Headline Feb 11, 2016/ ''' A MIND BLOWING - *SHAKEN WORLD* ''' : STEM CELLS



ONE EVENING  -he Xeroxed an abstract about a group of researchers who were taking bones from morgues-

Freeze-drying them, then using them as a replacement segments during orthopedic surgery.

Wild, weird stuff. Great, mind-rocking stuff. If they can do this, freeze dry bone, he thought, ''Why not do many different things? You could pulverize the bone, you could wash the cells away........Why not do that with living tissue?''

A year after Atala created his first bladder, the entire field was shaken by the discovery of embryonic stem cells, which could be made into anything. It had a similarly mind-blowing effect. 

Atala wondered what other kinds of stem cells might be out there. Was there a better material than the curmudgeonly old adult stem cells he'd been using to build organs?

Those had to be painstakingly coaxed to grow, like pulling an old professional out of retirement. 

This made them incredibly stable, but also very slow in dividing and replicating. It would take months or years to build some organs. Some cells seemed nearly impossible to grow outside the body, and others were simply too dangerous to find and extract from a living patient.

Atala knew embryonic stem cells were too unstable to introduce into a child's body. And even if he could build an infant a stable new liver or heart valve out of embryonic stem cells, if it didn't match the newborn's genetic makeup. Atala would be sentencing the child to a lifetime of harsh immunosuppressants .

That might be trade-off for a sixty-year-old getting a lifesaving lung transplant, but not for a newborn.

He wondered if there might be another source of stem cells that were more stable than embryonic, but also more personal to each patient, so there would be no rejection issues.

Atala believed that good ideas come only from insurmountable challenges. He buries them in the back of his head like memories he can't forget. 

Every few days or weeks he pulls them to the front of his mind, rotates them, then shoves them back. ''You revisit that challenge over and over again to see how to get around it. You revisit it and finally things happen where you actually see something or you hear something that triggers a thought.'' 

He and his team started with the skin, which is full of fibroblast cells, some of the most primitive in the body. But the stem cells they derived weren't flexible enough. they dug further. Atala was working at a maternity clinic. They tried discarded foreskin. Still not right.

Back in his office, Atala picked up the smooth kidney-shaped rock, in his hand, felt the raised seam, and considered for the thousandth time an alternative source of stem cells.

IN PAOLO DE COPPI'S DREAMS, ALL THE CHILDREN ARE born with missing aortas and tracheas and lungs, and he saves them. He builds these babies new organs while they're still slumbering away safely in their mothers' wombs, and then once they are born-

When their broken hearts and lungs are about to give way to the burdens of life on the outside, Decoppi opens up their tiny chests and sews in the new organs he's built, and saves them. He wants to learn how to do this, and so he leaves Padua, Italy, in 2000 and goes to work for Atala.

In Atala's lab at Harvard, animals are impregnated and De Coppi treats them as he would a human carrying a malformed child. the fetus grows, De Coppi waits, and about two-thirds of the way through gestation he performs amniocentesis, as he would on a human patient to test for an abnormality.

A few weeks later De Coppi returns. A needle is inserted into the womb once again. But this  time the tip ventures all the way through the amniotic fluid to the growing fetus itself, where it removes a small biopsy of healthy stem cells from which De Coppi hopes to build a new organ.

The needle comes back out of the womb, De Coppi gets his cell sample, but many of the animals die. They cannot survive the miracle procedure:
Non poteva mai fare questo su an umano, he says to himself. I could never do this on a human.

It's a failure. Without the cells, De coppi cannot build his miniature organs and save the malformed children. And he has an aversion to embryonic stem cells. There is the clinical issue. Embryonic stem cells, still unproven, are from safe enough to implant into babies that are just days old.

but he also has moral objections, De Coppi. a Roman Catholic, cannot get past the idea to harness the life an embryonic stem cell might provide, another potential life must be sacrificed. He believes in the promise and scientific good that embryonic stem cells could bring, but no, he won't use them.

One afternoon, De Coppi vents to Atala about the experiments and the dead animals. It becomes a brainstorming session that becomes an idea. De Coppi's not sure if it would work, probably wouldn't. But maybe......
He asks Atala if they could try a new method for finding cells in amniotic fluid.
Atala's answer is emphatic. He tells De Coppi to get into the lab immediately.

It Takes Nearly Ten Years. Can you imagine what it feels like to present your work during that time at stem-cell conferences and over and over again elicit the same response from colleagues: dour faces and shakes of the head? This can't work,yes. But the more cynical see something else in the headshakes. Thus will get in the way of other work.

Can you imagine what it feels like to get your paper sent back four times from the world's most prestigious journal in the field.

Nature Biotechnology, members of your team suspicious that it's not the science holding the paper back but ideology.

The Honour and Serving of  ''Advance Medical Science And Technology Research*  continues. Thank you for reading and sharing.

With respectful dedication to all the Leaders of the free world. See You all, Your Excellencys' on !WOW!   -the World Students Society and the Ecosystem 2011.

''' The March Of Science '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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