Breasts key to regenerative medicine?

November 4, 2010

Breasts, is there anything they can’t do?

According to Chris Calhoun, CEO of San Diego-based biotech company Cytori Therapeutics, leading to medical breakthroughs in tissue engineering is not on that list. As you may know, breasts are mostly made of adipose (fat) tissue. But what I personally didn’t know is that that adipose tissue is loaded with useful stem cells capable enhancing, healing, and rebuilding injured or damaged organs.

As Calhoun puts it:

“It’s the first practical cell therapy.” He pauses. “And it’s breasts.”

His plan is to put stem cells from breasts on the market to get around the public controversy over embryonic stem cells.

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‘Firefly’ stem cells may help repair damaged hearts

September 29, 2010

‘Firefly’ stem cells may help repair damaged hearts. No, these aren’t cells from actual fireflies but cells so named for their ability to glow like fireflies and contains the same enzyme that makes fireflies glow. But I think the coolest part of this story is this:

The “firefly” stem cells glow brighter and brighter as they develop into healthy heart muscle, allowing doctors to track whether and where the stem cells are working.

So essentially we can now track the stem cells and see exactly what they’re doing. Kinda takes all the mystery out of it.

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News From Around The Blogosphere 8.11.10

August 11, 2010

1. ARF is the reason we can’t regrow limbs

A protein called ARF, which acts as a fail-safe mechanism to protect against cancer, also prevents regeneration in mammals, a study published Aug. 6 in Cell Stem Cell suggests. ARF backs up Rb, an important anticancer protein, by limiting the ability of mature cells to divide and replicate. But researchers in California have discovered that blocking ARF and Rb allowed mature muscle cells taken from mice to proliferate, something the cells normally cannot do.The discovery is an important step in learning why mammals, including people, can’t regrow or replace lost limbs and organs the way animals such as salamanders and zebrafish can. Such work may one day lead to new treatments for injuries.

2. Pastor Michael Dowd thanks New Atheists – In a recent sermon, Dowd, who wrote Thank God for Evolution, thanked outspoken atheists for challenging the beliefs of Christians and pushing them to take a critical eye to their own beliefs. You can read the full sermon here (PDF).

3. 25% of Spaniards are without religious affiliation – That’s at least what a new study suggests. And in the U.S., it’s believed that 25% of Millennials are also without religious affiliation, so it seems the U.S. isn’t the only nation showing a rise in godlessness.

"Fuckin' bullshit! I had to wait 8 years for that shit!"

4. A robot to detect and express emotions

A team of programmers at Hertfordshire University have created Nao, a robot that detects and expresses emotions and is capable of forming bonds with people.

Dr Michio Kaku is a leading physicist and futurologist.

24th century technology

21st century technology

4. How Star Trek art directors designed the iPad 23 years ago?

“The initial motivation for that was in fact cost,” Okuda explained. “Doing it purely as a graphic was considerably less expensive than buying electronic components. But very quickly we began to realize—as we figured out how these things would work and how someone would operate them, people would come to me and say, ‘What happens if I need to do this?’ Perhaps it was some action I hadn’t thought of, and we didn’t have a specific control for that. And I realized the proper answer to that was, ‘It’s in the software.’ All the things we needed could be software-definable.”

5. Andrew Morton writes worst book of 21st century – Awhile back, I probably wrote a blurb or two about Andrew Morton’s unauthorized biography of Tom Cruise, a book I’d never actually read but felt inclined to support due to its focus on his $cientology life. That was perhaps premature as Morton has just come out with a new biography on Angelina Jolie that is apparently so atrocious in its content and constant citing of unnamed sources that it led one critic to dub it the worst book of the century, so far. Ouch.

6. Freedom from Religion Foundation puts up 20 billboards in Florida -And for once, I actually like them all.

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