Oct 18, 2016
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Posted by: evgenia.tsenova
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Category: English
PARIS – In a step forward for organ regeneration, stem cells grown from a single monkey’s skin cells revitalized the damaged hearts of five sick macaques, Japanese scientists reported Monday. The experiment builds toward the goal of providing a vast and noncontroversial source of rejuvenating cells to transplant into heart attack victims, researchers wrote in the science journal Nature.
 
This would obviate the need to harvest stem cells from embryos or from transplant recipients themselves. The team used so-called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).
These are created by stimulating mature, already specialized cells — such as a skin cell — back into a neutral, juvenile state from which they can develop into any other type of human cell.
Before the iPSC technique emerged, pluripotent stem cells were harvested from human embryos, which are destroyed in the process — a controversial practice.
There is a third category of stem cells, which can be directly harvested from humans. These “adult” stem cells exist deep inside certain organs, including the heart, to replenish damaged cells.
Adult heart stem cells have already been experimentally used in heart attack victims. And therapy with embryonic stem cells has shown promise in treating severe heart failure.
But the Japanese team said theirs was the first study to use iPSCs to fix heart damage.
Human iPSCs have long been touted as a promising source of cells for heart repair.
But growing them from the patient’s own cells was “time-consuming, laborious and costly,” while heart cells grown from another person’s cells may be rejected as foreign by the recipient’s immune system, the researchers wrote.
In the monkey trials, the team chose a molecule in an immune-system cell that was a match in both donor and recipients, to stop the body’s defense system identifying and reacting to the “intruder” cells.
They also gave the monkeys mild immunosuppressant drugs, and monitored them for 12 weeks.
The cells improved heart function, though there were problems with irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), the team observed. Importantly, the new cells were not rejected.
“We still have some hurdles, including the risk of tumor formation, arrhythmias, cost, etc,” said study co-author Yuji Shiba of Shinshu University in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture.
But he was confident that iPSC heart cells will be tested in human trials “in a few years.”
Experts not involved in the study said it is a step forward but cautioned of a long road ahead.
“I do not think stem cell treatment for heart failure will become a reality for many years,” said cardiologist Tim Chico of the University of Sheffield.

Source:http://www.japantimes.co.jp/

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Oct 18, 2016
|
English
PARIS – In a step forward for organ regeneration, stem cells grown from a single monkey’s skin cells revitalized the damaged hearts of five sick macaques, Japanese scientists reported Monday. The experiment builds toward the goal of providing a vast and noncontroversial source of rejuvenating cells to transplant into heart attack victims, researchers wrote in the science journal Nature.
 
Sep 20, 2016
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English

People aged 45 and over at greater risk of heart disease if they work in sales, office support roles or service occupations
Those in management or professional roles are at lower risk, experts say
Heart disease is the leading cause of death around the world
Experts analyzed 7 key indicators of heart health - blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, exercise, diet, weight and smoking
Take simple steps, such as a walk at lunch, to improve health, say experts

Jul 25, 2016
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English

It is estimated that digital data will reach 44 trillion gigabytes by 2020, a tenfold increase from figures in 2013. That's enough to create six stacks of computer tablets reaching the moon! Will there be enough storage? Researchers from Microsoft and the University of Washington (UW) are looking to address this issue by turning to DNA as a storage solution.
In a study, the researchers detailed a new technique they have developed which allowed them to successfully encode four image files worth of digital data into the nucleotide sequences of snippets of synthetic DNA.

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