When a little robot turned up for registration, its classmates were, understandably, rather excited to meet the new kid. But behind the gadget's somewhat blank demeanour was someone they already knew very well – their friend Oscar Saxelby-Lee, who has been in hospital battling cancer. The five-year-old can attend school for the first time in seven months thanks to the robot, which sends a live video feed to his hospital bed and has two-way audio. Oscar had a potentially life-saving stem cell transplant after a record 10,000 would-be donors queued to help, following a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, an aggressive cancer. Oscar Saxelby-Lee (left), from Worcester, hasn't been able to go to school since being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in December. But now, thanks to the AV1 'Ozzybot' (right) he can watch his teachers and school-friends live through a camera and microphone feed linked up to a tablet or smartphone in his hospital bed Although he … [Read more...] about Back to school… as a robot! Stem cell transplant boy, 5, can attend class from his hospital bed
Revaccination after autologous stem cell transplant
With a jolt from a tiny chip, humdrum skin cells may transform into medical mavericks. A small electrical pulse blasts open tiny pores in cells and zaps in fragments of DNA or RNA loaded in the chip’s nanochannels. Those genetic deliveries then effectively reprogram the skin cells to act like other types of cells and repair damaged tissue. In early experiments on mice, researchers coaxed skin cells to act like brain cells. They also restored blood flow to a rodent’s injured limb by prompting skin cells to grow into new blood vessels. The technology, published this week in Nature Nanotechnology, is still a long way from confirmed clinical applications in humans. But, the Ohio State researchers behind the chip are optimistic that it may one day perform myriad medical feats—including healing severe injuries, restoring diseased organs, erasing brain damage, and even turning back the clock on aging tissues. The researchers, led by regenerative medicine expert Chandan Sen … [Read more...] about Heal thyself: Skin-zapping chip aims to reprogram cells for tissue repair
Video PlayerClose JERUSALEM, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Israeli bio-pharmaceutical company Kadimastem announced on Tuesday a success in trials, on mice, of a drug for the treatment of diabetes based on pancreatic cells. The product developed by the company, IsletRx, includes pancreatic cells in combination with a unique micro-encapsulation technology developed by the company. According to the company's announcement, the results demonstrated a safe method of delivery of the drug, as well as efficacy manifested by prolonged normalized blood sugar levels in treated immunocompetent diabetic mice. The company added that no complications related to the disease or treatment were observed throughout the 3-month trials, and all treated mice remained healthy. This compares with a control group of untreated diabetic mice, which had acute hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels), leading to mortality in the first 40 days of the trials. The results also showed that integrating pancreatic cells with the … [Read more...] about Israeli firm develops drug for diabetes, based on pancreatic cells
Sickle cell disease gets its name from the distorted shape of a patient's red blood cells, which are sometimes C-shaped rather than the normal doughnut shape. The cells' disfigurement comes from the presence of abnormal hemoglobin — a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. Not all red blood cells are sickle shaped all the time — they take on the shape in response to a stressor, such as lack of oxygen, dehydration or infection.The disease is hereditary. People who have two copies of the sickle cell gene, one from each parent, are said to have sickle cell anemia, the most severe form of the disease. People with one sickle cell gene are said to have sickle cell trait. They don't show symptoms, but can pass the gene on to their children.Having just one copy of the gene confers protection against malaria. This protection is thought to be why the genetic mutation has stuck around over the course of evolution.It may also explain why the disease … [Read more...] about What Is Sickle Cell Disease?
A new drug may improve blood flow in patients with sickle-cell disease, easing pain and reducing their risk of dying from the condition, a new study suggests.The drug is just one of many approaches being explored as a new therapy for sickle-cell disease. There is currently only one drug, called hydroxyurea, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat the condition, and not all patients respond to it."Hydroxyurea has been very useful, and for some patients, it's been terrific," said Dr. Martin Steinberg, a professor at Boston University School of Medicine who studies sickle-cell disease. But because it doesn't work for everyone, "it's vitally important to develop other types of medicine that work in ways that are different from how hydroxyurea works," he said.The new study was conducted in mice, and further research is needed to determine if the drug will work in humans, the researchers said.The study was published Jan. 13 in the journal Blood.Blocking blood … [Read more...] about New Drug May Ease Pain of Sickle Cell Anemia