Stem Cell Myths, Busted

stem cell myths, stem cell research

The term stem cell research gleans different reactions from people, both in the medical community and the wider public. Still an emerging science, stem cell research is shrouded by many myths and misconceptions. Here, we take on some of the most predominant myths to discuss the misconceptions and clarify the facts regarding this fast-growing branch of medicine. Stem cell myths Myth #1: Stem cells only come from embryos. FACT: False. Stem cells exist in all bodies, from embryos to adults. Embryonic stem cells come from the early embryo, and have the potential to produce all the specialized cells of the body. Because of this, they hold great promise for studying and potentially treating disease and injuries. Tissue or “adult” stem cells are found in the body throughout our lives....

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Gordie Howe’s Stem Cells Treatments Support a Growing Appeal for These Therapies Among Athletes and Baby Boomers

stem cells

In October, 2014, legendary hockey player Gordie Howe, then 86, was on death’s door after suffering a debilitating acute hemorrhagic, left thalamus stroke. Upon returning home from the hospital, Howe needed someone to lift him from his bed to a wheelchair and back. He couldn’t remember the names of his four children, Marty, Mark, Cathy, and Murray, and his condition continued to grow worse in subsequent weeks. According to an article in New York Magazine, when Mark took his father to get an epidural to relieve his back pain, the attending physician took one look at Gordie and asked Mark if it might be better to just let his father go. On the rare occasion when Gordie did manage to speak, he would tell his children,...

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Stem Cell Researchers Discover Stem Cells That Might Repair Skull, Face Bones

Stem Cells Repair Skull, Face Bones

Scientists may be one step closer to a breakthrough that uses stem cells to replace damaged skull and facial bones in patients who experience a head trauma or undergo cancer surgery requiring repair and reconstructive surgery. Researchers have discovered and isolated stem cells capable of repairing these bones in mice. The research, led by Takamitsu Maruyama and the research team at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y., could also help patients born with a skull deformity known as craniosynostosis, which can lead to developmental delays and pressure on the brain. In the study, scientists investigated the role of the Axin2 gene in bone formation and regeneration. They also examined a specific mutation that causes craniosynostosis in mice. Their finding show that stem cells involved...

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German Stem Cell Scientists Develop 3-D “Mini-retinas” –New Hope for Restoring Sight in Patients with Retinal Degeneration Caused by Diabetes and Inherited Disorders.

3D retina organoids

Medical breakthroughs using stem cells are aimed at all parts of the body bones, kidneys, joints, spines--and now, sight. A German study in March in Stem Cell Reports, reports that scientists have created an efficient way of developing 3D retina organoids leverage the self-organizing properties of stem cells to create diverse multi-cellular tissue proxies. 3-D Mini-retinas protocol The new mini-retina protocol involves cutting an organoid grown from stem cells into three, half-moon shaped pieces at an early stage of eye development. Each of these pieces eventually grows into the full suite of cells found in the retina. 3-D retinal organoids developed in this process efficiently replicate retina formation. This includes the light-detecting cone cells, which now can be produced in high quantities. Cone photoreceptors, which are responsible for high acuity and color vision,...

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Stem Cell Treatments Normally Used for Cancer Patients are Helping Multiple Sclerosis Patients

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) recently reported that stem cell transplant treatments normally used for cancer patients are helping Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients in the UK. According to the January 18, 2016 report, 20 patients received bone marrow stem cell transplants using their own stem cells, and that at least some of the patients who were paralyzed by MS are able to walk again post-treatment. Approximately100,000 people in the United Kingdom suffer from MS, with most new patients diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 30 years of age. “To have a treatment which can potentially reverse disability is really a major achievement,” says Prof Basil Sharrack, of Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, England. The treatment, known as autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), involves the intravenous...

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Our Friend MSCs (Mesenchymal Stem Cells)—Bringing New Life to Old Bones

MSCs, Osteoporosis, Mesenchymal stem cells

Researchers from the University of Toronto and The Ottawa Hospital were looking to see if mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) might treat osteoporosis. MSCs are multipotent stromal cells that can differentiate into a variety of cell types, including: bone cells (osteoblasts), cartilage cells (chondrocytes), muscle cells (myocytes) and fat cells (adipocytes). Faulty MSCs are the culprits behind osteoporosis; after injecting healthy MSCs into mice with the affliction that causes bones to become weak and brittle, researchers were hoping for a general increase in the mice’s bone health. Instead, they were surprised (and probably very excited) to discover after six months—a quarter of a mouse’s life span—that healthy, functioning bone had replaced the damaged osteoporotic bone. The bone structure in the little creatures, which had been severely compromised...

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How Stem Cell Therapies Can Help Heal Sports Injuries

Continuing our recent discussion of stem cell therapies for sports injuries,  the use of mesanchysmal stem cells (MSCs) in orthopedic medicine can help in the repair of damaged tissue by harnessing the healing power of undifferentiated cells that form all other cells in our bodies. The process involves isolating these stem cells from a sample of your blood, bone marrow or adipose tissue (fat cells), and injecting it into the damaged body part to promote healing. Platelet-rich-plasma (PRP), a concentrated suspension of platelets (blood cells that cause clotting of blood) and growth factors, is also used to assist the process of repair. Below are some examples of injuries and areas of research involving the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are (adult) tissue stem cells...

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Stem cells and Platelet Rich Plasma Therapies Look Promising for Treating a Variety of sports-related injuries

Stem cell therapies for the treatment of various injuries and diseases that afflict athletes and sportspeople have been the focus of researchers for at least a few years, and recent findings are optimistic. Stem cell scientists worldwide have been actively pursuing stem cell therapies to harness the process by which stem cells repair and replace damaged tissues and cells. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota are also incorporating platelet rich plasma (PRP) harvested from the patient’s own blood to isolate and concentrate platelets (clotting cells) and then inject them back into the injured area to amend inflammation and initiate the healing process. PRP preparations can be individualized to meet the patient’s specific needs. The Mayo Clinic is also leveraging stem cells’ ability to regenerate tissues to...

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Stem Cells are Gaining Momentum Among Smart Investors

Stem cell and regenerative medicine companies are beginning to attract some serious attention from investors who have taken the time to follow advancements in biotechnology, and the explosive movement of these technologies and products into clinical settings worldwide. There are a lot of dynamics in health care today, and no one should be surprised by the rapid growth in health consumer demand for stem cell therapies. Health care consumers want alternatives to invasive, expensive and not always remedial treatments that conventional medicine and pharmaceuticals offer. Although the US restricted stem cell research in the early 2000s, the research did not die—it emigrated. The rest of the world continued to research and discover the efficacies of embryonic and adult stem cells with amazing results. Today, demand for stem...

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Demand for Physicians Who Provide Stem Cell Therapies is Growing

There is a growing movement worldwide among patients suffering from degenerative diseases and orthopedic conditions that can’t be treated or cured through conventional medicine for access to stem cell treatments. Fed up with invasive and expensive surgeries, destructive procedures and the side effects of pharmaceuticals, more and more patients and their families are seeking access to the promising world of stem cell therapies. Global Stem Cells Group is a world leader in stem cell research, training and patient services, and is already providing treatments to patients internationally. But there is a growing call for the science-based medicine community to advocate for appropriate, expeditious FDA action that can make these treatments more available in the U.S. People suffering from a myriad of conditions who can benefit from stem...

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