Stem cells promise eternal youth for 'boomers, seniors

June 09 2008 / by futuretalk / In association with Future
Category: Health & Medicine   Year: General   Rating: 11 Hot

By Dick Pelletier

Over the next 12 years, biotech and stem cell research could enable doctors to replace aging skin, bone, and organs on demand, thus restoring many ‘boomers and seniors alive today to a healthy, more youthful state.

Already successful in replacing damaged heart tissue, stem cells might also tip the scales in the war against cancer. Scientists recently discovered that these proliferating wonders are the source of most cancers. At the heart of every tumor lie a handful of aberrant stem cells that feed malignant tissues.

Whitehead Institute’s Robert Weinberg believes this explains why tumors often reappear after chemotherapy and radiation seemingly destroyed them. It also suggests new strategy for developing anti-cancer drugs: focus more on attacking cancer stem cells and not, as at present, killing just any cells to shrink tumors.

On another front, Indiana University’s Dr. Michael Murphy uses stem cells to treat a debilitating cardiovascular condition called peripheral arterial disease, which causes poor blood circulation in the legs, resulting in sores, ulcers; even amputations.

He and his colleagues use adult stem cells to create healthy cells in the lining of blood vessels. They extract cells from bone marrow, then process and inject them into patients’ legs. Every patient in the tests experienced positive benefits. (cont.)

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Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Take a Big Step Towards Clinical Applications

March 04 2009 / by Bora / In association with Future
Category: Biotechnology   Year: 2009   Rating: 9 Hot

This week, researchers from Canada and Scotland made a major advancement in the field of stem cell biology. They discovered a method to successfully reprogram somatic cells into stem cells without the use of viruses.

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are a type of stem cells derived from adult somatic cells by forcing expression of genes shown to sufficiently reprogram somatic cells into stem cells. iPSCs have been shown to possess key characteristics of embryonic stem cells (ESCs), the most important of which is the ability to give rise to cells of all three germ layers. iPSCs are an ideal source of stem cells because they circumvent the need for human embryos to generate stem cells. Additionally, because they can be generated from one’s own somatic cells which are readily available, iPSCs can be used for patient-specific therapies, thereby reducing the risk of immune rejection.

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