Stem Cell Science Can Proceed Ethically

first_img(Visited 20 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 With adult and induced pluripotent stem cells in abundance, it should not be necessary to destroy human embryos to understand stem cell science.Research with adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) is continuing to produce amazing discoveries.Self-healing heart:  The heart has a store of stem cells that is capable of natural regenerative capacity, scientists at Kings College London found (Medical Xpress), promising new treatment for heart failure:The study, published today in the journal Cell, shows that if the stem cells are eliminated, the heart is unable to repair after damage. If the cardiac stem cells are replaced the heart repairs itself, leading to complete cellular, anatomical and functional heart recovery, with the heart returning to normal and pumping at a regular rate.Also, if the cardiac stem cells are removed and re-injected, they naturally ‘home’ to and repair the damaged heart, a discovery that could lead to less-invasive treatments and even early prevention of heart failure in the future.Reprogramming iPSC mutations:  For patients with a blood disease, researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found they could take skin cells, create iPSCs from them, fix the mutation that causes the blood disease, re-inject them, and cure the disease (Science Daily).  “The technology for generating these cells has been moving very quickly,” the hematologist said.Bad teeth?  Urine luck:  Science Daily reported a “number one source” for new teeth: stem cells in a patient’s own urine.  There’s potential in that liquid that is flushed down the drain to regenerate iPSCs that can be coaxed into creating hard parts of teeth structures.  “The system mimics normal tooth development, which results from an interaction between two different cell types; epithelial cells, which give rise to enamel, and mesenchymal cells, which give rise to the other three main components of teeth (dentin, cementum and pulp).”  iPSC technology is good news, because “their derivation avoids the controversial use of embryos” and the cells are not rejected by the patient.Functional blood vessels:  Scientists at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital succeeded in growing functional blood vesses in vivo from iPSCs, Medical Xpress reported with the headline, “Patient, heal thyself.”  By overcoming several challenges with the method, they have shown that it is no longer necessary to rely on human embryonic stem cells to do the job.   According to a researcher, “the use of vascular precursors from human embryonic stem cells pose ethical and immunological concerns that are averted with the use of iPS-derived vasculogenic cells.”Understanding adult stem cells:  European scientists are learning how stem cells in human skin differentiate, according to Science Daily.  By making proteins “shine,” they can monitor the developmental pathways as the stem cells form different tissues and organs in the skin, such as sweat glands, fat, or hair follicles.  They found that the cells do not follow a simple hierarchy from primitive stem cell to finished tissue, but “there are differentiated levels of stem cells and that it is their close micro-environment that determines” the tissue generated.  These findings will help regenerative medicine avoid “waking up” cells in the wrong place or time that might result in cancer.Understanding embryonic stem cells:  Scientists are trying to understand the expression of embryonic stem cells – in mice.  Science Daily explored the paradox of how these cells can be marked with “on” and “off” regulatory marks simultaneously, like seeing a red and green light at the same time.  A more “nuanced” view of the genetic code is showing a method in the paradox: stem cells can be maintained in a “bivalent state” that allows them to go down either path, depending on context.Understanding the differences:  By studying the substances in zebrafish cells that can convert body cells back to stem cells through a kind of “eraser” that removes the body cell’s memory of what it was, scientists are finding out how to make induced stem cells resemble embryonic cells more closely, Science Daily reported.  And why is this good?  “These multi-talented cells are the focus of much attention in biomedical research because experts hope to use them to regenerate damaged organs without having to resort to embryonic stem cells.”Learning from flatworms:  Flatworms (planaria) have an uncanny ability to regenerate their heads (students sometimes create two-headed planaria in science lab).  At MIT, Medical Xpress reported, scientists made the discovery that muscle cells in the flatworm have the ability to communicate with their nearby stem cells, informing them what kind of tissue is needed.  Certain “position control genes,” which are “highly conserved and many are found in other animals, including humans,” are controlled by particular proteins in the muscle cells.  When wounded, cells alter these proteins to control which PCGs are made, signaling pathways that direct the stem cells to know what kinds of repairs are needed.  “Because the muscle fibers are long, when you cut the animal, it can immediately respond by contracting to close the wound, turning on wound-induced genes at that site, and eventually changing the pattern of expression to respond to the missing tissue.”  Understanding that flow of information “opens whole new areas of research,” the article said.It was just in time.  In 2007, when Japanese scientists learned how to create iPSCs from adult tissues (a Nobel prize discovery), they took the wind out of embryonic stem cell research.  Throughout the Bush and early Obama administrations, scientists were clamoring for rights to destroy human embryos in order to understand stem cells, pulling at the public’s heartstrings to claim patients were dying without them, because conservatives didn’t care about people.  Now that iPSCs and adult stem cells are plentiful and just as effective, why use ESCs at all?  Researchers can learn all they need to know about them from mice and zebrafish.  A subtext we hope you noticed in these stories is that many scientists today would prefer to avoid the ethical controversies.  They want to help patients “without having to resort to embryonic stem cells.”  That’s a welcome change of heart.The miracle cures possible with adult stem cells and iPSCs are at the doorstep.  We have much to look forward to: new hearts, new teeth, new blood vessels and much more.  This will be healthy, morally good, practical research that has nothing to do with evolution.  We need more of that kind of science.last_img read more

Raj Bhavan staff rapes 8 year old girl, arrested

first_imgThe police have arrested a Group D staffer of the Tripura Raj Bhavan on the charge of raping a minor girl. An officer of the West Agartala women police station said they had arrested Dilip Kumar Das, 50, on the basis of a complaint lodged by a woman, who alleged that Das had raped her 8-year-old daughter.last_img

Youth Congress begins campaign to ‘wake up Maharashtra’

first_imgThe State unit of the Youth Congress on Thursday launched its ‘Wake-Up Maharashtra: Today for Tomorrow’ campaign in Mumbai. “The Maharashtra Youth Congress has decided to come out with a manifesto especially aimed at the youth by engaging with them and listening to their concerns and inputs through this campaign. We will be engaging with four to five crore youngsters in the 18 to 25 years age group from across all tehsils and districts,” said Satyajeet Tambe-Patil, president of the Maharashtra Youth Congress.He said the youth would be involved in discussions, meetings, seminars, live dialogues, and other programs, in both online and offline formats so that their views could be heard and included in the Congress manifesto to be released ahead of the Assembly elections.The Youth Congress campaign is likely to add to the charged political scene in the State with almost all leading parties — Shiv Sena, Bharatiya Janata Party and Nationalist Congress Party — launching their peoples contact programmes. “India is a country of youth and the government had promised to provide 2 crore jobs every year. This did not happen even as the unemployment rate has reached a peak. We need to tell the youngsters that it is only the Congress which can deliver on jobs and attain economic growth,” said Mr. Tambe-Patil.last_img read more

Inner-City Youth Take Part in Leadership Training Programme

first_img The aim is to improve the relationship between citizens and police. The training course is an initiative of the JCC’s Civic Affairs and Inner-city Development Committees. Programme participants were trained in the areas of conflict management. Story Highlights The relationship between the police and residents of several inner-city communities should see marked improvement following their participation in the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce’s (JCC) Youth Leadership Training Programme.Held in collaboration with the University College of the Caribbean (UCC), the training course is an initiative of the JCC’s Civic Affairs and Inner-city Development Committees.The aim is to improve the relationship between citizens and police, in order to reduce crime and to provide residents with the skills to contribute to the development of their communities.Members of the 57th cohort of the programme were presented with certificates during a graduation ceremony, held at the JCC’s offices in Kingston, on October 3. The group successfully completing the course comprised 38 youth, as well as five members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and two from the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF).Programme participants were trained in the areas of conflict management, interpersonal skills, human relations, employability skills, community leadership, entrepreneurship and marketing, and family life, over a six-week period.First Vice President of the JCC, Warren McDonald, said the relationship between the citizens and the police has the potential to be productive or problematic.“At the level of the society, we need that relationship to be a productive and mutually respectful one that will contribute to facilitating the environment for economic and social development,” he said.Chairman of the Civic Affairs/Inner-city Development Committees, Sameer Younis, said he was happy that the programme brings the police and the youth together, “so they now understand each other and can bring about some peace.”He told the participants that they have received an opportunity to empower themselves, and urged them to become economically independent and to focus on personal development, particularly proper family life and family values.last_img read more