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What to Do About the Fragility of Human Stem Cells

Posted: May 6, 2010 at 8:15 am

From the SENS Foundation: “Progress toward the goal of tissue rejuvenation via stem cells and tissue engineering (“RepleniSENS”) is badly hampered by the surprising fragility of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) relative to mouse ESC (mESC). Unlike their murine counterparts, hESC undergo extensive cell death following enzymatic single-cell dissociation; as a result, researchers are forced to rely on laborious mechanical microdissection, or on narrowly-control enzymatic dissociation that ensures that hESC remain above a minimum cluster size. These requirements make their expansion extremely tedious and inefficient. The reasons for the intolerance of hESC to full dissociation – and the development of means to ameliorate it – are therefore of considerable biomedical as well as scientific interest. This month, researchers [report] that they have at once apparently provided the detailed molecular basis for this frustrating anomaly, and its abrogation using either modified culture protocols or either of two small molecules. … Injected into an area that already enjoys a high level of government and industry investment, these tools bring us closer to realizing the promise of cell therapies and tissue engineering for the treatment of a range of age-related and traumatic diseases and disorders, as well as for the rejuvenation of aging tissues.”

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.sens.org/node/763

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

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Google to Invest in Regenerative Medicine

Posted: May 5, 2010 at 8:43 pm

While the US government prints money to shore up failing and broken business models which no one likes but are considered simply too big (not too important or significant or even useful) to fail, Google is making money and investing it in start ups who expect nothing less than to create "disruptive, even world-changing technologies".

No suggestion here that GOOG is being altruistic, just that this is the way the new entrepreneur and investor class thinks. Opportunity and money are to be found in technologies that improve the way we live, work, play, eat, and think... and perhaps even improve the world.

To Google Ventures this has already meant wind farms, carbon emission reduction systems, green vehicles, and medical cures. To former Microsoft chief scientist Nathan Myhrvold and his high-level think tank, Intellectual Ventures, this means creating TerraPower - a company intending to revolutionize the nuclear power by developing reactors run on waste uranium - and also actively looking at regenerative medicine technologies.

Having formed the fund a little over a year ago, Google is only now starting to make a splash with the fund. Officially the fund has no specific industry focus saying on the Google Ventures website FAQ:

We are interested in a wide range of industries, including (but not limited to) consumer Internet, software, hardware, clean-tech, biotech, health care and others. First and foremost, we're looking for entrepreneurs who are tackling problems in creative and innovative ways, with the potential for significant financial return.

Unofficially and yet not so quietly, Google has named a few broad areas of interest. An article in Monday's New York Times quoted Google Ventures' managing partner, Bill Maris as saying that while they were not going to name particular investment themes, a few broad ares of interest include:

regenerative medicine, bioinformatics, cloud storage, companies that use large data sets, online monetization and mobile.

There it is. Regenerative medicine right there front and center.

In typical Google tradition, Maris, who looks all of 30 years old on the website, has a successfull and multidisciplinary track record. He was involved in founding Web hosting pioneer Burlee.com (now part of Web.com), where he built much of the key computing, network and technological infrastructure.Prior to that, Bill was a biotechnology and healthcare portfolio manager for Stockholm, Sweden-based Investor AB. Bill’s background also includes research at the Duke University Medical Center, Department of Neurobiology.

Google Ventures is said to be aiming at investing about $100 million a year. Any portion of that for regenerative medicine is more than welcome.

While traditional VC money remains reticent to back RM in any signifant way, Google's move confirms a trend we've been seeing and talking about at the Cell Therapy Group for the past 12 months or so. The multinational lifescience, biopharmaceutical, and healthcare companies along with strategic investors all now have regenerative medicine on their radar. They are all quietly and not-so quietly developing internal and external regenerative medicine strategies.

Please join us in welcoming regenerative medicine to the radar screen. It's bound to be an exciting ride ahead.

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Take It Outside!

Posted: May 5, 2010 at 8:26 am

Just Five Minutes of Exercise Outdoors Boosts Mental Health, Researchers Say

In a bad mood? Improve it by going outside!

Here in New York and all around the country, summer is in the air.  It may say “May” on the calendar, but the weather sure doesn’t know that, as this week’s temperatures in New York City are headed for the 70s and 80s!

I hope it’s as nice where you are as it is here.  And if it is, instead of going to the gym after work to exercise today, head outside…even if it’s for just five minutes.  Because according to a new study on the mental health effects of exercising outside, the great outdoors can heighten your mood and your self-esteem.

Researchers from the University of Essex discovered this after reviewing the health habits of over 1,200 people from 12 separate studies.  Among the information collected from these men and women of all ages was their state of mental health (i.e. were they diagnosed with any kind of mental health disorder and cognitive dysfunction) and the kind of activities they did outside, such as walking, bicycling, gardening or horseback riding.

All of the individuals who exercised regularly showed improvements in their mental health, but those who saw the most significant improvement were those who performed what the researchers call “green exercises.”  Green exercises are any of the aforementioned exercises performed outside.  Other green exercises include farming, walking, gardening, fishing or boating.

“We believe that there would be a large potential benefit to individuals, society, and to the costs of the health service if all groups of people were to self-medicate more with green exercise,” said Jo Barton in a statement.  Barton co-authored the study with her colleague, Jules Pretty.

Their complete findings can be found in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Oh, and if you’re someone who loves the ocean, then you’re going to love this:  the biggest mental health effects were found among those who live near the water, like the ocean, a river or lake.

So, it seems, the closer you are to blue, the less likely you are to get “blue.”

As with many studies, this probably confirms the obvious.  But this research is illuminating nonetheless because up to now, no one really knew just how long it took to be outside to reap the mental health benefits.  And according to the researchers, it takes as little as five minutes.

So you know what that means?  No more excuses.  No more saying, “I can’t go outside for a walk because I don’t have any time on my lunch break.” Everybody has at least five minutes they can spend outdoors to walk.

Now, ideally, you’ll be exercising for longer than five minutes, but as I always say, some exercise is better than no exercise.  And that’s every bit as true for the mind as it is for the body.

Sources:
newsmaxhealth.com
news.bbc.co.uk

Discuss this post in Frank Mangano’s forum!

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

What to Do About the Fragility of Human Stem Cells

Posted: May 5, 2010 at 8:25 am

From the SENS Foundation: "Progress toward the goal of tissue rejuvenation via stem cells and tissue engineering ("RepleniSENS") is badly hampered by the surprising fragility of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) relative to mouse ESC (mESC). Unlike their murine counterparts, hESC undergo extensive cell death following enzymatic single-cell dissociation; as a result, researchers are forced to rely on laborious mechanical microdissection, or on narrowly-control enzymatic dissociation that ensures that hESC remain above a minimum cluster size. These requirements make their expansion extremely tedious and inefficient. The reasons for the intolerance of hESC to full dissociation - and the development of means to ameliorate it - are therefore of considerable biomedical as well as scientific interest. This month, researchers [report] that they have at once apparently provided the detailed molecular basis for this frustrating anomaly, and its abrogation using either modified culture protocols or either of two small molecules. ... Injected into an area that already enjoys a high level of government and industry investment, these tools bring us closer to realizing the promise of cell therapies and tissue engineering for the treatment of a range of age-related and traumatic diseases and disorders, as well as for the rejuvenation of aging tissues."

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.sens.org/node/763

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

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

An Example of Alcor’s Work

Posted: May 5, 2010 at 8:25 am

Accelerating Future notes an example of Alcor's work in cryonics provision. We only tend to hear about the times when unusual obstructions crop up, and so it's worth a reminder that Alcor's staff and volunteers regularly make the difficult organization of a cryosuspension look routine: "This past month, Alcor was faced with three members who were admitted to hospice with end-stage conditions. On back-to-back days, two of our members were cryopreserved while the third member's condition has temporarily improved. Through careful planning, we were able to have two members admitted into the same Hospice of the Valley facility, literally across the hall from each other. This allowed Alcor's Arizona team to carefully monitor both members' conditions simultaneously, 24 hours a day. Having three team members and Alcor's Rescue Vehicle on site, we were able to provide immediate stabilization and cool down procedures and exceptionally quick transfer from time of pronouncement to Alcor's surgery suite in 40 minutes and 32 minutes, respectively. These cases were very important as they tested numerous benchmarks of Alcor's abilities ... The real benefit of all of our preparations, training and planning is to our members, who reportedly received excellent perfusions."

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.acceleratingfuture.com/michael/blog/2010/05/alcors-93rd-and-94th-patients-cryopreserved-back-to-back/

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

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

An Example of Alcor's Work

Posted: May 5, 2010 at 8:25 am

Accelerating Future notes an example of Alcor's work in cryonics provision. We only tend to hear about the times when unusual obstructions crop up, and so it's worth a reminder that Alcor's staff and volunteers regularly make the difficult organization of a cryosuspension look routine: "This past month, Alcor was faced with three members who were admitted to hospice with end-stage conditions. On back-to-back days, two of our members were cryopreserved while the third member's condition has temporarily improved. Through careful planning, we were able to have two members admitted into the same Hospice of the Valley facility, literally across the hall from each other. This allowed Alcor's Arizona team to carefully monitor both members' conditions simultaneously, 24 hours a day. Having three team members and Alcor's Rescue Vehicle on site, we were able to provide immediate stabilization and cool down procedures and exceptionally quick transfer from time of pronouncement to Alcor's surgery suite in 40 minutes and 32 minutes, respectively. These cases were very important as they tested numerous benchmarks of Alcor's abilities ... The real benefit of all of our preparations, training and planning is to our members, who reportedly received excellent perfusions."

View the Article Under Discussion: http://www.acceleratingfuture.com/michael/blog/2010/05/alcors-93rd-and-94th-patients-cryopreserved-back-to-back/

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

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko


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