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Year 8 Science: Stem Cells

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General information about Stem Cell Research

Stem Cells

Specific information about liver- stem cells

Stem Cells and the Liver

Applying stem cell technology to liver diseases. ScienceDaily

Great excitement greeted the discovery a few years ago that certain cells from mice and humans could be reprogrammed to become inducible pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) as they hold promise for cell replacement therapy and modeling human disease. Two independent research groups have now shown that both possibilities are true for iPS cell-derived liver cells known as hepatocytes.

Liver transplants could be redundant with discovery of new liver cell. ScienceDaily.

Researchers have used single cell RNA sequencing to identify a type of cell that may be able to regenerate liver tissue, treating liver failure without the need for transplants.

Telomerase-expressing liver cells regenerate the organ. ScienceDaily.

Liver stem cells that express high levels of telomerase, a protein often associated with resistance to aging, act in mice to regenerate the organ during normal cellular turnover or tissue damage, according to a new study.

Scientists create functional liver cells from stem cells: Major implications for liver biology, drug discovery. ScienceDaily.

Evaluating drug-induced liver injury is a critical part of pharmaceutical drug discovery and must be carried out on human liver cells. Now, scientists report that they produced large amounts of functional liver cells from human embryonic and genetic engineered stem cells. The cells can detect the toxic effect of over a dozen drugs with greater than 97 percent accuracy.

 Liver stem cells grown in culture, transplanted with demonstrated therapeutic benefit. ScienceDaily.

For decades scientists around the world have attempted to regenerate primary liver cells known as hepatocytes because of their numerous biomedical applications, including hepatitis research, drug metabolism and toxicity studies, as well as transplantation for cirrhosis and other chronic liver conditions. But no lab in the world has been successful in identifying and growing liver stem cells in culture -- using any available technique -- until now.

Source of liver stem cells identified. ScienceDaily.

Scientists have identified stem cells in the liver that give rise to functional liver cells. The work solves a long-standing mystery about the origin of new cells in the liver, which must constantly be replenished as cells die off, even in a healthy organ.

Search for genetically stable bioengineered gut and liver tissue takes step forward: Study describes high-volume production method that may avoid tumor risks. ScienceDaily

Before medical science can bioengineer human organs in a lab for therapeutic use, two remaining hurdles are ensuring genetic stability -- so the organs are free from the risk of tumor growth -- and producing organ tissues of sufficient volume and size for viable transplant into people. Scientists now report achieving both goals with a new production method for bioengineered human gut and liver tissues.

Functional human tissue-engineered liver generated from stem, progenitor cells. ScienceDaily.

A research team has generated functional human and mouse tissue-engineered liver from adult stem and progenitor cells. Tissue-engineered Liver (TELi) was found to contain normal structural components such as hepatocytes, bile ducts and blood vessels.

Purest yet liver-like cells generated from induced pluripotent stem cells: Researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina and elsewhere devise new method to enhance genome-wide association studies for liver disease. ScienceDaily.

Researchers have found a better way to purify liver cells made from induced pluripotent stem cells. This new methodology could facilitate progress toward an important clinical goal: the treatment of patients with disease-causing mutations in their livers by transplant of unmutated liver cells derived from their own stem cells.

A new model of liver regeneration: Switch causes mature liver cells to revert back to stem cell-like state. ScienceDaily.

Scientists have new evidence in mice that it may be possible to repair a chronically diseased liver by forcing mature liver cells to revert back to a stem cell-like state. The researchers happened upon this discovery while investigating whether a biochemical cascade called Hippo, which controls how big the liver grows, also affects cell fate. The unexpected answer is that switching off the Hippo-signaling pathway in mature liver cells generates very high rates of dedifferentiation. This means the cells turn back the clock to become stem-cell like again, thus allowing them to give rise to functional progenitor cells that can regenerate a diseased liver.

Liver disease

Chronic liver disease: how could regenerative medicine help?

Chronic liver disease is the fifth biggest killer in the EU. Once serious damage has been done to the liver, it loses the ability to repair itself and this is a life-threatening problem. The only treatment currently available is a liver transplant. Could regenerative medicine help?

Liver Regrown from Stem Cells- Centre for Regenerative Medicine

It is the first time researchers have restored function to a severely damaged liver in a living animal using stem cells. Their findings pave the way for cell-based therapies that could one day replace the need for liver transplants.

Regeneration: what does it mean and how does it work?

Some parts of our bodies can repair themselves quite well after injury, but others don’t repair at all. We certainly can’t regrow a whole leg or arm, but some animals CAN regrow – or regenerate – whole body parts. So what can we learn from these regenerative animals?

Mini Lab-grown Organs: the good the bad and the mucousy

For many patients organ transplant is the only hope of survival or of living a close-to-normal life, but there aren’t enough organs for those who need a transplant. Donor incompatibility is another issue. Stem cell research is changing the way we view laboratory research, disease diagnosis and therapeutic possibilities. And when combined with ‘organoid’ and ‘decellularisation’ technologies, stem cell research is pioneering new ways to regenerate, repair or replace damaged organs and tissues that could revolutionize the field of organ transplantation.

Pros and Cons Transplants

Liver Transplants

Liver transplantation- Research Starter

Liver Transplantation is surgery performed to replace a diseased, nonfunctional liver with one that is healthy and capable of carrying out normal liver functions. Liver transplantation is performed on individuals whose livers are severely diseased and unable to carry out normal liver functions. 

Information manual for liver transplant recipients and their families

1. How the liver works Section 2. Assessment 3. Nutrition in liver transplantation 4. Information you might need 5. Waiting for the transplant 6. The right donor for you 7. Preparation for surgery 8. The transplant itself 9. After surgery 10. The immune system 11. Infection 12. Rejection 13. Nutrition following liver transplantation 14. Recurrence of original disease 15. Drugs used in transplantation 16. Patient information about drug trials  17. Other post-transplant problems 18. Outpatient visits 19. Follow-up medical care 20. Travel 21. Vaccinations 22. After discharge 23. Common Tests Performed

A Brother's Lifesaving Gift.

The article focuses on cable television network Fox News' national correspondent Ed Henry and his decision to donate part of his liver to his sister Colleen Henry, who had been diagnosed with the genetic liver disease primary biliary cirrhosis in 2009. The author discusses their surgeries and recoveries and explains how living-donor liver transplants work.

Opt-out not the answer for organ donation.

The article focuses on the social institution DonateLife, responsible for organ donation in Australia. Topics discussed include consent letter from the next of kin for organ donation, role of government to educate and raise awareness to increase organ donation rates, and attitude of Australians towards charity and fundraising.

Research Data from Baylor University College of Medicine Update Understanding of General Surgery (No Gains In Long-term Survival After Liver Transplantation Over the Past Three Decades)

The aim of this study was to assess improvements in long-term survival after liver transplant by analyzing outcomes in transplant recipients who survived beyond 1 year.

Choosy Patients Turn Down Liver Transplants in Surprising Numbers

Patients are putting their lives at risk by turning down liver transplants in the hopes of finding a better one. A study by transplant surgeon John Roberts and his colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco found that 84% on patients on the waiting list for a liver transplant who died or became too ill for a transplant were offered at least one liver. The median number of liver offerings was six and the livers offered ended up saving the lives of patients further down the list. Patients could be lulled into thinking that they have time despite having a serious health condition.

Increase in deaths on transplant waiting list, but hope in sight.

The article discusses the study conducted by the Australian National Liver Transplantation Unit which reveals an increasing number of Australian patients dying while on the waiting list for a liver transplant between 1985 and 2008.

Benefit in liver transplantation: a survey among medical staff, patients, medical students and non-medical university staff and students

The allocation of any scarce health care resource, especially a lifesaving resource, can create profound ethical and legal challenges. Liver transplant allocation currently is based upon urgency, a sickest-first approach, and does not utilize capacity to benefit. While urgency can be described reasonably well with the MELD system, benefit encompasses multiple dimensions of patients' well-being. Currently, the balance between both principles is ill-defined.

Australia : One step online registration to increase organ donation

Eight years after the Australian Government announced a programme to increase organ donation and transplantation, seven per cent of Australians are registered organ donors 1.8 million people. A further 4.3 million have at some stage signalled intent to become a donor but have not completed the paperwork required under the current system.

Organ donations dragged down by low family consent rates in Australia: report

Low organ donation rates in Australia can be blamed on guardians refusing to enable organs from deceased family members to be donated. The study, published by the Medical Journal of Australia, found that just 10 of 427 deceased patients across a six-month period in 2012 were eligible for organ donation. Furthermore, half of those 2.34 percent of patients' families refused to consent to have their loved ones' organs donated.

Alcohol relapse rate among liver transplant recipients identical regardless of sobriety period.

For decades, patients with liver disease related to alcohol use have been told they must be sober for six months before they can get a liver transplant. Many die before that six-month wait period is up. Now, a growing number of researchers are questioning that six-month waiting period.