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View Poll Results: After reading the post- what do you think about Stem Cell Enhancement [SCE]?

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  • I think that this is a very promising technology still in it's infancy, but in the future it can hold thousands of cures to serious diseases.

    1 100.00%
  • I think that this is a technology that holds a surprise and after further research can be improved but at the moment, I am not convinced of its capabilities.

    0 0%
  • I think that this is another failing endeavour to utilise stem cells to cure diseases and that this technology cannot hold up.

    0 0%
  • I think that this technology is extremely amateurish and in the future this cannot have any use. In other words, it completely ludicrous and utter rubbish!!

    0 0%
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Thread: Stem Cell Enhancement: Gene Therapy meets Stem Cells

  1. #1 Stem Cell Enhancement: Gene Therapy meets Stem Cells 
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    Gene therapy meets stem cells. This new innovation promises to correct diseases by targeting therapeutic genes to stem cells already living in the body.

    These are the diseases that gene therapists want to cure by targeting stem cells:

    Brain: Lysosomal Storage Diseases: Insert genes into bone marrow and neural stem cells to boost levels of therapeutic enzymes in the brain. Researchers are working ways to extract stem cells form the body, genetically modify them in the lab, and then return them apply a therapeutic effect. For example: Alessandra Biffi at the San Raffaele Telethon Institute and her colleagues are using modified bone marrow stem cells to treat metachromic leukodystrophy [MLD], this is a lysosomal storage disease. In MLD sulphatides [toxins] build up in the brain and nerves lose their myelin [insulating layer of]. This causes children with severe forms of this [MLD] to go into a severe decline of cognitive skills and die before the age of 10. This disease is caused by defects in the gene for an enzyme called ARSA. Mice experiments conducted by Biffi's team show that stem cells derived from the bone marrow can be changed to boost ARSA production- this would correct MLD. The stem cells gave rise to immune cells called microalgia.
    Furthermore, adding genes for therapeutic enzymes to neural stem cells gave rise to brain tissue. Neural stem cells also have therapeutic effects, for example, when healthy neural stem cells were injected into mice's brains who had Sandhoff disease [a LSD], the neural stem cells not only provided the missing enzyme but also had an anti-inflammatory effect which protected the brain.

    (Continued in the second post)


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  3. #2 SCE: Gene Therapy meets Stem Cells [CONTINUED] 
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    Breast: Breast Cancer: It may one day be possible to modify breast stem cells in utero to correct defective BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Stem cells are only available for modification during the short period of embryological development, so few groups are experimenting with in utero gene therapy to correct inherited diseases such as breast cancer. Jesse Vrecenak and her colleagues at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania have modified the stem cells that form breast tissue by injecting lentiviruses [carrying a marker gene] into the amniotic fluid of pregnant mice. In time, these may enable carriers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 to produce children with healthy copies of the gene in their breast tissue.

    Heart: Heart Attack: Modifying stem cells from bone marrow to enhance natural 'SOS signal' from damaged tissue and recruiting more stem cells to the site of injury. Before now, teams have endeavoured to use adult stem cells in regenerative diseases like, repairing damaged tissue after a heart attack but the efforts have been stricken by problems such as cells dying before reaching their target and not properly becoming the right cell types.
    But now researchers are genetically modifying stem cells to enhance their natural attributes and gain more control. In heart attacks, stem cells from skeletal muscle and bone marrow have been able to repair tissue damage, either through becoming heart muscle cells or releasing chemicals that urge existing cells to repair the damage. For more effect, Marc Penn at the Centre for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, genetically engineered bone marrow stem cells to treble the production of a signalling factor called SDF-1. This is an 'SOS signal' also released by damaged heart cells after a heart attack and is thought to recruit repair cells to the damage.

    (Continued in the 3rd Post)


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  4. #3 SCE: Gene Therapy meets Stem Cells [Continued] 
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    Lung: Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: Modifying endothelial progenitor cells [EPCs] to make them promote blood vessel growth and protect further damage. PAH is a fatal condition in which tiny blood vessels carrying blood to the lungs are destroyed. Previous studies have pointed out that EPCs can protect blood vessels against future damage but what about repairing damage to blood vessels after it had occurred.
    Endothelial cells usually produce an enzyme called eNOS, which is thought to promote blood vessel growth and protect against cell death. So Duncan Stewart at the University of Toronto and his team injected a circular piece of DNA containing the gene for eNOS into EPCs. They then injected the cells into rats with damaged lung vessels- because of this there was a significant improvement in blood flow to the lung of the rats compared with untreated ones [rats]. EPCs on their own promote blood vessel growth but modifying them can have greater and magnified effects.

    Upper Small Intestine: Diabetes: Using gut stem cells to produce glucose-sensitive cells that'll also manufacture insulin. People with a type 1 diabetes are unable to regulate their blood sugar because their immune system destroys beta cells in the pancreas, which produce insulin. This disease can be treated with insulin injections, but it's hard to mimic the body's precise regulation of insulin levels in response to glucose. What is needed is a type of cell that is sensitive to glucose and can be engineered to produce insulin. K cells, found in the upper part of the small intestine, are good as they produce a hormone called GIP in response to the presence of glucose in the gut. GIP transmits a message to the pancreas saying that food is entering triggering insulin production. So if K Cells can be modified to produce insulin they would cut out the middleman and deliver the hormone when necessary. But the problem is that K Cells only live for about a week before they are dropped off in the gut. So enGene (the company responsible for this research) needed to deliver the gene for insulin stem cells that continually gives rise to new K cells.
    Now they've cracked it. They used nano-particles of a polysaccharide called chitosan. The nano-particles carried two loops of DNA called plasmids, one bearing the gene for human insulin, the other encoding an enzyme that can insert the insulin gene into the cell's genome. After a single dose of nano-particles, animals showed significant production of insulin for 130 days.


    So now you can clearly see that stem cell enhancement can really help. Using stem cells and applying gene therapy, many serious diseases can be cured. But still this technology is rudimentary and still needs work. Meanwhile these researchers are applying their observations and research to clinical tests. These clinical tests may reveal promising results!!!


    Sources: Newscientist Magazine Edition: 2608: 16 June 2007
    KpATEL
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  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    and you need three threads for this because?

    1. you are a spammer?
    2. you are incredibly naive? It is your first time on a internet forum and do not know anything about net-etiquette?
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  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman Nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    and you need three threads for this because?

    1. you are a spammer?
    2. you are incredibly naive? It is your first time on a internet forum and do not know anything about net-etiquette?
    Praps he was intending to make posts rather than threads and got confused?
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  7. #6  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Makes no sense to me, since it all fits in one post.
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  8. #7  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I have merged the three threads. Spuriousmonkey let's focus on the subject rather than the poster's inexperience with the mechanics of posting on a forum.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    I'm easily distracted.
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  10. #9  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    I'm easily distracted.
    Probably something to do with the behavioural patterns conditioned by the phenotypic expression of your allele composition.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    After reading the post- what do you think about Stem Cell Enhancement [SCE]?
    Since I am supposed to be in this business myself, sort of, I usually feel de-motivated by reading this kind of news. Maybe that is because I am more interested in how things work than I am in helping society.

    Also I am de-motivated because I know that in my field currently several teams are operating on this topic and I am all alone. Hence I just go off on a tangent and go for basic mechanisms instead of therapy. No way I can compete with teams.

    that's what I think. Probably not an answer anyone is looking for.
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  12. #11  
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    This post was written to inform you about stem cell enhancement and so, don't spend your time writing childish and extremely ludicrous comments about me not fitting it in one post. And as for why I used three posts, well I wanted to introduce each aspect separately to ensure that each topic is separated and easy to read. And concerning discussion, well the poll is the starting point of discussion. Then after you've taken part in the poll, you can provide more details about opinion to STEM CELL ENHANCEMENT!
    KpATEL
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  13. #12  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Why don't you start discussing each topic in detail if you want them to be discussed in detail.

    Or can't you be bothered?
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  14. #13  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    what exactly are we supposed to be discussing? each of your posts is a long description of a certain study. you haven't posed any questions or any particular point you'd like to discuss. I think the studies are very interesting, but other than that I don't know what you're looking for.
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