360 Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Newsletter- January 14, 2016

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360 Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Newsletter - Jan 14, 2016

Featured video Dr. George Church (CRISPR) on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert:

As fate would have it, just last week I was visiting New York and attended a taping of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. It was a fantastic show. Stephen’s guest was Jerry Seinfeld, who did a classic stand-up comedy routine. But I picked the wrong day to attend for I missed a very special guest possibly even more entertaining than Seinfeld- our friend, Dr. George Church, the great proponent of CRISPR technology! Don’t miss watching this short clip, where George talks about creating a woolly mammoth and our prospects for “living forever.”

World Stem Cell Summit

Motherboard: Lab-Grown Testicles Could One Day Help Injured Soldiers Have Kids
Joseph Jaafari has written an interesting article, touched by human interest, relating to the prospects that human testicles could be grown using regenerative medicine. The US military has funded $300 million to research institutions that focus on facial and limb transplants, including fertility research. Dr. Anthony Atala is the director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. He states, “The future plans are to grow the testicular tissue, expand the cells and put it back into the patient. But for a whole testicle, there is a very rich blood-vessel supply and that’s the challenge. We can make them small, but we’re working hard to make them larger.” It is estimated that it will take another decade to be ready for human application.

MIT Technology Review: Human-Animal Chimeras Are Gestating on U.S. Research Farms- A Radical New Approach to Generating Human Organs is to Grow Them Inside Pigs or Sheep
Future shock! The article linked above, I deem important with ethical and societal implications. Over the years I have come to admire the reporting of Antonio Regalado, the editor of the MIT Technology Review. Antonio has a penchant for uncovering stories at the cutting-edge. “Braving a funding ban put in place by America’s top health agency, some U.S. research centers are moving ahead with attempts to grow human tissue inside pigs and sheep with the goal of creating hearts, livers, or other organs needed for transplants. The effort to incubate organs in farm animals is ethically charged because it involves adding human cells to animal embryos in ways that could blur the line between species…. Based on interviews with three teams, two in California and one in Minnesota, MIT Technology Review estimates that about 20 pregnancies of pig-human or sheep-human chimeras have been established during the last 12 months in the U.S., though so far no scientific paper describing the work has been published, and none of the animals were brought to term.”


G.E. Reports: From Bloodstream to Mainstream- Canada’s New Cell Therapy Center Seeks to Revolutionize Personalized Medicine
GE and the Canadian government will each invest CA$20 million in a new cell therapy research and process development hub in Toronto led by Canada’s Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM). Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the news. The subject article provides the fascinating details about this ambitious undertaking.


The UCSD Guardian: UCSD and Harvard Scientists Use Stem Cells to Model Alzheimer’s Disease
“Scientists at UCSD and Harvard University collaborated with international biotech and pharmaceutical companies to develop a stem cell model to study Alzheimer’s disease. This 3-D Matrigel system is more efficient because scientists can test the experimental drugs on donor cells rather than on animals or in clinical trials with people.”


Science AAAS: U.K. Researcher Details Proposal for CRISPR Editing of Human Embryos
“The hottest technique in gene editing, called CRISPR, could soon be used to study human embryos. A regulatory committee in the United Kingdom will evaluate a request to knock out development genes in day-old embryos.” Kathy Niakan, a researcher at the Francis Crick Institute in London, hopes that this line of inquiry might one day improve treatments for infertility.

GEN: 3D “Squeeze” Helps Adult Cells Become Stem Cells
Do cells have a “sweet spot”? According to a recent paper published in Nature Materials, a convergence of physical and chemical factors can turn adult cells into stem cells more efficiently than chemical factors alone. The physical factors that can help induce pluripotency amount to a kind of cellular swaddling, the formation of a three-dimensional embrace that can be loosened or tightened as needed.


Boston Children’s Hospital: National Cancer Institute Honors Leonard I. Zon, M.D., with Knudson Award in Cancer Genetics
A member of the Genetics Policy Institute & Regenerative Medicine Foundation’s Science Advisory Board, Dr. Len Zon, received a prestigious recognition from the NCI, the 20th annual Alfred G. Knudson Award in Cancer Genetics . The prestigious award -- named for Dr. Knudson, a physician and geneticist who revolutionized the understanding of the genetic basis of cancer -- is presented annually to a scientist who has made outstanding research contributions to the field of cancer genetics. Len is Director of the Stem Cell Program at Boston Children's Hospital and Grousbeck Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Among his many honors and distinctions, Len served as the first president of the International Society of Stem Cell Research (ISSCR).

360 Newsletter Editor

Bernard Siegel
Executive Director
Genetics Policy Institute

2013 World Stem Cell Summit

About GPI

The nonprofit Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) seeks to establish a positive policy, regulatory and societal framework to enable research to flourish, under the highest ethical and medical standards. We seek to accelerate the discovery and development of lifesaving cures and therapies to alleviate human suffering due to chronic and terminal afflictions. Visit Website.

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Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) and the Regenerative Medicine Foundation (RMF) Announce Merger Plan

Domain: Medical
Category: Biology

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