360 Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Newsletter- May 14, 2015

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360 Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Newsletter - May 14, 2015

Featured video from CTV News: Toronto researchers generate cartilage from human stem cells

Osteoarthritis! Toronto Researchers Generate Cartilage from Human Stem Cells

In this week’s 360 featured video, Dr. Gordon Keller of the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine discusses the discovery and what it could mean for osteoarthritis patients. The team was able to direct human stem cells to produce the specific cells that make the cartilage that lines our joints, known as articular chondrocytes. Note; the video is preceded by a brief advertisement. Read the official press release here.

World Stem Cell Summit

The Gazette: Johns Hopkins Team Wants to Build a Better Heart
This is a detailed and very readable overview of the complex work at JHM to construct an artificial heart. One direction is the utilization of stem cells. According to the article, Dr. Susan Gerecht has “identified ways to control the fate of stem cells, coaxing them to form blood vessels—for the first time growing them in a synthetic material. She also has been able to assemble cells into small muscular networks. As far as growing heart muscle, the idea would be to somehow combine the two kinds of tissues—the muscular and the vascular—using pluripotent stem cells from the patient, something that has never before been done.”

Cambridge News: Stem Cell Research Centre Opens at University of Cambridge by Nobel Laureate
Sir John Gurdon formerly opened the Alzheimer's Research UK Stem Cell Research Centre, based at the Gurdon Institute that unites stem cell researchers from the University of Cambridge and scientists at University College London (UCL). The £2million centre has been funded by Great Abington-based charity thanks to generous support from the Alborada Trust.

Wake Forest

Featured video #2- an animation from McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT: Genome Editing with CRISPR-Cas9

It is really challenging for laypersons –myself included- to visualize CRISPR-Cas9 and this whole gene editing thing. Here is something to help, an elegant animated video from MIT. Only with the great 21st Century convergence of technologies could researchers conceptualize and execute something as complex as CRISPR.


Beijing Today: Global Scientists Shoot Down China’s Human Embryo Gene Editing Efforts
So, what is the Chinese perspective on all the outcry of the recent experiment in China to apply gene editing to defective human embryos? A researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who refused to be named, is quoted saying, “Undoubtedly, the research is in accordance with Chinese moral and ethical norms. The objection of the foreign scientific community is merely a result of conceptual differences.”


Weill Cornell: Scientists Receive $15.7M to Develop Stem Cell Therapies to Treat Blood Disorder
“A consortium of scientists and transplant clinicians from the Ansary Stem Cell Institute at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Center for Cell Engineering at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has been awarded a $15.7 million, four-year research grant from the New York State Stem Cell Science Program (NYSTEM) to translate their innovative approach to expand and manipulate hematopoietic stem cells to cure acquired and inherited blood disorders.”


Juno Therapeutics Strengthens Multiple Capabilities Through Acquisition of Stage Cell Therapeutics
Juno Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on re-engaging the body's immune system to revolutionize the treatment of cancer, has acquired Stage Cell Therapeutics GmbH, German privately held biotechnology company. According to the company media release, “the transaction furthers Juno's strategy of being a world leader in process development and the manufacturing of cellular therapies. The acquisition provides Juno access to transformative cell selection and activation capabilities, next generation manufacturing automation technologies, enhanced control of its supply chain, and lower expected long-term cost of goods.” The initial payment is reportedly $59 Million) and 486,279 shares of Juno Stock.


BioTime’s Subsidiary Cell Cure Neurosciences Ltd. Awarded $1.6 Million Grant From Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist
According to a company media release, “BioTime, Inc. and its subsidiary Cell Cure Neurosciences Ltd. (Cell Cure) has been awarded a grant for 2015 of 6.24 million shekels (approximately $1.61 million) from Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) to help finance the development of its cell-based therapeutic product that consists of animal product-free retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells with high purity and potency.”

ALS News Today: BrainStorm Reports Positive Phase 2a Clinical Trial Results for NurOwn in ALS Treatment
“Researchers found that six months after intrathecal treatment, ALS patients exhibited a statistically significant improvement in the estimated rate of decline in forced vital capacity (FVC; the amount of air which can be forcibly exhaled from the lungs after taking the deepest breath), and an improvement in the rate of decline in ALS Functional Rating Score-Revised (ALSFRS-R; a rating instrument for monitoring disability progression).”

San Antonio Business Journal: Texas Bioscience Companies to Team Up on Critical Research
“Two San Antonio-based bioscience companies — StemBioSys Inc. and Cardiovate Inc. — have agreed to work in tandem on new stem cell research that could have significant implications on regenerative medicine.”

Wake Forest

University of Georgia Researchers Develop New Way to Manufacture Nanofibers- Implications for Stem Cell Therapies
“Researchers at the University of Georgia have developed an inexpensive way to manufacture extraordinarily thin polymer strings commonly known as nanofibers. These polymers can be made from natural materials like proteins or from human-made substances to make plastic, rubber or fiber, including biodegradable materials. Many thousands of times thinner than the average human hair, nanofibers are used by medical researchers to create advanced wound dressings—and for tissue regeneration, drug testing, stem cell therapies and the delivery of drugs directly to the site of infection. They are also used in other industries to manufacture fuel cells, batteries, filters and light-emitting screens.”

360 Newsletter Editor

Bernard Siegel
Executive Director
Genetics Policy Institute

Stem Cells and the Transformative Power of Hope-a TEDx talk by Bernard Siegel, Editor of 360 Newsletter

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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Domain: Medical
Category: Biology

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