IS THERE ANYTHING THAT ADULT STEM CELLS CAN'T DO?-dg
Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow - 8/3/2009 4:30:00 AM
Chinese scientists are producing live mice from adult stem cells, and experts call it an exciting discovery. It represents another breakthrough for adult stem-cell research, according to Ben Kinchlow of the Adult Stem Cells Information Coalition.
"What this discovery by these Chinese scientists proves is that adult stem cells have the capacity to produce almost any other cell, resulting in eventually the, God forbid, cloning of human beings -- but more importantly, the curing of diseases," he notes.
Stem-cell research involving adult cells is already being used to treat more than 70 diseases and medical conditions, while embryonic stem-cell research has not produced one single successful treatment. Kinchlow contends the push for embryonic stem-cell research is greed.
I think the most stunning, positive news of the month is the work from the Mayo Clinic on stem cells and the heart. A few years ago I travelled to Thailand to visit with the King of Thailand's cardiologist, Prof Supachai. Prof Supachai had developed a strong interest in adult stem cell therapy for heart disease. He was taking 200ml of blood from a person with severe heart failure and harvesting around 200,000 of the person's own stem cells, growing the stem cells in a laboratory up to 20 million over a week and then reinjecting the stem cells into the damaged parts usually via a catheter directly down the arteries. I saw some amazing results with people who had severe impairment in their heart regaining reasonable function to allow them to return to relatively normal activity. The heart was not totally rebuilt but certainly much better than it was previously.
These types of results are being obtained all over the world and it is my strong feeling that adult stem cell therapy will be the next big revolution in medicine.
I am not a great fan of embryonic stem cell therapy, in the same way I am not a great fan of reproductive cloning, as I believe you cannot expect embryonic cells to behave like adult cells and I feel we will see some significant problems down the track if we start pushing this line. I have no problem with the ethics of it whatsoever, it is purely the science that I find rather questionable.
Now let's return to the more valid concept of enhancing your own blood using adult stem cell therapy. The researchers from the Mayo Clinic (again we're picking on the poor old mice this week) took a group of mice with damaged hearts and took their own cells, known as fibroblasts which are usually part of the connective tissue or seen in scars, and used a process called dedifferentiation. This is where the fibroblasts are converted back to stem cells. They then were able to give these particular stem cells growth factors that sent them along the pathway of becoming heart tissue. They reinjected these cells back into the mice and within a few weeks the mice were developing functioning cardiac tissue.
Once this technique is perfected for humanity, we will see many people salvaged from not just heart disease but also many other conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, diabetes and spinal cord damage.
I am on the Scientific Advisory Board for an international company known as Zoa Cell and this company is embarking on a large study in diabetes using adult stem cell therapy. Again, taking one's own stem cells, it will be possible to give growth factors to convert these into pancreatic tissue making insulin. Can you image the suffering that will be alleviated if all of these therapies become freely available.
Thank you for helping me help you.
Dr Ross G T Walker (FRACP)
I'm not sure if I find it more ironic or more serendipitous that I wrote this today at 2:15pm -
"I’m surprised that we haven’t heard more about this recently. There are articles going back to 2004 (like this one) showing the successful use of stem cells to generate hair. Five years later, it is still not available?"
Ask and ye shall receive. -dgUnlocking the Mechanism of Hair Stem Cell Regeneration and Regrowth
May 20, 2009 by Julian Phillips
Filed under Dermal Papilla (DP) Cells, Hair Follicle Stem Cells, Hair Regrowth, Hair Rejuvenation, Hair Tissue Engineering, HairStemcell Transplantation, Stem Cell Treatments
Elaine Fuchs, head of the Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development at Rockefeller University, is researching how stem cells in hair follicles are able to regenerate — research that may one day lead to the promised land of stem cell cloning techniques for hair loss. “Throughout our lifetime, each hair follicle undergoes cyclical bouts of growth, destruction and rest through an intrinsic stem cell population,” Dr. Fuchs told Science Daily recently. “It provides an excellent opportunity to investigate the molecular process of tissue regeneration and stem cell self-renewal.”
For a new round of hair growth to begin, stem cells in the hair follicle must receive a signal to divide. In response to this signal, the hair follicle regenerates first by growing downward through the skin’s middle layer, the dermis, and then producing the specialized cells that form the hair. After a period during which the hair grows longer, stem cells stop dividing, and the hair follicle gradually retracts again. There is then a period of rest and the cycle repeats.
Fuchs and her team have for several years been exploring the infrequently dividing stem cells located near the base of the hair follicle in a compartment known as the bulge. This time they focused on a much smaller cluster of often-ignored cells called the hair germ, located at the very bottom of this structure. Although little is known about the hair germ, scientists postulate that it emerges from the bulge at the end of the destructive phase of the hair cycle.
In their work, to be highlighted in the February 6 issue of Cell Stem Cell, Fuchs and her team scrutinized the hair cycle through the resting phase and discovered that during most of this time, both the bulge and the hair germ remain dormant. By isolating cells from both the hair germ and the bulge, they also confirmed that the two are molecularly very similar, suggesting that the germ does indeed originate from the bulge. The researchers believe, however, that toward the end of the resting phase, the hair germ gets activated to proliferate before the bulge. Moreover, the team showed that the activating signal comes from a structure known as the dermal papilla.
via Unlocking the Mechanism of Hair Stem Cell Regeneration and Regrowth |
Doris is a repair stem cell with some very special qualities. Her will and persistence is vigorously challenged in her quests to overcome adversity and improve the health of a damaged heart.
Come join the adventure and discover the natural healing capabilities of the repair stem cells residing in all of us. Don’t wait! Dive right in to the exploits of SUPER STEMMYS
A recent article I read about the embryonic stem cell debate concluded with this silly comment: "What if stem cell research does create a major breakthrough? If stem cells provided a cure for juvenile diabetes, this issue would be a whisper in the wind"
Here is my response:I am sorry to say, you are dead wrong. It will NEVER happen in the US...even though it already has.
1. First of all, in the US, you can never say "cure." A treatment can make you symptom free for 40 years and the AMA and FDA will not let you say the patient is cured, only that they have been symptom free for 40 years.2. In the US, when a major breakthrough occurs, you WILL NOT hear about it...in the US anyway. One brilliant doctor has enabled paraplegics to walk after adult stem cell treatment. Do you remember where you were when you heard this incredible news? No? You never heard anything about it? Right. Not in the US. Here is one of those patients. http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/03/28/stepping-towards-a-paralysis-cure-a-tale-of-two-supermen-stem-cells-cure-23-year-old-male-of-paralysis-c6-c7-injury/Here are more (scroll down past the swine flu article): http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/?s=spinal+cord+injury3. In the US, we like to talk about Embryos. And we are the only ones. Did you know that the top embryonic stem cell scientists in the world have walked away from using embryos to develop treatments? *** Embryonic research has been 100% fruitless (in regard to generating treatments) for well-funded and government supported scientists around the world for the last 11 years. *** Dr James Thomson, father of embryonic research said about embryonic research: “…embryonic stem cells are not being used in any clinical applications yet, while alternatives such as adult stem cells figure in scores of therapies.” *** Dr Oz said on national TV “the stem cell debate is dead,” recognizing the lack of potential in embryonic stem cells to produce cures. http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/03/31/oprah-michael-j-fox-dr-mehmet-oz-the-stem-cell-debate-is-over/ *** Ian Wilmut, who led the team that cloned Dolly the sheep, abandoned his license to attempt human cloning, saying that the researchers “may have achieved what no politician could: an end to the embryonic stem cell debate.” *** Dr. Bernadine Healy, director of the National Institutes of Health under the first President Bush, wrote in U.S. News & World Report that these recent developments “in the first six weeks of Obama’s term, several events reinforced the notion that embryonic stem cells, once thought to hold the cure for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and diabetes, are obsolete….. In fact, adult stem cells, which occur in small quantities in organs throughout the body for natural growth and repair, have become stars despite great skepticism early on.”4. I can refer you to many studies showing the huge therapeutic benefits of stem cells for treating over 130 diseases, including Type 1 diabetes. Here's one about your example, juvenile diabetes. One patient has gone 4 years symptom free (ZERO INSULIN). Many others had only slightly less spectacular results. http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/04/15/stem-cells-%e2%80%98can-treat-diabetes%e2%80%99-is-obscured-by-wet-blanket/
The problem is, these results and studies used Adult stem cells (the one's that actually work) and not Embryonic stem cells (which is all that anyone in the US knows about or wants to talk about). Even if you do hear about it, the word "controversial" will be plastered all over the article although there are virtually NO SIDE EFFECTS to adult stem cell treatments that standard lab practices can't avoid or an Advil can't cure.
5. Thousands of people all over the world are being treated successfully for ALS, ALzheimer's, Parkinson's, Heart Disease, Autism and ~130 others. This issue IS a whisper in the wind, everywhere in the world except in the US. In the US, the trumpets are sounding so loud "for" and "against" Embryonic stem cell research, that Americans can NOT hear that they are wasting their time, embryonic stem cells will not produce treatments for 20-50 years, adult stem cells work now, diseases are being treated all over the world, embryonic scientists are abandoning their work, etc. etc.