Posts Tagged ‘free body parts’


Friday, August 13th, 2010

Cell reprogramming breakthrough could mend broken hearts

Heart disease remains one the biggest killers in the Western world. When a heart attack or heart failure occurs, permanent damage often results, destroying live cells and leaving the patient with irreversible scarring. Now scientists at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease (GICD) have discovered a new technique to create healthy beating heart cells from structural cells, opening up the possibility of regenerating damaged hearts. Read More

Received & published by Henry Sapiecha


Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Scientists Grow New Lungs

Using ‘Skeletons’ of Old Ones

Science (June 28, 2010) — For someone with a severe, incurable lung disorder such as cystic fibrosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a lung transplant may be the only chance for survival. Unfortunately, it’s often not a very good chance. Matching donor lungs are rare, and many would-be recipients die waiting for the transplants that could save their lives.

Such deaths could be prevented if it were possible to use stem cells to grow new lungs or lung tissue. Specialists in the emerging field of tissue engineering have been hard at work on this for years. But they’ve been frustrated by the problem of coaxing undifferentiated stem cells to develop into the specific cell types that populate different locations in the lung.

Now, researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have demonstrated a potentially revolutionary solution to this problem. As they describe in an article published electronically ahead of print by the journal Tissue Engineering Part A, they seeded mouse embryonic stem cells into “acellular” rat lungs — organs whose original cells had been destroyed by repeated cycles of freezing and thawing and exposure to detergent.

The result: empty lung-shaped scaffolds of structural proteins on which the mouse stem cells thrived and differentiated into new cells appropriate to their specific locations.

“In terms of different cell types, the lung is probably the most complex of all organs — the cells near the entrance are very different from those deep in the lung,” said Dr. Joaquin Cortiella, one of the article’s lead authors. “Our natural matrix generated the same pattern, with tracheal cells only in the trachea, alveoli-like cells in the alveoli, pneumocytes only in the distal lung, and definite transition zones between the bronchi and the alveoli.”

Such “site-specific” cell development has never been seen before in a natural matrix, said professor Joan Nichols, another of the paper’s lead authors. The complexity gives the researchers hope that the concept could be scaled up to produce replacement tissues for humans — or used to create models to test therapies and diagnostic techniques for a variety of lung diseases.

“If we can make a good lung for people, we can also make a good model for injury,” Nichols said. “We can create a fibrotic lung, or an emphysematous lung, and evaluate what’s happening with those, what the cells are doing, how well stem cell or other therapy works. We can see what happens in pneumonia, or what happens when you’ve got a hemorrhagic fever, or tuberculosis, or hantavirus — all the agents that target the lung and cause damage in the lung.”

The researchers have already begun work on large-scale experiments, “decellularizing” pig lungs with an eye toward using them to produce larger samples of lung tissue that could lead to applications in humans. They’re also taking on the challenge of vascularization — stimulating the growth of blood vessels that will enable the engineered tissues to survive outside the special bioreactors that the researchers now use to keep them alive by bathing them in a life-sustaining cocktail of nutrients and oxygen.

“People ask us why we’re doing the lung, because it’s so hard,” Cortiella said. “But the potential is so great, and the technology is here. It’s going to take time, but I think we’re going to create a system that works.”

Other authors of the Tissue Engineering Part A paper are UTMB research associate Jean Niles, associate professor Gracie Vargas, medical student Sean Winston, graduate student Shannon Walls, summer research fellows Andrea Brettler and Jennifer Wang, Andrea Cantu of Stanford University and Dr. Anthony Pham of Brown Medical School

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Regenerative body parts in the works

A Canadian researcher is hoping that within ten years, people will be able to regrow tendons, spinal cords or heart valves lost to injury or disease. Dr. Brian Amsden, a chemical engineering professor from Queen’s University, is developing a technique wherein cells from a patient’s body would be placed on a polymer prosthetic that stimulates cell growth. After the cells had established themselves sufficiently, the prosthetic would be implanted in the patient’s body. The polymer would then biodegrade, leaving behind nothing but the patient’s own tissue. Read More

Sourced and published by henry Sapiecha


Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

FDA OKs advanced prostate cancer therapy

WASHINGTON (UPI) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced approval Thursday of a new therapy for certain men suffering advanced prostate cancer.

The FDA said the drug, Provenge (sipuleucel-T), allows patients to use their own immune system to fight the disease. The drug is indicated for the treatment of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and is resistant to standard hormone treatment.

“The availability of Provenge provides a new treatment option for men with advanced prostate cancer, who currently have limited effective therapies available,” said Dr. Karen Midthun, acting director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

Provenge is an autologous cellular immunotherapy, designed to stimulate a patient’s own immune system to respond against the cancer. Each dose of Provenge is manufactured by obtaining a patient’s immune cells from the blood, the FDA said. The immune cells are then exposed to a protein that is found in most prostate cancers, linked to an immune stimulating substance. After that process, the patient’s own cells are returned to the patient to treat the prostate cancer.

Provenge, administered intravenously in a three-dose schedule given at about two-week intervals, is manufactured by the Dendreon Corp. in Seattle.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 8th June 2010


Monday, August 24th, 2009

The  Legionnaire’s Disease syndrum

Can be fatal if not treated


It  is an extremely severe form of pneumonia. The cause of Legionnaires’ disease is a bacterium, specifically the bacterium called legionella. This is a disease that is difficult for people to transmit between each other.

Most people come down with this disease by inhaling bacteria out of the air. There are specific groups of people that are more at risk for coming down with this disease. The specific groups of people that are at a high risk for this disease are people that smoke, adults that are older, and people with weakened or damaged immune systems.

Legionella bacterium is also a type of bacterium that can result in a specific type of fever called Pontiac Fever. The Pontiac fever is a milder type of fever that resembles the common flu.

Has been found in commercial air conditioner units and potting mixes with a high level of stagnant moisture.

desiccant-bag-for-transport-145091 fuel-bagshorizontal-laminar-flow-bench-302206

The good news is that this fever is usually an illness that clears up on its own without serious medical treatment. Most people do not realize that Legionnaires ’ disease can be fatal if it is not treated. The good news is that antibiotics can easily cure the disease, but catching the disease early on is the key to successful treatment.

There are several common symptoms that are related to this unusual disease. In most cases the first symptoms develop anywhere from a couple to fourteen days after taking in legionella bacterium.

Some of the symptoms that you can come down with include headaches, muscle pains, chills, and a fever of over 104 F. By the time you actually have the disease in your system you can also have symptoms of chest pain, fatigue, and loss of appetite. In very severe cases you can even come down with a symptom of mental confusion.

Knowing when to see a doctor can be difficult if you think you have this disease. If you have any of the symptoms you should monitor them extremely closely. If you think you have the disease because of symptoms that you have you should immediately seek medical attention at the doctor’s office.

The key to stopping this disease in its tracks is catching it early in the piece. If you fail to catch this disease early on it will be more difficult to treat. By diagnosing it early you can stop it from spreading to other parts of your body.

If you do come down with the disease you should not panic.

Be aware that it is a disease that is completely treatable so just stay calm and take care of your body!

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 24th August 2009



Monday, August 24th, 2009

The Effects of COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease on the Lungs

Really value & respect the term  – Took his the last breath.

Having a lung disease (also called a pulmonary disease) is never an easy thing to cope with.

Living with COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, can be especially challenging.

Our lungs are very important to healthy life and function. If you have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, you know that breathing doesn’t always come easily.

COPD is basically a combination of two other respiratory diseases- emphysema and bronchitis. With these pulmonary diseases, just like with COPD, the flow of air through the lungs and bronchial tubes is blocked. This is usually a permanent condition which gets worse over time, making it very difficult for the sufferer to breathe.


Causes of COPD

The number one cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the United States is smoking. Statistics show that nearly 15% of smokers will develop COPD. Cigarette smoke damages the lungs in several ways. One of the best ways to prevent COPD or to prevent it from getting worse is to stop smoking immediately and try to avoid being around smoke since the exact effects of second hand smoke on COPD are not completely known.

There are other things that can cause or contribute to COPD as well. Indoor and outdoor air pollution can cause or worsen COPD. Stoves used for cooking as well as silica and similar pollutants are dangerous as well. Another cause of COPD is a rare genetic condition called AAT. This causes about 1% of the cases of COPD each year.

COPD Treatment and COPD Management

In most cases, a certain amount of COPD management is possible even if the disease can’t be fully cured.

Certain types of COPD therapy that can help reduce obstruction of the airways, making it easier for you to breathe normally again. There are many medications that can assist and even reverse many of the symptoms of COPD. The earlier you seek treatment for your condition, the better your chances of reversing damage.

If you have COPD, it is important that you learn as much as you can about what caused it and what type you have. Get COPD help by working together with your doctor and talking about your past, medical history, family history and symptoms. Working together with your doctor, you can find the best plan of treatment for your COPD. Untreated COPD will most certainly always worsen.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 24th August 2009