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International Stem Cell Corporation Receives Important Approvals Towards Creating New Parthenogenetic Stem Cell Lines in the United States

Posted: March 13, 2011 at 3:48 pm

International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCBB:ISCO),, announced today the achievement of a major milestone in its efforts to establish a bank of immune-matched parthenogenetic stem cells in the United States by receiving the statutory approvals required to move forward with the next phase of its stem cell banking program.

An independent Stem Cell Research Oversight (SCRO) committee approved ISCO’s program to obtain human oocytes (eggs) in California. The independent SCRO committee is responsible for reviewing the scientific rationale, ethics and compliance with State and Federal regulations and guidelines for studies involving human stem cells. This approval in combination with the earlier reported Institutional Review Board (IRB) clearance with regard to medical safety opens the way for ISCO’s stem cell banking program to begin registering clinical investigators. ISCO’s study is designed to produce new clinical-grade human parthenogenetic stem cell lines that can be immune matched to millions of individuals for use in the emerging field of regenerative medicine.

ISCO’s breakthrough discoveries have resulted in unique stem cells carrying distinct advantages over other human pluripotent stem cells. ISCO uses unfertilized oocytes to create human “parthenogenetic” stem cells (hpSCs). Like human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), hpSCs are pluripotent, i.e. they have the capacity to become almost any cell type in the body, yet avoid ethical issues associated with use or destruction of viable human embryos. Unlike hESCs, hpSCs can be created in a form such that they can be immunologically matched to millions of individuals.

Currently ISCO has a collection of ten hpSC lines that are shared with collaborators and used for research purposes. Although these ten stem cell lines conform to all relevant US standards, they were derived outside the United States. New cell lines created under this study will be ISCO’s first hpSC to be produced in the United States. ISCO’s scientists, leaders the field of creating therapeutic cells from hpSC, will work with these lines targeting new treatments for human diseases. The company will also share these cells with other scientists to further clinical research. ISCO intends to derive and store these cells at its Oceanside facilities, which are designed to create cells suitable for clinical use.

Simon Craw, PhD, says, “These approvals, combined with our technology, make the establishment of a bank of immune matched stem cells practical and allow for the possibility of cell-based therapy to be economic for millions of people. We believe we are one of the first commercial entities in the United States to have progressed to this point.”


International Stem Cell Corporation is a California-based biotechnology company focused on the therapeutic applications of human parthenogenetic stem cells and the development and commercialization of cell-based research and cosmetic products. ISCO’s core technology, parthenogenesis, results in creation of pluripotent human stem cells from unfertilized oocytes (eggs). hpSCs avoid ethical issues associated with the use or destruction of viable human embryos. ISCO scientists have created the first parthenogenic, homozygous stem cell line that can be a source of therapeutic cells with minimal immune rejection after transplantation into hundreds of millions of individuals of differing sexes, ages and racial groups. This offers the potential to create the first true stem cell bank, UniStemCell™, while avoiding the ethical issue of using fertilized eggs. ISCO also produces and markets specialized cells and growth media for therapeutic research worldwide through its subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology and cell-based skin care products through its subsidiary Lifeline Skin Care. More information is available at ISCO’s website,

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Statements pertaining to anticipated technological developments and therapeutic applications, the potential benefits of collaborations, and other opportunities for the company and its subsidiaries, along with other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects expressed by management constitute forward-looking statements. Any statements that are not historical fact (including, but not limited to statements that contain words such as “will,” “should,” “believes,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “estimates,”) should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks inherent in the development and/or commercialization of potential products and therapies, uncertainty in the results of clinical trials or regulatory approvals, need and ability to obtain future capital, application of capital resources among competing uses, and maintenance of intellectual property rights. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements and as such should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect the company’s business, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements found in the company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The company disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Key Words: Stem Cells, Biotechnology, Parthenogenesis

International Stem Cell Corporation
Kenneth C. Aldrich, Chairman
[email protected]

Simon Craw, PhD, Vice President
[email protected]

Recommendation and review posted by Guinevere Smith

Australia to outlaw thousands of plants, including national flower

Posted: March 13, 2011 at 3:48 pm

In what it claims is an effort to stamp out plants and flowers that can be used as drugs, Australian authorities have proposed insane legislation that will outlaw hundreds, if not thousands, of common plant species, including the golden wattle, its national flower. If the law passes, nurseries, commercial growers, farmers, cactus collectors, and even backyard gardeners will become criminals overnight — even though many of the plants being targeted are not even used as drugs.

Currently, only five plants are banned from cultivation in Australia because of their alleged inherent drug components. But the new legislation will ban from cultivation any plant that contains dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a naturally-occurring hallucinogen, which according to the Australian Attorney General includes many common and native plants, from various cacti and fodder grasses, to simple backyard ornamental plants. Read more…

AyurGold for Healthy Blood

Recommendation and review posted by Guinevere Smith

Fidgety Eyeballs

Posted: March 13, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Created by Visionary Effects for any human, or human-sized creature.  You can actually buy the fully assembled kit at for any of your human eye needs.

[via Gizmodo]


Recommendation and review posted by Guinevere Smith

Zinc Reinforces Your Defenses Against the Common Cold

Posted: March 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm

A study published by The Cochrane Collaboration revealed that taking zinc supplements can reduce the severity of cold symptoms and shorten the length of the illness.

Your Body’s Natural Defense

The body is naturally built with its defense mechanism against infection and diseases. From the day that we were born, the immune system is already a little familiar with the things that can harm the body. After the detection of such threats, the immune cells immediately act to destroy and remove the threat from the body. This process of familiarization with the different disease-causing bacteria, virus and other antigens will take time. In the case of the common cold, for example, you would oftentimes need to get sick first before the immune system can effectively fight the virus causing the illness. But there are hundreds of cold strains and new strains evolve from old strains every time that it is impossible to come up with a universal vaccine that would repeal all cold viruses. The best approach is to keep the immune system in pristine condition in order to reduce the severity and length of the symptoms if the illness cannot entirely be avoided.

How Common is Common Cold?

The common cold is considered as a seasonal epidemic that can be transmitted through direct contact with droplets from an infected person, objects and surfaces. People are advised to avoid contact with people and surfaces that could possibly be infected with the common cold virus, especially during an outbreak. Keeping the body healthy, on the other hand, will serve as your first line of defense. Proper diet and sufficient exercise will help strengthen the immune system and help it better fight infection. Certain nutrients from food can also help boost the immune system. A study from The Cochrane Collaboration observed that the supplementation of zinc can reduce the severity and length of the common cold symptoms.

Zinc Against The common cold

The Cochrane Collaboration published a study suggesting that the intake of zinc-enriched syrup, tablets and lozenges during the onset of the common cold can reduce the length and severity of the symptoms. The study consisted of 15 clinical trials and found that, after a week, study participants who took zinc supplementation had cleared their common cold symptoms compared to the group taking placebo pills.

Head researcher Meenu Singh of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in India said that the results of their study indicated that the intake of zinc supplements within 24 hours from catching the common cold reduced the severity and duration of the symptoms. He added that taking the supplement for no less than five months can reduce the incidence of the condition, use of antibiotics and school absenteeism in children. The results of the study further provided evidence of the efficacy of zinc as a treatment for common cold. But Singh also added that it is difficult to recommend zinc at the present due to the lack of studies regarding optimum dose, length of treatment and formulation.

Health Benefits of Zinc

The production of more than 300 enzymes relies on the sufficient amount of zinc in the body. With the deficiency of this micro-mineral, health conditions like connective tissue disorder can develop. A study conducted by researchers from UC Davis found that pregnant mice with deficient amounts of zinc produced offspring with a dysfunctional immune system. Deficient levels of zinc has also been linked to cataracts, muscular degeneration, defective connective tissue, acne, high risk of  pneumonia, diarrhea, short stature and dwarfism, mental lethargy, rough skin, subsequent infection, slow skeletal maturation and weight loss. Though a few of these observations were acquired in animal studies, zinc deficiency still poses as a great threat to human health.

The various health benefits of zinc, on the other hand, include the prevention and reduction of the severity of flu. Several studies have found that zinc has the ability to enhance the function of immune cells and reduce the body’s susceptibility to infection. Zinc is also essential in maintaining taste and smell sensitivity, preventing osteoporosis, promoting healthier skin, better weight management, keeping a balanced blood sugar level, promoting healthy eyesight, and preventing prostate diseases.

The richest natural source of zinc are oysters, peas, nuts, chicken, eggs, liver, meats, mushrooms, oats, sardines, whole grain, wheat germ and bran and soy beans. The RDA or Recommended Dietary Allowance of zinc for adults is 10 to 15 milligrams. Anything in excess to this can result to zinc poisoning. Too much zinc in the system can lead to gastrointestinal disturbances, chills and uncontrollable shaking, fever, liver dysfunction and skin irritation.

Natural Ways to Prevent and Reduce the Incidence of the Common Cold

The key to common cold prevention is living healthy – nutritious diet, regular exercise and avoiding unhealthy habits. The Centers for Disease Control said that people with the highest risk of catching cold are pregnant women, children aged 5 years and younger, older adults aged 50 years and above, people with chronic medical conditions like diabetes and asthma, people living in long-term care facilities like nursing home, and health-care workers who are frequently in contact with flu-infected individuals.

Proper nutrition and eating foods rich in vitamins and other nutrients that had been found to help protect the body from infection is essential in keeping the body cold-free. Eating food with cold-fighting nutrients is more effective than taking dietary supplements. This way, you are getting all of the health benefits that the food has to offer; you’ll just have to know which foods are rich in what nutrient. Green vegetables, oranges and other citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C which has been proven to help in boosting the immune system’s ability to repeal diseases.

Getting enough exercise also strengthens the immune system. People without or with less exercise had been found to get sick more often that those who exercise in most days of the week. In addition, The National Sleep Foundation has found that people with poor sleeping habits are more likely to get sick than those who always get a good night’s sleep. And lastly, being defensive about getting in contact with the virus is essential in keeping you cold-free. Wash your hands with soap or use a sanitizer as often as you can.


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Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Fenugreek Found to Boost Male Libido

Posted: March 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm

A study published in the Phytotheraphy Research journal showed that the daily supplementation of fenugreek extract can maintain normal testosterone level and boost libido in men.

Your Sex Drive

Although testosterone is not the only enzyme that is responsible for a man’s performance and sex drive, low testosterone can lead to sexual problems like erectile dysfunction which can have a direct negative effect on a man’s self-esteem and his relationships. The first and most common approach to treating sexual problems is by increasing the amounts of testosterone in the body; male libido and testosterone goes hand in hand.  Knowing the various negative effects of low libido will help in better understanding and accepting the problem as a medical condition that needs expert medical attention.

Keep Your Pistons Going

People don’t usually talk about sex as an important aspect in keeping a relationship, and marriage, alive. Clinical psychologist Kevin Leman said in his book Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage that intimacy between two married individuals is very important. He also addressed the problems of most married people who have become too stressed and tired to have a love life. The lack of intimacy can begin when the man starts to lose his libido which tends to naturally decline as the person ages. Other sexual problems like erectile dysfunction can become a huge hindrance in maintaining an intimate relationship.

Most men will refuse to see a doctor to treat their sexual problems. Knowing that there are various natural herbs and food supplements that promise to bring back their sex drive tends to make them believe that they can treat the problem alone. But sometimes, these over-the-counter natural food supplements may contain certain compounds that have not been proven to be safe for human consumption.

Proper nutrition and regular exercise will help in keeping your sex drive going and can aid in maintaining sufficient levels of testosterone in the body. Studies show that low testosterone levels will not only affect your libido but it may lead to other more serious sexual problems. Other factors like stress can also affect a person’s sex drive.

Low testosterone and Common Sexual Problems in Men

The body needs more than 300 nanograms of testosterone per deciliter of blood in order to keep the sex drive going and avoid other problems like mood fluctuations, sleeping disturbances and erectile dysfunction. Though a few men with low testosterone levels do not experience any sex-related symptoms, the greater percentage suffers from its adverse effects. In cases wherein low testosterone is affecting the person’s quality of life, medical experts will recommend testosterone replacement. This is done by using patches, oral tablets, skin gels and injections that introduce more testosterone in the body. The known long-term effects of low testosterone include the higher risk of cardiovascular disease, depression, diabetes and obesity. These health conditions are also some of the risk factors of erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction is commonly caused by atherosclerosis or the hardening of the arteries. The small blood vessels that drive and hold blood in the male genital area, when they are damaged, will fail to dilate and maintain a strong blood flow. The main causes of atherosclerosis are high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol levels.

A study conducted by researchers from Massachusetts had found that 28 percent of men with low testosterone levels had decreased libido. And the study participants who were found to have this condition had an average age 47 years. The other causes of low libido are chronic medical illnesses, depression, lack of sleep and stress.

Fenugreek to Boost Sex Drive and Testosterone Levels in Men

A study conducted by researchers from the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Clinical Trials, and the Applied Science and Nutrition found that the daily supplementation of fenugreek extract can improve the male libido and help in keeping normal levels of testosterone in the body. The formulation containing minerals ad fenugreek extract was found to improve libido of more than 80 percent of study participants while more than 60 percent reported an improvement in their sexual performance after taking the supplement.

The researchers from Australia gathered a group of 60 healthy participants aged 25 to 52 and randomly asked them to take the supplement containing fenugreek extract or a placebo pill everyday for a period of 6 weeks. Note that none of the study participants had erectile dysfunction at the start of the study. In addition to the primary findings of the study, 56 percent of the participants also reported an improvement in overall well-being and 82 percent had higher energy levels. The results were published in the Phytotheraphy Research journal.

Health Benefits of Fenugreek

Fenugreek is a strong aromatic plant that belongs to the legume family. It is rarely used in cooking but it is more often applied as an herbal treatment for certain health conditions. The most active components of fenugreek are protein, fiber, lysine, steroidal saponins, flavonoids, phosphates, vitamin C, vitamin B1, Vitamin A and iron. The sapogenins in fenugreek can help in preventing the synthesis and absorption of cholesterol. At the same time, it contains diosgenin that act like steroidal hormones and estrogen. The soluble fiber in fenugreek also helps in maintaining healthy glucose metabolism. It contains 50 percent fiber that can inhibit the rate of postprandial glucose absorption.

The medicinal property of fenugreek is traditionally considered as a laxative, expectorant, demulcent, carminative, and stomachic. It is used as a topical treatment for ulcerations of the skin, gout, eczema, burns, boils and abscesses due its anti-inflammatory benefits. People with diabetes have also been using fenugreek seeds as a natural alternative to orally taking insulin.

Top Things that can Impair Your Libido

  • Stress is the number one killer. If you have been taking too much load at work and are noticing a decline in your sex life, you might as well link them together and find a way to fight the stress. Find healthy avenues to release your stress like going to the spa regularly, participating in sports activities more often or anything that you find effective in relieving stress. Seeking the advice of doctors and counselors in finding a suitable stress management technique will also help you a lot.
  • Avoid too much alcohol. Drinking alcoholic drinks will not always put you in the mood. It can kill your sex drive and make you less interested about sex. This is also true for recreational drugs.
  • Insufficient sleep and sleeping disorders can decrease your sex drive. The factors that are preventing you from getting enough sleep are also interfering with your used-to-be healthy sex drive. You can seek the assistance of a medical expert on how you can conquer both problems.
  • Some other sex drive killers are low self-esteem, certain medications like oral contraceptives, antihistamines, blood pressure medications and antidepressants, as well as relationship problems, obesity and depression.


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Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Dark Roasting Coffee Beans Can Optimize Its Antioxidant Content

Posted: March 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Researchers from the University of British Columbia found that roasting coffee beans can further improve its antioxidant content.

Drinking too much coffee can be harmful to your health. This can result to insomnia, heart palpitations and anxiety. But the moderate intake of coffee can offer some preventive health benefits. Studies have found that drinking a few cups of coffee in a day can reduce the risk of certain cancer and even dementia.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia found that dark roasted coffee beans offer the most antioxidants than other coffee varieties. They observed that roasting the coffee beans releases their antioxidant content. The researchers added that antioxidants are important because they inhibit the oxidative processes and protect cells from the damage caused by unstable free radicals; the damage caused by free radicals can lead to chronic diseases and cancer.

The study was headed by David Kitts and Yazheng Liu, and is scheduled to be published in the Food Research International. The researchers found that when raw green coffee beans are browned by exposing them to high temperatures, a chemical process called the Maillard reaction occurs which optimizes the antioxidant content of roasted Java coffee beans.

The Various Health Benefits of Coffee

More than 90 percent of the world’s population drinks coffee, and there is a reason behind this. Coffee is a rich source of essential nutrients and strong antioxidants. It also contains compounds that help in keeping people awake and alert, especially while at work. Health professionals recommend limiting coffee intake. There are several studies showing that too much caffeine can lead to health complications like increased blood pressure. But moderate drinking of coffee can actually produce beneficial health results. Studies show that the antioxidants and other compounds in coffee can counter the risk factors of stroke and heart attack like heart rhythm disturbances and diabetes.

Against Arrhythmia. A study consisting of around 130,000 Kaiser Permanente health plan members found that study participants who drank around 1 to 3 cups of coffee in a day are 20 percent less likely to be hospitalized for arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythm than non-coffee drinkers. A study on 83,700 nurses enrolled in the Nurse’s health study found that participants who drink two or more cups of coffee in a day can lead to a 20 percent lowered risk of stroke than those who drink less. This finding was independent of other risk factors like diabetes, high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.

Against Liver Cancer. Japanese researchers found that people who drink coffee are less likely to develop liver cancer.  The study consisted of more than 61,000 participants. The researchers believed that this is due to the chlorogenic acid content of coffee. Arabica coffee contains up to seven percent of chlorogenic acid while robusta coffee contains up to 10 percent. With the help of caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid protects the cells and cerebral neurons from the damage caused by oxidation.  It also normalizes colon function and promotes cellular differentiation. This effect has also been found to inhibit the growth and induce the death of breast cancer cells.

French chemist Louis-Camille Maillard was first to investigate the effects of heat towards proteins, sugars and carbohydrates in food; thus, the process was named after him. During the heating process, different flavored compounds are produced and are broken down to form other compounds. Different foods produce different compounds during the Maillard reaction. As for roasting coffee beans, it produces more antioxidants.

Researchers said that other studies suggest that the antioxidants in coffee can be traced to its chlorogenic acid and caffeine content that is found in green coffee beans. But he added that the Maillard reaction is responsible for creating coffee’s antioxidant content.

Against Prostate Cancer. According to their findings, drinking dark roasted java coffee supplies the body with more antioxidants than other coffee varieties. The benefits of coffee include cancer and chronic disease prevention. A study conducted by a team of researchers from Harvard University found that drinking coffee can reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. They observed that men who drank the most amount of coffee are 60 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer that those who were not in the habit of drinking coffee.

Against Alzheimer’s Disease. A study published in the January issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease revealed than drinking coffee can have a long-term effect in maintaining cognitive function and reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia at old age. The researchers from Finland randomly selected study participants from a population-based cohort who previously participated in a related study. The participants were observed for an average of 21 years. More than 1400 participants who were 65 to 79 years old completed the study. They observed that coffee drinkers had lower risk of developing dementia at midlife and Alzheimer’s disease at old age. Participants who were in the habit of drinking 3 to 5 cups in a day had a 65 percent lesser chance of developing dementia of Alzheimer’s disease.

Against Depression. A related study published in the Nutrition and Neuroscience investigated the link between coffee consumption and people’s cooperative behavior and sociability. The researchers gathered a group of 77 moderate coffee drinkers and were asked to play a game with an imaginary person. After drinking coffee, the participants displayed fewer signs of sadness and were more open and responsive to their imaginary player. Other studies had found that men and women who drank coffee are less likely to develop depressive symptoms and have lower tendencies of committing suicide.

Coffee: A Richer Source of Antioxidants

Researchers had found that coffee is the primary source of antioxidants of Americans. Studies show that there are more antioxidants in a normal serving of coffee than in a typical serving of oranges, raspberries, grape juice and blueberries. In addition, a cup of coffee has four times more antioxidants than a cup of green tea.

A Fair Warning to Coffee Drinkers

Despite the piling evidence showing that coffee is a rich source of antioxidants, James Lane from Duke University Medical Center said that there hasn’t been any study investigating whether the antioxidants from coffee can indeed reach the bloodstream. He, however, added that there is enough proof to show that caffeine from coffee can reach the blood stream and can lead to hypertension and increase levels of adrenaline.


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Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

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