Stem Cells


Artificial Human Heart Muscle Created To Help Coronary Attack Victims

International Business Times

Researchers at the Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, claim they have made an artificial human heart muscle that's big enough to be used to solve damage seen in heart attack victims. The team said that this development takes us closer towards the aim of repairing dead heart muscles in patients. The study called "Cardiopatch Platform Enables Maturation and Scale-Up of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Engineered Heart Tissues" published on Nov. 28, 2017, appeared on Nature Communications. "Right now, virtually all existing therapies are aimed at reducing the symptoms from the damage that's already been done to the heart, but no approaches have been able to replace the muscle that's lost, because once it's dead, it does not grow back on its own," said Ilya Shadrin -- the first author of the study who is also a biomedical engineering doctoral student at Duke University. "This is a way that we could replace lost muscle with tissue made outside the body."


Artificial Human Embryos Are Coming, and No One Knows How to Handle Them

MIT Technology Review

Two years ago, Shao, a mechanical engineer with a flair for biology, was working with embryonic stem cells, the kind derived from human embryos able to form any cell type. The work in Michigan is part of a larger boom in organoid research--scientists are using stem cells to create clumps of cells that increasingly resemble bits of brain, lungs, or intestine (see "10 Breakthrough Technologies: Brain Organoids"). Scientists have started seeking ways to coax stem cells to form more complicated, organized tissues, called organoids. Following guidelines promulgated last year by Kimmelman's international stem-cell society, Fu's team destroys the cells just five days after they're made.


Prospect of Synthetic Embryos Sparks New Bioethics Debate

MIT Technology Review

Two years ago, Shao, a mechanical engineer with a flair for biology, was working with embryonic stem cells, the kind derived from human embryos able to form any cell type. The work in Michigan is part of a larger boom in organoid research--scientists are using stem cells to create clumps of cells that increasingly resemble bits of brain, lungs, or intestine (see "10 Breakthrough Technologies: Brain Organoids"). Scientists have started seeking ways to coax stem cells to form more complicated, organized tissues, called organoids. Following guidelines promulgated last year by Kimmelman's international stem-cell society, Fu's team destroys the cells just five days after they're made.


From bone marrow transplant to winning medals

BBC News

Innovation in this area is being helped by the UK National Health Service's (NHS) Electronic Prescription Service (EPS), which has been rolled out over the last few years. It enables doctors to send prescriptions direct to pharmacies electronically without any need for paper. Such efficiencies have saved the NHS £137m; doctors' practices £328m; pharmacies £59m; and patients £75m, between 2013 and 2016, NHS Digital says. So his company spent three-and-a-half years building a platform, PharmacyOS, to handle every aspect of the repeat prescription process: prescribing, dispensing, delivering, billing, handling insurance claims, as well as pill-taking monitoring.


#Artificialintelligence can predict the success of IVF embryos better than do...

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Science Daily explores the issue in more depth (4 July 2017): "However, because the artificial intelligence system is a technique which analyses the embryo through mathematical variables, it offers low subjectivity and high repeatability, making embryo classification more consistent. "Nevertheless," said Professor Rocha, "the artificial intelligence system must be based on learning from a human being -- that is, the experienced embryologists who set the standards of assessment to train the system."" See also EurekAlert (4 July 2017): "The system utilizes a sophisticated architecture of multi-class deep neural networks (DNNs) and DNN ensembles trained on thousands of samples of carefully selected cells of multiple classes: embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, progenitor stem cells, adult stem cells and adult cells to recognize the class and embryonic state of the sample, achieving high accuracy in simulations. The sample sets were augmented with carefully selected and manually curated data from public repositories coming from multiple experiments and generated on different platforms.


Machine learning predicts the look of stem cells

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The Allen Cell Explorer, produced by the Allen Institute for Cell Science in Seattle, Washington, includes a growing library of more than 6,000 pictures of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) -- key components of which glow thanks to fluorescent markers that highlight specific genes. Rick Horwitz, director of the Allen Institute for Cell Science, says that the institute's images may hasten progress in stem cell research, cancer research and drug development by revealing unexpected aspects of cellular structure. The Allen Institute's visual emphasis on stem cells dovetails with a number of efforts to catalogue other aspects of cells. Aviv Regev, a computational biologist at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who is working on the Human Cell Atlas, says that the Allen Cell Explorer complements her project by focusing on the look of cellular features as opposed to how genes, RNA and proteins interact within the cell.


Scientists Use Stem Cells To Create Functional Artificial Blood

International Business Times

In one new study, researchers created a mix of different types of blood stem cells that produced different kinds of human blood cells when transfused into mice, The Independent reported. This is an important step toward making artificial human blood, as doctors believe that figuring out a way to turn stem cells into blood artificially will eventually lead to this breakthrough. For example, in a study published in March, scientists in England were able to produce about 50,000 red blood cells by coaxing stem cells into transforming into red blood cells. Another problem that stands in our way of successfully making limitless artificial blood is the risk of these new blood cells becoming cancerous, The Independent reported.


Working brain circuitry grown in a lab dish for first time

Daily Mail

Scientists hope to use the mini-brains to watch in real time the triggers for epilepsy, when brain cells become hyperactive, and autism, where they are thought to form bad connections. Human skin cells are transformed into pluripotent stem cells, capable of becoming any part of the body, using four genes in a petri dish. Dr Selina Wray, Alzheimer's Research UK senior research fellow at UCL Institute of Neurology, said: 'This technology will provide researchers with insights into brain development and disease which have not previously been possible.' Human skin cells are transformed into pluripotent stem cells, capable of becoming any part of the body, using four genes in a petri dish.


[Research Article] Assembly of embryonic and extraembryonic stem cells to mimic embryogenesis in vitro

Science

We combined embryonic and extraembryonic stem cells in vitro on such a 3D matrix and found that these cells were capable of self-assembly into a structure whose development and architecture were similar to that of the natural embryo, leading us to name them in vitro ESC and TSC stem cell–embryos (ETS-embryos). By building ETS-embryos from genetically modified stem cells and using specific inhibitors, we identify morphogenetic events and signaling pathways involved in these early developmental stages. Furthermore, we show that in vitro stem cell embryogenesis can be broken down into a sequence of key steps from implantation stage to germ layer specification. First is the self-organization of ESCs, which leads to polarization and lumenogenesis of ESC-derived embryonic compartment, followed by cavitation in the TSC-derived extraembryonic compartment. Second is the unification of embryonic and extraembryonic cavities into the equivalent of the embryo's proamniotic cavity.


Machine learning predicts the look of stem cells - PharmaVOICE

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No two stem cells are identical, even if they are genetic clones. This stunning diversity is revealed today in an enormous publicly available online catalogue of 3D stem cell images. The visuals were produced using deep learning analyses and cell lines altered with the gene-editing tool CRISPR. And soon the portal will allow researchers to predict variations in cell layouts that may foreshadow cancer and other diseases. The Allen Cell Explorer, produced by the Allen Institute for Cell Science in Seattle, Washington, includes a growing library of more than 6,000 pictures of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) -- key components of which glow thanks to fluorescent markers that highlight specific genes.