Cells Weekly – August 25, 2013

by Alexey Bersenev on August 26, 2013 · 0 comments

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Cells Weekly is a digest of the most interesting news and events in stem cell research, cell therapy and regenerative medicine. Follow us for fresh filtered information!

1. Posts and tweets from MSC 2013
Mesenchymal Stem Cell biannual conference has finished in Cleveland this week. I was tweeting and posting about the conference. Here is complete list of my posts and tweets:
MSC 2013: Induced tissue regeneration and developmental engineering
MSC 2013: Standardization and nomenclature debate
MSC 2013: Considerations for MSCs infusion
MSC 2013: From stromal to perivascular
Archive of all tweets

Some posts sparked discussion. Please join it and express your opinion!

2. Joint statement – Patient Advisory for Stem Cell Therapy and Medical Tourism
This was one of the most important and interesting events. 13(!) professional organizations wrote a joint statement for patients on stem cell therapy and tourism. You can read it, for example on CIRM web-site.
I think, this is very interesting and desirable collaboration! For the first time, all professional organizations, which deeply involved in stem cell and cell therapy created a joint statement! But it’s not perfect. Some positions of the statement could be challenged. I may talk about it later.

3. Isolation and expansion of multipotent stem cells from adult human brain
By some reasons this publication left unnoticeable by mass media. Researchers from Norway were able to isolate and hugely expand multipotent stem cells from adult human brains:

We here present a fail-safe method for successful culture and expansion of human brain progenitors. This method overturns the belief that neural stem cells need to be cultured as neurospheres and has allowed for the establishment and propagation of human brain progenitor cells from whatever brain tissue samples we have tried. We have achieved virtually unlimited expansion of the cells which raises questions pertinent to developing transplant protocols.

Have you read this article? What is your opinion?

4. Regulators to fight marketing claims by cord blood banks
Very interesting case was posted in Taiwan media this week:

Private umbilical cord blood banks making exaggerated medical promises face stiff fines, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said yesterday in response to a recent case of the mother of a paralyzed child accusing a private cord blood bank of leading her to believe that spinal surgery using the cord blood was a viable cure for her daughter.

It’s unclear why they cite US FDA regulations if it happens in Taiwan. We also don’t know how this case will resolve. But I like the idea of regulation the commercial claims in (stem) cell therapy.

5. The ethics of making gametes ex vivo
Nature posted a very interesting piece about achievements in creation of artificial sperm and eggs in vitro. The story focused on work of Japanese group, leading by Mitinori Saitou. The progress in creation of functional gametes outside of body is tremendous! Since, it’s aimed to treat human infertility, we should have a debate about ethical side of it:

Saitou used iPS cells from male mice to create sperm and from female mice to create eggs, but he says that the reverse should be possible. If so, eggs and sperm from the same mouse could be generated and used for fertilization, producing something never seen before: a mouse created by self-fertilization. Neither Hayashi nor Saitou is ready to try this. “We would only do this [in mice] if there were a good scientific reason,” says Saitou. Right now he does not see one.

Highly recommended to read!

6. RegenMed from bench to business
The Signals blog posted an overview of 6th Annual “Business of Regenerative Medicine” education course, which was held in Cleveland in July:

From this course, I realized that the success of today’s stem cell products will not only help patients, but will drive the development of new companies and biologics. RM therapies do have the potential for disease reversal but only, as Case Western Reserve’s Arnold Caplan says, when we stop saying “Bench to Bedside” and start saying “Bench to Business”. There needs to be a profitable business opportunity in stem cell therapy for it to see the light of day and thus make an impact.

7. Poll on stem cell homing
Paul Knoepfler has started a poll, asking: “Do stem cells really home in on sites of disease or is that a myth?” He posted some results today. You can still vote!

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