Where’s the Beef? From One to Billions of Stem Cells

beef patty

You may have read recently that researchers were able to produce a lab grown hamburger patty. This process was possible because one of the unique characteristics of stem cells is the ability to regenerate and proliferate.  To create the beef patty, scientists took muscle stem cells from a cow and cultured them to generate the billions of muscle cells needed to create the beef patty.

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Mayo Clinic at the Forefront of Stem Cell Medical Revolution

Dr. Daniel Spoon printing Heart Valves on a 3D Printer

The Mayo Clinic, which has been involved in stem cell research and prospective therapies for two decades, reports that we are at the threshold of a medical revolution. By using the body’s own ability to repair and maintain itself, researchers will be able to treat and, in many cases cure, many of today’s most intractable medical conditions. As Dr. Brooks Edwards of the Mayo Clinic explains, “we’re not going to need to wait for a tragic accident and a young person to donate a heart or a liver or a kidney.  We’re going to be regenerating those organs. So then if I’m on a transplant list … I’ll be using my cells or some kind of cell-based therapy to either strengthen my own heart, or regenerate my own heart, or even grow a new heart.”  Dr. Edwards goes on to predict that solid organ transplants — say, a liver grown from a patient’s own cells — will take place within a decade.

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Printing Bone Using Stem Cells; The Future of Regenerative Medicine is Now™

3D printed jawbone and skull scaffolds
Bone scaffolds

Researchers from University of Nottingham in England had their 3D printing technology on display last week at the Royal Society’s annual Summer Science Exhibition.  This technology is being used to create custom-fitted bone replacements and other body parts.

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Rare Genetic Diseases Cured with Stem Cells

Translational Genomics schematic: therapy gene inserted into lentiviral vector, replaces defective gene in blood stem cells, stem cells infused with patient's blood where they expand

Recently, researchers utilized stem cells to successfully treat six children with rare genetic diseases. Three of the children were born with Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD), a hereditary neurodegenerative disease. The other three children were born with Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome (WAS), a hereditary immune system disorder.

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