Animal research leads to promising results for first clinical trial of stem cell therapy for stroke

The BBC reported yesterday that a small trial of a stem cell therapy developed by the biotech firm Reneuron has produced promising results, with 5 of the 9 patients enrolled in the trial showing unexpected improvements. The improvements were unexpected because the trial was intended to assess the safety of the technique, and the scientists … Continue reading Animal research leads to promising results for first clinical trial of stem cell therapy for stroke

First human stem cells created through cloning…thank Mitalipov’s macaques!

Today is one of those days that will go down in medical and scientific history, the day that scientists at Oregon Health and Science University led by Professor Shoukhrat Mitalipov announced that they had successfully created pluripotent human stem cells by cloning  skin cells. This is the first time that this has been accomplished in human cells, … Continue reading First human stem cells created through cloning…thank Mitalipov’s macaques!

Hope for young cancer victims as stem cell transplantation restores functioning sperm in monkeys.

Chemotherapy plays a crucial role in treating many cancers, but unfortunately some chemotherapy has a side effect of destroying the spermatogonial stem cells that are responsible for producing sperm.  Adult men who need to undergo chemotherapy have the option of cryopreserving their sperm in order to give themselves the option of having children in the … Continue reading Hope for young cancer victims as stem cell transplantation restores functioning sperm in monkeys.

Reprogrammed frog and mouse cells win the 2012 Nobel Prize

This morning the Nobel Assembly announced that the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine will be shared by John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka for their “discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent”.  Animal research played a key role in the research honoured by the prize, specifically the studies of frogs … Continue reading Reprogrammed frog and mouse cells win the 2012 Nobel Prize

Human embryonic stem cells restore hearing in deaf gerbils

Ever since human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) were first cultivated by Dr. James Thompson at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1998, they have been at the centre of one of the most promising, and at times controversial, areas of modern medicine.  Recently hESCs have begun to live up to their early promise, as I … Continue reading Human embryonic stem cells restore hearing in deaf gerbils

Millenium Technology Prize 2012: Mouse stem cell research heralds a new era in biomedical research

Every year since 2004 the Technology Academy Finland has awarded the prestigious Millennium Technology Prize as a tribute to life-enhancing technological innovations, and the list of past winners includes some of the world’s leading technological innovators. This year the Grand Prize is for the first time being shared between two innovators, Linus Torvalds, who created … Continue reading Millenium Technology Prize 2012: Mouse stem cell research heralds a new era in biomedical research

Can stem cells repair broken hearts? Thanks to animal research we may soon find out!

On Monday – and appropriately perhaps just in time for St. Valentine’s day – a team of scientists at the Cedars Sinai Heart Institute led by Dr. Eduardo Marbán announced that in a small clinical trial they had repaired damaged heart tissue using an infusion stem cells derived from the heart attack patient’s own heart. … Continue reading Can stem cells repair broken hearts? Thanks to animal research we may soon find out!

How nerve cells reach their niche.

Developmental biology, the study of the processes through which organisms grow and develop, is an area of biomedical research where modal organisms - ranging from the slime mold Dictyostelium  discoideum to the chicken - play a crucial role, and one that has been honoured with several  Nobel Prizes in recent years.  For example, the 1995 … Continue reading How nerve cells reach their niche.