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The future of stem cell applications challenging, bright
Date:6/8/2011

An article in the current issue of Technology & Innovation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors reports on the bright future and enormous need for stem cell therapeutics that may offer hope for those suffering from debilitating and deadly diseases.

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/cog/ti/2011/00000013/00000001

Stem cell transplantation may offer therapy through "simple cell replacement" procedures to restructure damaged organs, tissues and cells, or provide methods for "reawakening" biological cues to regenerate cells.

"The future for stem cell applications is indeed promising, although there are no assurances that cures will be found," said corresponding author Dr. John Sladek, a professor of the University of Colorado College of Medicine's Departments of Neurology and Pediatrics. "However, there is scientific consensus that time and innovation, combined with a dose of serendipity, will lead to the cures people deserve."

According to Dr. Sladek and co-author Dr. Kimberly Bjugstad, also from the UC Department of Pediatrics, the need for stem cell therapies (based on two categories of stem cells, embryonic stem cells (ESCs), able to differentiate into many kinds of cells (pluripotent), and adult (somatic) stem cells, less capable of high differentiation) - corresponds to many of the diseases most responsible for mortality. The list of potential stem cell therapy targets includes: cardiovascular diseases, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury and autoimmune diseases, including diabetes.

"One of the key, and as yet unanswered questions in cell-based therapeutics, is when in the course of human illness to intervene," said Dr. Sladek. "Traditional wisdom suggests that sooner is better."

Based on their research, Dr. Sladek and his fello
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Contact: Randolph Fillmore
rfillmore@nasw.org
University of South Florida (USF Health)
Source:Eurekalert

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