36 reasons to VOTE YES! For Your Scientist Friends
By Don C. Reed
Author, “STEM CELL BATTLES”, other books
Dear Friend of Regenerative Medicine:
For the next month, I will make available a daily summary of one aspect of stem cell research — my layman’s understanding of it — done by scientists connected to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Today’s is spina bifida, tomorrow is stroke.
Mistakes are mine.
In most cases I have left out the scientists’ names. A few I have written about in my books, and those I felt free to credit.
All I ask is that when you step into the voting booth, please consider which political party is likely to fund such research, and vote accordingly.
Spina Bifida: total awards (3) Award value: $16,798,263
The condition is devastating, and lasts a lifetime. The baby has a part of its spine bulging out of its lower back. Accompanying symptoms are many, including: headaches, vomiting, weakness in the legs, bladder and bowel problems.
“Current standard of care (in utero surgery) …leaves 58% of patients unable to walk independently.
“39% of affected population are Hispanic or Latino descent.”
The condition may cost several million dollars per patient, over his or her lifetime.
Spina Bifida (SB) appears to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental conditions, but no one is sure. How will CIRM fight such a thing?
One way is “Placenta-derived mesenchymal stem cells, seeded on a Cook Biodesign ® extracellular Matrix”. Think of a mesh screen, over the wound.
“THERAPEUTIC MECHANISM: Mesenchymal stem cells…secrete growth factors (and) cytokines…protecting motor neurons from cell death…treatment increases the density of motor neurons in the spinal cord, leading to improved motor function…ultimately reducing lower limb paralysis.” (1)
Grant recipient Diana Farmer began science as a marine biologist, who doing research at the famous Woods Hole Institute. On the way to receive an award, she suffered a car accident, and changed her mind, working on human biology. She was the first woman to perform surgery on a baby in its mother’s womb. (1)
“She and Aijun Wang received a CIRM grant to co-launch the world’s first human clinical trial using stem cells to treat spina bifida..” (2)