The regeneration of stem cell research in South Korea …

TOKYO — Nearly a decade after a star scientist’s faked papers set back South Korean research on regenerative medicine, industry, government and academia are making a renewed push. Scientists in the country are progressing toward practical use of versatile cells, particularly embryonic stem (ES) cells from fertilized eggs.

Hwang Woo-suk, then a professor at Seoul National University, rose to prominence around the turn of the century as a result of his work cloning animals and, later, developing stem cells derived from cloned human embryos. But in 2005, a scandal erupted over fabrications in his papers on the stem cell technology.

Today, South Korea’s scientific community appears to be leaving the controversy behind as it pursues a range of ambitious projects.

The CHA Bio Complex on the outskirts of Seoul

The CHA Bio Complex on the outskirts of Seoul

The renaissance is evident in Pangyo Techno Valley, a high-tech zone on the outskirts of Seoul. An enormous building with curved walls resembling the double-helix structure of DNA was completed there in late May. It is home to the CHA Bio Complex, a place for collaboration between universities, research labs and biotechnology companies affiliated with major medical group CHA Health Systems.

More than 1,000 researchers toil in the building, which has some 60,000 sq. meters of floor space. They are mainly focusing on ES cells and stem cells cultivated into specific tissues. They have established South Korea’s largest ES cell bank and are collecting 50 lines — groups of stem cells that can be propagated on and on. These lines are produced from fertilized human eggs and registered with government institutions.

The research at the CHA Bio Complex is expected to lead to clinical trials at a general hospital in the group, located about five minutes away by car. A treatment for age-related macular degeneration, an incurable eye disease, has already reached the trial stage. Retinal cells created from ES cells were transplanted into four patients, and after six months to a year, no serious side effects were observed.

The South Korean scientists are also looking into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. They hope to work with Japanese universities and hospitals, which have zeroed in on this technology. Still, ES studies remain the focus in Seoul, since they are further along.

Cell clones

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Trying out a stem cell facial

TO SOME people, the term stem cell may seem kind of taboo. I personally would not want something from animals injected into my system. But Im okay with non-invasive treatments, so I was interested to try out a plant-based stem cell facial.

After cleansing and toning, cotton pads moistened with a clear solution were laid on my eyelids to protect them from a three-minute steaming session. This was followed by a special tool called a scrubber that kind of looks like a computer mouse, but helps to remove dead skin cells and unblock pores without using the rather painful pricking tool.

Next, a rejuvenating gel was applied, followed by the plant-derived stem cell formula. A unique cooling machine was used to massage it into the skin for 10 minutes. Using this machine for cold electrophoresis helps the skin absorb serums and vitamins, without having to use injections. This was great for someone like me, who is wary of invasive treatments. The cooling machine feels like having an ice-cold metal ball massaged on the face; very invigorating, indeed.

Just when I thought my skin already got a lot of pampering, the stem cell was followed by a face mask full of natural vitamins. While it penetrated into my skin, I was given an arm and foot massage, which was nice for further relaxation.

With my combination skin, I looked pretty greasy right afterwards. When I woke up the next day, I didnt see a visible difference in my skin, but it was very smooth and supple to the touch. You may not see instant results with a treatment like this, but its a good treatment to maintain radiance, softness and hydration from beneath the surface of the skin.

This type of facial is not recommended for those with oily or acne-prone skin because the added oiliness may exacerbate problems, but it is ideal for those with dry or mature skin, as it is deeply nourishing and moisturizing. After the first treatment or over time, depending on the condition of your skin, stem cell diminishes fine lines, prevents wrinkles, and promotes cell renewal (a process that slows with age) to give that glowing look that signifies healthy, youthful skin.

I tried out the stem cell facial at Lohas skin and slimming center on Paseo Saturnino, Banilad. Its a more upscale experience here with your own room, as opposed to being in one large room with dividers, in case privacy is an issue for you. All of their machines and products are brought in from Korea and their staff, like my therapist Jennylyn, are highly knowledgeable and know just how much pressure to apply during the treatment. The service, facilities and products used add up to a luxurious treatment session that makes one feel very pampered.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 15, 2014.

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STEMS Regenerative Medicine – stem cell regenerative medicine

Language Translation:

Affiliated Hospitals in China

Awards: 2011 Case Report of the Year Award by BioMedCentral (BMC)

Publications by Jae W. Pak, MD: 1. JMCR. Regeneration of Bones in Hip Osteonecrosis and Cartilage in Knee Osteoarthritis with adipose tissue-derived stems cells in human. Journal of Medical Case Reports July 2011.

2. Pain Physician. Autologous Adipose Tissue-Derived Stem Cells Induce Persistent Bone-Like Tissue in Osteonecrotic Femoral Heads.Pain Physician Jan/Feb 2012, vol 15, issue 1, Page 75-85

3. PLOS One. A novel biological approach to treat chondromalacia patellae.PLOS ONE May 2013.PLoS ONE 8(5): e64569.

4. BMC Musculoskeletal disorders 2013,J. Pak et al. Safety reporting on implantation of autologous adipose tissue-derived stem cells with platelet-rich plasma into human articular joints.BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2013, 14:337

5. BioMed Research International Review Article”Regenerative repair of damaged meniscus with autologous adipose-tissue-derived stem cells,” BioMed Research International, vol. 2014, Article ID 436029, 10 pages, 2014.

6.BioMed Research InternationalClinical applications of platelet-rich plasma in patellar tendinopathy.BioMed Research International, vol. 2014, Article ID 436029, 10 pages, 2014.

However, adipose (fat) tissue-derived repair stem cells (aka ADSCs)can becollected by a liposuction of the patient and injected into the lesion along with PRP.

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My ring bling thing

As cell phones become ever more essential (Are they really mobile if theyre permanently attached to us?), they become a kind of archeological artifact, something that speaks about us as much as to us.

Researchers at Penn State conducted a study looking at how persons of different cultures chose and customized their phones protective cases. People from Eastern cultures, such as Japan and South Korea, tended to be more motivated to change the look and sound of their mobile phones.

People who live in collectivist cultures are often more other-directed, said study author S. Shyam Sundar. They want to know how others might look at them and also look at others as a way of influencing their own behaviors.

Thus, Eastern cultures were more likely to spruce up cases with charms, stickers and noticeably alter functions like ringtones and screen wallpapers all to more clearly fit within a social set. Conversely, the researchers said Americans appeared to worry less about how others perceived them and, perhaps contrarily, customized less.

Still, overall cell phone users are increasingly blinging out their phones, which they view as not merely a communications tool, but as a way to communicate to others who they are.

Medical history

This week in 1997, it was announced the first human stem cells had been cultured in a laboratory by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. The cells were derived from embryonic tissue.

Phobia of the week

Chaetophobia fear of hair

Body of knowledge

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Stem Cell Therapy in South Korea | The Help of Stem Cells

Originally posted by PlacidWay here:

Alzheimers disease treatment with stem cells is an alternative treatment that focuses on re-establishing neuronal connections lost. Because Alzheimers is a neurodegenerative condition that affects the brain, scientists are constantly researching ways to tackle the diseases symptoms, while, on the other hand, the specific cause of Alzheimer and the complete cure are still under research.

Alzheimers is actually a form of dementia, which shows progressive neurological degeneration. Spotting the signs in the early stage is crucial, as the chances for successful treatment are lower as the disease progresses. See here the signs of Alzheimers disease.

Stem cells are cells responsible with regenerating, being part of the bodys own repair mechanism. As research has shown, several types of regenerative cells treatments have been effective in treating Alzheimers disease:

The medical centers that have been successfully processing stem cells for use in treating the symptoms of Alzheimers disease worldwide:

Swiss Medica Starting from $17,000

Stem Cell Therapy in Switzerland & Serbia

Stem Cell Therapy Vienna Starting from $21,000

Stem Cell Technologies in Austria

Integra Medical Center Starting from $14,000

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What increases the neuronal plasticity of endogenous NSCs after focal cerebral ischemia?



Contact: Meng Zhao 86-138-049-98773 Neural Regeneration Research

Stem cells can substitute the lost cells after central nervous system injury, decrease nervous tissue damage and promote neurofunctional recovery. Many brain injury models, including middle cerebral artery occlusion and traumatic brain injury models, have confirmed that neural stem cells (NSCs) can migrate from subventricular zone to injured cerebral cortex. But the mechanism underlying activation of endogenous NSCs in the ischemic brain remains unclear. Dr. Hyung-Seok Kim, Chonnam National University Medical School, Korea and his team revealed that NSCs were activated sequentially after focal cerebral ischemia and validated that early expressions of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha and vascular endothelial growth factor increase the neuronal plasticity of activated endogenous NSCs after focal cerebral ischemia. Moreover, neural precursor cells after large-scale cortical injury could be recruited from the cortex nearby infarct core and subventricular zone. Related results were published in Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 9, No. 9, 2014).

Article: ” Early expressions of hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha and vascular endothelial growth factor increase the neuronal plasticity of activated endogenous neural stem cells after focal cerebral ischemia” by Seung Song1, Jong-Tae Park1, Joo Young Na1, Man-Seok Park2, Jeong-Kil Lee3, Min-Cheol Lee4, Hyung-Seok Kim1, 4 (1 Department of Forensic Medicine, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea; 2 Department of Neurology, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea; 3 Department of Neurosurgery, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea; 4 Department of Pathology, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea)

Song S, Park JT, Na JY, Park MS, Lee JK, Lee MC, Kim HS. Early expressions of hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha and vascular endothelial growth factor increase the neuronal plasticity of activated endogenous neural stem cells after focal cerebral ischemia. Neural Regen Res. 2014;9(9):912-918.

Contact: Meng Zhao 86-138-049-98773 Neural Regeneration Research


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UC Davis Researchers' Discovery Has Implications for Developing Treatments for Deafness

Sacramento, Calif. (PRWEB) July 15, 2014

Researchers at UC Davis School of Medicine have for the first time shown that a polysialylated glycoprotein that regulates neurodevelopment exists on the surface of cells in the adult inner ear. This biomarker of early cells allows researchers to identify immature cells so that they can be used for further research and possible treatment. The discovery, published online in the journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, opens the door to developing stem cell replacement treatments in the inner ear to treat certain hearing disorders.

Hearing loss is a complex process and is usually regarded as irreversible, said Frederic A. Troy II, principal investigator of the study and professor emeritus of biochemistry and molecular medicine, and a member of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. Finding this molecule in the inner ear that is known to be associated with early development may change that view.

Having a biomarker for immature stem cells could make it possible to isolate neural stem cells from the adult inner ear in a person with hearing loss, induce their replication and maturation in the laboratory, and then re-introduce them back into the inner ear as functioning neurons. It is postulated that they may recolonize and establish themselves, thereby improving hearing.

During development, certain glycoproteins (carbohydrate-protein linked molecules) that are expressed on cell surfaces serve critical functions essential to the normal growth and organization of the brain. One member of the class of cell-surface glycoproteins is an unusual molecule called polysialic acid (polySia). Its large size fills up spaces between cells and its strong electric charge repels other molecules, qualities that help to prevent cells from adhering or attaching to one another and thereby promoting cell movement to other areas.

The predominant carriers of polySia in the brain are neural cell adhesion molecules (NCAMs), which are glycoproteins expressed on neuronal cell surfaces. As their name suggests, NCAMs by themselves are important in helping cells stick together and stay in one place. But when an NCAM becomes modified with polysialic acid (becomes polysialylated), the cells gain the ability to migrate to new areas. Re-expression of the anti-adhesive polySia glycan on the surface of many adult human cancer cells, for example, facilitates their detachment, thus enhancing their metastatic spread. PolySia found on human leukocytes also modulates immune function.

Neural stem cells with these polySia-NCAMs on their surfaces are important in embryonic development because they are able to travel throughout the body where they can differentiate into specialized cells. During adulthood, neural stem cells with polySia-NCAMs may migrate to injured areas and promote healing.

The landscape of the cell surface of developing cells is decorated with a bewildering array of informational-rich sugar-protein molecules of which polysialylated NCAMs are of chief importance, explained Troy. During the life of a cell, these surface molecules are critical to cellular proliferation, self-renewal, differentiation and survival essential processes for normal embryonic development and tissue regeneration in adults.

Although it was already well known that cells expressing polySia-NCAM exist in the central nervous system, this study is the first to document that they are also in the peripheral nervous system, specifically in the spiral ganglia, groups of nerve cells located in the inner ear that are essential to hearing.

Working with adult cells isolated from the inner ear spiral ganglia of guinea pigs, Troys team was able to show that they expressed both polySia and NCAM. The polySia component was abundantly present on neural stem cells but markedly reduced on mature cells, implicating the polySia-NCAM complex as being present on immature cells and able to serve as a biomarker to identify these cells.

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Pluristem Initiates Trial in South Korea – Analyst Blog

Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. ( PSTI ) announced that it has initiated a phase II trial in South Korea to evaluate PLacental eXpanded (PLX) cells for the treatment of intermittent claudication (IC).

The study is being conducted by partner CHA Bio & Diostech.

We note that CHA Bio & Diostech has an exclusive licensing agreement with Pluristem to evaluate PLX cells for peripheral artery disease (PAD) in South Korea.

As per the terms of the agreement, both Pluristem and CHA will enter into a joint venture to share the revenues and income generated through sales of PLX cell therapies in the South Korean market if and when a candidate receives approval in South Korea.

We remind investors that Pluristem received approval from the South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety to conduct trials in South Korea evaluating the use PLX cells in May 2014.

Meanwhile, trials on PLX cells for the treatment of IC are ongoing in the U.S., Germany and Israel.

Pluristem develops placenta-based cell therapies in collaboration with companies like United Therapeutics ( UTHR ) or through research and clinical institutions. The cells from placenta, known as PLX cells, are derived using the company’s proprietary PluriX therapy.

Celgene Cellular Therapeutics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Celgene Corp. ( CELG ), is also doing research on stem cells derived from the human placenta as well as from the umbilical cord for the treatment of different diseases.

Pluristem currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors looking for better-ranked stocks in the broader healthcare sector might consider Actelion ( ALIOF ), carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

PLURISTEM THERA (PSTI): Free Stock Analysis Report

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AP Top News at 11:14 p.m. EDT

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday: 1. WHY U.S. WANTS MORE SECURITY AT FOREIGN AIRPORTS WASHINGTON (AP) Intelligence officials are concerned about a new al-Qaida effort to create a bomb that would go undetected through airport security, according to a counterterrorism official, prompting the U.S. to call for tighter security measures Wednesday at some foreign airports. The counterterrorism official, who would not be named because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, declined to describe the kind of information that triggered this warning. But officials in the past have raised concerns about non-metallic explosives being surgically implanted inside a traveler’s body, designed to be undetectable in pat-downs or metal detectors. WASHINGTON (AP) A lawyer for a Libyan militant charged in the 2012 Benghazi attacks said Wednesday that she had seen no evidence tying her client to the violence, but a judge nonetheless directed Ahmed Abu Khattala to remain in custody as the Justice Department builds its case against him. The lawyer, Michelle Peterson, conceded that Abu Khattala had no reasonable chance of being released at the moment, given the terrorism-related charge he faces and his lack of ties to the United States. But she also argued that prosecutors had failed to show, in their broad and initial outlines of the case, that he was in any way connected to the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Matthew Coniglio’s Georgia home held a trove of child pornography, more than 50,000 images and videos stored on laptops, external hard drives and thumb drives. Among the stash, hidden in a bedside table turned around to conceal the doors, authorities made an even more horrifying discovery: 56 8-millimeter cassette tapes they say show him raping and molesting girls. GIOIA TAURO, Italy (AP) A United States cargo vessel loaded with hundreds of tons of Syria’s chemical weapons left an Italian port Wednesday to destroy the arms at sea as part of the international effort to rid Syria of its chemical weapon stockpile. The MV Cape Ray steamed out of the southern Italian port of Gioia Tauro after a 12-hour operation to transfer the chemicals from a Danish ship, the Ark Futura. SEOUL, South Korea (AP) Chinese President Xi Jinping has arrived in South Korea for a two-day summit that snubs North Korea and looks to bolster an already booming trade relationship with the South. North Korea made its anger clear ahead of Xi’s Thursday arrival with a flurry of recent rocket and missile tests, the latest on Wednesday. Pyongyang is threatening more missile tests. CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) As one of the year’s busiest travel weekends approaches, so does another visitor: Tropical Storm Arthur, expected to grow into a hurricane by the Fourth of July and hit most harshly at North Carolina’s Outer Banks, a popular getaway spot of thin barrier islands along the shore. The first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season prompted a hurricane warning for a wide swath of the North Carolina coast and had officials, hotel owners and would-be vacationers as far north as New England carefully watching forecasts. NEW YORK (AP) U.S. and Japanese scientists who reported that they’d found a startlingly simple way to make stem cells withdrew that claim Wednesday, admitting to “extensive” errors in the research. In two papers published in January in the journal Nature, the researchers said that they’d been able to transform ordinary mouse cells into versatile stem cells by exposing them to a mildly acidic environment. Someday, scientists hope to harness stem cells to grow replacement tissue for treating a variety of diseases.

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Top journal retracts "game-changer" stem-cell study

PARIS: Leading science journal Nature said on Wednesday it had withdrawn a flawed stem-cell study hailed when it was published in January as a “game-changer” in the quest to grow transplant tissue.

The decision, touching on the biggest controversy in scientific publishing in a decade, was taken after mistakes were discovered in some data published in two papers, photograph captions were found to be misleading, and the work itself could not be repeated by other scientists, it said.

“All co-authors of both papers have finally concluded that they cannot stand behind the papers, and have decided to retract them,” the journal said in an editorial.

The controversy is the biggest in scientific publishing in a decade. Nature said it would tighten procedures to vet future studies submitted for publication.

On June 4, Japan’s Riken research institute said lead scientist Haruko Obokata, 30, had agreed to retract the papers after an investigation.

Riken was “still discussing” a retraction with co-author Charles Vacanti of Harvard University, a Riken spokeswoman said at the time.

Obokata was feted after unveiling findings that appeared to show a straight-forward way to reprogramme adult cells to become stem cells — precursors that are capable of developing into any other cell in the human body.

Identifying a readily-manufacturable supply of stem cells could one day help meet a need for transplant tissues, or even whole organs.

The researchers claimed to have created so-called Stimulus-Triggered Acquisition of Pluripotency (STAP) stem cells.

They said white blood cells in newborn mice were returned to a versatile state by incubating them in a solution with high acidity for 25 minutes, followed by a five-minute spin in a centrifuge and a seven-day spell of immersion in a growth culture.

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