Early success in a stem cell clinical trial to treat blindness

About a month after taking office in 2009, President Barack Obama issued Executive Order 13505, Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells.  This order rescinded President George W Bush’s ban on new stem-cell lines for research (with a few exceptions), probably as a result of pressure from religious, anti-abortion groups.

Embryonic stem cells are useful research and clinical tools because they can be used in regenerative medicine, including tissue repair.  The first clinical trials started in 2009, and no stem cell therapy has been approved by the FDA as of this time.  Some early success in treating post-acute myocardial infarction with stem cells was reported earlier this month. Continue reading “Early success in a stem cell clinical trial to treat blindness”

Stem cell treatments for heart attacks

Acute myocardial infarctions (AMI), commonly known as heart attacks, are responsible for about 12.6% of deaths worldwide, according to The World Health Report 2004 – Changing History.  In the United States, about 16.6% of those who have heart attacks die within 30 days of the attack.  Outside of AIDS and a few infectious diseases, AMI is the biggest killer of adults.

An AMI is essentially caused by a blockage of the coronary arteries which leads to cellular damage of some of the heart muscle (myocardium).  This prognosis can be minor to deadly, depending on a lot of issues such as other cardiovascular risk profile (diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, smoking and others), quality of treatment, and severity of the tissue damage.  Over the past few years, treatments have improved the outlook for AMI sufferers, but the risk of a subsequent heart attacks and mortality rates are still high. Continue reading “Stem cell treatments for heart attacks”

National Science Board’s Science and Engineering Indicators–2012

Recently, the National Science Board (NSB) published its biennial Science and Engineering Indicators report for 2012.  This report comprises quantitative data on the U.S. and international science and engineering by objectively reviewing science and engineering progress in both the US and internationally.  The report does not make policy options and recommendations, but it is used by different governmental and non-governmental entities to formulate their own policies and recommendations. This report is required by law. Continue reading “National Science Board’s Science and Engineering Indicators–2012”