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David Granovsky

The world is embracing the research and successful treatments of diseases with Adult stem cells, reaping huge rewards of life extension, improved quality of life and the curing of so-called incurable diseases. This group will bring you up to date on the news, benefits and treatments and... Full Bio
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AMNIOTIC STEM CELLS HEAL INTESTINAL DISORDER by David Granovsky Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine A new study published in GUT (An International Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology) has shown that amniotic fluid stem cells can reverse intestinal dam ... Read on »
STEM CELLS REDUCE BRAIN DAMAGE AFTER STROKE by David Granovsky Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Stroke – Stem Cells Can Reduce Brain Damage Rescuing a patient from a stroke and restoring cognitive functions are two significant medical challenges today. Blockage of a br ... Read on »
A DOG’S LIFE SAVED THROUGH STEM CELL TREATMENT by David Granovsky Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine This is Thelma. She is an adorable, friendly, 7 year old Boxer. Thelma was to be put down because she was suffering from Int ... Read on »
SUGAR-COATED SCAFFOLDING UNLOCKS HUGE POTENTIAL FOR STEM CELL THERAPY by David Granovsky Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Scientists have used sugar-coated scaffolding to move a step closer to the routine use of stem cells in the clinic and unlock their huge potential to cure diseas ... Read on »
IBD PATIENTS SOON TO BE TREATED WITH STEM CELLS by David Granovsky Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Researchers have identified a special population of adult stem cells in bone marrow that have the natural ability to migrate to the intestine and produce intestin ... Read on »
LEUKEMIA SURVIVAL IMPROVED THROUGH STEM CELLS by David Granovsky Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Twice given, twice used: Infusion of stem cells and specially generated T-cells from same donor improves leukemia survival In a significant advance for har ... Read on »
PIONEERING??? Heart Study by David Granovsky Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine

This makes me crazy.  Thousands, maybe tens of thousands treated to date successfully with studies going back to 2002 and they call this brand new study pioneering?  Consider the triple blind study protocol used:

  • 1/3 RECEIVE NOTHING AT ALL
  • 1/3 RECEIVE A
  • 1/3 RECEIVE STEM CELLS

The odds are not in his favor to even get the treatment.  It’s time to catch up to the rest of the world. – DG

DeBary man takes part in pioneering stem cell study

Dr. David Henderson, left, talks to his patient Robert Anderson, 64, of DeBary recently at Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center in Daytona Beach. Anderson is participating in a clinical research trial that uses a patient’s own stem cells to regenerate cardiovascular tissue. He was the first patient to enroll in the clinical study that started in December at Cardiology Research Associates of Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center.

News-Journal/STEVEN NOTARAS

By
STAFF WRITER
Published: Monday, February 18, 2013 at 5:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 5:41 p.m.

DAYTONA BEACH At 44, Robert Anderson’s career as a chemical engineer was cut short due to pain in his chest and jaw.

A few years earlier doctors had performed bypass surgery on Anderson to repair the deteriorating muscle around his heart. Like 850,000 Americans, Anderson suffers from angina, which causes chest discomfort due to coronary heart disease.

But the surgery was a temporary fix for Anderson, whose diabetes worsened his heart condition. As the pain in his jaw and chest increased when he walked, the DeBary resident was forced into early retirement.

For the past 20 years, Anderson’s life has been limited by his heart condition, which has only worsened.

With no surgical options left, Anderson is hoping his participation in a clinical research trial that uses a patient’s own stem cells to regenerate cardiovascular tissue will improve his quality of life. Some patients taking part in the study also were injected with a placebo…

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ADULT STEM CELLS USED TO SUCCESSFULLY REBUILD A HUMAN TRACHEA by David Granovsky Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Tissue-Engineered Trachea Transplant Is Adult Stem Cell Breakthrough The first tissue-engineered trachea (windpipe), utilizing the patient’s own stem cells, has been success ... Read on »
NEW STEM CELL TREATMENT STUDY FOCUSES ON PREVENTING SIGHT LOSS FROM DIABETICS by David Granovsky Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Currently millions of diabetics worldwide are at risk of sight loss due to a condition called Diabetic Retinopathy. This is when high blood sugar causes the blood vessels in ... Read on »
Stem cells aid recovery from stroke by David Granovsky Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Stem cells from bone marrow or fat improve recovery after stroke in rats Read on »
ATHLETES PROLONG CAREER THROUGH STEM CELLS TREATMENTS by David Granovsky Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine "...after receiving his stem cell treatment, Green was back in the NFL. "Before, I couldn't walk up the stairs. "Three weeks later, I went to an NFL training camp and didn't ... Read on »
THREE TYPES OF TASTE CELLS DISCOVERED THROUGH A SINGLE TYPE OF STEM CELL by David Granovsky Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine

As stem cell research progresses, scientists are becoming more and more specialized in studying the types of cells and tissues that they generate.  In pursuing the mechanisms that drive stem cell specialization, scientists at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia have identified certain genetic characteristics of taste stem cells and their location on the tongue, according to their report in the journal Stem Cells.

“Cancer patients who have taste loss following radiation to the head and neck and elderly individuals with diminished taste function are just two populations who could benefit from the ability to activate adult taste stem cells,” said study co-author Dr. Robert Margolskee, a molecular neurobiologist at Monell.

Taste stems cells differentiate into three different types of taste cells, all of which are found within the tiny taste buds that dot the tongue. Two types of taste cells, also referred to as gustatory cells, contain chemoreceptors that convey the various kinds of taste, including bitter, sweet, sour and umami. The third type of taste cell performs more of a structural function.

One of the remarkable properties of taste cells is their ability to regenerate. All three kinds of cells last about 10 to 16 days before being shed in favor of their replacements.  Scientists have been working for decades to find out how taste bud cells develop and regularly regenerate. They were uncertain how many cells were involved in the process and where these cells are located.  The researchers initially hypothesized that a clue to identifying taste stem cells could be found in the physiologically similar endocrine cells located in the intestine. The intestinal stem cells are easily stained using a marker known as Lgr5.

When the same stain was used on taste tissues, it showed two different patterns. The first pattern was a strong signal under the raised protrusions at the back of the tongue’s surface known as taste papillae. The second, weaker signal pattern was located immediately underneath taste buds in those same papillae.

In their report, the scientists concluded that the two different levels of expression could mean there are two different populations of cells. They said that the cells with the stronger expression of Lgr5 could be the true taste stem cells, while those with the weaker expression could be those stem cells that are slowly transforming into functional taste cells.

Using lineage-tracing experiments, the Monell scientists were also able to discover that a single type of stem cell gives rise to all three types of taste cells. “This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said senior author Peihua Jiang, a molecular neurobiologist at Monell. “Identification of these cells opens up a whole new area for studying taste cell renewal, and contributes to stem cell biology in general.” According to the research center, future taste stem cell studies will be focused on identifying how the Lgr5-expressing cells differentiate into the different kinds of taste cell types. They said they also plan to grow these cells in culture, for research and clinical use.

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EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS CREATED BY 3D PRINTER by David Granovsky Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine

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Imagine if you could take living cells, load them into a printer, and squirt out a 3D tissue that could develop into a kidney or a heart. Scientists are one step closer to that reality, now that they have developed the first printer for embryonic human stem cells.

In a new study, researchers from the have created a cell printer that spits out living embryonic stem cells. The printer was capable of printing uniform-size droplets of cells gently enough to keep the cells alive and maintain their ability to develop into different cell types. The new printing method could be used to make 3D human tissues for testing new drugs, grow organs, or ultimately print cells directly inside the body.  Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are obtained from human embryos and can develop into any cell type in an adult person, from brain tissue to muscle to bone. This attribute makes them ideal for use in regenerative medicine repairing, replacing and regenerating damaged cells, tissues or organs. [ Stem Cells: 5 Fascinating Findings ]

In a lab dish, hESCs can be placed in a solution that contains the biological cues that tell the cells to develop into specific tissue types, a process called differentiation. The process starts with the cells forming what are called “embryoid bodies.” Cell printers offer a means of producing embryoid bodies of a defined size and shape.

In the new study, the cell printer was made from a modified CNC machine (a computer-controlled machining tool) outfitted with two “bio-ink” dispensers: one containing stem cells in a nutrient-rich soup called cell medium and another containing just the medium. These embryonic stem cells were dispensed through computer-operated valves, while a microscope mounted to the printer provided a close-up view of what was being printed.  The two inks were dispensed in layers, one on top of the other to create cell droplets of varying concentration. The smallest droplets were only two nanoliters, containing roughly five cells.

The cells were printed onto a dish containing many small wells. The dish was then flipped over so the droplets now hung from them, allowing the stem cells to form clumps inside each well. (The printer lays down the cells in precisely sized droplets and in a certain pattern that is optimal for differentiation.)  Tests revealed that more than 95 percent of the cells were still alive 24 hours after being printed, suggesting they had not been killed by the printing process. More than 89 percent of the cells were still alive three days later, and also tested positive for a marker of their pluripotency their potential to develop into different cell types.

Biomedical engineer Utkan Demirci, of and , has done pioneering work in printing cells, and thinks the new study is taking it in an exciting direction. “This technology could be really good for high-throughput drug testing,” Demirci told LiveScience. One can build mini-tissues from the bottom up, using a repeatable, reliable method, he said. Building whole organs is the long-term goal, Demirci said, though he cautioned that it “may be quite far from where we are today.”

Others have created printers for other types of cells. Demirci and colleagues made one that printed embryonic stem cells from mice. Others have printed a kind of human stem cells from connective tissues, which aren’t able to develop into as many cell types as embryonic stem cells. The current study is the first to print embryonic stem cells from humans, researchers report in the Feb. 5 issue of the journal Biofabrication.

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WHY TRAVEL ABROAD FOR STEM CELL TREATMENTS??? by David Granovsky Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine “Woke up this morning and am “aware” of my surroundings. I guess in other words I’m not a zombie. Haven’t been this clear in years. And the headache i’ve had all ... Read on »
OBESITY TREATMENT DISCOVERED THROUGH STEM CELLS by David Granovsky Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine

February 5, 2013OttawaOttawa scientists have discovered a trigger that turns muscle stem cells into brown fat, a form of good fat that could play a critical role in the fight against obesity. The findings from Dr. Michael Rudnicki’s lab, based at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, were published today in the journal Cell Metabolism.

“This discovery significantly advances our ability to harness this good fat in the battle against bad fat and all the associated health risks that come with being overweight and obese,” says Dr. Rudnicki, a senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. He is also a Canada Research Chair in Molecular Genetics and professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa.

Globally, obesity is the fifth leading risk for death, with an estimated 2.8 million people dying every year from the effects of being overweight or obese, according to the World Health Organization. The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates that 25% of Canadian adults are obese.

In 2007, Dr. Rudnicki led a team that was the first to prove the existence of adult skeletal muscle stem cells. In the paper published today, Dr. Rudnicki now shows (again for the first time) that these adult muscle stem cells not only have the ability to produce muscle fibres, but also to become brown fat. Brown fat is an energy-burning tissue that is important to the body’s ability to keep warm and regulate temperature. In addition, more brown fat is associated with less obesity.

Dr. Rudnicki’s lab showed that adult mice injected with an agent to reduce miR-133, called an antisense oligonucleotide or ASO, produced more brown fat, were protected from obesity and had an improved ability to process glucose. In addition, the local injection into the hind leg muscle led to increased energy production throughout the bodyan effect observed after four months.

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In this picture taken with a thermographic camera after four months, the mouse treated with miR-133 ASO (on the right) is noticeably leaner. In addition, the injected hind leg (on the left in the image) is 0.8 C hotter than the control mouse.

“While we are very excited by this breakthrough, we acknowledge that it’s a first step,” says Dr. Rudnicki.

The full article, “MicroRNA-133 Controls Brown Adipose Determination in Skeletal Muscle Satellite Cells by Targeting Prdm16,” was published by Cell Metabolism online ahead of print on February 5, 2013.

Photo Credit:    Rudnicki et al., Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, published in Cell Metabolism

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PRP TREATMENTS SHOW GREAT POTENTIAL by David Granovsky Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine

A study by researchers from Hospital for Special Surgery has shown that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) holds great promise for treating patients with knee osteoarthritis. The treatment improved pain and function, and in up to 73% of patients, appeared to delay the progression of osteoarthritis, which is a progressive disease. The study appears online, ahead of print, in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine.

“This is a very positive study,” said Brian Halpern, M.D., chief of the Primary Care Sports Medicine Service at Hospital for Special Surgery, New York City, and lead author of the study.

Several treatments for osteoarthritis exist, including exercise, weight control, bracing, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, Tylenol, cortisone shots and viscosupplementation, a procedure that involves injecting a gel-like substance into the knee to supplement the natural lubricant in the joint. A new treatment that is being studied by a small number of doctors is PRP injections. PRP, which is produced from a patient’s own blood, delivers a high concentration of growth factors to arthritic cartilage that can potentially enhance healing.

“You take a person’s blood, you spin it down, you concentrate the platelets, and you inject a person’s knee with their own platelets in a concentrated form,” said Dr. Halpern. “This then activates growth factors and stem cells to help repair the tissue, if possible, calm osteoarthritic symptoms and decrease inflammation.”

In the new study, researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery enrolled patients with early osteoarthritis, gave them each an injection of PRP (6-mL), and then monitored them for one year. Fifteen patients underwent clinical assessments at baseline, one week, and one, three, six, and 12 months. At these time points, clinicians used validated tools to assess overall knee pain, stiffness and function, as well as a patient’s ability to perform various activities of daily living. At baseline and then one year after the PRP injection, physicians also evaluated the knee cartilage with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), something that has not previously been done by researchers in other PRP studies. The radiologists reading the MRIs did not know whether the examination was performed before or after the PRP treatment.

“The problem with a lot of the PRP studies is that most people have just used subjective outcome instruments, such as pain and function scores,” said Hollis Potter, M.D., chief of the Division of Magnetic Resonance Imaging at Hospital for Special Surgery, another author of the study. “But even when patients are blinded, they know there has been some treatment, so there is often some bias interjected into those types of studies. When you add MRI assessment, it shows you the status of the disease at that time, regardless of whether the patient is symptomatic or asymptomatic or they have good or poor function in the knee. You find out what the cartilage actually looks like. We can noninvasively assess the matrix or the building blocks of cartilage.”

While previous studies have shown that patients with osteoarthritis can lose roughly five percent of knee cartilage per year, the HSS investigators found that a large majority of patients in their study had no further cartilage loss. “The knee can be divided into three compartments, the medial compartment, the lateral compartment and the patellofemoral compartment,” said Dr. Halpern. “If we look at these compartments individually, which we did, in at least 73% of these cases, there was no progression of arthritis per compartment at one year. That is very significant, because longitudinal studies suggest a four to six percent progression of arthritis at one year.”

Treatment with PRP was also useful in improving pain, stiffness and function. The investigators found that pain, measured by a standard test called the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index, significantly improved with a reduction of 41.7% at six months and 55.9% at one year. On a pain scale commonly used by clinicians called the Visual Analog Scale, pain was reduced by 56.2% at six months and 58.9% at one year. Functional scores improved by 24.3% at one year. Activity of Daily Living Scores also showed a significant increase at both six months (46.8%) and one year (55.7%).

“We are entering into an era of biologic treatment, which is incredibly ideal, where you can use your own cells to try to help repair your other cells, rather than using a substance that is artificial,” Dr. Halpern said. “The downside is next to zero and the upside is huge.” Dr. Halpern pointed out, however, that the study is a small case series and PRP needs to be pitted against a traditionally treated group in a randomized, controlled trial.

Osteoarthritis, which causes pain and joint stiffness, impacts over 27 million Americans and is a leading cause of disability. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overall osteoarthritis affects 13.9% of adults aged 25 and older and 33.6% of those older than 65. The disease is characterized by degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint as well as bony overgrowth. Disease onset is gradual and usually begins after the age of 40.

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JAPAN TO HOLD FIRST STEM CELL CLINICAL TRIAL by David Granovsky Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Researchers in Japan are looking to use the recent discoveries of Nobel Prize winning Shinya Yamanaka to treat a degenerative eye disease in what would be the wo ... Read on »
BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE FOR ELDERLY STEM CELL PATIENTS by David Granovsky Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Stem Cell Transplantation Safe For Elderly Patients ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., Feb. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Researchers have shown that stem cell tr ... Read on »
STASH OF STEM CELLS FOUND IN A HUMAN PARASITE by David Granovsky Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine
A composite image of a scanning electron micrograph of a pair of male and female Schistosoma mansoni with the outer tegument (skin) of the male worm

A composite image of a scanning electron micrograph of a pair of male and female Schistosoma mansoni with the outer tegument (skin) of the male worm “peeled back” (digitally) to reveal the stem cells (orange) underneath.

Stash of Stem Cells Found in a Human Parasite

The parasites that cause schistosomiasis, one of the most common parasitic infections in the world, are notoriously long-lived. Researchers have now found stem cells inside the parasite that can regenerate worn-down organs, which may help explain how they can live for years or even decades inside their host.

Schistosomiasis is acquired when people come into contact with water infested with the larval form of the parasitic worm Schistosoma, known as schistosomes. Schistosomes mature in the body and lay eggs that cause inflammation and chronic illness. Schistosomes typically live for five to six years, but there have been reports of patients who still harbor parasites decades after infection.  According to new research from Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator Phillip Newmark, collections of stem cells that can help repair the worms’ bodies as they age could explain how the worms survive for so many years. The new findings were published online on February 20, 2013, in the journal Nature.

The stem cells that Newmark’s team found closely resemble stem cells in planaria, free-living relatives of the parasitic worms. Planaria rely on these cells, called neoblasts, to regenerate lost body parts. Whereas most adult stem cells in mammals have a limited set of possible fatesblood stem cells can give rise only to various types of blood cells, for example planarian neoblasts can turn into any cell in the worm’s body under the right circumstances.  Newmark’s lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has spent years focused on planaria, so they knew many details about planarian neoblasts what they look like, what genes they express, and how they proliferate. They also knew that in uninjured planarians, neoblasts maintain tissues that undergo normal wear and tear over the worm’s lifetime.

“We began to wonder whether schistosomes have equivalent cells and whether such cells could be partially responsible for their longevity,” says Newmark.

Following this hunch, and using what they knew about planarian neoblasts, post-doctoral fellow Jim Collins, Newmark, and their colleagues hunted for similar cells in Schistosoma mansoni, the most widespread species of human-infecting schistosomes.  Their first step was to look for actively dividing cells in the parasites. To do this, they grew worms in culture and added tags that would label newly replicated DNA as cells prepare to divide; this label could later be visualized by fluorescence. Following this fluorescent tag, they saw a collection of proliferating cells inside the worm’s body, separate from any organs.

The researchers isolated those cells from the schistosomes and studied them individually. They looked like typical stem cells, filled with a large nucleus and a small amount of cytoplasm that left little room for any cell-type-specific functionality. Newmark’s lab observed the cells and found that they often divided to give rise to two different cells: one cell that continued dividing, and another cell that did not.  “One feature of stem cells,” says Newmark, “is that they make more stem cells; furthermore, many stem cells undergo asymmetric division.” The schistosomes cells were behaving like stem cells in these respects. The other characteristic of stem cells is that they can differentiate into other cell types.  To find out whether the schistosome cells could give rise to multiple types of cells, Newmark’s team added the label for dividing cells to mice infected with schistosomes, waited a week, and then harvested the parasites to see where the tag ended up. They could detect labeled cells in the intestines and muscles of the schistosomes, suggesting that stem cells incorporating the labels had developed into both intestinal and muscle cells.

Years of previous study on planarians by many groups paved the way for this type of work on schistosomes, Newmark says.

“The cells we found in the schistosome look remarkably like planarian neoblasts. They aren’t associated with any one organ, but can give rise to multiple cell types. People often wonder why we study the ‘lowly’ planarian, but this work provides an example of how basic biology can lead you, in unanticipated and exciting ways, to findings that are directly relevant to important public health problems.”

Newmark says the stem cells aren’t necessarily the sole reason schistosome parasites survive for so many years, but their ability to replenish multiple cell types likely plays a role. More research is needed to find out how the cells truly affect lifespan, as well as what factors in the mouse or human host spur the parasite’s stem cells to divide, and whether the parasites maintain similar stem cells during other stages of their life cycle.

The researchers hope that with more work, scientists will be able to pinpoint a way to kill off the schistosome stem cells, potentially shortening the worm’s lifespan and treating schistosome infections in people.

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