascade of gene expression that drives stem cells to produce all of the different cells of the pharynx, including muscle, neurons, and epithelial cells," says Adler. "The next question is how FoxA gets stimulated in the first place in only some stem cells."

Researchers knew previously that during embryogenesis FoxA initiates formation of endoderm-derived organs in species as diverse as mouse and roundworms. The new work suggests that regenerating tissues exploit those evolutionarily ancient gene expression pathways. "Engulfing food is one thing that defines an animal," says Snchez Alvarado. "This means that organisms from humans to flatworms use a common toolbox to build a digestive system, one that has been shared since animals became multicellular."

A fortuitous (in hindsight) setback facilitated the work. As a graduate student studying the roundworm C. elegans, Adler decided to test effects of roundworm anesthetics on flatworms. One, a sodium azide bath, put planaria to sleep but made their pharynxes drop off. Aghast, Adler soon realized that the azide solution (which planaria survived) left a uniform, minimally-destructive lesion. Thus was born the "selective chemical amputation method", allowing large-scale analysis and reliable quantification of results and freeing researchers from tedious hours at a dissecting microscope.

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Scientists growing human body parts in lab using stem cells

By NEVAGiles23

Home > News > world-news

Washington, Apr 9 : In a bold attempt to make body parts using stem cells, scientists in a north London hospital are growing noses, ears and blood vessels in the laboratory.

It is among several labs around the world, including in the US, that are working on the futuristic idea of growing custom-made organs in the lab, Fox News reported.

While only a handful of patients have received the British lab-made organs so far- including tear ducts, blood vessels and windpipes - researchers hope they will soon be able to transplant more types of body parts into patients, including what would be the world's first nose made partly from stem cells.

Alexander Seifalian at University College London, the scientist leading the effort said that it's like making a cake and they just use a different kind of oven.

During a recent visit to his lab, Seifalian showed off a sophisticated machine used to make molds from a polymer material for various organs.

Last year, he and his team made a nose for a British man who lost his to cancer. Scientists added a salt and sugar solution to the mold of the nose to mimic the somewhat sponge-like texture of the real thing. Stem cells were taken from the patient's fat and grown in the lab for two weeks before being used to cover the nose scaffold. Later, the nose was implanted into the man's forearm so that skin would grow to cover it.

--ANI (Posted on 10-04-2014)

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Ears, noses grown from stem cells in lab dishes

By NEVAGiles23

Professor Alexander Seifalian poses for photographs with a synthetic polymer nose at his research facility in the Royal Free Hospital in London, Monday, March 31, 2014. In a north London hospital, scientists are growing noses, ears and blood vessels in the laboratory in a bold attempt to make body parts using stem cells. AP

In a north London hospital, scientists are growing noses, ears and blood vessels in the laboratory in a bold attempt to make body parts using stem cells.

It is among several labs around the world, including in the U.S., that are working on the futuristic idea of growing custom-made organs in the lab.

5 Photos

In a north London hospital, scientists are growing noses, ears and blood vessels in attempt to make body parts using stem cells

"It's like making a cake," said Alexander Seifalian at University College London, the scientist leading the effort. "We just use a different kind of oven."

During a recent visit to his lab, Seifalian showed off a sophisticated machine used to make molds from a polymer material for various organs.

Last year, he and his team made a nose for a British man who lost his to cancer. Scientists added a salt and sugar solution to the mold of the nose to mimic the somewhat sponge-like texture of the real thing. Stem cells were taken from the patient's fat and grown in the lab for two weeks before being used to cover the nose scaffold. Later, the nose was implanted into the man's forearm so that skin would grow to cover it.

Seifalian said he and his team are waiting for approval from regulatory authorities to transfer the nose onto the patient's face but couldn't say when that might happen

The potential applications of lab-made organs appear so promising even the city of London is getting involved: Seifalian's work is being showcased on Tuesday as Mayor Boris Johnson announces a new initiative to attract investment to Britain's health and science sectors so spin-off companies can spur commercial development of the pioneering research.

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Sci-fi meets reality as stem cells are turned into noses, ears

By JoanneRUSSELL25

LONDON In a north London hospital, scientists are growing noses, ears and blood vessels in the laboratory in a bold attempt to make body parts using stem cells.

It is among several labs around the world, including in the US, that are working on the futuristic idea of growing custom-made organs in the lab.

While only a handful of patients have received the British lab-made organs so far including tear ducts, blood vessels and windpipes researchers hope they will soon be able to transplant more types of body parts into patients, including what would be the worlds first nose made partly from stem cells.

Its like making a cake, said Alexander Seifalian at University College London, the scientist leading the effort. We just use a different kind of oven.

Dr. Michelle Griffin, a plastic surgery research fellow, holds a synthetic polymer ear.Photo: AP

During a recent visit to his lab, Seifalian showed off a sophisticated machine used to make molds from a polymer material for various organs.

Last year, he and his team made a nose for a British man who lost his to cancer. Scientists added a salt and sugar solution to the mold of the nose to mimic the somewhat sponge-like texture of the real thing. Stem cells were taken from the patients fat and grown in the lab for two weeks before being used to cover the nose scaffold. Later, the nose was implanted into the mans forearm so that skin would grow to cover it.

Seifalian said he and his team are waiting for approval from regulatory authorities to transfer the nose onto the patients face but couldnt say when that might happen.

The potential applications of lab-made organs appear so promising, even the city of London is getting involved: Seifalians work is being showcased on Tuesday as Mayor Boris Johnson announces a new initiative to attract investment to Britains health and science sectors so spin-off companies can spur commercial development of the pioneering research.

The polymer material Seifalian uses for his organ scaffolds has been patented and hes also applied for patents for their blood vessels, tear ducts and windpipe. He and his team are creating other organs including coronary arteries and ears. Later this year, a trial is scheduled to start in India and London to test lab-made ears for people born without them.

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British scientists make custom-made body parts using stem cells

By LizaAVILA

London's Royal Free hospital is among several in the world that are working on the futuristic idea of growing custom-made organs in the lab Few have received the lab-made organs so far - including ears and windpipes - but researchers hope they will soon transplant more They hope to transplant world's first nose made partly from stem cells

By Associated Press and Ellie Zolfagharifard

Published: 05:38 EST, 8 April 2014 | Updated: 12:09 EST, 8 April 2014

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At London's Royal Free hospital, scientists are growing noses, ears and blood vessels in the laboratory in a bold attempt to make body parts using stem cells.

It is among several labs around the world, including in the U.S., that are working on the futuristic idea of growing custom-made organs in the lab.

Only a handful of patients have received the British lab-made organs so far - including tear ducts, blood vessels and windpipes.

But researchers hope they will soon be able to transplant more types of body parts into patients, including what would be the world's first nose made partly from stem cells.

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British scientists make custom-made body parts using stem cells

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Muscle paralysis eased by light-sensitive stem cells

By NEVAGiles23

A genetic tweak can make light work of some nervous disorders. Using flashes of light to stimulate modified neurons can restore movement to paralysed muscles. A study demonstrating this, carried out in mice, lays the path for using such "optogenetic" approaches to treat nerve disorders ranging from spinal cord injury to epilepsy and motor neuron disease.

Optogenetics has been hailed as one of the most significant recent developments in neuroscience. It involves genetically modifying neurons so they produce a light-sensitive protein, which makes them "fire", sending an electrical signal, when exposed to light.

So far optogenetics has mainly been used to explore how the brain works, but some groups are exploring using it as therapy. One stumbling block has been fears about irreversibly genetically manipulating the brain.

In the latest study, a team led by Linda Greensmith of University College London altered mouse stem cells in the lab before transplanting them into nerves in the leg this means they would be easier to remove if something went wrong.

"It's a very exciting approach that has a lot of potential," says Ziv Williams of Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Greensmith's team inserted an algal gene that codes for a light-responsive protein into mouse embryonic stem cells. They then added signalling molecules to make the stem cells develop into motor neurons, the cells that carry signals to and from the spinal cord to the rest of the body. They implanted these into the sciatic nerve which runs from the spinal cord to the lower limbs of mice whose original nerves had been cut.

After waiting five weeks for the implanted neurons to integrate with the muscle, Greensmith's team anaesthetised the mice, cut open their skin and shone pulses of blue light on the nerve. The leg muscles contracted in response. "We were surprised at how well this worked," says Greensmith.

Most current approaches being investigated to help people who are paralysed involve electrically stimulating their nerves or muscles. But this can be painful because they may still have working pain neurons. Plus, the electricity makes the muscles contract too forcefully, making them tire quickly.

Using the optogenetic approach, however, allows the muscle fibres to be stimulated more gently, because the light level can be increased with each pulse. "It gives a very smooth contraction," says Greensmith.

To make the technique practical for use in people, the researchers are developing a light-emitting diode in the form of a cuff that would go around the nerve, which could be connected to a miniature battery pack under the skin.

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DrSkinSpa.com Announces the Addition of Eminence Bamboo Firming Fluid, 1.2 oz.

By JoanneRUSSELL25

Irvine, CA (PRWEB) April 03, 2014

DrSkinSpa.com is a top-tier skin care web-retail store. It places its primary focus on bringing clinically tested skin care creations that are manufactured using naturally derived ingredients. The company proudly markets an extensive line of natural and effective anti wrinkle cream skin products. Skin care rejuvenators are just one of the many categories of beauty products sold here and DrSkinSpa.com has just added Eminence Bamboo Firming Fluid, 1.2 oz. to its extensive line.

The organic skin care product that is Eminence Bamboo Firming Fluid, 1.2 oz., contains an abundance of plant ingredients, essential oils, and anti-aging Swiss Green Apple Stem Cells. When placed together in this anti aging products, wrinkles and lines are smoothed, hydrated, and the skin is firmed up for a younger appearance.

The key ingredients in Eminence Bamboo Firming Fluid, 1.2 oz. include bamboo, both coconut oil and water, a natural retinol alternative complex with chicory root and tara tree, Swiss Green Apple Stem Cells, and monoi, a fragrant and firming Tahitian oil.

Bamboo has both soluble and insoluble fiber, free-radical fighting antioxidants, proteins, skin-enriching vitamins and minerals to help firm and anti age skin. Coconut oil is included in Eminence Bamboo Firming Fluid, 1.2 oz., for its moisturizing effects, which also help restore skins natural moisture barrier. This oil also works as an antioxidant. The coconut water in this serum balances the skins pH, returning moisture to skin; it also tones the complexion. Coconut water has natural reserves of Vitamin C, electrolytes, calcium, potassium and phosphorous, all plusses for both skin and body.

The Natural Retinol Alternative Complex in Eminence Bamboo Firming Fluid, 1.2 oz., is a combination of chicory root natural sugars (oligosaccharides) and tara tree. The sugars from chicory root firm up loose and sagging skin with immediate activity. It also increases collagen synthesis. Tara tree provides long-lasting moisture.

Dr. Farid Mostamand, owner of DrSkinSpa.com, says, Eminence Bamboo Firming Fluid, 1.2 oz., contains the patented PhytoCellTec. These are the Swiss Green Apple Stem Cells concentrate formula that has been clinically shown to reduce and prevent signs of aging.

DrSkinSpa.com is doctor operated and owned. The company studies and choosesfor sale only the finest products, with clinically proven and natural ingredients. DrSkinSpa.com extends to customers a two-week money-back guarantee for every product sold on their web site. The site also provides customers with a 120% price protection warranty in addition to no cost shipping. Complimentaryaesthetician consultations are also available. DrSkinSpa.com is owned by Crescent Health Center and is based in Anaheim, California.

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'Fabricated' stem cell paper technique may yet be proven valid

By LizaAVILA

Just weeks after invalidating a groundbreaking paper describing a simple technique for generating pluripotent stem cells, professor Kenneth Ka Ho Lee now believes he has identified the correct approach.

Lee, chief of stem cell research at the Chinese University of Hong, spoke to Wired.co.uk in March about his tentative excitement when he read the Nature study in question, published at the start of the year. The proposed Stap cells (stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency) in it were a revelation, because they suggested there was a simple way to generate embryonic-like stem cells that could potentially be used in the treatment of diseases such as Parkinson's. The method involved reprogramming a donor's own adult blood and skin cells (in this case, mice) by exposing them to extreme trauma, such as an acid bath.

Lee could see its potential, but like the rest of the community he had his doubts. While reports circulated that the images published in the Nature study also featured in older papers penned by lead researcher Haruko Obokata of Japan's Riken Centre, Lee set about trying to replicate the experiment himself.

It didn't work.

Since then the Riken Centre has launched an investigation into the legitimacy of the trial, and that investigation today revealed Obokata had indeed falsified information, including results and images of DNA fragments used.

"Actions like this completely destroy data credibility," commented Shunsuke Ishii, head of the investigative committee and a Riken molecular geneticist, at a press conference. "There is no doubt that she was fully aware of this danger. We've therefore concluded this was an act of research misconduct involving fabrication." Obokata has denied the allegations, but Riken says its own research team will be the one to verify the results and carry out the experiment again.

In the interim however, a coauthor on the paper at the centre of the debacle,Charles Vacanti published yet another protocol for the Stap technique, fairly different from the original. Vacanti, of ear-on-a-mouse fame, is a professor at Harvard Medical School and published online what he said was found to be "an effective protocol for generating Stap cells in our lab, regardless of the cell type being studied". It was a combination of the two approaches mentioned in the Naturepaper -- the acid bath, and the trituration process (the application of pressure on the cells using pipettes to induce stress). He describes the latter process as being exerted with force, more so than in the original paper, and over a lengthy period -- twice a day for the first week.

Nature had already rejected Lee's version of experiments for publication last month. Undeterred, he set about applying Vacanti's technique. Liveblogging the experiments on ResearchGate, the open source platform where Lee had published his first set of experiments, the Hong Kong researcher immediately saw the excess stress was leading to rapid cell death among the lung fibroblast cells used.

"The Vacanti protocol put a deal of emphasis on mechanically passing the cells through narrow bore glass pipettes for 30 minutes before acid treatment and then growing the cells on non-adhesive culture plates," Lee told Wired.co.uk. "We conducted these experiments, but it did not induce expression of the pluripotent stem cell markers (Oct4, Sox2 and Nanog)."

Nevertheless, things appeared to turn around. In his preliminary studies Lee has concluded that it could be the extreme stress through trituration, and not the acid bath, that was responsible for creating the Stap cells.

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'Fabricated' stem cell paper may have just been proven valid

By LizaAVILA

Just weeks after invalidating a groundbreaking paper describing a simple technique for generating pluripotent stem cells, professor Kenneth Ka Ho Lee now believes he has identified the correct approach.

Lee, chief of stem cell research at the Chinese University of Hong, spoke to Wired.co.uk in March about his tentative excitement when he read the Nature study in question, published at the start of the year. The proposed Stap cells (stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency) in it were a revelation, because they suggested there was a simple way to generate embryonic-like stem cells that could potentially be used in the treatment of diseases such as Parkinson's. The method involved reprogramming a donor's own adult blood and skin cells (in this case, mice) by exposing them to extreme trauma, such as an acid bath.

Lee could see its potential, but like the rest of the community he had his doubts. While reports circulated that the images published in the Nature study also featured in older papers penned by lead researcher Haruko Obokata of Japan's Riken Centre, Lee set about trying to replicate the experiment himself.

It didn't work.

Since then the Riken Centre has launched an investigation into the legitimacy of the trial, and that investigation today revealed Obokata had indeed falsified information, including results and images of DNA fragments used.

"Actions like this completely destroy data credibility," commented Shunsuke Ishii, head of the investigative committee and a Riken molecular geneticist, at a press conference. "There is no doubt that she was fully aware of this danger. We've therefore concluded this was an act of research misconduct involving fabrication." Obokata has denied the allegations, but Riken says its own research team will be the one to verify the results and carry out the experiment again.

In the interim however, a coauthor on the paper at the centre of the debacle,Charles Vacanti published yet another protocol for the Stap technique. Vacanti, of ear-on-a-mouse fame, is a professor at Harvard Medical School and published online what he said was found to be "an effective protocol for generating Stap cells in our lab, regardless of the cell type being studied". It was a combination of the two approaches mentioned in the Naturepaper -- the acid bath, and the trituration process (the application of pressure on the cells using pipettes to induce stress). He describes the latter process as being exerted with force, more so than in the original paper, and over a lengthy period -- twice a day for the first week.

Nature had already rejected Lee's version of experiments for publication last month. Undeterred, he set about applying Vacanti's technique. Liveblogging the experiments on ResearchGate, the open source platform where Lee had published his first set of experiments, the Hong Kong researcher immediately saw the excess stress was leading to rapid cell death among the lung fibroblast cells used.

"We estimated that there was a 50 percent decrease in cell number," Lee wrote four days ago on the blog. "In the original paper reported in Nature, such decrease in cell count was reported for day two, which is inline with our current experiment. Day three will be critical as this was the time Oct4-GFP expression [an indication that stem cells are generating] was reported for Stap cells. If we find that the cell number decreased even more drastically in our cultures, we will harvest some of the cultures and use them directly for qPCR analysis [quantitative polymerase chain reaction,a screening technique for stem cells]."

Nevertheless, things appeared to turn around. In his preliminary studies Lee has concluded that it could be the extreme stress through trituration, and not the acid bath, that was responsible for creating the Stap cells. "I am shocked and amazed by the qPCR results for the three-day-old control and Stap cultures," he wrote on ResearchGate, alongside a graph of the results. "Totally speechless!"

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'Fabricated' stem cell paper may have just been proven valid

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The New Scientific Serum That Helps Skin Become Younger and Healthier on Sale at Sublime Beauty Now

By Sykes24Tracey

St. Petersburg, FL (PRWEB) April 01, 2014

Sublime Beauty has recently introduced its newest serum which makes a positive impact on aging skin within 30 days.

Cell Renewal | Fibroblast Serum is discounted 35% for 2 days only at the company webstore, SublimeBeautyShop with coupon code CELLRENEW35.

"A key ingredient is Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media, rich in proteins and growth factors, that instruct the skin's fibroblasts to product collagen," says Kathy Heshelow, founder of Sublime Beauty. "The non-embryonic stem cells are powerful indeed - no fillers are used."

The company offers a free brochure about the ingredients on the product page. "We find that our customers want to know about ingredients in the product, what they do and what to expect." says Heshelow. "We offer lots of education on our products."

Sublime Beauty focuses on anti-aging and healthy-skin oriented products, from Skin Brushing and collagen boosters to organic products for the skin. It specializes in serums.

The company offers free standard shipping within the continental U.S and a Sublime Beauty VIP Club. Interested clients can sign up for secret deals and deep discounts as well.

The 35% off sale ends Wednesday at midnight.

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The New Scientific Serum That Helps Skin Become Younger and Healthier on Sale at Sublime Beauty Now

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Primate Stem Cell Creation Appears Driven by Genes From Ancient Virus

By daniellenierenberg

Viruses were traditionally thought to be malicious nanoscopic bearers of death and destruction. But modern science has suggested that while that is sometimes the case, the relationship between viruses and living organisms is a complicated one, as is the question of whether viruses can be truly considered "living" organisms. I. Viruses Can Actually be Useful, Sometimes In case newly discovered mega-viruses -- which rival small bacteria in size, function, and genetic complexity (and are sometimes "infected" by other viruses) -- aren't mind-warping enough, recent evidence suggests that as much of 8 percent of the genetic material found in higher organisms such as humans may be "borrowed" from viral genomes. These pieces of DNA are identifiable, if you know what you're looking for, but long ago lost their ability to depart and jump to new hosts. In that regard, mankind can be viewed as similar in some ways to lichen -- as a collection of multiple fused "organisms" living as one -- as modern man's genetic code consists of virus and traditional eukaryotic genes functioning side by side. The latest wild discovery comes courtesy of Montreal, Quebec, Canada's McGill University.

Professor Bourque states in an interview with National Geographic:

[Acquiring useful genes from viruses] can be faster than just relying on random mutations to get something that might work.

[These genes should be examined] to see if they have also evolved new functional roles, like HERV-H did in stem cells. We suspect that these genes may play important roles in other cell types as well, such as liver, kidney, and brain.

Sources: NATURE STRUCTURAL & MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, National Geographic

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Stem Cells Shed Light on Treatments for Bipolar Disorder

By Dr. Matthew Watson

These neurons derived from stem cells made from the skin of people with bipolar disorder communicated with one another differently than neurons made from the skin of people without bipolar disorder.(Credit: University of Michigan)

Bipolar disorder is known to run in families, but scientists have yet to pinpoint the genes involved. Now they have a powerful new tool in the hunt: stem cells.

In a first-of-its-kind procedure, researchers from the University of Michigan have created stem cells from the skin of people with bipolar disorder, and then coaxed the cells into neurons. This has allowed scientists, for the first time, to directly measure cellular differences between people with bipolar disorder and people without.

In the future the cells could provide a greater understanding of what causes the disease, and allow for the development of personalized medications specific to each patients cells.

The team from Michigan took skin cell samples from 22 people with bipolar disorder and 10 people without the disorder. Under carefully controlled conditions, they coaxed adult skin cells into an embryonic stem cell-like state. These cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells, then had the potential to transform into any type of cell. With further coaxing, the cells became neurons.

This gives us a model that we can use to examine how cells behave as they develop into neurons. Already, we see that cells from people with bipolar disorder are different in how often they express certain genes, how they differentiate into neurons, how they communicate, and how they respond to lithium, study co-leader Sue OShea said in a news release.

Researchers published their findings Wednesday in the journalTranslational Psychiatry.

The research team discovered intriguing differences between stem cellsand neuronsfrom bipolar individuals and those from healthy people.

For one thing, bipolar stem cells expressed more genes associated with receiving calcium signals in the brain. Calcium signals play an important role in neuron development and function. Therefore, the new findings support the idea that genetic differences expressed early in life may contribute to the development of bipolar disorder later in life.

Once the stem cells turned into neurons, researchers tested how they reacted to lithium, a typical treatment for the disorder. The tests showed that lithium normalized the behavior of neurons from bipolar patients by altering their calcium signalingfurther confirmation that this cellular pathway should be of key interest in future studies of the disease.

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Stem Cell-Derived Beta Cells Under Skin Replace Insulin

By LizaAVILA

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Newswise Scientists at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute have shown that by encapsulating immature pancreatic cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESC), and implanting them under the skin of diabetic mouse models, sufficient insulin is produced to maintain glucose levels without unwanted potential trade-offs of the technology.

The research, published online in Stem Cell Research, suggests that encapsulated hESC-derived insulin-producing cells may be an effective and safe cell replacement therapy for insulin dependent-diabetes.

Our study critically evaluates some of the potential pitfalls of using stem cells to treat insulin dependent-diabetes, said Pamela Itkin-Ansari, PhD, assistant project scientist in the UC San Diego Department of Pediatrics and adjunct assistant professor in Development, Aging and Regenerative program at Sanford-Burnham.

We have shown that encapsulated hESC-derived insulin-producing cells are able to produce insulin in response to elevated glucose without an increase in the mass or their escape from the capsule, said Itkin-Ansari. These results are important because it means that the encapsulated cells are both fully functional and retrievable.

Previous attempts to replace insulin producing cells, called beta cells, have met with significant challenges. For example, researchers have tried treating diabetics with mature beta cells, but because these cells are fragile and scarce, the method is fraught with problems. Moreover, since the cells come from organ donors, they may be recognized as foreign by the recipients immune system requiring patients to take immunosuppressive drugs to prevent their immune system from attacking the donors cells, ultimately leaving patients vulnerable to infections, tumors and other adverse events.

Encapsulation technology was developed to protect donor cells from exposure to the immune system and has proven extremely successful in preclinical studies.

Itkin-Ansari and her research team previously made an important contribution to the encapsulation approach by showing that pancreatic islet progenitor cells are an optimal cell type for encapsulation. They found that progenitor cells were more robust than mature beta cells to encapsulate, and while encapsulated, they matured into insulin-producing cells that secreted insulin only when needed.

In the study, Itkin-Ansari and her team used bioluminescent imaging to determine if encapsulated cells stay in the capsule after implantation.

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Stem Cell-Derived Beta Cells Under Skin Replace Insulin

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Scientists use stem cells to study bipolar disorder

By raymumme

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Brain cells of patients with bipolar disorder act differently than those of people without the mental illness, according to scientists who conducted a stem cell study of the condition.

The investigators said their research might one day lead to a better understanding of bipolar disorder and new treatments for the disease, which causes extreme emotional highs and lows. About 200 million people worldwide have bipolar disorder.

"We're very excited about these findings. But we're only just beginning to understand what we can do with these cells to help answer the many unanswered questions in bipolar disorder's origins and treatment," said study co-leader Dr. Melvin McInnis, a professor of bipolar disorder and depression at the University of Michigan Medical School.

The study authors took skin stem cells from people with and without bipolar disorder and transformed them into neurons similar to brain cells. It's the first time that stem cell lines specific to bipolar disorder have been created, the researchers said.

They discovered distinct differences in how the two sets of neurons behave and communicate with each other. The cells also differed in their response to lithium, the most widely used treatment for bipolar disorder.

The study was published online March 25 in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

"This gives us a model that we can use to examine how cells behave as they develop into neurons," study co-leader Sue O'Shea, a professor in the department of cell and developmental biology and director of the University of Michigan Pluripotent Stem Cell Research Lab, said in a university news release.

"Already, we see that cells from people with bipolar disorder are different in how often they express certain genes, how they differentiate into neurons, how they communicate, and how they respond to lithium," O'Shea said.

McInnis said it's possible the research could lead to new types of drug trials. If it becomes possible to test new drug candidates in these cells, patients would be spared the current trial-and-error approach that leaves many with uncontrolled symptoms, he said.

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Stem Cells Shed Light on Bipolar Disorder

By JoanneRUSSELL25

Researchers have grown embryonic-like stem cells from patients with bipolar disorder and transformed them into brain cells that are already answering questions about the condition.

The cells, which carry the precisely tailored genetic instructions from the patients own cells, behave differently than cells taken from people without the disorder, the researchers report.

Already, we see that cells from people with bipolar disorder are different in how often they express certain genes, how they differentiate into neurons, how they communicate, and how they respond to lithium," Sue O'Shea, a stem cell specialist at the University of Michigan who led the study, said in a statement.

The work, described in the journal Translational Psychiatry, helps fulfill one of the big promises of stem cells research using a patients own cells to study his or her disease.

Mental illness is especially hard to study. Getting into a living persons brain is almost impossible, and scientists cant deliberately cause it in people in order to study it.

Creating animals such as mice with what looks like human mental illness is imprecise at best.

The University of Michigan team turned instead to what are called induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells. These are ordinary skin cells taken from a patient and tricked into turning back into the state of a just-conceived embryo.

These cells, grown from skin cells taken from people with bipolar disorder, arose from stem cells and were coaxed to become neural progenitor cells -- the kind that can become any sort of nervous system cell. The research showed differences in cell behavior compared with cells grown from people without bipolar disorder.

They are pluripotent, meaning they can become any type of cell there is. In this case, the Michigan team redirected the cells to become neurons the cells that make up much of the brain. "This gives us a model that we can use to examine how cells behave as they develop into neurons, OShea said.

Bipolar disorder, once called manic-depression, is very common, affecting an estimated 3 percent of the population globally. It runs in families, suggesting a strong genetic cause, and is marked by mood swings from depression to feelings of euphoria and creativity thats considered the manic phase.

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Stem Cells Shed Light on Bipolar Disorder

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Stem Cells Shed Light On Bipolar Disease

By daniellenierenberg

Researchers have grown embryonic-like stem cells from patients with bipolar disorder and transformed them into brain cells that are already answering questions about the condition.

The cells, which carry the precisely tailored genetic instructions from the patients own cells, behave differently than cells taken from people without the disorder, the researchers report.

Already, we see that cells from people with bipolar disorder are different in how often they express certain genes, how they differentiate into neurons, how they communicate, and how they respond to lithium," Sue O'Shea, a stem cell specialist at the University of Michigan who led the study, said in a statement.

The work, described in the journal Translational Psychiatry, helps fulfill one of the big promises of stem cells research using a patients own cells to study his or her disease.

Mental illness is especially hard to study. Getting into a living persons brain is almost impossible, and scientists cant deliberately cause it in people in order to study it.

Creating animals such as mice with what looks like human mental illness is imprecise at best.

The University of Michigan team turned instead to what are called induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells. These are ordinary skin cells taken from a patient and tricked into turning back into the state of a just-conceived embryo.

These cells, grown from skin cells taken from people with bipolar disorder, arose from stem cells and were coaxed to become neural progenitor cells -- the kind that can become any sort of nervous system cell. The research showed differences in cell behavior compared with cells grown from people without bipolar disorder.

They are pluripotent, meaning they can become any type of cell there is. In this case, the Michigan team redirected the cells to become neurons the cells that make up much of the brain. "This gives us a model that we can use to examine how cells behave as they develop into neurons, OShea said.

Bipolar disorder, once called manic-depression, is very common, affecting an estimated 3 percent of the population globally. It runs in families, suggesting a strong genetic cause, and is marked by mood swings from depression to feelings of euphoria and creativity thats considered the manic phase.

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Stem Cells Shed Light On Bipolar Disease

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Bipolar Disorder Stem Cell Study Opens Doors To Potential New Treatments

By raymumme

Image Caption: These colorful neurons, seen forming connections to one another across synapses, were grown from induced pluripotent stem cells -- ones that were derived from skin cells taken from people with bipolar disorder. New research shows they act, and react to the bipolar drug lithium, differently from neurons derived from people without bipolar disorder. Credit: University of Michigan Pluripotent Stem Cell Research Lab

[ Watch the Video: First Stem Cell Study of Bipolar Disorder Yields Promising Results ]

April Flowers for redOrbit.com Your Universe Online

Bipolar disorder affects 200 million people globally, and yet there are so many questions surrounding the condition. Why are individuals with bipolar disorder prone to manic highs and deep, depressed lows? If there is no single gene to blame, why does bipolar disorder run so strongly in families? And why, with the enormous number of people suffering from bipolar disorder, is it so hard to find new treatments?

A new study from the University of Michigan Medical School, funded by the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund, reveals that the answers might actually be found within our stem cells.

To derive the first-ever stem cell lines specific to bipolar disorder, the research team used skin from individuals who suffer from the condition. They transformed these cells into neurons, similar to those found in the brain, then compared them to cells derived from people without the disorder.

Very specific differences in how these neurons behave and communicate with each other were revealed by the comparison, which also identified striking differences in how the neurons respond to lithium, the most common treatment for bipolar disorder.

This study represents the first time researchers have directly measured differences in brain cell formation and function between individuals with and without bipolar disorder.

The type of stem cells used for this study are called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The team coaxed the sample cells to turn into stem cells that held the potential to become any type of cell by exposing the small samples of skin cells to carefully controlled conditions. Further coaxing turned the iPSCs into neurons.

This gives us a model that we can use to examine how cells behave as they develop into neurons. Already, we see that cells from people with bipolar disorder are different in how often they express certain genes, how they differentiate into neurons, how they communicate, and how they respond to lithium, says Sue OShea, Ph.D., an experienced U-M stem cell specialist.

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Bipolar Disorder Stem Cell Study Opens Doors To Potential New Treatments

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