Today, stem cells are rightfully perceived as the future of regenerative medicine, set to bring the marvels of science fiction into reality. But in looking ahead at all of the promise that stem cells hold for the future, it becomes easy to miss the scientific advances made to date for the millions of people around the world suffering from disease, trauma, and injury. Thus, today marks Stem Cell Awareness Day: a global celebration of stem cell research coordinated to highlight the treatments and therapies currently in development to create personalized regenerative therapies for patients. Continue reading
Arthritis affects 44 million individuals in the US resulting in the need for approximately 700,000 knee-replacement and 100,000 hip replacement surgeries every year. Researchers at Stanford University have developed a technique to track the effectiveness of mesenchymal stem cells [the type of stem cells found in teeth] in repairing arthritic joints. Mesenchymal stem cells are capable of differentiating into bone and cartilage, as well as muscle, fat and tendon. The researchers expect to adapt the study for clinical trials in humans this fall.
Scientists at the University of California Davis’ Institute for Regenerative Cures are utilizing mesenchymal stem cells [the same type of stem cells found in teeth] to develop a new therapy that targets the genetic abnormality in Huntington’s disease. The principal investigator of the study, and the director of UC Davis stem cell program and the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures, Jan Nolta said, “Our team has made a breakthrough that gives families affected by this disease hope that genetic therapy may one day become a reality.” The treatment seeks to address the root cause of the disease as opposed to merely mitigating the symptoms of the disease.