Eurostemcell newsletter: June 2012

Embryonic stem cell research in the news

This month embryonic stem cell research is back in the headlines as the European Parliament debate plans for the EU's next research funding programme. Meanwhile, the UK's Guardian newspaper talks to Austin Smith and Pete Coffey about progress and challenges in embryonic stem cell research.  And we've got lots of new stem cell material for you too - the documentary Stem Cell Revolutions will be available online from 2nd July, and check out our new fact sheets on the heart and on mesenchymal stem cells. As ever, we're keen to hear your feedback and ideas - on these stories and others.This newsletter is sent out monthly. For more regular updates, you can also follow us on Twitter, like our Facebook page or subscribe to our RSS feeds. You have received this newsletter because you have signed up to the EuroStemCell site, or have been involved in a related project. If you do not wish to receive subsequent editions, please use the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this message.

Patients and researchers urge EU to keep funding embryonic stem cell research

Patient associations and leading research funders have called on the European Parliament to continue EU funding for embryonic stem cell research. The Wellcome Trust issued the group's joint statement last Friday 15th June, ahead of parliamentary debates this week in which MEPs will discuss the EU's next major research and innovation funding programme, 'Horizon 2020'.

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New documentary available on DVD and online from 2 July

The award-winning documentary Stem Cell Revolutions will be available online from 2nd July 2012. If you haven't already watched the trailer for this fabulous 70-minute film, you can view it on the Films page of our site. The full film will be available in two online versions: For personal use, it will be available for rental, accessible up to five times within 30 days for a one-time fee of £4.50. For educational use, the film will be available for purchase as a download-to-own file that won't expire. The educational version is divided into several short chapters and will be supported by information on school curriculum relevance, as well as suggested supporting classroom activities. Prices vary by region. For those who prefer DVDs, these will be available soon after 2nd July - watch this space!

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Stem cells everywhere - news, blogs, tweets

Last week, the UK's Guardian newspaper published an article looking at the progress and current challenges of stem cell research. With the help of scientists Austin Smith, Pete Coffey and Alison Murdoch, the Guardian's Health Editor Sarah Boseley gives a clear and very readable overview of the field, from clinical trials to basic research and policy. It's always a delight to read carefully composed articles like these, and its a nice bonus when we've helped make a connection behind the scenes, in this case between Austin and Sarah.

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Stem cell fact sheets

Short summaries, reviewed by senior scientists, to help non-scientists quickly get the facts about stem cells and regenerative medicine. Take a look at the whole collection (16 published so far, some in French, German & Italian too). Here are our latest two fact sheets, published last week...

Mesenchymal stem cells: the 'other' bone marrow stem cells

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can make several types of cells belonging to our skeletal tissues, such as cartilage, bone and fat. Scientists are investigating how MSCs might be used to treat bone and cartilage diseases. Some MSC research is also exploring therapies for other diseases, but the scientific basis for these applications has not yet been established or widely accepted.

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The heart: our first organ

About 7 million people around the world have a heart attack each year and heart diseases are the most common cause of death in Europe. A serious heart attack leaves behind damage that the body can never fully repair. Why can’t the human heart heal itself, whilst some other parts of the body like the skin or blood are constantly renewed and repaired? Could stem cell research give us new ways to mend broken hearts?

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Stem cell resources: recent additions to our directory

We're cataloging useful resources from across the globe. To search the full list or add your own, visit our stem cell resources page.