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HEALTH
February 7, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
It's one of the most vexing problems in medical science: How can you mend a broken heart? A decade ago, researchers and cardiologists thought they had found an answer in stem cells. These powerful cells lurk throughout the body, repairing and maintaining tissues as needed. In the laboratory, scientists can transform them into heart cells. When implanted in animals, they grow into new heart tissue too. So it was with high hopes that researchers transfused stem cells into patients suffering from heart failure — people whose hearts, weakened by heart attacks or other conditions, no longer pumped enough blood through their bodies.
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SCIENCE
October 4, 2012 | By Eryn Brown and Karen Kaplan
In a long-sought achievement, Japanese researchers have demonstrated in mice that both eggs and sperm can be grown from stem cells and combined to produce healthy offspring, pointing the way to a new avenue for fertility treatments. If the milestone accomplishment can be repeated in humans -- and experts said they are optimistic that such efforts will ultimately succeed -- the technique could make it easier for women in their 30s or 40s to become mothers. It could also help men and women whose reproductive organs have been damaged by cancer treatments or other causes.
NEWS
September 20, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Two new recipients of the MacArthur fellowships -- the so-called genius awards that provide $500,000 each to recipients to help them pursue any projects they like -- will use their prize money to delve into the inner workings of some of nature's tiniest structures: viruses and stem cells. Elodie Ghedin, a 44-year-old genomics scientist at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, decodes the genomes of pathogens such as parasites and viruses to understand how they adapt to their hosts and evolve.
NEWS
November 12, 2010 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
A specific type of stem cells transplanted into the leg muscles of injured young mice not only repaired the muscle damage but triggered changes in the muscle tissue that made it resistant to normal aging. The surprising finding, which was published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine suggests that, under the proper conditions, stem cells might regenerate muscle tissue. Researchers led by Bradley Olwin of the University of Colorado, Boulder, took stem cells from the muscles of young donor mice and transplanted them into mice with muscle injuries.
SCIENCE
November 6, 2012 | By Jon Bardin
Stem cell therapy may help repair the hearts of patients who have suffered heart attacks, and, according to a new study published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn., it may not matter whether those stem cells come from the patient or a donor. For decades, common belief was that areas of the heart severely damaged by a heart attack could not be repaired. But the development of advanced cell therapies, in which stem cells or other cell types are injected into the damaged area, have provided new hope that interventions may be possible.
NEWS
November 2, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Sweeping away so-called senescent cells -- aging cells that have stopped dividing -- can slow aging-related ailments, including cataracts and muscle loss, in mice, researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said. According to the scientists' study, which was published online Wednesday in the journal Nature, the role of senescent cells in aging-related disorders is not well understood.   Senescence has a purpose: It slows the proliferation of damaged cells in the body, and thus plays a role in halting the growth of cancers.
NEWS
June 8, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Scientists at University College London have been able to coax cells in the hearts of adult mice to grow new, beating heart tissue. The work, described Wednesday in the journal Nature, is part of a body of research that fuels hopes that someday scientists will figure out a way to stimulate stem-like cells in adult human hearts to mend the damage caused by heart attacks.  Cracking that nut is one of the foremost challenges in cardiology.  About...
NEWS
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,...
HEALTH
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 17, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
Dr. Mahlon Hoagland, who helped unravel the mystery of how cells build proteins by discovering a molecule that brings individual amino acids to growing protein chains and who spent the latter part of his career explaining biology to the public in a series of well- received books, died Sept. 18 at his home in Thetford, Vt. He was 87. He had been suffering from cardiovascular disease and kidney failure and chose to abstain from food and drink to die peacefully, lingering for nine days with his family at hand.
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