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With Likely Approvals on the Way, Bluebird Bio Offers up Pricing Strategy for Gene Therapy

Our roadshow panel discussion with + focused on recent changes to the listing standards for companies and Hong Kong as an emerging capital markets hub is happening today at .

Wave Life Sciences Enters FDA's Clinical Trial Pilot Program to Develop DMD Drug

Cerecor's Rare Pediatric Disease Programs Eligible for Priority Review Voucher

Will get the to keep the first places in ? Has a country with low intelectual rights law a chance to keep adding to their ? A journalist asks click here: 

Wave Life Sciences Enters FDA's Clinical Trial Pilot Program to Develop DMD Drug

Harvard prof David Sinclair backs anti-aging upstart Life Bio, which just raised $50M for research

LUTAMINE ZERO 11 g de glutamine par dose Sans sucre Sans aspartame Sans agent de conservation Le produit Glutamine Zero est une formule aromatisée en poudre qui peut être utilisée avant, après ou même pendant l'entraînement

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Day 41: Home Sweet Home...?

Hey, it’s me again! Since you last saw me, I just landed my ship on a whole new world…except for me, it’s not new at all. 

That’s right, I decided I’m gonna show you my home planet next! Remember way far back when I was walking in the rain on Alakinec and I talked about it a little? I showed you a picture of it and everything, it’s called Syndomera and it looks kinda like this:

Warning! The surface conditions of planet Syndomera are hostile to most forms of life. Exiting the ship right now without proper safety equipment may put you at risk of fatal irradiation, lung damage, suffocation, eye damage, skin damage, nausea, mental assault, mercury poisoning…

For the last time, I’m an Ozecium!  Yeah I know my home world sucks, and yeah my track record for not following safety warnings and then getting immediately owned has been kind of high lately. But I literally lived here for years! This is where I came from!

Acknowledged. Disabling safety locks.

Current environment is hostile to my systems. 

  • Engaging personal PSI shield, at setting 3e. 
  • Breathing has been set to filtered mode. 

So, this is the place where I grew up! Well sort of. I mean blobs don’t really grow into anything specific, and I didn’t actually grow up here in particular, but I think you know what I mean

Anyway, Syndomera’s a big dump with lots of ruins and wastelands. It’s still got…some stuff, though. Like those red plant things, those still grow in a lot of places. Some scientists said the plants feed off of radiation instead of sunlight, cuz the sunlight here sucks. I guess they also don’t need much water, cuz right now we’re in the drylands where there’s no water and the ground flakes and crumbles apart like way-too-burnt cheesebread. You get tired of how the red plants taste after awhile but in a lot of cases the other options for a blob to eat are dirty water or just plain dirt.

I’m hoping I get to show you some other blobs while I’m here too, but that might be be a little tricky. Honestly I landed in such a dried out place on purpose so that I wouldn’t see a blob first thing…since a lot of other ozecia are…not so nice, especially to each other. If I find a nice one I’ll make sure to show you though…

3D Printed Implant Promotes Nerve Cell Growth to Treat Spinal Cord Injury

In rat models, the novel scaffolding mimicked natural anatomy and boosted stem cell-based treatment; the approach is scalable to humans and advances effort toward clinical trials

For the first time, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Institute of Engineering in Medicine have used rapid 3D printing technologies to create a spinal cord, then successfully implanted that scaffolding, loaded with neural stem cells, into sites of severe spinal cord injury in rats.

The implants, described in a study published in the January 14 issue of Nature Medicine, are intended to promote nerve growth across spinal cord injuries, restoring connections and lost function. In rat models, the scaffolds supported tissue regrowth, stem cell survival and expansion of neural stem cell axons out of the scaffolding and into the host spinal cord.

“In recent years and papers, we’ve progressively moved closer to the goal of abundant, long-distance regeneration of injured axons in spinal cord injury, which is fundamental to any true restoration of physical function,” said co-senior author Mark Tuszynski, MD, PhD, professor of neuroscience and director of the Translational Neuroscience Institute at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Axons are the long, threadlike extensions on nerve cells that reach out to connect to other cells.

“The new work puts us even closer to real thing,” added co-first author Kobi Koffler, PhD, assistant project scientist in Tuszynski’s lab, “because the 3D scaffolding recapitulates the slender, bundled arrays of axons in the spinal cord. It helps organize regenerating axons to replicate the anatomy of the pre-injured spinal cord.”  

Co-senior author Shaochen Chen, PhD, professor of nanoengineering and a faculty member in the Institute of Engineering in Medicine at UC San Diego, and colleagues used rapid 3D printing technology to create a scaffold that mimics central nervous system structures.

“Like a bridge, it aligns regenerating axons from one end of the spinal cord injury to the other. Axons by themselves can diffuse and regrow in any direction, but the scaffold keeps axons in order, guiding them to grow in the right direction to complete the spinal cord connection,” Chen said.

Faster, More Precise Printing

The implants contain dozens of tiny, 200-micrometer-wide channels (twice the width of a human hair) that guide neural stem cell and axon growth along the length of the spinal cord injury. The printing technology used by Chen’s team produces two-millimeter-sized implants in 1.6 seconds. Traditional nozzle printers take several hours to produce much simpler structures.

The process is scalable to human spinal cord sizes. As proof of concept, researchers printed four-centimeter-sized implants modeled from MRI scans of actual human spinal cord injuries. These were printed within 10 minutes.

“This shows the flexibility of our 3D printing technology,” said co-first author Wei Zhu, PhD, nanoengineering postdoctoral fellow in Chen’s group. “We can quickly print out an implant that’s just right to match the injured site of the host spinal cord regardless of the size and shape.”

Restoring Lost Connections

Researchers grafted the two-millimeter implants, loaded with neural stem cells, into sites of severe spinal cord injury in rats. After a few months, new spinal cord tissue had regrown completely across the injury and connected the severed ends of the host spinal cord. Treated rats regained significant functional motor improvement in their hind legs.  

“This marks another key step toward conducting clinical trials to repair spinal cord injuries in people,” Koffler said. “The scaffolding provides a stable, physical structure that supports consistent engraftment and survival of neural stem cells. It seems to shield grafted stem cells from the often toxic, inflammatory environment of a spinal cord injury and helps guide axons through the lesion site completely.”

Additionally, the circulatory systems of the treated rats had penetrated inside the implants to form functioning networks of blood vessels, which helped the neural stem cells survive.

“Vascularization is one of the main obstacles in engineering tissue implants that can last in the body for a long time,” Zhu said. “3D printed tissues need vasculature to get enough nutrition and discharge waste. Our group has done work on 3D printed blood vessel networks before, but we didn’t include it in this work. Biology just naturally takes care of it for us due to the excellent biocompatibility of our 3D scaffolds.”

The advance marks the intersection of two longstanding lines of work at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and Jacobs School of Engineering, with steady, incremental progress. The scientists are currently scaling up the technology and testing on larger animal models in preparation for potential human testing. Next steps also include incorporation of proteins within the spinal cord scaffolds that further stimulate stem cell survival and axon outgrowth.

Pictured: A 3D printed, two-millimeter implant (slightly larger than the thickness of a penny) used as scaffolding to repair spinal cord injuries in rats. The dots surrounding the H-shaped core are hollow portals through which implanted neural stem cells can extend axons into host tissues. Photo credit: Jacob Koffler and Wei Zhu, UC San Diego


My research focuses on understanding how “plastic” cells differ from other cells in the body.

“Plastic” cells - simply put - are those cells that can undergo really great changes. The most famous category of these cells are the stem cells. A neural stem cell, for example, can undergo such a change that it becomes a neuron. Neurons and neural stem cells are very, very different, in terms of their function, their shape, and their role within a tissue.

This kind of research, as one might expect, can contribute to various areas such as neurodegenerative disease, cancer, and diabetes. In the brief presentation above, I describe our efforts to develop the part of our work that relates to cancer, all the way to the clinic.

Some of the basic ideas from our research have made their way onto the pages of Nannion (albeit, in simplified form).


The future is green 🐸

#biotech #microalgae #vihreäsuomi (at University of Eastern Finland)

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Helix’s Classes for the Upcoming semester!

Just in case you were wondering what classes I’m taking next semester (my last semester of high school!) here’s a list:

  • Scientific Literature and Composition
  • Honors Bionics
  • CCP Biotech of Health and Disease
  • Honors Health Science Capstone
  • CCP Pre-Calculus

*p.s. CCP = College Credit Plus, it’s the program my school uses for Dual Enrollment in college/university classes while you’re in high school