Researchers at the School of Medicine recently developed a new procedure designed to remove kidney-transplant patients’ dependency on immune-suppressing drugs. Transplant recipients must typically continue to take two to three immune system suppressing drugs for the remainder of their lives, following the transplant procedure. While the drugs prevent transplant recipients’ bodies from rejecting the kidney, these drugs include numerous side effects and do not always prevent kidney failure. The new technique differs from standard kidney-transplant procedures by implanting stem cells from the kidney donor’s blood into the transplant recipient’s lymph nodes, spleen and thymus.
With the addition of four proteins, adult human skin cells can be transformed into neurons over a month-long period. The findings, reported yesterday in Nature, suggest a process that doesn’t require the reprogrammed adult somatic cells called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.
A new procedure developed by the School of Medicine enables couples to make the decision to donate embryos without interacting with the researchers themselves.
Short-term treatment with immune system-suppressing drugs allows human embryonic stem cells to survive and even prosper in mice, according to School of Medicine researchers. The group, led by associate professor Joseph Wu, published its findings in Cell Stem Cell yesterday.
Though patents are meant to encourage innovation, broad stem cell patent protection could slow research in the field, according to a recent report by the Hinxton Group, a body of scientists and public policy experts who study the ethical and legal challenges surrounding stem cell research.
Stanford researchers at the School of Medicine can now march to the sound of a different beat. In a study published yesterday, associate professor of neurobiology Ricardo Dolmetsch and his team unveiled a technique that, for the first time, allows scientists to convert human skin cells to heart cells and develop treatments for cardiac deficiencies.