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August 19, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Like most card-carrying conservatives, Texas Gov. Rick Perry opposes research on embryonic pluripotent stem cells.   But the presidential candidate apparently has a very open mind toward therapies developed using adult stem cells, which can be collected from a patient's own body.  So open, in fact, that on July 1 he apparently received experimental stem cell surgery on his own back.  In the procedure, doctors removed some of Perry's fat cells,...
April 17, 2014 | By Monte Morin
Scientists have replicated one of the most significant accomplishments in stem cell research by creating human embryos that were clones of two men. The lab-engineered embryos were harvested within days and used to create lines of infinitely reproducing embryonic stem cells, which are capable of growing into any type of human tissue. The work, reported Thursday in the journal Cell Stem Cell, comes 11 months after researchers in Oregon said they had produced the world's first human embryo clones and used them to make stem cells.
May 19, 2013
Re "Stem cells are made by cloning method," May 16 Cloning a human serves no purpose, so the arguments against making stem cells using a cloning method are ludicrous. On the other hand, cloning organs makes sense - the rest is just jibber-jabber from Luddites. Mike Benbrook El Cajon ALSO: Letters: Dying but not wanting to know Letters: Addiction treatment that works Letters: Election billboard ads may backfire
April 9, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
The Japanese stem cell scientist who was accused of misconduct by her own research institution apologized Wednesday for making careless mistakes but insisted that her STAP stem cells are real. Haruko Obokata told reporters at a news conference that she “produced the STAP cells successfully more than 200 times, and this is the truth,” according to the Yomiuri Shimbun's Japan News . The cells -- known formally as stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency cells -- were described in a pair of studies published in January in the journal Nature.
August 4, 2011 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
What goes wrong in Alzheimer's disease? Scientists know some things - that abnormal plaques derived from fragments of a protein called APP build up in the Alzheimer's brain, for example, and that tangles of another protein, tau, build up too. But there's a lot that scientists don't yet understand. And, as we know, effective treatments for Alzheimer's are thin on the ground. A study just published in the journal Cell may offer a better way to study what goes wrong in Alzheimer's, its authors say, and also potentially provide a source of replacement tissues down the road, as well as a way to test drugs in the lab. The researchers started with cultures of human skin cells growing in a dish - and turned them into nerve cells.
November 7, 2010 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Canadian scientists have turned human skin cells directly into blood cells, the first time one kind of mature human cell has been converted into another, they reported Sunday in the journal Nature. The transformation was completed without first rewinding the skin cells into the flexible pluripotent stem cells that have most frequently been used to grow needed tissues. By skipping the pluripotent step, the researchers believe they have skirted the risk that the replacement cells might form dangerous tumors.
September 13, 2010 | By Chris Woolston, Special to the Los Angeles Times
When doctors, researchers and celebrity lobbyists talk about the amazing potential of stem cell therapy, their discussions usually center on big-ticket items such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cancer and spinal cord injuries. They don't, as a rule, talk about wrinkles and crow's feet. But could stem cells be the next frontier in anti-aging medicine? Though most stem cell therapies are still in their infancy, a small number of plastic surgeons across the country are already offering so-called stem cell face-lifts, cosmetic procedures that use a person's own stem cells to supposedly bring new life to aging, sagging skin.
November 8, 2010 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Canadian scientists have turned human skin cells directly into blood cells, the first time one kind of mature human cell has been converted into another, according to a study published Sunday in the journal Nature. The transformation was completed without first rewinding the skin cells into the flexible pluripotent stem cells that have most frequently been used to grow tissues. By skipping the pluripotent step, the researchers believe they have skirted the risk that the replacement cells might form dangerous tumors.
January 9, 2010
A team from City of Hope in Duarte plans to genetically modify the blood-forming stem cells of AIDS patients so that they can rebuild their immune systems with new T cells that aren't susceptible to HIV. Researchers from USC and UC Santa Barbara are growing human embryonic stem cells into retinal pigment epithelium cells that can replace damaged eye cells in patients with age-related macular degeneration. Stanford University scientists would like to treat patients with a genetic skin disease called epidermolysis bullosa by reprogramming their skin cells and fixing the defect.
August 1, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel and Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
When cancers are treated, tumors may shrink but then come roaring back. Now studies on three different types of tumors suggest a key reason why: The cancers are fueled by stem cells that chemotherapy drugs don't kill. The findings - made by independent research teams that used mice to study tumors of the brain, intestines and skin - could change the approach to fighting cancers in humans, experts said. Properties of these so-called cancer stem cells can be investigated so researchers can devise strategies for killing them off, said Luis F. Parada, a molecular geneticist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and senior author of one of the studies published Wednesday.
April 7, 2014 | By Veronica Rocha
In a citywide crackdown on distracted driving, police in Glendale cited more than 50 motorists for allegedly talking on their cellphones or texting while driving on city streets. Police said that 46 of the drivers were talking on their cellphones and an additional half a dozen were pulled over for texting while driving, said Glendale police spokeswoman Tahnee Lightfoot. The crackdown was part of four operations scheduled this month, all aimed at increasing awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.
April 1, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez
Police were alerting residents in fire-scarred neighborhoods along the San Gabriel Mountains late Tuesday that rain cells expected to hit the area could cause mudslides. Advisories were issued by the Azusa and Glendora police departments for neighborhoods north of Sierra Madre Boulevard where the Colby fire burned nearly 2,000 acres in January. Several storm cells were expected around 1 a.m. Wednesday and could drop 0.25 to 0.50 inches of rain, officials said. The showers could last as long as 30 minutes each.
April 1, 2014 | By Monte Morin
Research that made international headlines with a purported breakthrough in the creation of highly valuable stem cells has been found to contain falsified and manipulated data, according to a panel of Japanese investigators. At a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday, the government's RIKEN research institute announced that it had concluded an investigation into allegations of misconduct, and found that the lead author of the study had improperly altered images of DNA fragments used in the research.
March 27, 2014 | Monte Morin
As new revelations further discredit a highly publicized Japanese study on the use of acid to create so-called STAP stem cells, scientists in the U.S. have quietly announced a research breakthrough that involves a more traditional means of producing the amazingly versatile cells. In a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature, researchers said they had successfully generated embryonic stem cells using fertilized mouse embryos -- a feat that many scientists had thought was impossible.
March 25, 2014 | By Deborah Vankin
I imagine that I know what it's like to be abducted by aliens. Or to leap out of a speeding jet while tripping on acid. With only two weeks left before the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's James Turrell retrospective closes, I squeaked into the artist's much talked about Perceptual Cell, “Light Reignfall,” last weekend.  The retrospective is open to anyone who makes a reservation, but the Perceptual Cell is a separate $45 ticket for...
March 24, 2014 | By Amina Khan
Our bones are remarkable feats of engineering; strong and yet light, shot through with holes and yet able to bear incredible loads. This super-strong natural material is built as cells incorporate hard minerals like calcium into living tissue. Now, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are borrowing this idea from nature: They've created living cells that incorporate inorganic matter like gold and quantum dots. These bacterial factories, described in the journal Nature Materials, could one day help create fully functional hybrid "living materials" that could be integrated into everyday objects and devices, from solar panels to adjustable furniture.
July 15, 2010 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
In addition to doling out roughly $3 billion in stem cell research money, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine also holds a poetry contest. The contest was initiated last year to celebrate Stem Cell Awareness Day (also known as Sept. 23). The theme, "What stem cell research means to me," was broad enough to include entries from scientists, patients who could potentially be treated with stem cells, or anyone else who supports the research. There were enough entries to warrant two first-place awards.
November 24, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
A type of brain cell once thought to be little more than the neuron's supportive sidekick may have a lead role in pruning the electrochemical connections that are crucial to brain development, learning, memory and cognition, a new study suggests. Astrocytes, a type of glial cell, turn out to be veritable Pac-men, steadily gobbling up weak, extraneous and redundant synapses that are the vital link between neurons, according to a study published online Sunday in the journal Nature.
March 14, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan and Monte Morin
The Japanese research institution at the center of a growing controversy over a new type of stem cells said Friday that its investigation of four scientists has confirmed two instances of "inappropriate" behavior but that neither case was severe enough to be considered intentional misconduct or outright fabrication of data. An investigative committee at RIKEN, which is funded primarily by the Japanese government, has been looking into charges that two high-profile papers published in January in the journal Nature included plagiarized material, duplicate photos and doctored figures.
March 11, 2014 | Karen Kaplan
A number of scientists have been grumbling for weeks about a pair of breakthrough stem cell studies that seemed too good to be true. Now one of the senior researchers who worked on the papers agrees that they may be right. The studies, which were published in January by the journal Nature, described a surprisingly simple method of transforming mature cells into pluripotent stem cells capable of regenerating any type of tissue in the body. The key was to stress them out by soaking them in an acid bath for 30 minutes, prompting genetic changes that made the cells more flexible.
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