Tag Archives: regeneration

Reboot Your Brain? Science Says It’s Possible -A Galaxy Insight

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Contrary to popular belief, recent studies have found that there are probably ways to regenerate brain matter.

Animal studies conducted at the National Institute on Aging Gerontology Research Center and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, for example, have shown that both calorie restriction and intermittent fasting along with vitamin and mineral intake, increase resistance to disease, extend lifespan, and stimulate production of neurons from stem cells.

In addition, fasting has been shown to enhance synaptic elasticity, possibly increasing the ability for successful re-wiring following brain injury. These benefits appear to result from a cellular stress response, similar in concept to the greater muscular regeneration that results from the stress of regular exercise.

Additional research suggests that increasing time intervals between meals might be a better choice than chronic calorie restriction, because the resultant decline in sex hormones may adversely affect both sexual and brain performance. Sex steroid hormones testosterone and estrogen are positively impacted by an abundant food supply. In other words, you might get smarter that way, but it might adversely affect your fun in the bedroom, among other drawbacks.

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New Technology May Heal Bones in Minutes

bonehealing

The worst part of breaking a bone (besides the pain) is the healing process. Wearing an uncomfortable cast can be irritating and aggravating, making it harder to move around for months at a time. Well, that process may soon change. A company has developed a product called “Injectable Bone” that may repair the broken bone in minutes.

The U.K. company, called RegenTec, has created a white powder that is designed to be injected into a person in order to speed up the healing process of broken bones.

“You won’t be able to just walk out of a hospital with a broken leg,” said Robin Quirk, a professor at the University of Nottingham and co-developer of the technology. “What we are trying to do in the short term is have something that fills the void left by a break that acts like normal spongy bone and encourages natural regeneration.”

Injectable Bone is a mix of ceramic and polylactic acid. On the outside, it looks like white powder. When injected into the body with a needle, the higher temperature inside causes the two components to mix together to form a hard, spongy mass similar to bones in the body.

While there are already other products similar to Injectable Bone, those products experience some problems in that they harden into a solid mass or raise body temperature enough to damage other tissue in the immediate area.

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Chew on this: We’ll soon be able to grow replacement teeth

toothpulp

As long as there are hockey players, there will be niche markets for false teeth. But the real news about the future of dentures is that there isn’t much of one.

Toothlessness has declined 60 percent in the United States since 1960. Baby boomers will be the first generation in human history typically to go to their graves with most of their teeth.

And now comes tooth regeneration: growing teeth in adults, on demand, to replace missing ones. Soon.

It turns out wisdom teeth are prolific sources of adult stem cells needed to grow new teeth for you. From scratch. In your adult life, as you need them. In the near future. According to the National Institutes of Health.

For thousands of years, losing teeth has been a routine part of aging. That’s over.

“We’re there, right now,” said Pamela Robey, chief of the Craniofacial and Skeletal Diseases Branch at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, part of the National Institutes of Health. “A lot of people will go and never lose a tooth. With good health care and proper habits, there’s no reason to lose a tooth.”

The introduction of fluoride into drinking water and toothpaste is viewed as one of the 10 greatest public-health accomplishments of the 20th century, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It did not occur without controversy. In the renowned 1964 black comedy “Dr. Strangelove,” Brig. Gen. Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) attacks the Soviet Union with nuclear-armed B-52s, hoping to thwart a communist conspiracy to “sap and impurify” the American people with fluoridated water.

Leslie Seldin has some perspective on this. He graduated from dental school in 1966 and was the editor of “The Future of Dentistry,” a report published in 2001 by the American Dental Association.

“When I was growing up” — in the ’50s — “reaching the teen years you’d develop enormous amounts of decay,” he said. It wasn’t until the ’60s, when most baby boomers were growing up, that fluoridation really started having a major impact.

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A Blueprint to Regenerate Limbs

In its own way, the axolotl salamander is a mighty beast. Chop off its leg, and the gilled creature will grow a new one. Freeze part of its heart, and the organ will form anew. Carve out half of its brain, and six months later, another half will have sprouted in its place. “You can do anything to it except kill it, and it will regenerate,” says Gerald Pao, a postdoctoral researcher at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, in La Jolla, CA.

That extraordinary power of regeneration inspired Pao and his collaborator Wei Zhu, also at the Salk Institute, to probe the axolotl salamander’s DNA. Despite decades of research on the salamander, little is known about its genome. That began to change last year, when Pao and his collaborators won one billion bases’ worth of free sequencing from Roche Applied Science, based in Penzberg, Germany. Now that the data is in, scientists can finally begin the hunt for the genetic program that endows the animal with its unique capabilities.

While all animals can regenerate tissue to a certain extent–we can grow muscle, bone, and nerves, for example–salamanders and newts are the only vertebrates that can grow entire organs and replacement limbs as adults. When a leg is lost to injury, cells near the wound begin to dedifferentiate, losing the specialized characteristics that made them a muscle cell or bone cell. These cells then replicate and form a limb bud, or blastema, which goes on to grow a limb the same way that it forms during normal development.

Scientists have identified some of the molecular signals that play a key role in the process, but the genetic blueprint that underlies regeneration remains unknown. Researchers hope that by uncovering these molecular tricks, they can ultimately apply them to humans to regrow damaged heart or brain tissue, and maybe even grow new limbs.

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If we can regenerage anything we like in the future, is it likely that we will stick to just limbs?

I don’t think so.

We’ll likely use this technology to ‘redecorate’ our aging, internal machinery as well… potentially prolonging our lives indefinitely.

Biotech Breakthroughs: 15 Developments That Will Eventually Affect YOUR Life

1. Self-assembling Nanofibers Heal Spinal Cord – No more quadriplegics in the future.

2. Gene Sequencing for the Masses – A personal genome scan for everybody. This will make you aware of what’s going on in your body. It will probably motivate people to live healthier lives.

3. Scientists discover “master gene” for blood vessel growth in tumors – Another great step towards a cure for cancer.

4. Genetic Future: The human genome is old news. Next stop: the human proteome – After mapping our genome, we’d also like to map the proteome. This will tell us everything about all the proteines we have in our bodies.

5. Human Protein May Offer Novel Target For Blocking HIV Infection: Successful In Lab – A step towards curing HIV and Aids.

6. Human trials to begin on ‘diabetes cure’ after terminally ill mice are returned to health – Progress towards the noble goal of curing diabetes.

7. Mad Science: Rejuvenate Your Brain with Umbilical Cord Blood – Rejuvenation. Need I say more? Death to aging!

8. Whole genome sequencing costs continue to fall: $300 million in 2003, $1 million 2007, $60,000 now, $5000 by year end – Personal genomes are about to get cheap! It’s close… just like solar power, now that I think of it.

9. Regeneration Initiative enables nerve cells on a computer chip to heal and regrow damaged nerves – Nerve regeneration. Useful if you want to cure paralysis.

10. Researchers create heart and blood cells from reprogrammed skin cells – New cells? Sign me up, buddy! When my body starts wearing out, I want new cells so I can live on for decades longer!

11. Science 2.0 — Is Open Access Science the Future? – Will science go open source? Why not… some software is open source, and look at what it has produced: Linux, one of the most stable OS’es ever to grace the planet. Imagine the results that a worldwide science project could possibly yield.

12. Scientists successfully awaken sleeping stem cells – Good, more regeneration for me!

13. Mini Stem-Cell Labs – More stem cells… (I never get enough of’em!)

14. Gene therapy experiments improve vision in nearly blind – Curing blindness with gene therapy. And keep in mind that this is just the beginning. Don’t believe me? Check back here in 10 years to see if I was right.

15. Troops’ body parts may be regrown – Great, now I won’t have to fear losing a precious, currently irreplaceable body part anymore. I’ll sleep better knowing that my arms and legs are no longer scarce commodities.

Regrowing Limbs: Can People Regenerate Body Parts?

Regrowing Limbs: Can People Regenerate Body Parts?

Thus, our studies of salamanders are revealing that the regeneration process can be divided into pivotal stages, beginning with the wound-healing response, followed by the formation of a blastema by cells that revert to some degree to an embryonic state, and finally, the initiation of a developmental program to build the new limb. As we move toward the challenge of inducing limb regeneration in humans, we rely on these insights to guide our efforts. Indeed, the hardest things to discover in science are those that do not already occur, and limb regeneration in humans fits snugly into this category, although that does not mean humans have no natural regenerative capacity.

Regrowing Fingers – Tissue Regeneration Technology Already Exists

A Doctor, a Pig, and a Magical Pixie Dust That Could Regrow Fingers


Spievack had never seen a plane act this way. He got down on his knees for a closer look, and just as he said, “You’ve got to get rid of this thing,” he pointed at the engine, inserting his middle finger directly into the propeller’s path. “And that’s how I cut my finger off,” he says.

Over the years, Dr. Stephen Badylak has had problems explaining what he does for a living. He used to say, “I do biomedical engineering.” But then he’d have to explain biomedical engineering. After a while, as a default response, Badylak would simply say, “Well, I’m in medical research.” He hoped that would be enough, but it often prompted, “What are you researching?” Badylak says, “I got tired of struggling with it. So now I just tell them I make body parts.” Badylak has regrown sizable portions of esophagi, tendons, ligaments, bladders, urethras, abdominal walls, blood vessels, and hearts within animals and humans.

But that life would be a lot better for a lot of people if their bodies could be manipulated into fixing and replacing lost or damaged body parts — similar to what happens to fetuses the first few months in the womb. If a fetus loses an arm or a leg, it grows back. “Humans can grow an entire human being in nine months. That’s pretty remarkable,” says Badylak. “If you think about it that way, you can say we just want an arm, you know, or we want a leg. Just give us enough information that we can do that.”

A few days after Lee Spievack canceled his appointment with the hand surgeon, he received a package from his older brother containing a vial of powder that looked like Kraft Parmesan cheese. His brother instructed him to sprinkle it on his finger every other day until the powder was gone.

Lee Spievack is not a man who asks a lot of questions. So in the case of the vial, Spievack didn’t much care what it contained (ground-up pig bladder) or where it came from (a little farm in Albion, Indiana).

Spievack followed his brother’s directions: Every other day for the next eight days, he sat down at his living-room coffee table and sprinkled the powder on his finger. Whatever powder fell onto the table he scooped up with a piece of paper, then dropped back into the vial. He covered his finger with a Band-Aid. A few days went by, and Spievack could see something was happening. There was skin growing, and tissue on the inside, too. He insists that what happened after four weeks did not surprise him in the least, though it should have. Because his fingertip grew back.

The fingerprint took a couple more months. The tip is a little hard on the end, but he can feel things just fine. Spievack says he was particularly happy this past winter; while all of his fingers chapped in the cold weather, the new fingertip didn’t. The only side effect during treatment was that his finger began to smell like a pig’s quarters at the state fair. “It was a pretty offensive odor,” Spievack says. He doesn’t much think about his finger anymore, except when he clips his nails. He usually cuts them once a week, but the new nail has to be clipped every two days. “That fingernail grows like a son of a bitch,” he says.

This is just bizarre.

And to think that Badylak had problems convincing other people of his findings.

Only Spievack took him seriously end they teamed up.

If only people were a little more open-minded to possibilities… technologies like these would already be widely used.

And we wouldn’t be having such a hard time convincing people of the very real possibility of immortality within our lifetimes.

Brain Cell Regeneration Milestone Achieved

Milestone in the regeneration of brain cells

The majority of cells in the human brain are not nerve cells but star-shaped glia cells, the so called “astroglia”. “Glia means “glue”, explains Götz. “As befits their name, until now these cells have been regarded merely as a kind of “putty” keeping the nerve cells together.A couple of years ago, the research group had been already able to prove that these glia cells function as stem cells during development. This means that they are able to differentiate into functional nerve cells. However, this ability gets lost in later phases of development, so that even after an injury to the adult brain glial cells are unable to generate any more nerve cells.

In order to be able to reverse this development, the team studied what molecular switches are essential for the creation of nerve cells from glial cells during development. These regulator proteins are introduced into glial cells from the postnatal brain, which indeed respond by switching on the expression of neuronal proteins.

In his current work, Dr. Benedikt Berninger, was now able to show that single regulator proteins are quite sufficient to generate new functional nerve cells from glia cells. The transition from glia-to-neuron could be followed live at a time-lapse microscope. It was shown that glia cells need some days for the reprogramming until they take the normal shape of a nerve cell. “These new nerve cells then have also the typical electrical properties of normal nerve cells”, emphasises Berninger. “We could show this by means of electrical recordings”.

Our Technological Future – Mixed Bag #20

Can you believe this is mixed bag #20 already?

I am sooooooo gonna have the most gigantic collection of mixed bags in the entire blogosphere if I keep this up long enough.

Anyways… enjoy.

Cyborgs Coming Soon (2008)

Pass the Virtual Scalpel, Nurse

3D Printers to Dip Below $5,000 USD This Year

The Most Realistic Virtual Reality Room In The World

Stem cells speed growth of healthy liver tissue

Expressive robot computers

Raytheon Develops World’s First Polymorphic Computer

The Memory Hacker

Stem cell therapy shows promise for rescuing deteriorating vision

British team grows human heart valve from stem cells

Salamanders Re-grow Lost Limbs, Could Human Medicine Benefit From Understanding Regeneration?

The Age of Cheap, Plastic Robots

Computer Model Behaves Like Humans On Visual Categorization Task

Diabetics cured in stem-cell treatment advance

Isolation Of Stem Cells May Lead To A Treatment For Hearing Loss

Lives of a Cell, the 3-D Version

Liver regeneration may be simpler than previously thought

‘Fat’ gene found by scientists

Learn Like A Human

‘Exercise pill’ switches on gene that tells cells to burn fat

Scientists Make Skin Grow New Hair Follicles By Itself

Mouse cortex simulated on supercomputer

45-minute operation to restore sight to millions

40% efficient solar cells to be used for solar electricity

Hydrogen breakthrough could open the road to carbon-free cars

Daily pill to beat genetic diseases

Deep brain implants show bionic vision promise