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U.S. and Canadian Scientists Form a Global Alliance for Nano-Bio-Electronics in Order to Rapidly Find Solutions for …

Posted: February 14, 2012 at 1:33 am

U.S. Navy Surgeon General Matthew Nathan , Canadian Surgeon General Hans W. Jung, and MP Kirsty Duncan among keynote speakers at Annual Meeting of Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics (SBMT) at the Toronto Metro Convention Center (June 2-4, 2012) LOS ANGELES , Feb. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - The Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics (SBMT) announced today that the organization will hold its 9th Annual World Congress on Brain, Spinal Cord Mapping, and Image Guided Therapy from June 2-4, 2012 in Toronto , Canada . The world's top brain and spinal cord scientists and surgeons will converge on the Toronto Metro Convention Center to find solutions to some of the most difficult to treat neurological disorders, including traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, and neurological cancers. The 2012 World Congress of SBMT is jointly supported by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Government of Canada , the University of Toronto , and MaRS innovation; it is endorsed by the International Society for Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Medicine. The theme of this year's World Congress is "Nano-Bio-Electronics," which focuses on the integration of nanotechnology, stem cell research, and biomedical engineering, and imaging of the brain … Continue reading

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MS patient advocates for better follow-up care

Posted: at 1:33 am

MS patient Michelle Walsh wants better follow-up care, in Saskatchewan, for a people trying a new therapy. (CBC) Faced with the prospect of being bedridden or in a wheelchair, Michelle Walsh went abroad for a controversial treatment she hoped would alleviate her multiple sclerosis symptoms. Walsh had the so-called liberation therapy. But when she returned home to Saskatchewan, she says she was "orphaned" in the medical system. "Right now patients are either going to the States from Saskatchewan for proper follow-up care or Ontario — and this is ridiculous," Walsh said. "That's why I finally said this is enough. If this is going to happen, then I'm going to make it happen, because I refuse to go abroad once again for a simple test that takes less than 20 minutes to make sure everything's still following smoothly." 'They need to be followed by a licensed practitioner.'—Dr. Ruben Rajakumar Walsh was planning to attend an announcement Saturday by Dr. Ruben Rajakumar, a Saskatoon-based cardiologist and retired University of Saskatchewan professor, introducing a new clinic for screening and follow-up of patients with cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, or CCSVI. CCSVI is a hypothesis put forward by Italian vascular surgeon Dr. Paolo Zamboni. His theory … Continue reading

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Animal Cell Therapies Announces Cell Inventory Value at $6 Million

Posted: at 1:33 am

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Animal Cell Therapies (ACT), a company specializing in veterinary diagnostics and cell-based therapies, today announced that its stem cell inventory is valued at more than $6 million. The evaluation, conducted by Cheetahlink and Capital Consulting Services, demonstrates the importance of this first step in the company’s mission to improve and extend the lives of dogs through innovative stem cell products and services. When Animal Cell Therapies was created, the company partnered with a select group of researchers, scientists and collaborators from the U.S. and abroad to create an in-house program to grow and expand well-characterized animal stem cells in a scientific setting. The company’s founder, Dr. Kathryn Petrucci, recognized that in order to provide pure, potent, reliable, pathogen-free animal stem cells, ACT must optimize stem cell storage while improving stem cell transportation procedures and delivery techniques. “This valuation essentially validates that the foundation we’ve set for this company – in the creation and maintaining of this stem cell inventory – is sound and will support the next steps in our strategy,” said Adam Irving, chief executive officer of Animal Cell Therapies. “Our capabilities are far reaching with broad applications.” In maintaining its stem cell inventory, Animal Cell … Continue reading

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UQ researchers make breakthrough in stem cell research

Posted: at 1:33 am

University of Queensland scientists have developed a world-first method for producing adult stem cells that will substantially impact patients who have a range of serious diseases. The research is a collaborative effort involving UQ's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) and is led by UQ Clinical Research Centre's (UQCCR) Professor Nicholas Fisk. It revealed a new method to create mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which can be used to repair bone and potentially other organs. ?We used a small molecule to induce embryonic stem cells over a 10 day period, which is much faster than other studies reported in the literature,? Professor Fisk said. ?The technique also worked on their less contentious counterparts, induced pluripotent stem cells. ?To make the pluripotent mature stem cells useful in the clinic, they have to be told what type of cell they need to become (pre-differentiated), before being administered to an injured organ, or otherwise they could form tumours. ?Because only small numbers of MSCs exist in the bone marrow and harvesting bone marrow from a healthy donor is an invasive procedure, the ability to make our own MSCs in large number in the laboratory is an exciting step in the future widespread clinical … Continue reading

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Researchers make breakthrough in stem cell research

Posted: at 1:33 am

The research is a collaborative effort involving UQ's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) and is led by UQ Clinical Research Centre's (UQCCR) Professor Nicholas Fisk. It revealed a new method to create mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which can be used to repair bone and potentially other organs. “We used a small molecule to induce embryonic stem cells over a 10 day period, which is much faster than other studies reported in the literature,” Professor Fisk said. “The technique also worked on their less contentious counterparts, induced pluripotent stem cells. “To make the pluripotent mature stem cells useful in the clinic, they have to be told what type of cell they need to become (pre-differentiated), before being administered to an injured organ, or otherwise they could form tumours. “Because only small numbers of MSCs exist in the bone marrow and harvesting bone marrow from a healthy donor is an invasive procedure, the ability to make our own MSCs in large number in the laboratory is an exciting step in the future widespread clinical use of MSCs. “We were able to show these new forms of stem cells exhibited all the characteristics of bone marrow stem cells and we are … Continue reading

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Stem cell treatments change girl's life

Posted: at 1:33 am

PIEDMONT, Okla. -- Stem cell research is one of the newest and most exciting areas of study. Experts believe these tiny unwritten cells hold the keys to curing a number of diseases and debilitating injuries. But here in the U.S., stem cell research isn't moving fast enough for a growing number of families. This is the story of an Oklahoma family that traveled to China for cutting-edge stem cell treatment not offered in the US. Cora Beth Taylor walks a different road than most will ever travel. Her journey is filled with obstacles, heartbreak and triumph. Cora, William and Tate Taylor are triplets born premature. The brothers have never shown any signs of prematurity. But Cora, at about a year old, started falling behind developmentally. By 18 months she had been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Cora has never had any cognitive delays. She's a super-smart little gal but her muscles haven't developed properly. It's devastating; they just won't cooperate. Cora's parents, Kevin and Beth Taylor, have tried everything for their little girl; that is, everything available in the U.S. Last year, Piedmont Schools raised the money to help the Taylors take Cora to China for treatment, close to $50,000. Research … Continue reading

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Twin brothers' devastation after both rapidly lost their sight due to rare genetic condition

Posted: at 1:32 am

By Julian Gavaghan Last updated at 11:00 AM on 13th February 2012 Twin brothers have told of their ‘devastation’ after both dramatically lost their sight to a rare condition that affects just a few hundred people. Michael and Dan Smith, 20, are still determined to finish university and get good jobs after being left almost totally blind by Leber's Optic Neuropathy. Michael, who is in football training for this year's Paralympic Games, lost his sight in a matter of weeks while in his first year at Bart's and the London School of Medicine. Rare condition: Dan (left) and Michael Smith suffer from Leber's optic Neuropathy Less than a year later, his brother Dan suffered the same fate while in his second year studying aeronautical engineering at the University of Bristol. The identical pair, who can only make out shadowy shapes, have been forced to adapt their lives, learning Braille and re-learning how to cook and choose clothes.   They also plan to embark on a 350-mile tandem bike ride from London to Amsterdam in April. Michael first noted changes to his vision in November 2009, forcing him into the ‘crushing’ realisation he could not continue his degree in medicine. WHAT … Continue reading

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Newly Identified Fusion Genes in Lung and Colorectal Cancer May Guide Treatment with "Targeted" Drugs

Posted: at 1:32 am

For Immediate Release: Feb. 13, 2012 Newswise — BOSTON—Novel gene abnormalities discovered in a subpopulation of lung and colorectal tumors could potentially identify patients with a good chance of responding to highly specific “targeted” drugs already in use for treating other cancers, scientists report. The genetic alterations – pieces of two genes fused together - showed up in a massive search of the DNA in stored tumor samples of non-small cell lung cancer and colorectal cancer, said researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Foundation Medicine, Inc. These specific genetic abnormalities had not been previously linked to the two cancer types. Their results were published online by the journal Nature Medicine. Other cancers with similar genetic alterations often respond to “targeted” drugs s that block overactive proteins called tyrosine kinase inhibitors. This suggests that the same drugs also may be effective against lung and colorectal tumors driven by the newly found gene fusions. Because these drugs are already approved to treat cancer, it should be possible to move rapidly to clinical trials in colorectal and lung cancer, the authors said. If the trials are successful, physicians could potentially test patients' tumors for the presence of the gene fusions and prescribe a … Continue reading

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‘The Creative Destruction of Medicine’ by Eric Topol – The Boston Globe

Posted: at 1:32 am

John Arispizabal "The Creative Destruction of Medicine" by Eric Topol M.D. In “The Creative Destruction of Medicine,’’ Eric Topol, a cardiologist and geneticist at Scripps Health and Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, argues that we are on the brink of a revolutionary transformation in which recent technological and scientific advances will enable the personalization of medicine in ways that would have seemed like science fiction only a short while ago. The convergence of six major technological advances - cellphones, personal computers, the Internet, digital devices, genetic sequencing, and social networks - are, in Topol’s view, making the “creative destruction of medicine’’ inevitable. Topol borrows the term from economist Joseph Schumpeter, who coined it to describe the way major innovations tend to prove disruptive, rendering existing systems and technologies obsolete, as a necessary step on the path to new and better ways of doing things. The new technologies will, he argues, bring about radical changes in the ways scientific knowledge is processed and shared more quickly and broadly; patient data collected, with real-time monitoring and diagnosis; and treatment becomes increasingly individualized. He predicts much of this will be driven by patients and that doctors and others who might be inclined … Continue reading

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First-of-its-kind stem cell study re-grows healthy heart muscle in heart attack patients

Posted: at 1:32 am

Public release date: 13-Feb-2012 [ | E-mail | Share ] Contact: Sally Stewart sally.stewart@cshs.org 310-248-6566 Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Results from a Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute clinical trial show that treating heart attack patients with an infusion of their own heart-derived cells helps damaged hearts re-grow healthy muscle. Patients who underwent the stem cell procedure demonstrated a significant reduction in the size of the scar left on the heart muscle by a heart attack. Patients also experienced a sizable increase in healthy heart muscle following the experimental stem cell treatments. One year after receiving the stem cell treatment, scar size was reduced from 24 percent to 12 percent of the heart in patients treated with cells (an average drop of about 50 percent). Patients in the control group, who did not receive stem cells, did not experience a reduction in their heart attack scars. The study appears online at http://www.thelancet.com and will be in a future issue of the journal's print edition. "While the primary goal of our study was to verify safety, we also looked for evidence that the treatment might dissolve scar and regrow lost heart muscle," said Eduardo Marb?n, MD, PhD, the director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute who … Continue reading

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