Stem Cell Gurus

Stem Cell Gurus

You can scroll the shelf using and keys

Michael Answers Your Questions…

05/11/2012

Who do I see about stem cell research?  You can ask me about stem cell research.  You can also participate in stem cell clinical trials by going to www.clinicaltrials.gov and search for open clinical trials for many different diseases.

Do stem cells hurt babies?  No, in fact many baby’s lives have been saved through stem cell research.  Babies have been cured of certain cancers, treated for cerebral palsy, rare bone disorders and more.

Are stem cells genetic engineering or does harvesting make clones? Human reproductive cloning is unethical and would be very difficult to do.  Even in the case of cloning dogs and cats, the success rate is quite low <2%.  Genetic engineering of stem cells is a totally different matter.  A new type of stem cell called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC or iPS cells) were created by taking a normal skin biopsy and integrating 4 genes into it thus resetting the cells biology to act like a pluripotent stem cell, a cell capable of turning into any cell type in the body.  The NCRM has a clinical trial for glioblastoma where the patients blood forming stem cells are genetically engineered to be resistant to a specific type of chemotherapy.  Doing so allows the clinician to give higher doses of chemotherapy and, hopefully, lead to a cure for this disease that normally kills patients in 2 years with current treatments.

Can I become a super hero with stem cells?  Maybe like Wolverine.  Stem cells can heal wounds quicker and with little to no scar tissue.  There are limitations to what they can do but the full potency of stem cells are only just now being explored.  Right now we can grow skin, bones, nerves, fat, muscle and more with stem cells.

How fast do stem cells grow?  Interestingly some grow fast and some grow slow.  Embryonic stem cells grow the quickest with doubling times under 10 hours.  This means if you started out with 100 cells you would have 400 cells in less than 1 day and 1 billion in about 2 weeks – 33 population doublings.  Brain stem cells can go dormant and not grow at all for many years then when damage occurs, wake up and start growing to fix the damage.

How do I get involved with clinical trials?  You can participate in stem cell clinical trials by going to www.clinicaltrials.gov and search for open clinical trials for many different diseases.

 

Thanks for asking these great questions! Any more questions you have you can contact Michael at michael.gilkey@case.edu or simply click this post and comment in the box to your right!

What do you think?

Please keep your comments polite and on-topic.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s