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News and Commentary

Stem cell tourist traps
binary malaysia For many years, people have been traveling thousands of miles and paying thousands of dollars to receive unregulated treatments that promise cures.  The most recent manifestation of this is "stem cell tourism."
A recent article in Nature Reports Stem Cells by Bryn Nelson discusses international efforts to inform patients of the facts about clinics that offer undocumented stem cell therapies.  The International Society for Stem Cell Research is asking for public comment on a set of guidelines that will provides governments with guidance about regulating stem cell therapies within their borders.

Snake Oil Stem Cell "Therapeutics"      Chances are that a few of our Google ads (to the left) are advertising stem cell treatments. Remember that if it seems too good to be true, it probably isn't.  Here's an archive of cautionary commentaries.

Remember why: Videos:  Proposition 71, CIRM spotlights on disease, and more. 
News and Commentary Archive

August 1, 2009
A good nose for stem cells
By: Natalie de Souza
binary option malaysia Cells can be delivered to the rodent brain noninvasively, via the nasal cavity. Stem cell–based therapy is predicated on delivering cells to the afflicted part of the body. Researchers now show that there may be an alternative to direct surgical transplant for delivery of cells to the brain...Read More

July 29, 2009

The cell that might save sight
By: Amber Dance
Why stem-cell therapy could start with the eyes. Look to the retina as a likely site for the first success in stem-cell therapy. "The eye is the best place to test proof-of-concept for stem cell-based therapies," says Martin Friedlander of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. Friedlander is co-founder of EyeCyte, also in La Jolla, whose investors include industry heavyweight Pfizer...Read More

July 28, 2009

Balancing Work and Life: A Conversation with George Daley
By: Majlinda Lako, Ph.D., Susan Daher, Ph.D.
Dr. Daley's laboratory focuses on hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in disease and development, as well as on the genetic and cell biological regulation of stem cell formation during embryonic development. Research by members of his laboratory has exposed mechanisms of resistance to imatinib (Gleevec) and identified novel compounds with activity against Gleevec-resistant forms of BCR/ABL...Read More

July 26, 2009

Stem cell: what's in a name?
By: Shahragim Tajbakhsh
Clearer terminology could alleviate confusion: In the exploding field of stem cell biology, confusion pervades among some newcomers, and even veterans. The question is simple: When do we call a cell - stem cell?...Read More

July 22, 2009

Mice made from induced stem cells
By: David Cyranoski
options trading malaysia Technical feat shows that the different route to stem cells can indeed make a full mammal body. Two teams of Chinese researchers have created live mice from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, answering a lingering question about the developmental potential of the cells. Since Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University in Japan created the first iPS cells in 2006, researchers have wondered whether they could generate an entire mammalian body from iPS cells, as they have from true embryonic stem cells. Experiments reported online this week in Nature and in Cell Stem Cell suggest that, at least for mice, the answer is yes...Read More

July 14, 2009
Sperm-like cells made from human embryonic stem cells
By: Heidi Ledford
Human embryonic stem cells have been coaxed into forming sperm-like cells, researchers report today. The cells have some of the hallmarks of sperm — they can swim, for example — but require much more characterization before they can be embraced as an experimental model for the study of inherited diseases and infertility. Meanwhile, the use of such cells to help infertile couples to have children remains a distant prospect; in several countries, including the UK, it would actually be illegal even if they were properly characterized...Read More

July 12, 2009
Developing safe therapies from human pluripotent stem cells
By: Melissa K Carpenter, Joyce Frey-Vasconcells & Mahendra S Rao
Translation of human pluripotent stem cells into cell therapies will require the development of standardized tests for product consistency, stability, tumorigenicity, toxicity and immunogenicity...Read More

June 11, 2009
iZumi's plans to capitalize on iPS cells
By: Monya Baker
iZumi Bio, of S. San Francisco, California, launched quietly in 2007 as excitement about induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells was reaching fever pitch. In this profile, iZumi CEO John Walker and Beth Seidenberg of iZumi investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) (Box 1) talk to Nature Biotechnology about the West Coast startup and its goal of turning iPS cells into a profitable business...Read More

July 10, 2009

Researchers Generally Happy With Final Stem Cell Rules
By: Constance Holden
Scientists expressed satisfaction this week with the final guidelines on research with human embryonic stem (ES) cells issued on Monday by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The new rules—which set out criteria for determining which ES cell lines can be used in federally funded experiments—give NIH discretion to approve old lines that don't meet stringent modern ethical requirements. And they call for NIH to set up a registry of eligible lines. The rules add up to "a major step in the right direction for stem cell research," says stem cell researcher George Daley of Harvard University...Read More

July 7, 2009

US stem-cell research expands: Biomedical agency announces new funding policy for cell lines.
By: Meredith Wadman
Nearly 11 years after Wisconsin-led researchers reported the first isolation of human embryonic stem cells, the field became eligible this week for broad research funding by the US government. In final guidelines that went into effect on 7 July, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) established a process that will allow scientists who hold stem-cell lines derived before this date to apply for their inclusion in an agency-established registry of fundable cell lines...Read More

July 4, 2009
We must reverse the Bush legacy of stem-cell problems
By: Christopher Thomas Scott, Jason Owen-Smith & Jennifer McCormick
Sir, Your Editorial 'Stem-cell clarity' (Nature 459, 615–616; 2009) calls for reason in deliberations by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) on public comments about proposed NIH guidelines for stem-cell research. We agree that rules barring the use of the 21 previously approved human embryonic stem-cell lines at the US National Stem Cell Bank (NSCB) are bad policy, and stand in the way of scientific progress. We trust that the NIH will permit use of approved and other lines derived by the US National Academies' standards...Read More

July 2, 2009

Italians sue over stem cells: Government's exclusion of human embryonic cells from funding call sparks anger.
By: Alison Abbott
Three scientists are appealing against the Italian government's decision to exclude human embryonic stem cells from a recent call for proposals to fund stem-cell biology. The scientists' lawyer, Vittorio Angiolini, who specializes in bioethics and human rights, filed the appeal with Rome's administrative court on 24 June. He argues that excluding human embryonic stem cells infringes on the constitutional freedom of scientific research. The use of established lines of human embryonic stem cells in research is legal in Italy...Read More

July 1, 2009
Chief scientist quits California stem-cell agency: Departure raises questions over leadership at flagship centre.
By: Erika Check Hayden
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) in San Francisco is again under the microscope, following the resignation of its chief scientific officer and a call for its restructuring. Marie Csete, a doctor and stem-cell biologist, has resigned from CIRM's top science job, effective from 1 August. The move leaves CIRM without medical leadership as it prepares to issue US$210 million in grants for stem-cell research that aim towards clinical trials. "When it became clear to me that my considered clinical advice was not respected, I concluded that it made no sense for me to stay at CIRM," she says...Read More

June 29, 2009
FDA Regulation of Stem Cell–Based Products
By: Donald W. Fink, Jr.
Cell self-renewal and the capacity to differentiate into multiple cell types (pluripotency) are biological attributes casting stem cells as attractive candidates for development of therapies targeting indications that involve functional restoration of damaged tissues. In the United States, clinical trials designed to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of stem cell–based products are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To ensure that subjects enrolled in a clinical study involving stem cell–based products are not exposed to significant and unreasonable risk, the FDA reviews medical and scientific information that encompasses delineation of product-specific characteristics and preclinical testing to determine whether there is sufficient safety assurance to permit initiation of human clinical studies...Read More

June 28, 2009
Stem cells: The stress of forming blood cells
By: Luc Pardanaud & Anne Eichmann
The first heartbeat is an important moment in an embryo's life. The biomechanical forces created by pulsatile flow promote the formation of haematopoietic stem cells that equip the body with its mature blood cells...Read More

June 27, 2009

The NIH Draft Guidelines on Human Stem Cell Research
By: Mary A. Majumder and Cynthia B. Cohen
With new draft guidelines to govern federal funding of human stem cell research, including human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have again taken on one of the most contentious endeavors of the day (1). There are positive aspects of the guidelines (2), but concern is growing that prior approvals of many widely used cell lines may not be in accord with specific wording requirements in the draft guidelines; such cell lines would need to be "grandfathered in" if research is to continue unimpeded (3). There are also several surprising omissions, surprising because they come in areas that are thoroughly addressed in the guidelines of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences (NAS) (4–6), which have become the gold standard for the conduct of stem cell research in the United States. Further, there has been little comment on the kind of initiative that would support future policy development...Read More

June 26, 2009

Medical Innovation Versus Stem Cell Tourism
By: Olle Lindvall and Insoo Hyun
Stem cell tourism is criticized on grounds of consumer fraud, blatant lack of scientific justification, and patient safety. However, the issues are complex because they invoke questions concerning the limits of acceptable medical innovation and medical travel. Here we discuss these issues and articulate conditions under which "unproven" therapies may be offered to patients outside of regular clinical trials...Read More

June 23, 2009

Diabetes stem-cell treatment looks to cell capsules
By: Amy Coombs
Finding the right way to protect cells, and intellectual property, will be key for getting cell therapy to patients. Patients with diabetes can show vast improvement after receiving transplants of insulin-producing islets from cadavers. Though they must take drugs to stall rejection of the transplanted cells, several hundred patients with the most severe type of diabetes have benefited from the procedure since it first became established in 2000. But the effects don't last. After two years, islet function begins to decline, and unless more cells are transplanted, patients eventually return to full insulin dependency...Read More

June 19, 2009

NIH draft seen as 'working compromise'
By: Stu Hutson
Draft guidelines on stem cell funding issued by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) in mid-April might block federal funding for experiments that rely on certain commonly used stem cell lines. "I think our main concern is that some perfectly valid lines don't get ruled out on a technicality," says Geoff Lomax, a lead member of the Interstate Alliance on Stem Cell Research (IASCR), an organization established in 2007 to promote stem cell research collaboration...Read More

June 15, 2009

Another look at "Stem cell fate dictated solely by altered nanotube dimension"
By: Klaus von der Marka, Sebastian Bauerb, Jung Parka and Patrik Schmukib
In their article, Oh et al. (1) reported that stem cell behavior on TiO2 nanotubes can be controlled solely by altering nanotube diameter...Read More

Reply to von der Mark et al.: Looking further into the effects of nanotube dimension on stem cell fate

By: Seunghan Oh, Karla S. Brammer, Y. S. Julie Li, Dayu Teng, Adam J. Engler, Shu Chien, and Sungho Jin
In their Letter to the Editor, von der Mark et al. (1) stated that they found adhesion, proliferation, migration, and osteogenic differentiation of rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to be highest on 15-nm TiO2 nanotubes and to be dramatically decreased on 70- and 100-nm nanotubes (2, 3). These findings are contrary to our results with human mesenchymal stem cells...Read More

June 13, 2009
In Brief: Stem cells in Maryland
A subsidiary of Korea-based biotech RNL Bio is expanding into Germantown, Maryland, where it is building a stem-cell research and development and manufacturing facility. The 930-square-metre building will be completed by the end of June, according to Donna Lee, director of business development, who says the company is hiring 50 lab technicians. By 2014, the company expects to double its floor space and hire stem-cell researchers. "There is a need for continuing studies on characteristics of the cells themselves and different disease indications," Lee says. RNL Biostar and parent company RNL Bio carry out research on therapies based on adult-derived stem cells...Read More

June 11, 2009
India's first true stem cell trials
By: Killugudi Jayaraman
The Drug-Controller General of India (DCGI) has given the go-ahead for the first clinical trials designed to test stem cell products. Stempeutics Research of Bangalore launched a combined phase 1 and phase 2 trial on April 22 to evaluate whether its stem cell products can benefit people who have experienced myocardial infarction and individuals with critical limb ischemia (CLI)—a condition that often requires amputation...Read More

June 9, 2009

Stem Cells: Micro-reprogramming
By: Natalie de Souza
Researchers use microRNAs to more efficiently generate induced pluripotent stem cells in the mouse. The search for methods to reprogram somatic cells to pluripotency without permanent modification of the genome is ongoing. In a recent report, Robert Blelloch and colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco, add microRNAs to the growing list of factors that can increase the efficiency of this process (Judson et al., 2009)...Read More

June 6, 2009

Irving Weissman: ISSCR's President-Elect
By: Henry Nicholls
Irving Weissman, the incoming president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), promises not to shy away from speaking his mind during his term. His goal to serve as a vocal advocate for the society should come as no surprise, given that he has been outspoken throughout his 50+ years in the stem cell field...Read More

June 5, 2009
US regulator wades into stem cell therapies for heart disease
By: Randy Osborne
The US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) draft guidance on cell therapy for cardiac disease has been given a muted welcome by clinicians and industry—not least because it may bolster the reputation of a field that thus far has enjoyed more than its fair share of charlatans and quacks. One impetus for the April release of the guidelines is problems cropping up with existing bone marrow–-derived cell therapies for heart disease in the clinic. "My intuitive sense is that they'd had some issues [with companies doing cell therapy heart research] already," says attorney Edward J. Allera, chairman of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney's food and drug group in Washington, DC. "Educated players understood this was coming," he says...Read More

June 3, 2009

Stem-cell clarity: The NIH guidelines on stem-cell research are a good first step, but some revision is needed.
The proposed guidelines on federal funding for stem-cell research issued in April by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) are a welcome effort to assert ethical and regulatory leadership over this field-especially given the vacuum in oversight left by the previous US administration. Yet concerns aired by the scientific community during the public comment period that closed last week have underscored the need for the NIH to revise the guidelines to allow the responsible progress of research...Read More

June 1, 2009
Stem-cell therapies closer to the clinic: Human induced pluripotent stem cells made without addition of genes.
By: David Cyranoski
A group of researchers in the United States and South Korea today announced a leap towards safe, clinically useful patient-specific stem cells. If the researchers are right, clinical trials on the induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which can turn into virtually any cell type and potentially be used to treat disorders ranging from spinal cord injury to diabetes, could start within two years...Read More

California's Stem Cell Program - CIRM

Here's a great website dedicated to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM):  California Stem Cell Report

Stem Cell Community Updates

We will soon be joining an international organization to share human ES cell information throughout the world.  Meanwhile, our latest gene expression data is available in the September 18, 2008 issue of Nature.

Gene Expression Data:
  Whole genome expression analysis of stem cells- downloadable data and FAQ.

Human Cell Signaling Pathway Interaction Database: A collaboration between the National Cancer Institute and Nature Publishing Group.
Dedicated Stem Cell Patent Website:
    A useful and comprehensive guide to stem cell patents

Snake Oil Stem Cell "Therapeutics"      Chances are that a few of our Google ads (to the left) are advertising stem cell treatments. Remember that if it seems too good to be true, it probably isn't.  Here's an archive of cautionary commentaries

Stem Cell Database:    A searchable database of more than 250 human embryonic stem cell lines worldwide.

Cell lines available: 260
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