Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Researchers turn adult cells back into stem cells

This morning I found an article written by Karen Weintraub in USA Today.

“In a step that has implications for stem cell research, human biology and the treatment of disease, researchers in Japan and at Harvard University have managed to turn adult cells back into flexible stem cells without changing their DNA. 
stem cell -neurons

“Biology textbooks say that once a cell matures to serve a specific role, like, say a red blood cell, it can never go back into a less mature state. Vacanti and his colleagues say their new research upends that dogma.
"This study demonstrates that any mature cell when placed in the right environment can go back, become a stem cell, which then has the potential to become any cell needed by that tissue," said Vacanti, also of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.”

"From a practical point of view, if all it takes is a a change in pH and a change in cell culture conditions, then this will make the process of making stem cells a lot simpler and lot easier to scale."

Yes, there is more research that needs to be done, but if they can replicate the process in humans, this could be another major step forward in the healing process.

To read the entire article, follow this link: USA Today

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Another type of handicap

Besides ‘pride’, ‘trust’ is also a handicap to me. Remember the quote, “Pride comes before the fall.” You can replace ‘pride’ with ‘trust’ because both can get you in a world of trouble.

Before Kennedy’s Disease, I trusted that my muscles and reflexes would be there for me when I needed them. Whether work or play, my muscles and reflexes could be counted on.

For example:
  • If I tripped, I would catch myself before I fell.
  • If I dropped something like a tool, ball or cup, I would catch it before it hit the ground.
  • If I became tired walking, biking or hiking, I would take a short break and everything would be fine.
  • Nothing was ever too far.
  • If something was too heavy, it just meant I needed a friend to help carry it.
  • I never thought about not being able to get up from the ground.
  • I never worried about climbing a ladder or the stairs.

Like ‘pride’, ‘trust’ always seemed to get me in trouble as my Kennedy’s Disease symptoms progressed. I felt I could still do whatever, whenever, until proven wrong. And, often, the proof was much worse than just a loss in trust.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A friendly reminder

Don’t forget about the KDA Forum


The forum is a place where you can ask and answer questions, give your thoughts and opinions, and learn more about living with Kennedy’s Disease. I visit the forum several times a week and am always amazed at the quality of the content. Participation is voluntary, but there are always ‘regulars’ and usually one or two new members willing to impart or gain some knowledge.


Yes, ‘members’. However, you don’t need to sign up if you are just searching or reading the forum. If you want to participate (ask, answer, etc.), you will need to sign up.

Give the KDA Forum a try and let me know what you think about it.