Tag Archive | "Stem Cell Research"

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Cord Blood America Recieves 2.3 Million For Stem Cell Lab

Cord Blood America, an umbilical cord blood stem cell preservation company, has received a commitment for up to $2.3 million to either buy or build its own laboratory for the purpose of storing of multiple stem cell products including umbilical cord blood stem cells. About $300,000 of the funding has already been received by the Cord Blood America to begin the laboratory purchase or construction, with the additional $2 million to be paid out in future installments.

Matthew Schissler, founder and CEO of Cord Blood America, said: “The funding is from a private, institutional investor and allows us to focus even further on our due diligence efforts that I announced earlier. Certain properties of the funding will be recorded as both an asset and a liability on our books.”

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Obama Vs. Church on Stem Cell Research

President Barack Obama’s recent lifting of restrictions on federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research has puts him at odds with Pope Benedict and the American Roman Catholic Church. After Obama signed the order, the Vatican immediately condemned the move.

Obama’s executive order reversed restrictions placed on the research by his predecessor, George W. Bush, which freed up laboratories to start working with the cells, which can give rise to any kind of cell in the body.

Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said “This action is morally wrong because it encourages the destruction of innocent human life, treating vulnerable human beings as mere products to be harvested.”

Now that Mr. Obama has lifted the restrictions, Catholic theologians have been debating how embryonic stem cell research can be made “less morally repugnant”, in the words of one theologian, Father Thomas J. Reese, senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center of Georgetown University, who then suggested several ways the Obama administration could find middle ground.

His suggestions included not creating embryos for the sole purpose of research but instead using only excess embryos produced at fertility clinics that are scheduled to be destroyed anyway. He also said researchers should show that the work they are doing can’t be done with non-embryonic stem cells, and that the research done using the embryonic stem cells should try advancing toward the goal of using only non-embryonic stem cells.

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Stem Cells Proving Effective in Fighting Cancer

Embryonic stem cells are once again getting attention this year, because of work being done by scientists at the University of Minnesota.

“Embryonic stem cells are often talked about to treat things like diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injury,” says researcher Dan Kaufman. “Now we really can add cancer to that list.”

Dr. Kaufman says his research team used embryonic stem cells to produce natural killer cells. Those killer cells were then used on a dozen mice that had leukemia tumors. “Every mouse that we treated with these cells, the cancer went away completely,” said Dr.Kaufman.

The scientists also produced natural killer cells from other sources, like umbilical cord blood, with less positive results. It’s proof, Dr. Kaufman says, that embryonic stem cells will play a key role in cell-based cancer therapies. In lab experiments, researchers also found the natural killer cells derived from embryonic stem cells were effective in killing breast cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer and brain tumor cells.

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Larry King Asks Pastor Joel Osteen & Wife About “Stem Cell Research”

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AMD Stem Cell Treatment

Stem cell research looks to cure age-related macular degeneration (AMD), increasing the pharmaceutical industry’s growing confidence in the medical potential of stem cells.

The prospect of using embryonic stem cells to treat the most common cause of blindness in humans has moved closer after a major investment was made into research from the world’s largest drug company, Pfizer.

This is HUGE is the world of stem cells and their potential for curing so many terminal illnesses.

This injection of private funding will help the research team to turn its scientific discoveries into a medical therapy for AMD.  It affects more than 500,000 people in Britain and is the number one common cause of blindness.

The UCL group, led by Professor Pete Coffey, has used embryonic stem cells to grow eye tissue that was destroyed in AMD and has transplanted it into animal eyes to reverse eye damage from the disease.

Professor Coffey’s team intends to begin human patient trials in 2010 or 2011 and will receive funding support from Pfizer. The company will also provide the facilities for producing therapeutic cells to treat people who are ready to have this form of surgery.

Pfizer will have an exclusive option to conduct clinical trials of the therapy and to commercialize any product that emerges from them. This is where Pfizer plans to benefit from their investment.  Financial details of the agreement have not yet been disclosed.

How Stem Cells Work:

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Researchers Collaborate on Stem Cell Therapy for Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS)

A research team made up of scientists from the University of Utah is collaborating on a stem cell therapy to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Together with John Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Q therapeutics Inc, and the help of a $5 million dollars in funding from the National Institutes of Health, these researchers have teamed up to bring the cell-based therapy to the point of human clinical trials to treat this ALS. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that destroys certain nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. As these cells degenerate, they lose the ability to send impulses that control muscle movement for speech, breathing, limb movement, and other functions, with death from respiratory failure typically occurring from two to five years after diagnosis. ALS affects roughly 30,000 people in this country. Famous sufferers of the disease include baseball legend Lou Gehrig and scientist Dr. Stephen Hawking.
The four-year National Institutes of Health grant will allow for the necessary manufacturing and testing requirements to gain U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for human clinical trials.
Linda Kelley, Ph.D., director of the University of Utah’s Cell Therapy Facility, said the project is a collaboration in the truest sense of the word.
“While the University will be home to the grant, the stem-cell technology that Q Therapeutics brings to the table and the clinical expertise of Dr. Maragakis are essential to the project. We are pleased to help bring this groundbreaking therapy toward human use,” Kelley said.

“Our collaboration is a terrific example of how public-private partnerships can make innovative therapeutic products a reality.”
The researchers at Johns Hopkins recently published results of their work in Lou Gehrig’s Disese (ALS) in Nature Neuroscience, showing that a specific type of brain stem cell therapy can be effective in an animal model of ALS.

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Obama Reverses Ban On Government Funding For Stem Cell Research

Reversing an eight-year-old limit on potentially life-saving science, President Barack Obama lifted  restrictions on taxpayer-funded research using embryonic stem cells. The campaign promised move will allow research aimed at better treating, if not curing, ailments from diabetes to paralysis . This types of research often crosses partisan lines, and is backed by respected  proponents such as Nancy Reagan and the late Christopher Reeve.
During the campaign, Obama said, “I strongly support expanding research on stem cells. I believe that the restrictions that President Bush has placed on funding of human embryonic stem cell research have handcuffed our scientists and hindered our ability to compete with other nations.”
He said he would lift Bush’s ban and “ensure that all research on stem cells is conducted ethically and with rigorous oversight.”
This lift means that researchers and scientists who until now have had to rely on private donations to work with these newer stem cell lines can apply for government money for the research, just like they do for studies of gene therapy or other treatment approaches.
“America’s biomedical research enterprise experienced steady decline over the past eight years, with shrinking budgets and policies that elevated ideology over science. This slowed the pace of discovery and the search for cures,” said Sean Morrison, director of the University of Michigan’s Center for Stem Cell Biology.

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Storing Umbilical Cord Blood Video

Choose to store your baby’s stem-cell rich umbilical cord blood…  This video shows you how its done.

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Importance of Umbilical Cord Blood Donation

In the recent years preserving the umbilical cord blood has become an event of great significance. Doctors and scientists are encouraging parents to store or donate the umbilical cord blood. Until recently, the umbilical cord miracle was not much known to the general populace.

The umbilical cord blood is rich in stem cells. The umbilical cord blood can save the lives of millions of people who suffer from dreaded disease such as Cancer, Aplastic anemia, Fanconi anemia and Sickle-cell anemia, just to name a few. People suffering from live threatening diseases like lymphoma, leukemia and anemia can save their precious lives by undergoing stem cell transplantation. This is especially useful for people suffering from leukemia who go through the tough process of chemotherapy and radiation.

There are specialized cord blood banks to collect and preserve umbilical cord blood. The blood is collected from a new-born baby’s cord and stored in these cord banks. Parent donor’s are required to plan to make necessary arrangements with these banks to collect the umbilical cord blood.

It is not only a joy to give birth to a baby but also a great deed to give life by donating umbilical cord blood to those suffering from life threatening diseases.

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