Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

A First Step

A treatment made from embryonic stem cells is being used to treat a patient with a spinal cord injury, reports Discover. The phase I trial, which is being conducted by Geron, is testing the safety of the treatment and will enroll 10 people. The treatment is based on the work of the University of California, Irvine's Hans Keirstead whose team has found a way to turn hESCs into the oligodendrocytes that insulate nerve cells, notes the Los Angeles Times. In many cases of spinal cord injury, the damage is done to the myelin sheath and re-growing it could allow nerve signals to pass up and down the spine again — in animal trials, rats with spinal cord damage regained partial walking and running abilities. The trial was set to begin in 2009 when the US Food and Drug Administration put it on hold due to concerns about the possibility of the development of teratomas, notes MIT's Technology Review. After further animal safety studies, the FDA gave Geron the go-ahead in July. "I've got a couple of years of waking up and looking at the news every day, hoping and praying we're doing good for people and not bad," Keirstead tells the LA Times. Keirstead's technology was licensed to Geron.

The Scan

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.

Fragile X Syndrome Mutations Found With Comprehensive Testing Method

Researchers in Clinical Chemistry found fragile X syndrome expansions and other FMR1 mutations with ties to the intellectual disability condition using a long-range PCR and long-read sequencing approach.

Team Presents Strategy for Speedy Species Detection in Metagenomic Sequence Data

A computational approach presented in PLOS Computational Biology produced fewer false-positive species identifications in simulated and authentic metagenomic sequences.

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.