Welcome everybody to Episode 45, be sure to visit stemcellpodcast.com for current and past episodes and to sign up for our newsletter. We begin as always with our Science Roundup sponsored by Thermo Fisher. In this episode, we discuss topics ranging from stem cell controversy still with Gordie Howe, does GDF11 really make you young, making morphine in yeast, restoring brain plasticity in mice, positive results from a RPE clinical trial for AMD, spreading of stem cell tourism and now FDA steps in, and more. Then we bring on Alex Hannay, product manager at Thermo Fisher to talk about the process of differentiation from pluripotent stem cells and new products that could help. Check out www.lifetechnologies.com/differentiation for more info. We then finish off the show with a rant on convenience fees. Enjoy!
Below are all of the papers mentioned on the show. We are working on a way to categorize all of the research papers we mention and possibly even provide audio summaries. Enter in your name and e-mail address below, and we will notify you of when this feature is available.
Resources, Links and Research Papers Mentioned In This Session Include:
This Genetically Modified Yeast Can Now Brew Morphine – According to this article, biologists in California and Canada have created strains of yeast that can feast on sugar and make opiates – the key ingredients in pain relievers like morphine.
Juvenile Plasticity Returned To Adult Mice Brains – In this article, UC Irvine scientists have managed to make an old brain young again by transplanting a type of embryonic neuron into the brains of adult mice.
Why Do Men Still Exist? Scientists Finally Find The Answer – This article suggests that sexual competition for mates keeps populations healthy, free of disease and genetically diverse.
Discovery Of Rare Quadruple Quasar System Baffles Astronomers – In this article, astronomers have discovered four of the rare, super-luminous celestial objects known as quasars arrayed in close proximity to one another.
New Test Detects Drug Use From A Single Fingerprint – This article describes a new, non-invasive test presented by researchers that can detect cocaine use through a simple fingerprint.
Ocata Therapeutics Announces Positive Results in Treating Macular Degeneration Using Fully Differentiated Stem Cell-Derived Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE) Cells in Asian Patients – In this article, Ocata Therapeutics, Inc. announces a study that has been published that includes top-line, positive results in Asian patients who were treated with Ocata’s proprietary RPE cells, manufactured using its DeltaCell™ Technology.
First Database Of Brain-Cell Types Released By Allen Institute – In this article, Seattle’s Allen Institute for Brain Science has released the first database of brain cell types, along with new analysis to improve treatment of deadly brain cancer.
‘Brain Wiring’ May Influence Ability To Quit Smoking Successfully – According to this article, researchers from Duke Medicine in Durham, NC found that even with the help of nicotine replacement therapy and other smoking cessation aids, some smokers are just unable to quit the habit because their brains are not hard-wired to.
Drug-Resistant Strain Of ‘Superbug’ Typhoid Spreads Worldwide – This article reveals that an antibiotic-resistant “superbug” strain of typhoid fever has spread globally, driven by a single family of the bacteria, called H58.
Male Sperm Cells Grown For First Time: French Laboratory – According to this article, scientists from Kallistem, a company in Lyon, France had successfully transformed scraps of genetic material into fully functioning sperm.
Gordie Howe Still At Center Of Stem Cell Controversy – This article discusses the controversy and debate between the families of John Brodie and Gordie Howe who received stem cell treatments after suffering from massive strokes and other skeptics.
Stem-Cell Clinics Spread Rapidly: Science Called Dubious; FDA Steps In – According to this article, more than 170 clinics across the country are selling experimental stem-cell procedures for dozens of diseases and conditions – a mushrooming industry that has flourished despite little evidence of its safety or effectiveness.
Doubts Cast On ‘Rejuvenating’ Protein – In this article, the Novartis group say the Harvard group’s explanation is wrong, although the group does not question that young blood renews old mice, they casts doubt on the assays used in the earlier research and suggests that GDF11 actually inhibits muscle regeneration.
Human Stem-Cell Images As Fashion? – In this article, human stem cells have taken on new roles at the University of Michigan — brilliant blue fashion accessories specifically silk scarves and ties bearing images of microscopic stem cells, their nuclei a fluorescent turquoise on a cobalt backdrop.
Stem Cells Could Provide A Treatment For A ‘Broken Heart’ – This article describes the research done by scientists studying the adult stem cells in mice that can develop into heart cells paving the way to improved heart condition.
Bone Healing In Diabetics Could Be Enhanced Through Human Stem Cells – According to this article, adding stem cells from human bone marrow could enhance the repair process of broken bones in patients with diabetes.
Derivation And Characterization Of Human Embryonic Stem Cells On Human Amnion Epithelial Cells – This article describes the derivation and propagation of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines using human amnion epithelial cells (hAECs) as a feeder layer.
Reinforcement Of STAT3 Activity Reprogrammes Human Embryonic Stem Cells To Naive-Like Pluripotency – In this article, scientists examines the capacity of STAT3 to confer leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) dependency to human embryonic stem cell (hESCs) and to reprogramme these towards naive pluripotency.
A Hyaluronan-Based Injectable Hydrogel Improves the Survival and Integration of Stem Cell Progeny following Transplantation – In this article, researchers designed an injectable and bioresorbable hydrogel blend of hyaluronan and methylcellulose (HAMC) and tested it with two cell types in two animal models, thereby gaining an understanding of its general applicability for enhanced cell distribution, survival, integration, and functional repair relative to conventional cell delivery in saline.
Drug Perks Up Old Muscles And Aging Brains – According to this article, researchers at UC Berkeley have discovered that a small-molecule drug simultaneously perks up old stem cells in the brains and muscles of mice, a finding that could lead to drug interventions for humans that would make aging tissues throughout the body act young again.
Photo Reference: Courtesy of Alex Hannay