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International Stem Cell Corporation Announces Launch Plans for New Skin Care Products

Posted: October 15, 2010 at 6:12 pm

International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCBB:ISCO),, and a new firm to be formed by John Mauldin announced today the formation of a new joint marketing venture to launch a line of skin care products developed by ISCO's wholly owned subsidiary, Lifeline Skin Care, Inc. ('LSC'). Mauldin, a significant marketing talent, is president of Millennium Wave Investments and author of an economic letter that goes to over 1.5 million readers.

Lifeline Skin Care's products have been in active development for well over a year and involve a unique high-technology, patent pending formulation for skin rejuvenation crèmes, developed using ISCO's proprietary 'parthenogenetic' stem cells that do not require the use of fertilized embryos. The product was discovered during ISCO's therapeutic stem cell research that revealed the stem cell's potential applications in skin cell rejuvenation. Part of the discovery included developing a way to surround the proteins from the stem cells with a nanovesicle allowing for extended shelf life and enhanced delivery of the product to the skin. Independent third party testing indicates that the crèmes (one for day and one for nighttime application) have significant positive effects on the look and feel of the skin.

'This represents an amazing leap forward in the combination of a variety of cutting edge technologies to yield products that have the potential to find significant consumer acceptance. The anti-aging market is extremely large, and Lifeline Skin Care is offering something completely new and different. We are excited about the prospects,' said Kenneth Aldrich, Chairman of ISCO.

Because the LSC products involve a unique extract from living parthenogenetic stem cells, rather than 'off the shelf' ingredients used by most skin care products, it takes additional time to manufacture the products. Building inventory in advance of demand is critical to avoid disappointing customers.

ISCO and LSC believe the collaboration with Mauldin will provide a much broader potential customer base and a much lower market cost per customer than the alternative marketing programs previously considered. As a result, LSC has revised its previously announced marketing launch plans to be certain that it will have adequate product on hand to meet initial demand.

The initial product offering will be to ISCO's own database of investors and followers, originally set to launch October and now scheduled for November to coordinate with Mauldin's timetable. That will be followed with an offering to Mauldin's extensive subscription base and to a select market of other potential purchasers.

Only after these initial offerings have been completed, involving a total of over 1.5 million potential customers, will more broad scale product offerings be made. 'This will enable us to measure probable future demand, assure our loyal investors and Mauldin's subscribers and affiliates that they will be able to purchase all the products they require while allowing LSC to build an inventory of the unique stem cell extract that is at the heart of this new product,' said Dr. Ruslan Semechkin, CEO of Lifeline Skin Care.

'We are extraordinarily excited to be able to offer LSC's products to our loyal client base in a way that assures they will be able to obtain the product they want, plus monthly refills as required, in spite of the fact that LSC's products are unique and require time and care by many people to bring to market,' said John Mauldin, founder and Chairman of Millennium. 'This is a truly revolutionary approach to skin care. Early test results are very promising and I am excited to be associated with a company of the scientific reputation of International Stem Cell Corporation and their world-renowned staff.'


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). These proprietary cells avoid ethical issues associated with use or destruction of viable human embryos and, unlike most other major stem cell types, can be immune matched and be a source of therapeutic cells with minimal rejection after transplantation into hundreds of millions of individuals of differing racial groups. ISCO also produces and markets specialized cells and growth media for therapeutic research worldwide through its subsidiary, Lifeline Cell Technology, and is developing a line of cosmeceutical products via its subsidiary, Lifeline Skin Care. ISCO is advancing novel human stem cell-based therapies where cells have been proven to be efficacious but traditional small molecule and protein therapeutics have not. More information is available on ISCO's website,

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Statements pertaining to anticipated developments and therapeutic applications, the potential benefits of collaborations, affiliations, 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," "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 the management of collaborations, 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 forward-looking statements.

Key Words: Stem cells, parthenogenesis, biotechnology, skin care

International Stem Cell Corporation
Kenneth C. Aldrich, Chairman
Lifeine Skin Care, Inc.
Ruslan Semechkin, Ph.D., President & CEO
Vice President, ISCO

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

10 risk factors are associated with 90% of the risk of stroke

Posted: October 15, 2010 at 1:41 pm

The Lancet reported that in 3000 patients with stroke (78%, with ischaemic stroke; 22%, with intracerebral haemorrhagic stroke) and 3000 controls, significant risk factors for all types of stroke were:

- history of hypertension (OR 2·64)
- current smoking (2·09)
- waist-to-hip ratio (1·65)
- diet risk score (1·35)
- regular physical activity (0·69)
- diabetes mellitus (1·36)
- alcohol intake (1·51)
- psychosocial stress (1·30)
- depression (1·35)
- cardiac causes (2·38)
- ratio of apolipoproteins B to A1 (1·89)
Collectively, these risk factors accounted for 88·1% of the PAR for all strokes. When an alternate definition of hypertension was used (history of hypertension or blood pressure higher than 160/90 mm Hg), the combined PAR was 90·3% (85·3—93·7) for all stroke.
These risk factors were all significant for ischaemic stroke, whereas hypertension, smoking, waist-to-hip ratio, diet, and alcohol intake were significant risk factors for intracerebral haemorrhagic stroke.

Ten risk factors are associated with 90% of the risk of stroke. Targeted interventions that reduce blood pressure and smoking, and promote physical activity and a healthy diet, could substantially reduce the burden of stroke.

Stroke Risk Calculator
Image source: BP device used for measuring arterial pressure. Wikipedia, GNU Free Documentation License.

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

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Anatomic Fashion Friday: Ribcage Ring

Posted: October 15, 2010 at 11:22 am

Ribcage iron ring by blindspotjewellery at Etsy

Ribcage iron ring by blindspotjewellery at Etsy

Ribcage iron ring by blindspotjewellery at Etsy

Very rugged looking iron ring made out of a square iron tube by János Gábor Varga of Blind Spot Jewellery.  Available in size 7.25-7.5 (US) for $120 via Etsy.

Love the texture.

[spotted by Jenny]

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Diabetic retinopathy is identified in a third of people with diabetes

Posted: October 14, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Diabetic retinopathy is a common microvascular complication of diabetes, and remains the leading cause of preventable blindness in working-aged people. It is identified in a third of people with diabetes and associated with increased risk of life-threatening systemic vascular complications, including stroke, coronary heart disease, and heart failure.

Optimum control of blood glucose, blood pressure, and possibly blood lipids remains the foundation for reduction of risk of retinopathy development and progression.
Timely laser therapy is effective for preservation of sight in proliferative retinopathy and macular oedema, but its ability to reverse visual loss is poor.
Vitrectomy surgery might occasionally be needed for advanced retinopathy.
New therapies, such as intraocular injection of steroids and antivascular endothelial growth-factor agents, are less destructive to the retina than are older therapies, and could be useful in patients who respond poorly to conventional therapy.
Future treatment modalities include inhibition of other angiogenic factors, regenerative therapy, and topical therapy.

Diabetic retinopathy [Seminar]. Ning Cheung, Paul Mitchell, Tien Yin Wong. Lancet, 2010.

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

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Scarlett O’Hara Syndrome and Cryonics

Posted: October 14, 2010 at 12:59 pm

A disproportionate number of cryonicists seem to be suffering from some sort of syndrome that results in them planning to be alive far into the future, without actually accomplishing anything of scientific merit that might provide for that. Like Scarlett O'Hara, they'd rather "think about that tomorrow." Actually, they'd much rather depend on SOMEONE ELSE to think about their problems, tomorrow. (Their "tomorrow" being decades, or hundreds of years, from now.) A significant percentage of these people spend their lives, sitting at their computers, expounding on abstract ideas and patting one another on the back, for accomplishing little more than having vivid imaginations. Interestingly, most of them claim to be atheists, and have dismissed religion as mythological, not realizing they are doling out more faith than most religious zealots.

Want to store 100,000 people in a geodesic dome, at cryogenic temperatures? Just imagine stuffing them in there, with little thought as to how each of them can be maintained, or retrieved without disturbing the others, or what type of cooling system could be used, or how machines could operate in such an extremely cold environment...let the scientists and engineers of tomorrow worry about that. Luke Parrish thinks one can stuff "ten bodies, or 100 heads," in each cubic meter. (This reminds me of stuffing people into phone booths and VW, but not very practical, especially if the goal is to keep all of them at a uniform temperature and to be able to extract one from the middle, without disturbing the others.)

Luke writes: "A cubic meter would hold around 100 heads or 10 bodies. A thousand cubic meters in a cubic shape is just 10x10x10 meters, with 600 square meters. So if the energy cost is $100/month per square meter, 100,000 neuro people could be stored in something costing $60,000/month to run. 60 cents, in other words."

(I think Luke's cost analysis was overly simplistic, to say the least.)

Later, Luke writes about storing "millions of people," in his imaginary cryo-domes, because, according to him, "The fact is it is would be unselfish for everyone to choose cryonics because it would bring down the cost for everyone else. It would be less ecologically damaging because the energy usage per person would be reduced. Compared to burial or cremation, it could actually have a significantly reduced environmental impact."

Oh pooh...Why worry about the environment?...I'm sure the nanobot scientists of the future will take care of that, too.

Want to send laymen with no medical education or experience, whatsoever, to perform advanced medical procedures known to be deadly, when performed improperly? Go ahead, send anyone off the street who volunteers to pretend to be a surgeon or a perfusionist, and let them turn someone's brain into scrambled eggs. Who cares? No need to worry about silly things like subjecting the subjects to inappropriate temperatures and intravascular pressures. The scientists of tomorrow are sure to be willing to spend their lives, (and money), trying to reverse the (most likely irreversible) damage. (Sarcasm, for anyone not familiar with my writing, or my opinions of the way cryonics procedures are carried out.)

I thought the goal of "uploading" was to be able to transcend the (mortal) human body, so that one could live longer, but I guess that hasn't really been the goal, for all cryonicists involved in this little "virtual adventure." It seems Mathew Sullivan simply wants a maid/secretary. Mathew writes the word "avatar" a lot, and mentions games like "Second Life," an Internet game, where one can engage in a fantasy life, selecting the avatar's looks, engaging in virtual shopping and work...heck, one's avatar can even fly! (Is it just me, or is "Second Life" something that seems like it should only be appealing to adolescents? I tried to look up the demographics, but there are conflicting reports and most of them seem more like marketing, than anything else.)

Robert Ettinger and Aschwin de Wolf have warned that associating the medical science aspect of cryonics, with these bizarre futuristic fantasies, may be damaging to the cryonics community. I don't think they realize the people engaged in these discussions want attention, more than success. How else could one explain the same handful of people consistently doling out crackpot ideas, (nearly all of which require a great deal of effort on the part of the scientists of the future), while actually doing nothing to prove those ideas? How many of these people are actually engaging in studying related sciences and/or technologies, (and I don't mean the self-directed, self-evaluated "studying" many cryonicists engage in), compared to the number who are just sitting at their computer monitors, every day, fantasizing about topics they barely understand? These people are not engaging in any sort of meaningful scientific endeavors; they're engaging in make-believe. Twenty years from now, most of them will probably still be sitting at their computers, imagining the scientists of the future are going to be carrying out their fantasies, and still doing NOTHING, in actuality. It's their own little version of "Second Life."

Maybe cryonicists should consider addressing problems that CAN be resolved, in the present, like delivering cryonics providers who can competently perform the surgical procedures the cryonics organizations are marketing. When Luke and his friends can back up their fantasies with theories, and proposed methods of implementation that more than a couple of dozen people will embrace, maybe I'll give their theories some thought. Until then, I'll probably just keep laughing.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

"Genius or Grotesquery? The Arrestingly Strange World of Walter Potter," The Museum of Everything, Exhibition # 3

Posted: October 14, 2010 at 12:45 pm

The wild and eerie Victorian world of Walter Potter, where baby rabbits go to school and weep over their blotted copybooks, and where Bullingdon Club-style squirrels puff on cigars as toads play leapfrog and rat police raid a drinking den, is being reassembled in London, seven years after his creatures were sold and scattered across the world.

The displays are being assembled at the reopened Museum of Everything, a pop-up museum in a former Victorian dairy, and later recording studio, in Primrose Hill, London...

Whilst in London last week, I had the very good fortune to attend a preview of The Museum of Everything's "Exhibition #3," a carnivalesque spree exploring all things collectory, side-show, circus, grotto, and taxidermological. One of the exhibitions more impressive achievements--and the reason I was there in the first place--was the attempt to re-stage Victorian anthropomorphic taxidermist Walter Potter's Victorian museum of curiosities, a noble feat achieved by borrowing an assortment of Potter's charming pieces from the assortment of lucky private collectors--including Damien Hirst, Sir Peter Blake, and Pat Morris--who acquired them after the museum was controversially divided at auction in 2003.

Today's Guardian has run what I hope will be only the first of many ecstatic pieces on this wonderful exhibition, and on the Potter portion in particular, entitled "Genius or grotesquery? The arrestingly strange world of Walter Potter."

My friend Pat Morris--who spoke on Walter Potter at our recent Congress for Curious People-- loaned several of his own Potter pieces to the exhibition, most notably "The Death of Cock Robin, a truly epic tableaux depicting the funeral procession of the fabled Cock Robin as recounted in the well-known Englist nursery rhyme "Who Killed Cock Robin." This spectacular piece, as the Guardian describes, includes "more than 100 birds including a weeping robin widow and an owl gravedigger who has tumbled some tiny bones out of the soil while preparing space for the dead robin." For a visual (but please note: this image simply does not do the piece justice!), see third image down.

Besides being a collector of great proportion, Mr. Morris is also the author of the only extant book on Mr. Potter and his work, the lavishly illustrated and encyclopedic Walter Potter and His Museum of Curious Taxidermy, which you can buy in hardback or paperback by clicking here or here, respectively. You can also find out more about Potter, his work and his history by visiting the Ravishing Beast website by clicking here. You can read the full Genius or grotesquery?" article on the Guardian website by clicking here. To find out more about this exhibition--which will be on at least till Christmas--and the very curious Museum of Everything, click here.

Thanks to friend, friend-of-the-blog, and many time Observatory lecturer John Troyer for alerting me to this article!

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

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