“A great science fiction detective story” - Ian Watson, author of The Universal Machine
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We’re Back after a Hiatus. Why? See this post on my main blog to find out how a Mexican revolution temporarily stymied my blogging. Don’t care? No problem — scroll down and on with the show!
A whole spectrum of current scientific research from disparate disciplines is contributing to the prospect of artificial humanity, from sciences rooted in synthetics, like traditional robotics, to sciences that apply biological processes, like regenerative medicine and xenotransplantation.
Today’s post focuses on regenerative medicine, with news from co-authors Dr. Chia Soo and Dr. Bruno Péault of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA, who have developed a technique for more quickly regenerating bone. According to Medical Xpress:
Traditionally, cells taken from fat had to be cultured for weeks to isolate the stem cells which could become bone, and their expansion increases risk of infection and genetic instability. A fresh, non-cultured cell composition called stromal vascular fraction (SVF) also is used to grow bone. However, SVF cells taken from adipose tissue are a highly heterogeneous population that includes cells that aren’t capable of becoming bone.
Péault and Soo’s team used a cell sorting machine to isolate and purify human perivascular stem cells (hPSC) from adipose tissue and showed that those cells worked far better than SVF cells in creating bone. They also showed that a growth factor called NELL-1, discovered by Dr. Kang Ting of the UCLA School of Dentistry, enhanced the bone formation in their animal model.
Their results were published in the June issue of Stem Cells Translational Medicine (not yet online, but earlier issues are available without a paywall — plus they have a free iPhone app available here).
The Center is relatively new, having been founded in February 2011, as is the journal, which began in 2012. Introductory videos for both the institution and the publication are embedded below. The videos contain a lot of bombastic music and ad-copy-style rhetoric, but there’s some worthwhile information in there that makes them worth a watch.
If you’re interested in an introduction to stem cells and regenerative medicine, don’t miss the third video, which is a good beginner lecture by Dr. Jill Helms, Associate Professor of Surgery at the Stanford School of Medicine.
Intro to the Center
Announcement of the Journal
Introductory Lecture on Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine