Stem Cells Reborn

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Stem Cells Reborn

Postby DIGSox on May 18th, 2006, 2:42 pm 

I came across an article from Technology Review titled "Stem Cells Reborn". It discusses how researchers are renewing their race to close stem cells after the shocking fraud case of Hwang Woo Suk of South Korea, which by now I'm sure most have heard of.

The article finds that success could mean a new era of more realistic disease models and safer, life-saving regenerative medicine. Now, six months after details of the fraud emerged, ACT and groups at Harvard University and the University of California, San Francisco, among others, are gearing up to start new therapeutic-cloning programs.

I can only imagine the ethical issues that are bound to arise.

Check out the article if you're interested: http://www.technologyreview.com/read_ar ... ch=biotech
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Postby BioWizard on May 18th, 2006, 2:58 pm 

I think the single most central ethical problem to stem cell research/therapy is in how to obtain those stem cells. Once scientists work out a noncontroversial system for obtaining patient specific stem cells, I would imagine that stem cell therapy will have far less ethical problems than say organ transplant therapy. Everybody gets a cure, and literally the best there is.

All I can say to ACT is hard luck, it must definitely suck. But it's time to thaw those cells and pick up where you left!
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Postby BioWizard on May 18th, 2006, 3:09 pm 

I cant wait till we figure out the genes that are expressed in stem cells (and thus suppress somatic programs). It would mean that we might no longer need to perform nuclear transfer to create patient-specific stem cells, and can just stimulate any differentiated cell to revert back into a stem cell of sorts. (rather than pick out the nucleus and using it to replace the nucleus of an embryonic stem cells).
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Postby Cyndi Loo on May 22nd, 2006, 1:25 pm 

Are not stem cells for medical purposes now being harvested from sources other than embryos? It seems like I have read stem cells are being harvested from a patient's own body. Would this be a better way to harvest stem cells? If a person was receiving stem cells from their own body, wouldn't this mean they would be less likely to experience rejection?

While I understand stem cells must have a molecular structure, it never ocurred to me genes could be a factor in stem cell research. This is truly remarkable. Thank you for posting it, Bio.

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Postby Cyndi Loo on May 25th, 2006, 10:25 pm 

Here is a great link:

Web/article.php?id=686
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Postby BioWizard on May 25th, 2006, 10:36 pm 

Cyndi Loo wrote:Are not stem cells for medical purposes now being harvested from sources other than embryos?


Last I heard they were harvesting them from umbilical cords, but I don't know how useful these are.


It seems like I have read stem cells are being harvested from a patient's own body. Would this be a better way to harvest stem cells?


The problem with these stem cells is that they are a little bit more differentiated than the therapist might like them to be. So what you need to do is remove DNA from these or any other cells, and inject them into the nucleus of a zygotic cell (whose nucleus has been removed). This cell would contain the cytoplasmic material required to produce completely totipotent stem cells, which are the most useful in stem cells therapy. The problem is, after this cells divides a few times, it forms a meroblast, a blastocyst, and then grastrulates to form an embryo. I don't know if harvesting these cell clumps at very early stages presents the same ethical problems. I myself cant see why.

If a person was receiving stem cells from their own body, wouldn't this mean they would be less likely to experience rejection?


Absolutely

While I understand stem cells must have a molecular structure, it never occurred to me genes could be a factor in stem cell research. This is truly remarkable. Thank you for posting it, Bio.
Cyndi


Yep, specific genes get turned on, and all others turned off, in nondifferentiated stem cells. That is what makes them so special. All the genes that start somatic differentiation programs are suppressed, so the cell is kept in some sort of "mint condition", ready to form any tissue you prompt it to. Once it starts going into one direction or the other, it commits to a specific somatic program (kind of like a snow balling effect for the genes) and it becomes difficult to reverse it's differentiation - hence the necessity for stem cells.

Sorry for not responding earlier.
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Postby Cyndi Loo on May 25th, 2006, 10:55 pm 

Please do not apologize for not responding earlier. Our board is busy!


I have read they have been harvesting them from stem cell cords. This would be a really great thing if it works, especially for the baby. Stem cell research is important, not just for harvesting stem cells, but I think understanding (which apparently you do) how they work.

Thanks Bio.

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Postby BioWizard on May 25th, 2006, 10:58 pm 

Oh, the specialists dont yet know how stem cells work and how these programs are initiated, let alone a clueless PhD student like myself :)

But I think we are on the verge of making important breakthroughs with the advent of interactomics, within the few coming years *crossing fingers*.
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Postby ecoli on July 21st, 2006, 6:42 pm 

Reborn... only to get shut down again.

"we're not going to use our children for spare parts." - Bush

^ Ah, if only somebody had seen fit to use him as a spare part when he was a 'child.'

Sorry if I offended any Bush fans out there, I just don't like it when politicians try to legislate morality, especially if that interfers with science.
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A fetus called Bush

Postby Phaedrus2008 on October 23rd, 2008, 9:49 am 

George W. Bush is the best argument for abortion I've ever known, and even his fans are at last beginning to acknowledge it. McCain is a genetic recessive, but it's obvious the seed from whence he germinated fell from the same tree. And as November fast approaches, it's becoming plain to see that it didn't fall very far, either.
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Re:

Postby dove on May 8th, 2009, 10:23 am 

BioWizard wrote:Oh, the specialists dont yet know how stem cells work and how these programs are initiated, let alone a clueless PhD student like myself :]


I hardly think you're clueless

But I think we are on the verge of making important breakthroughs with the advent of interactomics, within the few coming years *crossing fingers*.


From reading the thread here, there isn't much certainty regarding stem cell breakthroughs.

If I may add to this, I've seen articles of the healing of cancers, lupus and other diseases that ultimately was due to stem cell research. It's unbelievable. http://www.cancercenter.com/stem-cells.htm

* Other Cancer Issues Index
* Stem Cell Transplantation Information
* Stem Cells
* Stem Cell Transplant
* Multiple Myeloma
* Pituitary Tumor
* Stem Cell
http://www.cancercenter.com/stem-cells.htm

My concerns are;
1-If the dna is used to cure cancers, lupus and other diseases are utilized, while admittedly state they don't know what the long term effect is. That's obvious. Would you know of any studies made for the stem cell research that would show any mutation of a persons dna when used for medicinal purposes?

2-If the dna was used with the person it came from, the assumption is there is less chance of conflict. However, what happens when the person's own dna is used and that dna is mutated?

There are countless questions and answers in my opinion as a layman. However, being with dna mutations, I know some of the long term effects of specific mutations. Knowing they can't be controlled or after effects makes it a risk regardless. It must be a great task in study.

In my humble opinion, I feel the youth should not be exposed to uncertain longterm effects.
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Re: Stem Cells Reborn

Postby MrMistery on May 8th, 2009, 11:15 am 

reagrding no2,

Are you referring to immune rejection? Technically there might be a chance that mutations produce new epitopes in proteins, epitopes which the body has never seen, and again get immune rejection. This happens often to cancer cells, and it is by that principle (in addition to a couple of others) that immune cells termed natural killers seek out and kill cancer cells. However, if I had a thousand dollars right now, I would bet it that any one mutation will not produce dangerous new epitopes in the stem cells. And what people do neglect to see sometimes is that we are getting closer to solving the immune rejection problem. CD3 inhibitors administered in hemophilic mice with the first few doses of recombinant clotting have produced long-term immune tolerance to what is effectively a foreign protein for the organisms, so a few extra epitopes may not be the end of the world in the future.
And may I ask where exactly have you gotten the idea that the DNA would be mutated? I mean, sure, there's always that chance, but i don't think stem cell therapy involves directed mutagenesis in the stem cells performed by the doctor.
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Re: Stem Cells Reborn

Postby BioWizard on May 8th, 2009, 12:31 pm 

dove,

The DNA isn't use to cure the patient, the stem cells are. The reason why you want stem cells with DNA that is identical to that of the patient is because you don't want these stem cells expressing alien surface proteins that might cause the body to reject them. You want them to express the same proteins that the patient's cells express, which is why you want to use cells that contain his/her DNA.

Any cells in the body has the potential to mutate. In fact, about 200 cells pick up a mutation somewhere in your body every minute or so. Most of them however end up dead or removed by the immune system. It is those few ones that manage to escape all checkpoints that acquire the potential to become malignant.
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Re: Stem Cells Reborn

Postby dove on May 8th, 2009, 1:13 pm 

MrMistery wrote:reagrding no2,

Are you referring to immune rejection? And what people do neglect to see sometimes is that we are getting closer to solving the immune rejection problem. CD3 inhibitors administered in hemophilic mice with the first few doses of recombinant clotting have produced long-term immune tolerance to what is effectively a foreign protein for the organisms, so a few extra epitopes may not be the end of the world in the future.
And may I ask where exactly have you gotten the idea that the DNA would be mutated? I mean, sure, there's always that chance, but i don't think stem cell therapy involves directed mutagenesis in the stem cells performed by the doctor.


No, I am not referring to immune rejection nor immune system to the mice and clotting of blood, it's far from what I was referring to.

I'm not on your level but I'm wondering if it is part of it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T_cell

DNA mutations exist. Perhaps it's not common but it does exist. A few extra epitopes may not be the end of the world for a mouse with what you are referring to.

My saying I don't recommend dna used to fight cancer or other sickness with infants or children is based on the fact that I have a mutation of the dna healing agent. It is over active. If I were to have a sickness and the dna stem cell treatment could cause other unexpected effects.

There is a sequence of events that occur when a person has allergies, illness, and injuries and so on. The body heals itself with these events. One of them is not part of the immune system but a part of the dna that assists the immune system.

What information that I was able to get was, the count for this healing agent in a female ranges between a negative 10-12 and positive 10-12 due to the menstrual cycle. My count was 92. I was already in my 30's before they found it. It’s supposed to rise up then go back down like a thermostat. Mine doesn’t go down as it should. Technically they aren't supposed to extract it due to legal issues. He also refused to provide my following physicians with copy leaving us against a wall. It had been illegal to extract this agent because of laws stopping this research with animal or human.

In my opinion, they need to look outside the box. The way my mutation was semi controlled was to take an anti allergy medication every day to "fool" it into thinking there isn't something to heal on a small scale. It was successful in capping the dna agent from increasing with minor healing needs. On the flip side, when there is nothing to heal, it creates something to heal by way of attacking major organs, heart, kidney, liver, brain and so on. Thus far I've had heart and liver damage. My heart started to deteriorate then stopped after several months. At this point in time, there are white spots and spaces forming in the brain for some "unknown" reason.

If I may give an example; A person is ill. The new treatments based on dna and stem cell are administered based on tests taken. The dna of the person receiving this treatment has a dna mutation like one of mine. What is the outcome? Will one dna attempt to overtake the other? Would one kill off the other or possibly merge? Would it worsen the illness? not be effective? ...

I would hesitate using dna stem cell with children if they don't know if the dna of the person receiving treatment, has long term sife effects. They don't have that answer. I would not want to risk a child for example, to use these procedures simply because of the unknown future effects. It's quite a simple question. Do they know if it will mutate or change the persons dna in the future if these procedures are used? The answer is no.

Should there be any new studies that you are aware of that define the dna healing agent and long term effects, I would appreciate that information. Thanks!

*if you need clarification of something I typed, please ask. My brain lost certain ways to process info. Go ahead,. it's ok to laugh. I do at times.
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Re: Stem Cells Reborn

Postby dove on May 8th, 2009, 1:38 pm 

BioWizard wrote:dove,

The DNA isn't use to cure the patient, the stem cells are. The reason why you want stem cells with DNA that is identical to that of the patient is because you don't want these stem cells expressing alien surface proteins that might cause the body to reject them. You want them to express the same proteins that the patient's cells express, which is why you want to use cells that contain his/her DNA.

Any cells in the body has the potential to mutate. In fact, about 200 cells pick up a mutation somewhere in your body every minute or so. Most of them however end up dead or removed by the immune system. It is those few ones that manage to escape all checkpoints that acquire the potential to become malignant.


This clarifies certain points. Thank you.

I do have the outstanding question of, what if the person's stem cell or/and dna has mutation?

I've had cancer in the past and it healed itself.

It was also found that the rate of speed that my brain processes was too fast. In slowing it, it cause several seizure disorders, several forms of trigeminal neuralgia, small vessel disease in the brain, spaces, white spots.. along with other conditions and caused TIA. The "typical" medications don't work well and surgery isn't an option.

I'm seeking out answers to why this acts like it does and trying to think outside the box in order to somehow control the symptoms. It's a selfish reason behind my thoughts. They have me on over 4200mg of medication to help the TN and seizures and it has semi positive results.

My logic is, if this can cure cancer, desolve tumors etc, then I believe there is a way to control this. They just don't know how.
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Re: Stem Cells Reborn

Postby dove on May 8th, 2009, 1:52 pm 

I came across a few links that you may or may not be aware of. Just sharing ~

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051012084443.htmScienceDaily (Oct. 12, 2005) — For the first time, stem cell researchers at the University of Minnesota have coaxed human embryonic stem cells to create cancer-killing cells in the laboratory, paving the way for future treatments for various types of cancers (or tumors). The research will be published in the Oct. 15 issue of the Journal of Immunology.

http://www.medra.com/?gclid=CLOgicqjrZoCFQoMDQod-ktccQ
A medical procedure whereby Human Fetal Stem Cells are transplanted into a patient. These cellular building blocks are usually administered intravenously and subcutaneously (under the skin). It is a painless procedure, which takes place in approximately one hour, and has no negative side effects.

http://www.texasheart.org/Research/StemCellCenter/index.cfm?gclid=COK7k_airZoCFQoMDQod-ktccQ

The Stem Cell Center is dedicated to the study of adult stem cells and their role in treating diseases of the heart and the circulatory system. Through numerous clinical and pre-clinical studies we have come to realize the potential of stem cells to help patients suffering from cardiovascular disease.

Whether you are a patient looking for information regarding our research, or a doctor hoping to learn more about stem cell therapy, we welcome you to the Stem Cell Center.

Emerson C. Perin, MD, PhD, FACC
Director, Clinical Research for Cardiovascular Medicine Medical Director, Stem Cell Center
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Re: Stem Cells Reborn

Postby MrMistery on May 8th, 2009, 2:39 pm 

I don't think you can cure a disorder that arose from the overexpression of a protein with stem cell therapy, at least not in its simplest form. Stem cell therapy works the following way: a patient has cells that don't do something they should. Use stem cells to make normal cells of that type, and transplant them into the patient. If all the cells in the body of the patient make too much of a protein, then i don't think stem cells can be used to cure this, maybe only to cure the symptoms that can arise, like liver failure. I also don't think it is possible to cure this kind of illness, the best we can do is probably add specific inhibitors of the pathway and/or gene that makes the protein in the hope of alleviating symptoms.
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Re: Stem Cells Reborn

Postby dove on May 8th, 2009, 4:31 pm 

As of yet, there is no cure no. And you're right in saying it's not possible to cure this.

Thanks for letting me pick your brain ~
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Re: Stem Cells Reborn

Postby MrMistery on May 8th, 2009, 8:26 pm 

Mind though, just because it is not possible to cure this kind of thing doesn't mean you can't develop a strategy that makes the patient have a totally normal life (even though his molecular defect is still there)
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Re: Stem Cells Reborn

Postby dove on May 9th, 2009, 12:22 am 

MrMistery wrote:Mind though, just because it is not possible to cure this kind of thing doesn't mean you can't develop a strategy that makes the patient have a totally normal life (even though his molecular defect is still there)


True. TN has a longer list of types vs options. Some with success for a handful of years and others perhaps weeks. Trigeminal Neuralgia itself is complex. With several seizure disorders, chronic mastoiditis and other "things" (some I've mentioned) The professionals concluded there is a time limit.

However, one never know what may be a new breakthrough with science ~ The pros and cons to mutations are intriguing. I'm counting on the upcoming biochemists :)

Thank you again. The more I learn the better the future looks.
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Re: Stem Cells Reborn

Postby MrMistery on May 9th, 2009, 10:49 am 

by the way, dove, for that particular kind of disorder (i can only speculate, you provided no details about it) you might want to look into siRNA and morpholino treatments. Morpholinos are small peptides that inhibit expression of specific genes by binding the mRNA and downregulating transcription. They are conventionally used as a research tool, but recently clinical trials have started that attempt to use morpholinos to "cure" genetic diseases like Duchenne muscular dystrophia (I don't know what gene they're inhibiting there, but if I had to guess I would guess myostatin). siRNAs do pretty much the same thing, but are much better at it, because they exploit a natural cellular process. siRNAs have not been used successfully as a treatment, but they are bound to be soon. The problem with that is that siRNAs can effectively create a functional knockout (=they make it like you didn't have the gene at all), which is probably not what you want. Still, good possible future therapies for diseases like yours.
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Re: Stem Cells Reborn

Postby BioWizard on May 12th, 2009, 9:12 am 

A good friend of mine met recently with the guys that managed to revert skin cells to ES cells, and they said they can't yet completely control the process or force the cells to remain there without reverting back. So there's probably no medical applications that are going to come out soon that use ES cells derived from somatic cells. True embryonic stem cells still remain the best choice for medical applications. Everything else is false media hype.
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Re: Stem Cells Reborn

Postby MrMistery on May 12th, 2009, 9:20 am 

sure, i was even looking over a paper a few months ago that studied gene expression quantitatively in ES cells and iES cells. Many genes were expressed at different levels, and there was even a cluster that were expressed in ES cells and not at all in iES cells.
But I am optimistic. Induced dedifferentiation with transcription factors is still at its infancy. I don't think there is any insurmountable obstacle to making this really work. Just some fine-tuning here and there
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Re: Stem Cells Reborn

Postby BioWizard on May 12th, 2009, 9:25 am 

I don't think it's conceptually impossible, just impratical (assuming there's no genomic rearrangement as in the case of B cells for example). Cells in complex multicellular organisms undergo extensive genomic and epigenomic remodelling as the cell differentiates, and it might just be technically impractical to obtain useful ES cells from cells that have been set in their somatic ways. The more we research this, the more we realize that might be the case.
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Re: Stem Cells Reborn

Postby MrMistery on May 12th, 2009, 5:00 pm 

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Re: Stem Cells Reborn

Postby BioWizard on May 12th, 2009, 5:04 pm 

MrMistery wrote:I don't know about that... http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v4 ... 07314.html


Two things:

1- The cells used are already pancreatic cells, so the changes are not as drastic as say reverting them to true stemness and then making heart muscle cells.
2- The cells were merely induced to perform a similar function to Beta cells by expressing three transcription factors. That's far from controlling the cellular program to the point where you revert the cell to the ES state and restore full totipotency.
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Re: Stem Cells Reborn

Postby MrMistery on May 12th, 2009, 9:59 pm 

Yeah I guess you make valid points. What made me excited about that was that they induced transdifferentiation, bypassing the stem cell state. Which I guess proves your point, but it is also reason for me to be optimistic - a cure is still a cure regardless of how you got there.
But yeah, I see your point.
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Re: Stem Cells Reborn

Postby dove on May 14th, 2009, 10:24 am 

MrMistery wrote:by the way, dove, for that particular kind of disorder (i can only speculate, you provided no details about it) you might want to look into siRNA and morpholino treatments. Morpholinos are small peptides that inhibit expression of specific genes by binding the mRNA and downregulating transcription.


Thank you for that information. I've briefly looked up the suggestion and will do more research on it. Thank you much!

As for the conditions I have;
Trigeminal Neuralgia
Small vessel disease in the brain
Several seizure disorders
Chronic mastoiditis with fluid in the air cells
Both forms of sinusitis
Deviate septum -one side I had surgery on - the other remains
Sleep Apnea
Thornwald cyst
Spaces and white spots in the brain. I did not pursue.

The dna condition I long since had forgotten the names seeing when I learned I had them, I was told can’t do anything, it was illegal to extract what caused this. Upstate Biotech in NY confirmed this. Allow me to explain in laymen terms.
-One of the conditions creates tumors anywhere and everywhere, any type. I've had 19 surgeries so far. I do have others still existing however, they don’t bother me so I’ve left them.
-The healing agent is the one that's a bit tricky. I've had some tumors and cysts that grow and disintegrate. Normally it isn't a major concern other than those moments when one may develop on sensitive areas such as the jugular, liver, brain and so on. On the other hand, it is painful when they (some of the others) rupture.
-The other forces fast tissue growth. ie: under a "freckle" an unseen tumor grew at such great speed that within two weeks it grew under a freckle. It grew outward and inward. Outwardly, it went from the size of the tip of a pen to the size of a cigarette filter (sorry for the layman terms). I turned black and cracked. The doctor operated his office using a procedure and removed it as a plug. They said it was benign yet it contained this dna condition.

I've gone in when something put me in such pain I couldn't stand. Got to the doctor, found a lump. He sent me to the hospital to start testing. They only got one test in and it ruptured. Thank God that doesn't happen as often.

At this juncture I'm not so concerned for me but my children. Apparently the creation of those I am aware of, can and have been passed down the genetic chain.

My grandmother died from an aneurism in the brain. I realize that small vessel disease isn’t the same but I can’t help but think what happens if one of the mutations decide to settle into this mess ~ I’ve been poking around for years to see if something may come about so my kids will benefit from it. Who knows what tomorrow brings

Again, thank you and I will do a bit more research with what you all provide ~ :)
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Re: Stem Cells Reborn

Postby dove on May 14th, 2009, 10:49 am 

BioWizard wrote:I don't think it's conceptually impossible, just impratical (assuming there's no genomic rearrangement as in the case of B cells for example). Cells in complex multicellular organisms undergo extensive genomic and epigenomic remodelling as the cell differentiates, and it might just be technically impractical to obtain useful ES cells from cells that have been set in their somatic ways. The more we research this, the more we realize that might be the case.


When looking up the ES cells, it took me in several directions. Some similar, some not. I'd like to research more on this too.

Thank you much!~
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