research

Stem cell therapies and neurological disorders of the brain: what is the truth?

There have been several claims that stem cells can already be used in patients affected by neurological disorders. What do we really know about these therapies and how should these claims be viewed?

Genome editing and stem cells: Questions and Answers

The development of new precise and fast genome editing tools, like CRISPR/Cas9, has changed the landscape of biomedical research forever.  Much has been written about the technology, but what does it mean for the field of stem cell research and regenerative medicine? Take an in-depth look at genome editing and stem cells with our Questions and Answers.

Rebooting the immune system: Blood stem cells in multiple sclerosis therapy

As part of an international clinical trial, researchers at the Sheffield Teaching Hospital recently reported interesting developments in multiple sclerosis therapy. Using the patients’ own blood stem cells, the scientists were able to reboot their immune system, therefore preventing autoreactive immune cells from further attacks on their fragile nervous system.

Patient access to unproven stem cell treatments: a human rights issue?

"Well I can't get any sicker than I am… it's worth the risk. It's worth trying…you hope that it's a solution"

Sylvia (not her real name) is one of a growing number of patients seeking access to unproven stem cell treatments to treat a debilitating chronic illness. Despite widespread support for tighter regulation and monitoring, the market for unproven stem cell treatments appears to be expanding. In Australia, for example, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of private stem cell clinics, from two to more than forty in just three years. This series of blog posts examines some of the complex issues behind unproven stem cell treatments.

The ethics of changing genes in the embryo

From the moment we began to unlock the secrets of the genome, the complete set of DNA including all genes and understand the effects that genes can have on human health, the idea of modifying the human genome – and hence controlling these effects – has held both promise and peril. Visions of a bright future free from the sufferings of genetic disease contrast starkly with darker fears of a genetically-engineered ‘Brave New World’. 

CRISPR - changing the gene editing landscape

In the last few years, the scientific community has seen rapid development of a new and ‘game-changing’ technology called CRISPR/Cas9. But what is CRISPR? How is it is being used by stem cell researchers? And why has it sparked debate? In this post, Dong Liu (PhD student at MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine) describes a technology that is altering the pace and possibilities of stem cell research.

Eight tiny organs grown by scientists

On 20 July researchers at the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine announced that they had regrown damaged livers in mice. It’s just one example of scientists growing tiny versions of organs in animals and in the lab to study development and disease, and test potential treatments. Many of these organs also represent the first steps towards growing whole organs – or parts of organs – for transplant. MRC Science Writer Cara Steger rounds up progress.

Regulation of unproven stem cell therapies – medicinal product or medical procedure?

This article is the second in a series of posts about unproven stem cell treatments by guest authors Casimir MacGregor, Alan Petersen and Megan Munsie. Their first post took a closer look at Germany's X-Cell Center and stem cell tourism. Here they consider the regulatory frameworks governing unproven stem cell treatments in Europe, the US and Australia.

Stem cell research: promise, progress and hype

The melting pot of expectations, hope, responsibility, idealism and realism in the field of stem cell research were the subject of a panel discussion for media representatives at the recent ISSCR Conference in Stockholm titled “Stem cell research: promise, progress and hype".

Organoids for personalized cancer treatment

Two studies published in Nature and Cell this month show that organoids, miniature organs that can be cultured in a dish, could be crucial for personalized treatment of cancer.

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