Researchers at UCLA have developed a ‘bionic thymus’ capable of transforming blood stem cells into T cells of the immune system that can be targeted to attack cancer cells. During the transformation, the researchers were also able to incorporate a tumor-targeting gene in anticipation of utilizing the cells to fight cancers. T Cell production is a long and complex biological process in the body and many cancer patients may not have enough of their own T cells to collect and direct to combat their cancer. Therefore, the creation of an artificial thymus has the potential to resolve this issue. The process also shuts off the expression of normal T cell surface receptors, which the researchers believe may enable the cells to be used by other patients without the risk of rejection.
Summit for Stem Cell Foundation’s scientists are developing a treatment protocol that calls for the reprogramming of autologous [the patient’s own] stem cells to produce dopamine to treat PD. An important aspect of Parkinson’s disease is neural degeneration, which vastly decreases the production of dopamine, a hormone necessary for proper movement. By differentiating stem cells to replace the damaged neurons, the treatment holds the promise of significantly alleviating the symptoms [loss of muscle control] associated with Parkinson’s.
At this year’s Lung Science Conference in Estoril, Portugal, researchers revealed that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be effective in treating chronic inflammatory lung diseases, such as COPD or cystic fibrosis, which currently have no cure. In pre-clinical trials, MSCs injected intravenously into mice with inflammatory lung diseases demonstrated an ability to repair the damaged lung tissue and alleviate inflammation by decreasing the number of neutrophils and monocytic cells, which are indicators of inflammation.
StemSave is featured on ABC7 Southwest Florida News, highlighting the afforable prices of the services and the benefits of preserving dental pulp stem cells.
Scientists at the University of California San Francisco have recently found that a majority of the body’s megakaryocytes, which produce platelets, are actually working in the lungs to produce blood, and the lungs also contain and synthesize mesenchymal stem cells that can replace those of the bone marrow when necessary. When the stem cells typically working in the lungs were administered to mice with low platelet levels, or where blood-producing stem cells in the lungs were not present, the stem cells from the working lungs assumed the responsibility of the stem cells that normally carry out this process.
A team at the Stem Cell Medical Clinic in Seoul, South Korea has been investigating the use of mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] as a non-invasive, non-surgical alternative for repairing a torn meniscus. Meniscus tears prove complicated because of their lack of vascularity and blood flow, significantly increasing healing time. Serious injuries to the least vascular part of the meniscus normally require meniscectomies. The use of MSCs has demonstrated an ability to regenerate the fibrocartilage of the meniscus, as well as prevent early development of osteoarthritis, a major side effect of a meniscectomy.
Bay area food technology startup Memphis Meats has grown real-tasting chicken meat, without ever raising a single chicken. Companies are capitalizing on the technology of using stem cells to grow meat tissue, producing meat that bypasses farms, going straight from lab to table. This innovation not only proves more environmentally friendly, but also cuts the costs of feeding and waste disposal associated with raising livestock and poultry, but incorporates stem cells in a novel and unconventional way.
Dr. Abba Zubair of the Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus, known for their research in regenerative medicine, is spearheading research on the effects of microgravity on stem cell growth. In previous studies, the weightlessness in microgravity was shown to promote fast and effective reproduction of stem cells. The ability to rapidly multiply stem cells would go a long way toward eliminating the deficit of available stem cells that could be used to treat the inflammation associated with strokes, and to promote neuron and blood vessel regeneration.
Indiana University’s School of Medicine, spearheading the efforts of over forty researchers in the U.S. and South Korea, has determined that electro acupuncture can be utilized to induce the release of reparative mesenchymal stem cells, which have healing effects when released into the bloodstream. The electric current that is passed through during acupuncture hastens the communication between the stimulus point on the body and the neurons in the spinal cord. This activates the hypothalamus and directs stem cells to an area of injury or stress, promoting collagen production and tendon repair, both linked to expedited healing times.
Wan-Ju Li and Tsung-Lin Tsai, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have developed a more efficient method to regrow large masses of bone. Using the proteins lipocalin-2 and prolactin, the researchers were able to slow and neutralize senescence, a naturally occurring process that negatively impacts the ability of stem cells to divide and grow, thereby preserving the regenerative capabilities of the mesenchymal stem cells and facilitating bone growth. The combination of these two proteins in culture provides sustenance for the stem cells to remain in prime condition until they are ready to be implanted into the patient.