Stem cells made quickly in acid in possible game-changing technique CBS News This image from the journal Nature shows a mouse embryo formed with specially-treated cells from a newborn mouse that had been transformed into stem cells.
Scientists have enlisted color coding in the effort to better understand X chromosomes, how they are shut down in certain cells and what it all means for men and women.
The X chromosome is part of the system that determines whether we become male or female. If an egg inherits an X chromosome from both parents, it becomes female. If it gets an X from its mother and a Y from its father, it becomes male.
But the X chromosome remains mysterious. For one thing, females shut down an X chromosome in every cell, leaving only one active. That’s a drastic step to take, given that the X chromosome has more than 1,000 genes.
In some cells, the father’s goes dormant, and in others, the mother’s does. While scientists have known about this so-called X-chromosome inactivation for more than five decades, they still know little about the rules it follows, or even how it evolved.
In the journal Neuron, a team of scientists has unveiled an unprecedented view of X-chromosome inactivation in the body. They found a remarkable complexity to the pattern in which the chromosomes were switched on and off.
In recent years, scientists have increasingly appreciated that our cells can vary genetically — a phenomenon called mosaicism. And X-chromosome inactivation, Dr. Nathans’s pictures show, creates a genetic diversity that’s particularly dramatic. Two cells side by side may be using different versions of many different genes. “But there is also much larger-scale diversity,” Dr. Nathans said.
In some brains, for example, a mother’s X chromosome was seen dominating the left side, while the father’s dominated the right. Entire organs can be skewed toward one parent. Dr. Nathans and his colleagues found that in some mice, one eye was dominated by the father and the other by the mother. The diversity even extended to the entire mouse. In some animals, almost all the X chromosomes from one parent were shut; in others, the opposite was true.
INcredible. In some brains, for example, a mother’s X chromosome was seen dominating the left side, while the father’s dominated the right, so you cahn have both your mother's artistic sense and your father's acute abstract thinking power!
The new allograft implant, processed by the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF), has both osteoinductive (encouraging undifferentiated cells to become active osteoblasts) and osteoconductive (guiding the reparative growth of the natural bone) properties. Through a demineralization process, bone morphogenic proteins (BMPs) are exposed, providing Conform Sheet its osteoinductive properties, while the cancellous structure of the scaffold provides osteoconductive characteristics. Conform Sheet is reportedly wickable: it readily absorbs various hydrating fluids including bone marrow aspirate, blood or saline. When combined with bone marrow aspirate, Conform Sheet becomes osteogenic (lays down new bone cells).
Earlier this year, StemCells reported that two of three patients with the worse kind of spinal cord injuries showed "considerable gains" in feeling sensations a year after receiving treatment.
StemCells is conducting a Phase I/II clinical trial of HuCNS-SC cells in Switzerland at the Balgrist University Hospital, University of Zurich, one of the leading medical centers in the world for spinal cord injury and rehabilitation. The principal investigator is Armin Curt, MD, Professor and Chairman, Spinal Cord Injury Center at the University of Zurich, and Medical Director of the Paraplegic Center at the Balgrist University Hospital. Dr. Curt is an internationally renowned medical expert in spinal cord injury. The trial was initiated in March 2011, and is currently open for enrollment.
A partially converted, biodegradable coralline hydroxyapatite/calcium carbonate (CHACC) composite comprising a coral calcium carbonate scaffold enveloped by a thin layer of hydroxyapatite was used in the present study.
Carlos Garcia Pando's insight:
In conclusion, CHACC appears to be an excellent biodegradable bone graft material. It biointegrates with the host, is osteoconductive, biodegradable and can be an attractive alternative to autogenous grafts
A team of cardiovascular scientists has announced it will be able to 3D print a whole heart from the recipients' own cells within a decade
Carlos Garcia Pando's insight:
The Cardiovascular Innovation Institute is now developing bespoke 3D printers for the job with a team of engineers and vascular biologists -- "if you do not understand the biology, you solve only half the problem" explains Williams. Though for now those printers are focusing on replicating the parts, the plan is to print the whole in one go in just three hours, with a further week needed for it to mature outside of the body. Certain parts will need to be printed and assembled beforehand, including the valves and the biggest blood vessels. "Final construction will then be achieved by bioprinting and strategic placement of the valves and big vessels," says Williams
Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) and the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine have developed the first-ever method for creating living, three-dimensional human heart tissue that behaves like mature heart tissue.
A team of researchers from the Center of Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona (CMRB), the Salk Institute in California and the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona creates three-dimensional kidney structures in culture using human stem cells.
The demonstration of extended function in Organovo's 3D liver tissues was achieved faster than Organovo's projected timeline of achieving these results by the end of 2013 and highlights progress in the development of a 3D Human Liver product, which is on track for launch in 2014. The company believes that a multi-cellular bioprinted 3D Liver system with extended life span in culture can provide superior results to current human cellular models and offer significant value to pharmaceutical researchers by enabling assessment of both biochemical and tissue responses.
Bioengineers have shown that physical cues can help reprogram mature cells back into pluripotent stem cells. The study demonstrates for the first time that biomaterials can help regulate the memory of a cell's identity.
Carlos Garcia Pando's insight:
The current process for reprogramming cells relies on a formula that uses a virus to introduce gene-altering proteins into mature cells. Certain chemical compounds, including valproic acid, that can dramatically affect global DNA structure and expression are also used to boost the efficiency of the reprogramming process.
I don't find this strange, given the fact that stem cells evolve differently according to the 3d scaffolds they are seeded into. This is the opposite. Very nice.
To manufacture stem cells for cell therapy, standards for other materials critical for the cells' growth and survival must also be considered. (Do you know what ancillary materials are needed in order to manufacture a cell therapy?
Wherever Standartization appears it means there is going to be a widespread industrialization process, and that there are already strong stake holders wanting to have an advantaged position to start the race.
Regenerative medicine company Regeneus' (ASX: RGS) will use Japan’s new laws to fast-track the clinical trial and potential approval of its new human “off-the-shelf” CryoShot® cell therapy to treat osteoarthritis.
In a biomedical engineering lab at the University of Saskatchewan, a 3D printer drips a mixture of living cells and biodegradable plastic into a grid design about the size of a shirt button.
"Cartilage is very hard, so making this hard tissue takes a long time. The scaffolding provides support and gives the cells time to develop until they can support themselves," she says.
Izadifar's highly detailed scaffolds encourage cells to grow into the same complex formations found in natural tissue. Cartilage in the knee is only two to three millimetres thick, but is made of multiple layers, all with their own functions. By mimicking these layers, she is designing a fully functional engineered tissue that the body will accept as natural.
This important scientific breakthrough, developed by the University of Granada, will aid the immediate use of artificially-grown skin for major burn patients, since the skin could be stored in tissue banks and made available when needed.
Carlos Garcia Pando's insight:
Spanish scientists, from the Tissue Engineering Research Group, from the Dept. of Histology at the University of Granada, have managed, for the first time, to grow artificial skin from stem cells of umbilical cord. Their study, published in the prestigious journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine, shows the ability of Wharton jelly mesenschymal stem cells to turn to oral-mucosa or skin-regeneration epithelia.
It's not political uncertainty, but only fear of the darkest and dirtiest side of humans: greed to make profit out of other persons lifs or bodies. In other words, they avoid the risk of facing fetuses traffic.
A new study by researchers at the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden reveals that the scar tissue formed by stem cells after a spinal cord injury does not impair recovery as it was previously thought. Instead, stem cell scarring confines the damage.
The big challenge at the moment is to produce vascularized tissue. This means tissue that has its own system of blood vessels through which the tissue can be provided with nutrients. IGB is working on this jointly with other partners under Project ArtiVasc 3D, supported by the European Union. The core of this project is a technology platform to generate fine blood vessels from synthetic materials and thereby create for the first time artificial skin with its subcutaneous adipose tissue. “This step is very important for printing tissue or entire organs in the future. Only once we are successful in producing tissue that can be nourished through a system of blood vessels can printing larger tissue structures become feasible,”