Stem Cells in Focus

    • 1 October, 2018

    Stem Cells and Aging – What Happens When Our Stem Cells Get Old and Tired?

    Aging is an inevitable, unnerving process that confronts us all. But what is the biology that underlies this process? And what if advances in the field of regenerative medicine could counteract this decline and alleviate the symptoms of old age?
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    • 10 September, 2018

    Gene Therapy: Treating the Cause, Not the Symptom

    Gene therapy, CRISPR, and gene editing are all terms that are beginning to appear more frequently in headlines, and the concept of manipulating DNA inside cells – once found only in science fiction – is now reality. In fact, gene editing is routinely done in labs around the world, with potentially transformative applications for medicine. In this post, we discuss what gene therapy is, what is new and exciting in the field, and why the technology could change the way we treat certain diseases.
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    • 14 August, 2018

    Stem Cell Scientists and The Public: Personal Reflections

    A recent public forum in Melbourne, Australia, “Stem Cell Research – Now and in the Future,” allowed scientists and experts to share with the public the potential of this rapidly advancing research. In this blog post, three Australian stem cell scientists who attended the session describe their personal reflections on public engagement.
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    • 10 July, 2018

    Learning about Stem Cells Down Under

    Stem cell research was recently brought out of the laboratory and into the public discourse in an open public forum held in conjunction with the 16th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) in Melbourne, Australia.
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    • 7 May, 2018

    Stem Cells as Anti-Cancer Vaccines?

    Vaccines are routinely used to increase immunity against a variety of infectious diseases, such as influenza, measles, and chicken pox, to name a few. Rather than vaccinating against viral infectious diseases, however, imagine a vaccine that could prevent cancer.
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    • 6 April, 2018

    Can Stem Cell-Based Treatments Provide a Durable Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease?

    April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, a time intended to raise the visibility of a disease that effects an estimated five to ten million people world-wide and to share its personal, societal, and scientific impact. The medical community has been “aware” of this disease since its published description by James Parkinson in 1817.
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    • 9 March, 2018

    What Can We Learn from the (Tasmanian) Devil?

    Why might stem cell scientists care about a small marsupial unique to Tasmania, a small island off the coast of Australia? Good question. Tasmanian devils are afflicted with a unique type of cancer that is transmitted from animal to animal – a disease that is threatening existence of the species.
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    • 13 February, 2018

    Novel Stem Cell Therapy Grows New Skin

    Imagine skin so fragile that rubbing or scratching it can lead to severe blistering and massive wounds. Patients with a rare genetic disease known as junctional epidermolysis bullosa (JEB) suffer from just this painful phenomenon.
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    • 9 January, 2018

    Better Defining Blood Stem Cells to Help Refine Treatments

    As we develop and age, some of our tissues are replenished and repaired by adult, or tissue-specific, stem cells. These are specialized cells required throughout life that have the potential to give rise to all types of cells in a given tissue.
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    • 6 December, 2017

    Regulators, Legislators Taking Action on Unproven Stem Cell “Treatments”

    The scientific and clinical communities have long been troubled by clinics operating around the world that market unproven stem cell “treatments” directly to patients. It is particularly distressing that people often go to these clinics for relief or a cure for an intractable disease or injury, and can end up paying thousands of dollars for products that are not approved for use as advertised, have not been scientifically tested to know if they work, and can put their health in jeopardy.
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    • 27 October, 2017

    CRISPR, CAR-T, and Cancer

    Researchers around the world have long sought effective treatments for cancer, and are now seeing therapeutic benefit with a new treatment, which is demonstrating better than imagined success in patients with blood cancer.
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    • 3 October, 2017

    Organoids: Advancing Regenerative Medicine

    A patient’s fate may lie within a single cell. Therapeutic fate, that is. Scientists can pluck a lone cell, or just a few, out of a patient’s body, grow them in a petri dish, and coax them to form so-called organoids, three-dimensional miniature versions of the original tissue or organ that can be grown indefinitely in the lab.
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    • 11 August, 2017

    Advocates: Moving the Field Forward in Many Ways

    The progress and outcomes of new treatments are important to us all, but arguably no one is more invested in the discovery of new therapies than patient advocate groups. Made up of passionate individuals who voluntarily organize to advocate on behalf of those with a particular disease or disorder, these ‘disease advocates’ dedicate their lives to bringing positive changes for others, sometimes including their families and themselves.
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    • 1 May, 2017

    Making Sense of Disease – In a Dish

    Stem cell research is revolutionizing the way scientists study human disease in many ways. One of the most fascinating, is through the creation of human “diseases in a dish,” which are giving scientists a better way to study disease biology and test new drugs. Read how Dr. Kevin Eggan from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute is using this technology to better understand diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and schizophrenia.
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    • 17 April, 2017

    Stem Cells May Be Key to Curing Retinal Disease

    A team of UK stem cell scientists, led by Dr. Robin Ali from UCL Institute of Ophthalmology in London, has developed a new strategy for repairing the retina by transplanting photoreceptor cells generated in the laboratory from embryonic stem cells. There is a good precedent for using stem cell therapy to repair eye damage. Transplanting corneal stem cells to repair chemical burns of the cornea has been very successful in restoring vision. But the retina – a multi-layered neural network – is a much more complicated structure, so repairing it poses greater challenges.
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    • 17 April, 2017

    Ramping up Discovery with Kidney Organoids

    Although they conjure up images of science fiction, organoids are actually the quirky new name for mini, lab-grown models of human organs. Scientists are using pluripotent stem cells – the master cells that make any cell in the body – to create small buds of brain, thymus, liver, intestine, eye or kidney tissue that replicate some of the functions we find in these organs.
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    • 17 April, 2017

    October 8 is Stem Cell Awareness Day

    The ISSCR celebrates Stem Cell Awareness Day on October 8 with a Stem Cells in Focus webcast entitled “The Science of Regenerative Medicine,” presented by PhD candidate Ben Paylor of the Canadian Stem Cell Network. The webinar will explore the basics of stem cell biology and will include three StemCellShorts*, voiced by stem cell experts Drs. Jim Till, Janet Rossant and Mick Bhatia, as well as a question and answer period.
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