Health,Stem Cells, and Technology

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Adult Stem Cells That Do Not Age

Biomedical researchers at the University at Buffalo have engineered adult stem cells that scientists can grow continuously in culture, a discovery that could speed development of cost-effective treatments for diseases including heart disease, diabetes, immune disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.


The researchers say the breakthrough overcomes a frustrating barrier to progress in the field of regenerative medicine: The difficulty of growing adult stem cells for clinical applications.
Because mesenchymal stem cells have a limited life span in laboratory cultures, scientists and doctors who use the cells in research and treatments must continuously obtain fresh samples from bone marrow donors, a process both expensive and time-consuming. In addition, mesenchymal stem cells from different donors can vary in performance.
The cells that UB researchers modified show no signs of aging in culture, but otherwise appear to function as regular mesenchymal stem cells do -- including by conferring therapeutic benefits in an animal study of heart disease. Despite their propensity to proliferate in the laboratory, MSC-Universal cells did not form tumors in animal testing.

Stem cells help regenerate or repair damaged tissues, primarily by releasing growth factors that encourage existing cells in the human body to function and grow.
Lee's ongoing work indicates that this feature makes it feasible to repair tissue damage by injecting mesenchymal stem cells into skeletal muscle, a less invasive procedure than injecting the cells directly into an organ requiring repair. In a rodent model of heart failure, Lee and collaborators showed that intramuscular delivery of mesenchymal stem cells improved heart chamber function and reduced scar tissue formation.
 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

BioRegenerative Sciences, Inc. to Present SRM Stem Cell Technology at MIT India Congress


San Diego, CA, October 25, 2011 –(PR.com)– BioRegenerative Sciences, Inc., a privately owned stem cell therapeutics corporation headquartered in San Diego, CA, USA, announced today that Dr. Greg Maguire, CEO and Co-Founder, has been invited to present a lecture entitled, “Therapeutic and Medical Procedure Development Using Stem Cell-Based S2RM TechnologyTM” at the international congress entitled “Nano and Regenerative Medicines – Opportunities and Challenges for India.” The congress is sponsored by MIT and will be held in Mumbai, India this December 12th and 13th 2011.
President and Co-Founder Peter Friedman explained that “S2RM TechnologyTM uses the molecules released from multiple stem cell types in a patented process to develop therapeutics and medical procedures that mimic mother nature’s healing processes. When the body is diseased or traumatized, multiple stem cell types are usually recruited to the affected area where the stem cells release a combination of molecules to orchestrate the healing process.” Dr. Maguire added, “S2RM TechnologyTM has been shown to rebuild tissue, reduce pain and inflammation, and modulate immune function. Using the correct combinations of stem cells, stimulating the cells in different ways, and adjusting the ratios of molecules, we can produce specific types of the S2RM to treat different diseases or traumatic conditions.” Dr. Ravi Pottathil, a member of the board of MIT India said that “BioRegenerative Sciences will have an opportunity to present to, and meet with, the captains of industry, medicine, and academia in India to develop strategic alliances that will allow the company to grow, and allow India to help develop and benefit from the technology.”




BioRegenerative Sciences, Inc. currently has eleven patented products on the market and is further developing a portfolio of therapeutic and cosmeceutical products and services based on BRS’s core stem cell-based S2RM Technology.TM For more information, please email: sales@bioregenerativesciences.com, or call customer service at 877.892.9991.
###
Contact Information
BioRegenerative Sciences, Inc.
Dr. Greg Maguire
858.413.7372


http://investorstemcell.com/stem-cell-research/bioregenerative-sciences-inc-to-present-srm-stem-cell-technology-at-mit-india-congress/

Saturday, October 22, 2011

More Evidence For Lamarckian Evolution: Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance At Work

The effects of an animal's environment during adolescence can be passed down to future offspring, according to two new studies. Previous studies of rodents by Dr. Larry Feig at Tufts University in Boston demonstrated that environmentally enhanced memory was passed to their offspring through epigenetics, and now this week a study published in Nature by Dr. Anne Brunet of Stanford University shows that changing epigenetic factors in C. elegans leads to a longer lifespan, and that the increased lifespan is passed on to their progeny. Further, the epigenetic change leading to the increased lifespan is not associated with a change in genetics.Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, that is inheritance without an underlying change in DNA, is an area of much controversy.


We've all heard the phrase, "you are what you eat," an now the phrase can be extended to "your children are what you ate too." Once again, we have strong evidence that environmental factors regulate your health and the choices you make in life not only effect your being, but also that of your children.


Recent evidence of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in mammals has also been reported:


Cell, Volume 143, Issue 7, 1084-1096, 23 December 2010



Nature
 
467,
 
963–966
 
(21 October 2010)
 
doi:10.1038/nature09491

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Immune System Regulates Neurogenesis In Adults


Much work has led to a better understanding of the complex interactions between the immune and nervous systems. Until very recently, scientists assumed that any activity of the immune system involving the central nervous system (CNS) was a hallmark of pathology. However, a number of studies now provide evidence that immune support is actually required for optimal neuronal survival following CNS injury and for maintenance of optimal brain function.
Studies have shown that immune-compromised mice exhibit behavioral and cognitive abnormalities when compared to mice with normally-functioning immune systems. Animals that lack the population of unique T lymphocytes, or key molecular factors produced by these cells, are strikingly impaired in learning and memory tasks, adult neurogenesis, and neuronal plasticity. Further, a well-controlled boost of immune response improves learning abilities in normal animals and accelerates the process of neurogenesis.
Thus, whereas thousands of new neurons are generated daily during adult life, only a fraction of them survive and become part of neural circuits; the rest die, and their remnants are presumably cleared by resident phagocytes. How the dying neurons are removed and how such clearance influences neurogenesis are not well understood. Scientists at the University of Virginia have identifed an unexpected phagocytic role for the doublecortin (DCX)-positive neuronal progenitor cells during adult neurogenesis. In vivo and ex vivo studies demonstrate that DCX+ cells comprise a significant phagocytic population within the neurogenic zones. Intracellular engulfment protein ELMO1, which promotes Rac activation downstream of phagocytic receptors, was required for phagocytosis by DCX+ cells. Disruption of engulfment in vivo genetically (in Elmo1-null mice) or pharmacologically (in wild-type mice) led to reduced uptake by DCX+ cells, accumulation of apoptotic nuclei in the neurogenic niches and impaired neurogenesis. These findings suggest a mechanism wherein DCX+ neuronal precursors also serve as phagocytes, and that their phagocytic activity critically contributes to neurogenesis in the adult brain.


Other studies at Stanford University show that the blood in young animals can repair old brains. The effect was shown to be likely due to molecules from the new blood, and theoretically could involve SRM. Studies are underway to test these ideas. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Transgenerational Epigenetic Variation In DNA Methylation Is A Mechanism For Phenotypic Diversity

Transgenerational epigenetic variation in DNA methylation alone may generate new allelic states that alter transcription providing a mechanism for phenotypic diversity in the absence of genetic mutation or strong environmental factors. This means that the Salk Institute scientists have discovered that our DNA is far from immutable, and that epigenetic factors control DNA so that the history of the organism will be expressed in the DNA of the organism's offspring. Further, Dr Ecker's research shows that the epigenetic variation is significant and rapid. Bottom line, we are not victims of our genes, but can change our lives, our state of health and mind, through control of our epigenetics; i.e the way we choose to live.




Ref:

Robert J. Schmitz, Matthew D. Schultz, Mathew G. Lewsey, Ronan C. O’Malley,
Mark A. Urich, Ondrej Libiger,Nicholas J. Schork, Joseph R. Ecker (2011) Transgenerational Epigenetic Instability Is a Source of Novel Methylation Variants. Science September 15 2011


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Koomey’s Law: Electrical Efficiency Of Computing Has Doubled Every 1.6 Years

Dr Jonathon Koomey, scientist at UC Berkeley's  Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has been investigating energy efficiency in integrated circuits, "silicon chips," and has found the electrical efficiency of computation has doubled roughly every year and a half for more than six decades, a pace of change comparable to that for computer performance and electrical efficiency in the microprocessor era. These efficiency improvements enabled the creation of laptops, smart phones, wireless sensors, and other mobile computing devices, with many more such innovations yet to come. 


IN 1965 Gordon Moore, a co-founder of Intel, first observed that integrated circuits seemed to conform to a predictable law, namely following their invention in 1958, the density of components in each chip had doubled each year, and this trend, he thought, was likely to continue for at least a decade. In 1975 Dr Moore modified his prediction, observing that component density was doubling every two years. In practical terms, the result is that personal-computer performance doubles every 18 months, and has done so for decades, a prediction commonly known as Moore’s law. As computers have been implemented in mobile devices, however, engineers are increasingly designing according to battery life as well as raw performance. The industry has welcomed Dr. Koomeys's analysis that has uncovered a second law regarding the energy-efficiency of computers, dating back to the era of vacuum tubes. Koomey's group found that the electrical efficiency of computing has doubled every 1.6 years since the mid-1940s. That means that for a fixed amount of computational power, the need for battery capacity will fall by half every 1.6 years. This trend bodes well for the continued explosive growth in mobile computing, sensors, and electrical controls. Some researchers are already building devices that run on extrinsic energy harvested from light, heat, vibration, or TV transmitters. As the energy-efficiency of computing continues to improve, this approach will become more widespread. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Embryonic Stem Cells Created From Individual Patients



As reported October 5th in Nature, for the first time scientists have derived embryonic stem cells from individual patients by adding the nuclei of adult skin cells from patients with type 1 diabetes to unfertilized donor oocytes.


A team of scientists led by Dr. Dieter Egli and Dr. Scott Noggle at The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Laboratory in New York City have made an important discovery in the development of patient-specific stem cells that could impact the study and treatment of diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's.

The achievement is significant because such patient-specific cells potentially can be transplanted to replace damaged or diseased cells in persons with diabetes and other diseases without rejection by the patient's immune system. The blastocysts produced by this method are triploid, meaning they have the normal diploid, or double genome, of the inserted adult cell plus the single genome of the oocyte. Triploid cells are unstable and possibly cancerous and could never be injected into patients. Moreover, the process is too inefficient for therapeutic use because 63 oocytes were required to generate one normal set of embryonic cells.

The research was conducted at The NYSCF Laboratory in Manhattan in collaboration with clinicians and researchers at Columbia University Medical Center, and at UC San Diego where DNA analysis was performed. 

Stem cells of the adult human body may have an insufficient ability to regenerate missing or damaged cells caused by many diseases and injuries, but if we can reprogram cells to a pluripotent state, then the pluripotent stem cells can give rise to the very cell types affected by disease, providing great potential to effectively treat and even cure diseases and other traumatic conditions. 


Stem Cells Induce Immune Tolerance for Kidney Transplantation

A pilot study reported in the New England J. Medicine (Oct 8, 2011) by Stanford researchers supports previous studies that stem cells can effectively modulate the immune system. In this study, autologous stem cells were shown to preclude the need for for lifelong immunosuppressive drugs after kidney transplant. In a small proof-of-concept study led by Dr.Samuel Strober, MD , 8 of 12 kidney transplant patients were able to cease immunosuppressive regimens for at least one to three years with the therapy.


This new technology is highly important because immunosuppressive medications are associated with cumulative side effects, including increased risks of heart disease, infection, cancer, and diabetes. Despite maintenance immunosuppression, chronic rejection results in gradual long-term graft loss. Eliminating the lifelong need for immunosuppressive medications that result in no rejection have remained an elusive and important goal. The protocol of this study gives us great hope that rejection may be easily overcome with the use of stem cell therapies.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A New Quantum Computer Developed At UC Santa Barbara

Dr Martinis and Dr. Mariantoni, professors of physics at UC Santa Barbara, have developed a quantum computer. Current computers use logic gates that code information as "0" or "1" and quantum computers can code information as "0" and "1" making for much more powerful computations. These are seminal works, that one day, someone like Steve Jobs, will bring to the market as the next revolution in computers. 


http://www.sciencemag.org/content/334/6052/61.short



Implementing the Quantum von Neumann Architecture with Superconducting Circuits

  1. Matteo Mariantoni1,4,*
  2. H. Wang1,
  3. T. Yamamoto1,2
  4. M. Neeley1,
  5. Radoslaw C. Bialczak1
  6. Y. Chen1
  7. M. Lenander1,
  8. Erik Lucero1
  9. A. D. O’Connell1
  10. D. Sank1
  11. M. Weides1,§
  12. J. Wenner1
  13. Y. Yin1
  14. J. Zhao1
  15. A. N. Korotkov3
  16. A. N. Cleland1,4,
  17. John M. Martinis1,4,*
-Author Affiliations
  1. 1Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106–9530, USA.
  2. 2Green Innovation Research Laboratories, NEC Corporation, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8501, Japan.
  3. 3Department of Electrical Engineering, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.
  4. 4California NanoSystems Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106–9530, USA.
+Author Notes
  •  Present address: Department of Physics, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China.
  •  Present address: Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 244 Wood Street, Lexington, MA 02420–9108, USA.
  • § Present address: National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, CO 80305, USA.
  1. *To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: matmar@physics.ucsb.edu (M.M.);martinis@physics.ucsb.edu (J.M.M.)

ABSTRACT

The von Neumann architecture for a classical computer comprises a central processing unit and a memory holding instructions and data. We demonstrate a quantum central processing unit that exchanges data with a quantum random-access memory integrated on a chip, with instructions stored on a classical computer. We test our quantum machine by executing codes that involve seven quantum elements: Two superconducting qubits coupled through a quantum bus, two quantum memories, and two zeroing registers. Two vital algorithms for quantum computing are demonstrated, the quantum Fourier transform, with 66% process fidelity, and the three-qubit Toffoli-class OR phase gate, with 98% phase fidelity. Our results, in combination especially with longer qubit coherence, illustrate a potentially viable approach to factoring numbers and implementing simple quantum error correction codes.