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Posts tagged Stem Cells

Stem Cells Derived from Patient’s Skin Provide Insights into AMD

Dr. Stephen TsangInduced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) — stem cells derived by genetically tweaking a small sample of a person’s skin or blood — are again demonstrating their power for helping researchers fight retinal diseases.

In this latest development, Stephen Tsang, M.D., Ph.D., a Foundation-funded researcher at Columbia University, used them to create a human model of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The advancement not only gives us a better understanding of how AMD occurs; it provides a new, and potentially better, platform for testing vision-saving therapies. Results of the study were published in Human Molecular Genetics.

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Have Scientists Found a Better Way to Make Stem Cells?

Stem cell cultures, courtesy of the NIHCould soaking a patient’s blood cells in a liquid with the acidity of vinegar be a safer and more effective way to develop stem cells for vision-restoring, retinal-disease treatments? Based on a study recently published in Nature, it might be. The research has a long way to go before it is ready for prime time — i.e., evaluation in humans — but the results thus far are intriguing.
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Turning Stem Cells Into “Super” Models

detail image of a retina, with photoreceptors in green.It’s a mystery that has confounded scientists for many years: Why don’t mice with Usher syndrome type 1 — one of three types of combined blindness and deafness in humans — lose vision? It is an important question, because mouse models help us understand how vision is lost and how effective treatments might be. But if the mouse isn’t losing vision, how can we tell if a potential vision-saving therapy is working?
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A “Bigger Boat” – The Role of Nanoparticle Treatments

NanoparticlesAfter a rigorous review process, the Foundation is funding eight new research projects for a wide range of conditions, including Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinitis pigmentosa (RP). You can read about these exciting projects in an article recently posted on the Foundation’s homepage.

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Israeli Research Group Receives $1.33 Million to Advance Stem Cell Treatment

Dr. Benjamin Reubinoff

I was heartened to just learn that researchers from the Hadassah-Hebrew Medical Center in Jerusalem are receiving a $1.33 million grant from the Israeli government to advance their development of a stem cell treatment for people with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD Hadassah is also funded by the Foundation Fighting Blindness. We are providing the group with a three-year, $300,000 grant for development of stem cell therapies.

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Have I Got a Cure for You! Debunking an Alleged Treatment on the Internet

In the lab with beakerIt seems there is no dearth of fantastic cures being touted on the Internet and in email inboxes these days. Sort of reminds me of those old Western movies where the itinerant peddler sells the magic elixir that will cure any and all ailments you have. Continue Reading…

Japanese Group Plans Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Clinical Trial

Rod cells derived from iPSC at the RIKEN labs.I just learned some promising news from the stem cell research front. RIKEN, an innovative research group in Japan, is hoping to launch a clinical trial of an age-related macular degeneration (AMD) treatment derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). Based on my current knowledge, this would be the first-ever iPSC-based treatment for the retina to move into a human study.
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An Incremental but Important Step in Stem Cell Transplantation

A highly-magnified image of photoreceptors, also known as rods and cones, in the human retina.

A highly-magnified image of photoreceptors, also known as rods and cones, in the human retina.

So, here I am catching up on some journal reading, when Nature sends out an eblast touting new exciting advances in stem cell work, including a paper about the eye. Of course, I immediately jump to the site and find a research paper published online that reports on the modestly successful transplantation of precursor rod cells — cells that are more developed than stem cells but not quite mature rod cells — into mice with night blindness (congenital stationary night blindness). While vision improvement was not dramatic, the treated mice did see better in dim lighting; they were able to navigate a water maze in greatly reduced light much better than untreated mice. Continue Reading…

There’s More Than One Way to Correct a Genetic Defect

Video Included:
Image form Protein Simulation
We live in a time when it’s often easier and cheaper to replace something than to fix it. Whether you have a broken TV, camera or vacuum cleaner, you’re more likely to buy a new one than to take it into the shop to have it repaired. Often, you don’t have much of a choice; there aren’t many repair shops left.

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ACT’s Stem Cell Clinical Trial Expanding to Bascom Palmer

Woman looking through microscopeI am pleased to report that Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) just received institutional review board approval to add Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Florida, as a clinical trial site for its stem-cell-derived treatment for people with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Bascom Palmer has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the best ophthalmology hospital in the U.S. for the last eight years, so they are no doubt a valuable addition to the study.
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