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Damage in Early Life Shortens Life Expectancy

Posted: April 14, 2010 at 8:22 am

As illustrated by the reliability theory of aging, we are complex machines, and our life expectancy is a function of the pace at which we accumulate damage. For example, one contribution to rising life spans over the past century was the elimination of much of the burden of chronic disease throughout early life and middle age. Here, however, is an example of another, less common form of damage that nonetheless has the expected end result: “Although more children today are surviving cancer than ever before, young patients successfully treated in the 1970s and 80s may live a decade less, on average, than the general population … The study, based on a computer model, is the first to estimate the lifetime toll of childhood cancer and the grueling but increasingly successful treatments for diseases such as kidney and bone cancers, leukemia, and brain tumors. About 10,000 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer annually, and the five-year survival rate has risen to about 80 percent overall. … The study is based on how children were treated in the 1970s and early 1980s. It is our hope that when we see data from more recent cohorts of patients, there will be improved life expectancy as a result of some changes that pediatric oncologists have made.”

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-04/dci-ccs040510.php

Read More Longevity Meme Commentary: http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

WILT, ALT, and Zscan4

Posted: April 14, 2010 at 8:22 am

From the SENS Foundation: “To develop an unbreachable defense against cancer, SENS Foundation is pursuing the WILT (Wholebody Interdiction of Lengthening of Telomeres) strategy (OncoSENS) of systematically deleting genes essential to the cellular telomere-maintenance mechanisms (TMM) from all somatic cells, while ensuring ongoing tissue repair and maintenance through periodic re-seeding of somatic stem-cell pools with autologous TMM-deficient cells whose telomeres have been lengthened ex vivo. In addition to the deletion of one or more genes coding for essential element(s) of the telomerase holoenzyme, success will also require the deletion of some essential element of the machinery for the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) phenomenon, observed in a minority of cancer cells. Heretofore, the identity of that machinery has been elusive. Yeast cells have the ability to lengthen telomeres through a telomerase-independent mechanism involving telomere recombination, and there has been evidence for some time suggesting that ALT cancers lengthen telomeres through a similar process.” The article goes on to look in detail at one plausible candidate mechanism for ALT, and how this new knowledge might be incorporated into WILT.

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.sens.org/node/739

Read More Longevity Meme Commentary: http://www.longevitymeme.org/news/

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

International Stem Cell Corporation Engages Leading Immunogeneticists to Advance its Industry-first, Immune-matched Stem Cells

Posted: April 14, 2010 at 8:22 am

International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCBB:ISCO), http://www.intlstemcell.com, today added two world-leading immunogeneticists to its scientific advisory board. They and ISCO scientists will study the immune-matching properties of ISCO’s human parthenogenetic stem cell (hpSC) technology and the potential for each hpSC-derived therapeutic cell to be an immune-match for millions of people.

Dr. Hans-Dieter Volk, Professor of Immunology and Chair of the Institute of Medical Immunology and Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT) at Charité Universitätsmedizin in Berlin, and Dr. Matthias von Herrath, Professor at the La Jolla Institute of Allergy and Immunology at University of San Diego, have agreed to join ISCO’s scientific advisory board. Both have dedicated their careers to experimental and clinical immunology and are highly regarded immunogenetics experts internationally. They will be most valuable as ISCO attempts to demonstrate the unique immune-matching benefits of the hpSC technology experimentally and in clinical practice.

“We believe that providing human cells that can minimize rejection though immune-matching to the recipient is one of the most important tasks in developing effective regenerative medicine therapies,” says Dr. Simon Craw, Vice President at ISCO. “We look forward to Drs. Volk and von Herrath helping us try to demonstrate how that need can be met with our parthenogenetic stem cells.”

Embryonic stem cells (hESC) almost invariably have different forms of genes (called “alleles”) at each genetic position of the paternal and maternal chromosomes, i.e. they are “heterozygous.” This includes the human leukocyte antigen (“HLA”) genes that are largely responsible for the distinction between “self” and “foreign,” and thus acceptance or rejection of transplants. Since hESC are derived from fertilized embryos, they carry the genes of a unique individual, thus the therapeutic cells derived from hESC will carry HLA alleles that can be recognized as foreign and be rejected by most patients unless they receive immunosuppressive therapy. Such therapy is costly, has significant side effects, and often is disabling in the long term.

Like most individuals in the population, induced pluripotent stem cells (“iPS” cells) and adult stem cells are also predominantly heterozygous because they carry paternal and maternal chromosomes. They are a perfect immune match to the patient they came from and are therefore typically administered back to that same individual (“autologous therapy”). However, they would likely be rejected by most other recipients. Autologous therapy is time-consuming and expensive, which goes against the cost containment pressures globally. In addition, the quality of the therapy is directly related to the ability to secure clinically sufficient numbers of functional cells from the patient, which often poses a significant problem in clinical practice.

In contrast, the hpSCs developed by ISCO are derived from unfertilized eggs (“oocytes”) that have been shown in peer-reviewed journals to exhibit unlimited proliferation potential and are pluripotent (can become cells from all three germ layers that form a human being). Most significantly, hpSC can be created in a “homozygous” state, where the alleles, including the HLA alleles, are the same at each genetic position. When these HLA alleles are also found with a high frequency in a population, these “HLA-homozygous” stem cells and their therapeutic derivatives have the potential to be immune matched to millions of people. For example, ISCO’s first homozygous stem cell line with high-frequency HLA alleles has the potential to be immune matched to an estimated 75 million people worldwide.

Dr. Volk says: “Using my experience from transplantation immunology and medicine during the past three decades, I am very pleased to help ISCO in their efforts to make its hpSC technology a clinical reality where therapeutic cell derivatives will be immune matches for millions of people worldwide.” Dr. von Herrath continues: “While stem cell technologies generally offer great regenerative potential, most clinical applications will be limited by immune rejection. I look much forward to joining ISCO in their quest for making stem cell-derived therapy a practical and attractive clinical option for many degenerative diseases.”

Besides the immunogenetic developments, ISCO is advancing its hpSC technology into the differentiation of hpSC into therapeutic cells and tissues and into the establishment of processes and facilities to produce clinical-grade cells. The company is seeking to demonstrate the therapeutic potential of its hpSC technology as a safe, efficient, and superior alternative to other sources of stem cells for human therapy.

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL STEM CELL CORPORATION (ISCO.OB):

International Stem Cell Corporation is a California-based biotechnology company focused on therapeutic and research 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. More information is available at ISCO’s website, http://www.internationalstemcell.com.

To subscribe to receive ongoing corporate communications please click on the following link: http://www.b2i.us/irpass.asp?BzID=1468&to=ea&s=0.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Statements pertaining to anticipated technological developments and therapeutic applications, and other opportunities for the company and its subsidiary, 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, 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
760-940-6383
[email protected]
or
Brian Lundstrom, President
760-640-6383
[email protected]

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Australian grandmother beats off attacking shark – BBC

Posted: April 14, 2010 at 8:21 am

From BBC:

“An Australian grandmother has survived a shark attack by repeatedly punching and kicking the animal after it “ripped off” part of her body.

Surgeon Mark Flanagan said: “We can estimate that she lost about 40 per cent of her blood volume from the degree of shock that she had when she came in, and the fact that we required to give her several units of blood.”

Mrs Trumbull said she was happy to be alive.”

Shark Tunnel and Aquarium at Omaha Zoo, Nebraska.

Posted at Clinical Cases and Images. Stay updated and subscribe, follow on Twitter and Buzz, and connect on Facebook.


Recommendation and review posted by Guinevere Smith

How to use Google Docs Drawings for medical mind maps

Posted: April 14, 2010 at 8:21 am

Google Drawings is a new collaborative drawing editor – part of the updated Google Docs. It is free to use, just like the rest of Google Docs. The new standalone drawings editor lets you collaborate in real time on flow charts, designs, diagrams and other fun or business graphics. You can copy these drawings into documents, spreadsheets and presentations using the web clipboard, or share and publish drawings just like other Google Docs.

Until now, my service of choice for medical mind maps was Bubbl.us and I have made more than 100 diagrams with it for AllergyCases.org:

Mind Map Diagrams in Allergy and Immunology

Bubbl.us works very well but I was concerned about embedding the mind maps in case the service goes down temporarily or if the company closes down in the future (mind maps can be exported in XML format for backup). None of these should be a problem with Google Docs. Drawings is obviously behind Bubbl.us in terms of features but it works for basic mind maps and I am planning to use it frequently in the future.

You can embed the minds maps as images, just like you do with YouTube videos, or provide a link to the original mind map and share it for collaboration:

Example: Accidental Injection of Epinephrine Into Finger

Every time you update the mind map in Google Docs/Drawings, the image updates too.

See a few mind maps created with Drawings below:

In order to publish the mind map diagram on the web, you have to click the “Share” button in the top right corner of the Google Docs menu. After the diagram is published, you will see the options to embed the image with different sizes and the link to share the original drawing with options to be edited by collaborators.

Posted at Clinical Cases and Images. Stay updated and subscribe, follow on Twitter and Buzz, and connect on Facebook.


Recommendation and review posted by Guinevere Smith

Anatomy Pillow

Posted: April 14, 2010 at 8:21 am

Heather Lins Home anatomy pillow

Rest your anatomy on this anatomy pillow by Heather Lins.  Hand-sewn, 100% wool, and made of eco-friendly materials! $176 bucks here!

Recommendation and review posted by Guinevere Smith


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