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Miniature Spinal Cords Grown In The Lab

Scientists from the Dresden University of Technology have made a giant stride in the field of regenerative medicine, having successfully grown spinal cord-like tissue in the lab from embryonic stem cells. Although mouse cells were used, the study raises the possibility that one day, with further development, this technique could be used to help patients with spinal cord injuries.

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Transplantation linked with better treatment success and longer survival, but more early hospitalizations

Compared with long and frequent home hemodialysis, kidney transplantation may allow kidney failure patients to be successfully treated and to live longer, but it may also increase their risk of being hospitalized within the first year. Those are the findings of study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). The results support the need to encourage transplantation for potential candidates who are receiving home hemodialysis, but they also indicate that long and frequent home hemodialysis provides good outcomes for patients.

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New possibilities for leukemia therapy with novel mode of leukemia cell recognition

Scientists at A*STAR’s Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN) have discovered a new class of lipids in the leukemia cells that are detected by a unique group of immune cells. By recognising the lipids, the immune cells stimulate an immune response to destroy the leukemia cells and suppress their growth. The newly identified mode of cancer cell recognition by the immune system opens up new possibilities for leukemia immunotherapy.

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MU Scientists Successfully Transplant, Grow Stem Cells in Pigs

Researchers at the University of Missouri have shown that a new line of genetically modified pigs will host transplanted cells without the risk of rejection.

One of the biggest challenges for medical researchers studying the effectiveness of stem cell therapies is that transplants or grafts of cells are often rejected by the hosts. This rejection can render experiments useless, making research into potentially life-saving treatments a long and difficult process.

“The rejection of transplants and grafts by host bodies is a huge hurdle for medical researchers,” said R. Michael Roberts, Curators Professor of Animal Science and Biochemistry and a researcher in the Bond Life Sciences Center. “By establishing that these pigs will support transplants without the fear of rejection, we can move stem cell therapy research forward at a quicker pace.”

In a published study, the team of researchers implanted human pluripotent stem cells in a special line of pigs developed by Randall Prather, an MU Curators Professor of reproductive physiology. Prather specifically created the pigs with immune systems that allow the pigs to accept all transplants or grafts without rejection. Once the scientists implanted the cells, the pigs did not reject the stem cells and the cells thrived. Prather says achieving this success with pigs is notable because pigs are much closer to humans than many other test animals.

“Many medical researchers prefer conducting studies with pigs because they are more anatomically similar to humans than other animals, such as mice and rats,” Prather said. “Physically, pigs are much closer to the size and scale of humans than other animals, and they respond to health threats similarly. This means that research in pigs is more likely to have results similar to those in humans for many different tests and treatments.”

“Now that we know that human stem cells can thrive in these pigs, a door has been opened for new and exciting research by scientists around the world,” Roberts said. “Hopefully this means that we are one step closer to therapies and treatments for a number of debilitating human diseases.”

Roberts and Prather published their study, “Engraftment of human iPS cells and allogeneic porcine cells into pigs with inactivated RAG2 and accompanying severe combined immunodeficiency” in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

 

Source: MU News Bureau

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Regenerating plastic grows back after damage

Illinois researchers have developed materials that not only heal, but regenerate. Until now, self-repairing materials could only bond tiny microscopic cracks. The new regenerating materials fill in large cracks and holes by regrowing material.

Led by professor Scott White, the research team comprises professors Jeffry S. Moore and Nancy Sottos and graduate students Brett Krull, Windy Santa Cruz and Ryan Gergely. They report their work in the May 9 issue of the journal Science.

“We have demonstrated repair of a nonliving, synthetic materials system in a way that is reminiscent of repair-by-regrowth as seen in some living systems,” said Moore, a professor of chemistry.

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The Conference “Transplantology Present, Past and Future”

Dear Colleagues,

It is our pleasure to invite you to attend the Conference on Transplantology Present, Past and Future organized by the Coordination Center for organ, tissue and cell transplantology, Health Ministry of Ukraine, jointly with the Institute of Cell Therapy. The Conference will be held in Kyiv, November 7, 2014.

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3D-printed skull implanted in patient

In a worldwide first, brain surgeon Dr. Bon Verweij of the University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht successfully replaced the complete skull of a 22-year-old woman with a 3D-printed, tailor-made plastic skull in a surgical procedure that lasted 23 hours.

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