Using cells from mice, scientists from Iowa and Iran have discovered a new strategy for making embryonic stem cell transplants less likely to be rejected by a recipient's immune system. This strategy, described in a new research report appearing in the February 2010 print issue of The FASEB Journal, involves fusing bone marrow cells to embryonic stem cells. Once fused, the hybrid cells have DNA from both the donor and recipient, raising hopes that immune rejection of embryonic stem cell therapies can be avoided without drugs. "Our study shows that transplanted bone marrow cells fuse not only with bone marrow cells of the recipient, but with non-hematopoietic cells, suggesting that if we can understand the process of cell fusion better, we may be able to target certain organ injuries with the patient's own bone marrow cells and repair the tissues, " said Nicholas Zavazava, M.
Beyond The Ice: Technique For Preserving Pre-Transplant Livers Promises To Improve Patient Outcomes And Expand The Organ Pool
Preserving organs on ice prior to transplantation, an approach known as cold storage or CS, has been the standard practice in liver transplant for 20 years. Now there is new evidence that a technique called hypothermic machine perfusion (HMP) may offer an improvement, according to the first-ever study comparing the impact of the two techniques on transplant outcomes. The phase I study was carried out by Dr. James V. Guarrera and his colleagues at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. The researchers found that HMP is at least as good as CS in preserving donor livers -- and that it most likely constitutes an advance over the traditional method.
An international team of academic and commercial researchers has discovered new information about how our immune system makes T cells that could help make purified T cells without the need for "feeder" cells: such an advance would be a big step forward for transplantation and regenerative medicine, as well as opening up new avenues for research and applications in drug and toxicity testing in industry. The researchers have written about their findings in a paper published online on 18 January in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. Dr Martin Turner a Group Leader and Head of the Lymphocyte Signalling and Development Laboratory at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, UK, led the team, which included researchers from the UK, Japan, GlaxoSmithKline USA and a Da Vinci exchange student from Italy.
Long-Term Rebuilding Strategy 'Vital' To Haiti An Economist editorial examines the relief and recovery efforts in Haiti and the "vital" importance of planning for rebuilding the country "before the world's generosity turns to cynicism. Fortunately there is a blueprint, drawn up by Haiti's government and presented to donors last year. It calls for investment to be targeted on infrastructure, basic services and combating soil erosion to make farmers more productive and the country less vulnerable to hurricanes. The pressing question is who should do it and how." The editorial asserts that setting up an authority to govern the development "is the best idea around.
Detailed information on the first facial transplantation procedure performed in the United States is presented in the January issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® , the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading provider of information and business intelligence for students, professionals, and institutions in medicine, nursing, allied health, and pharmacy. "We are pleased to report an excellent functional, psychological, and social outcome for our patient at 8 months following transplantation, " write Dr.
Commenting on the launch of Scotland's new organ donation teaching pack today (Tuesday January 19 2010), the BMA welcomed the Government's attempts to get young people to discuss the issues surrounding organ donation but said that bold action was required to improve donation rates. Dr Brian Keighley, chairman of the BMA in Scotland said: "The BMA has actively supported efforts to improve transplantation rates. But despite many high profile campaigns to generate an increase in the number of donors, there has been limited success. "Between April 2004 and March 2005, 52 Scots died while they were waiting for an organ transplant, others will have died without even reaching the waiting list.