Tuesday, October 28, 2014

#TEDTalkTuesday: What are stem cells? - Craig A. Kohn

In my last post I talked about clinical trials, more specifically clinical trials that are currently being done in regards to Stargardt's.

One of the trials currently in progress involves using stem cell therapy for the treatment of Stargardt's and Age related Macular Degeneration. The company Ocata Therapeutics (which is conducting the trial) recently published preliminary phase 1 data in The Lancet. The data seems very encouraging and I'll be talking more about it in my next video.

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Stem cell therapy holds the potential to greatly improve the lives of so many people but what are they? Before I talk about the clinical trial I thought it would be helpful to give some background about these dynamic cells. I think via the mainstream press we hear a lot about stem cells but are unaware of what they actually do. The below TEDEd video popped in my video subscriptions a few weeks ago and gives a really basic overview about stem cells. You can find the entire TEDEd lesson here:

If you want a more in depth background on stem cells check out this lecture by Professor Hazel Sive from the MIT Open Courseware program. Its about 46 minutes long. Some of the information maybe slightly outdated since it was published in 2011 but gives a really great overview: http://youtu.be/62FdhX-zS2Y

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