stem cell research

Health
2:11 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

New bill makes supporting Lou Gehrig's disease research as easy as checking a box

Stem cell researchers.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Michigan taxpayers may soon be able to support Alzheimer’s and ALS research with just a flick of a pen.

Last week, the Michigan House passed a bill that would create a checkoff form supporting unpaid caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients, as well research and care for patients with ALS — amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

By checking a box on their income tax form, Michigan residents could choose to give to the ALS of Michigan Fund, with money heading to research, patient services, and ALS clinics around the state.

The bill is expected to pass today in the state Senate.

But the provision supporting ALS research might raise some eyebrows, especially in light of Michigan’s contentious history with stem cell research.

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Politics & Culture
4:54 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

It took an intense campaign in Michigan in 2008 to get voters to approve proposal 2, allowing embryonic stem-cell research.

On today's show we talk to a neurologist leading the nation’s first clinical trial of stem cell injections in patients with the deadly degenerative disease ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

And, there is no shortage of articles, quotes, and news stories telling us what politicians, business titans and other leaders think of Michigan and its future.

But what about what tomorrow’s leaders think?

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Stateside
4:38 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Stem cell research could offer relief for Lou Gehrig's disease

wikimedia commons

An interview with Dr. Eva Feldman on the ALS stem cell project.

Of all the medical diagnoses a physician can make, the diagnosis of ALS--amyotrophic lateral sclerosis--is one of the most devastating. Commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, medical researchers are hard at work seeking a cure or at least a way to ease the symptoms of this neurological disease.

The University of Michigan is in the forefront of this research. Researchers are asking the question, can stem cell injections delivered directly into the spine lessen the effects of ALS?

Researchers at the U of M hospital have recently wrapped up phase 1 of a critical trial exploring just how these stem cell injections work in patients with the deadly disease, and they have gotten the go-ahead to proceed with phase 2.

The head researcher of this ALS project, Dr. Eva Feldman joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Health
3:55 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

Cerebral spring cleaning

Autophagy at work, clearing out garbage within the cells, and keeping them in their stem-cell state
University of Michigan Health System

Around this time of year, we all try to do some spring cleaning.

Well, it turns out that your brain does some of that too.

Jun-Lin Guan, Ph.D, is a researcher at the University of Michigan and is the senior author of a new article that explained the importance of an important protein that helps our brains clean and maintain stem cells that reside deep in the brain. 

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Health
5:16 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Henry Ford doctors test stem cell treatment for heart attacks

Credit wikimedia commons

Doctors at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit are looking into how well stem cells can repair damaged hearts.

It’s part of a national study looking into potential new treatments for people who have suffered severe heart attacks.

“We extract the patient’s stem cells directly from them themselves. And then select for a specific population of stem cells,” said Dr. Gerald Koenig, a Henry Ford cardiologist. “And then re-inject them into the heart, by way of the heart blood vessels.”

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Health
11:28 am
Thu June 14, 2012

University of Michigan 6 new stem cell lines available for research

colony of embryonic stem cells, from the H9 cell line
en.wikipedia.org

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Six new human embryonic stem cell lines derived at the University of Michigan are available for federal research.

University of Michigan Health System officials say in a release Thursday that researchers can begin using the stem cell lines to study the origins of diseases and potential treatments. U-M now has eight cell lines on the U.S. National Institutes of Health's registry, including five that carry genetic mutations for serious diseases including hemophilia B, Huntington's disease and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

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Science/Medicine
4:32 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

A milestone for the University of Michigan's stem cell program

A researcher at the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute at U of M describes the stem cell on the computer screen
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

The stem cell research lab at the University of Michigan has reached a significant milestone.

A stem cell line developed from a 5 day old human embryo donated to U of M’s stem cell program has been certified by the National Institutes of Health. That’s significant, because there are only 147 embryonic stem cell lines approved by the NIH. Many of them are old lines with certain drawbacks for researchers.

Gary Smith is the co-director of the stem cell program.    He says U of M is just one of a handful of universities in the United States making new human embryonic stem cell lines for research.    

“Any investigator across the United States...or really across the world can utilize those embryonic stem cells," says Smith, "And in fact (the researchers) can use those embryonic stem cells to submit research….or for funds from the National Institutes of Health to do research on those lines.”   

Smith says U of M plans to submit another 10 stem cell lines for certification.

Science/Medicine
2:24 pm
Wed July 27, 2011

Judge tosses out lawsuit against federal funding of embryonic stem cell research

A researcher at work in the University of Michigan's Center for Stem Cell Biology.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Embryonic stem cell research at the University of Michigan is an indirect winner in a federal court decision.   A U.S. District judge today tossed out a lawsuit challenging federal funding for the controversial medical research.

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Politics
5:00 pm
Thu June 23, 2011

Governor, lawmakers spar over stem cell mandate

This microscope image (400x magnification) shows the 5-day-old embryo—also known as a blastocyst—that U-M Consortium for Stem Cell Therapies researchers used to create Michigan's first human embryonic stem cell line, UM4-6. Image courtesy of Gary Smith.
University of Michigan

 Some legislators are squaring off with Governor Rick Snyder and public universities over embryonic stem cell research. The governor says his administration won’t enforce a budget clause that says researchers must produce detailed reports on their work, and how they go about it. The universities say the rules outlined in the budgets are meant to stifle and discourage embryonic stem research. 

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Science/Medicine
7:58 pm
Wed May 11, 2011

University of Michigan loses stem cell researcher to Texas

One of the state’s leading stem cell researchers is leaving for a new job in Texas.

Sean Morrison was head of the Center for Stem Cell Biology at the University of Michigan.

He was also a vocal proponent of Proposal 2, which loosened restrictions on embryonic stem cell research in Michigan in 2008.

Morrison says the University is in a good position to continue important stem cell research without him.

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Education
12:30 pm
Fri May 6, 2011

Are conservative Republicans trying to 'micromanage' state university budgets?

Students walk to class on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

A leader in Michigan’s higher education community says state universities may urge the governor to veto the state education budget bill.   He says it’s a question of ‘micromanaging’.    

Michael Boulus is the executive director of the President’s Council, a group that lobbies on behalf of Michigan’s public colleges and universities. 

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Politics
5:18 pm
Mon April 25, 2011

Snyder pushes back on stem cell rules in budget bills

Human embryonic stem cells
Nissim Benvenisty wikimedia commons

Governor Rick Snyder says he is opposed to provisions in Republican budget plans that would restrict how money is spent on embryonic stem cell research at public universities.

Republican lawmakers are renewing efforts to enact additional rules surrounding the voter-approved amendment that allows public funds to be used for the research.

Voters approved the amendment to the state constitution in 2008.

Since then, Democrats have blocked efforts by opponents of embryonic stem cell research to demand reports or enact additional restrictions on  it, but now Republicans are in charge in the Legislature.

Governor Snyder is a Republican who supports the voter-approved amendment and stem cell research.

The governor says he wishes Republican lawmakers would leave stem cell research out of the debates on university spending:

"I think we need to focus on higher education, not stem cells. We passed a constitutional amendment on that topic some time ago and we need to follow through on what our voters said."

The governor has the authority to veto budget line items.

The governor and the Legislature are continuing to negotiate on the budget with the goal of having it wrapped up by June first.

Science/Medicine
5:46 pm
Thu April 21, 2011

University of Michigan gets $56 million gift for medical research

A. Alfred Taubman has donated millions to the University of Michigan
The University of Michigan

The University of Michigan Medical Research Institute received a gift of $56 million from A. Alfred Taubman, a real estate developer and philanthropist from Michigan. The funds will be used for stem cell and cancer research.

U-M President, Mary Sue Coleman, says the money will go toward what is called high-risk research:

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Science/Medicine
10:39 am
Mon April 4, 2011

U of M develops new embryonic stem cell lines for medical research

Gary Smith removing a rack containing vials that hold frozen human embryos donated to the U-M Consortium for Stem Cell Therapies.
Scott Soderberg/U-M Photo Services

The University of Michigan has announced it has created new embryonic stem cell lines for medical research.  Developing its own stem cell lines has been an important goal of the university’s stem cell research center since its inception two years. 

In a written statement, Gary Smith, co-director of the U-M Consortium for Stem Cell Therapies and leader of the cell-line derivation project, talked about the importance of this milestone for the consortium:

"All our efforts are finally starting to bear fruit...Creating disease-specific human embryonic stem cell lines has been a central goal of the consortium since it was formed two years ago, and now we've passed that milestone." 

The stem cell lines carry genes responsible for a type of hemophilia and a neurological disorder. In the future, researchers at the University of Michigan hope to develop additional stem cell lines that will help with research into Huntington's disease,  spinal muscular atrophy and Tay-Sachs.

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