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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Stem Cells From Teeth Can Be Transformed Into Cells That Produce Insulin

Lexington, MA (PRWEB) March 9, 2011
Store-A-Tooth (TM) commends the scientists who report in the Journal of Dental Research (JDR) that stem cells from teeth can be transformed into cells that produce insulin in a glucose-dependent manner—a significant step toward developing stem-cell therapies for diabetes.(1)
The finding is particularly important for type 1 diabetes, which results from a failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin, the hormone that plays a vital role in the body’s use of glucose (blood sugar). In the United States alone, the CDC estimates that nearly one million people have type 1 diabetes, with more than 15,000 children and teenagers newly diagnosed each year.(2) Intensive research is under way to determine whether insulin-producing cells derived from stem cells might one day be used as part of a cure for type 1 diabetes.
“This work is further evidence that research into medical as well as dental applications of stem cells from teeth, though early, is steadily progressing toward what we believe will be a new generation of therapies for conditions that impact millions of Americans. We are pleased to see dental stem cell research aimed at one of the most serious diseases affecting young people: type 1 diabetes,” said Peter Verlander, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Provia Laboratories, LLC.
Provia is the provider of Store-A-Tooth, a service that enables parents to preserve stem cells from their children’s teeth, allowing families to take advantage of future medical breakthroughs from stem cell research.  
In 2000, scientists from the National Institutes of Health first reported isolating stem cells from dental pulp.(3) In 2009, it was shown that stem cells from periodontal ligament could produce insulin.(4) The new research takes the next step: showing that stem cells from teeth can be used to generate cells that secrete insulin in a glucose-dependent manner; that is, when exposed to more glucose, the cells produced more insulin.
According to the paper in the JDR, scientists at Stempeutics Research Malaysia and the University of Malaya isolated stem cells from deciduous molars (baby teeth). These teeth were extracted as part of routine dental care, for the management of occlusion (crowded teeth). The scientists then cultured these dental stem cells under conditions that led the cells to turn into islet-like cell aggregates like those in the pancreas that secrete insulin.
The authors of the paper comment, “(We) anticipate that our finding will create a benchmark toward cell replacement for type 1 diabetes… by autologous transplantation of islet-like cell aggregates (ICAs) differentiated from a patient’s own teeth.”
Today, standard treatment for type 1 diabetes (also called insulin-dependent or juvenile-onset diabetes) includes frequent blood glucose monitoring and daily insulin injections or use of insulin pumps. Looking forward, doctors are focusing on ways to cure the disease, such as by transplantation of pancreatic islet cells from a donor, but this approach is often hindered by a shortage of donor organs and by potential side effects caused by immunosuppressive drugs needed to prevent transplant rejection. If a patient’s own dental stem cells had been preserved, both of these problems might be resolved: the patient’s own cells could be used to generate islets for autologous transplantation (meaning tissues are used from the same individual, not a donor, eliminating the need for immunosuppressive drugs).
As the authors of the paper in the JDR note, limitations with donor transplants have led to a search for alternative cell-replacement therapies. They comment that dental stem cells “are considered to be an appealing source” because “they are non-controversial, readily accessible, have a large donor pool, and pose no risk of discomfort for the donor.” Every person typically loses 20 baby teeth, each of which can provide a source of stem cells.
Store-A-Tooth, a dental stem cell banking company based in Massachusetts, works with families and their dentists to collect teeth removed during normal dental procedures, such as baby teeth that come loose during childhood, wisdom teeth extracted from teens or young adults, and teeth that need to be pulled for orthodontic reasons – like the teeth reported in this study. Store-A-Tooth then preserves the tissue at very low temperatures, until the day when new stem cell therapies become routinely available.
“We applaud these researchers for demonstrating that stem cells from one’s own teeth may play a critical role in enabling new therapies for type 1 diabetes. The pace of dental stem cell research around the world is accelerating, and we look forward to seeing a growing number of potential applications in the future,” Dr. Verlander said. “We encourage families living with type 1 diabetes to learn more about options for preserving dental stem cells, so that they can make an informed decision while their children are losing teeth.”
About Provia Laboratories LLC
Provia Laboratories, LLC is a healthcare services company specializing in high quality biobanking (preservation of biological specimens). The company’s Store-A-Tooth (TM) service platform enables the collection, transport, processing, and storage of dental stem cells for potential use in future stem-cell therapies. The company advises industrial, academic, and governmental clients on matters related to the preservation of biological specimens for research and clinical use. In addition, Provia offers a variety of products for use in complex biobanking environments to improve sample logistics, security, and quality. Provia Labs is a member of ISBER, the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories.
For more information about Store-A-Tooth, call 1-877-867-5753 or visit http://www.store-a-tooth.com.
Footnotes:
1 Govindasamy V, et al. (2011) Differentiation of Dental Pulp Stem Cells into Islet Like Aggregates. J Dent Res. published online 18 February 2011. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21335539
2 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/pdf/ndfs_2011.pdf
3 Gronthos S, Mankani M, Brahim J, Robey PG, Shi S. Postnatal human dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) in vitro and in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Dec 5;97(25):13625-30.
4 Huang CY, Pelaez D, Dominguez-Bendala J, Garcia-Godoy F, Cheung HS. Plasticity of stem cells derived from adult periodontal ligament. Regen Med. 2009 Nov;4(6):809-21.

Monday, March 07, 2011

New HealthyPrograms.OK.gov Directs People Towards Strong & Healthy Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In 2010, Strong & Healthy Oklahoma, a division of the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), conducted a 12-question survey to capture current physical activity, nutrition, and tobacco programs/resources across the state. The collected information is now available online through an Online Resource Inventory at http://HealthyPrograms.OK.gov
“The information provided in this resource inventory will help the public find health programs in their community,” said Landon Norton, OSDH Nutrition Coordinator. “The new website will provide creative ways for individuals and local communities to join in the effort to make Oklahomans healthier. Also, it will support the goals of the Strong & Healthy Oklahoma, the Get Fit Eat Smart OK State Plan, and the Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan, which are designed as guides to encourage healthy behavior changes,” Norton said.
The public and interested health partners may search for programs and resources available in the community or look for program examples through the Online Resource Inventory. Types of programs include, but are not limited to, school, afterschool, or childcare-based programs, worksite-based wellness programs, community-based programs focusing on physical activity and/or nutrition.
Strong & Healthy Oklahoma will continually update the program database as new information becomes available to ensure the best possible representation of health programs in the state of Oklahoma. Those interested in adding their program to the Online Resource Inventory may do so by filling out the survey available at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SHOresourceinventory.
The Online Resource Inventory is a product of a partnership between Strong & Healthy Oklahoma and OK.gov, Oklahoma’s Official website.

DiabetesMine™ Launches 2011 Design Challenge To Foster Make Living With Diabetes Manageable.


$25,000.00 in cash prizes and entrepreneurial help for best new creative tools for managing diabetes

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--DiabetesMine™, a leading informational and community web site for people with diabetes, today announced kickoff of the 2011 DiabetesMine Design Challenge, a competition that fosters innovation in the creation of new tools designed to improve life with diabetes.
This annual web-based competition, hosted at www.diabetesmine.com/designcontest, calls for fresh ideas for new devices, web applications, or other instruments designed to help people live better with diabetes. The contest is underwritten by the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF), an independent philanthropy committed to improving the way health care is delivered and financed in California and beyond. It is also supported by the global design and innovation firm IDEO, headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, and endorsed by Medgadget.com, the Internet journal of emerging medical technologies.
In past years, the competition garnered hundreds of ingenious entries – from colorful ‘virtual worlds’ that teach people about managing diabetes; to a variety of Smartphone applications that help track carbohydrates, glucose data and more; to safety scanners that guard against driving with dangerously low blood sugar. One standout Grand Prize last year was a visionary system combining a continuous glucose monitor and insulin pump into a simple, aesthetic arm band.
“Advances in technology have already been hugely beneficial in terms of changing the way people live with diabetes, and we’re very committed to further cultivating new tools to help them live healthier, longer, and less stressful lives,” said Jeffrey Brewer, President and CEO of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). “This contest has created a great deal of buzz within the diabetes industry, really helping to push the evolution of medical devices.”
This competition is open to any individuals or organizations passionate about diabetes and product design – whether you're an enterprising patient or caregiver, a startup company, a design student, an independent developer or engineer, or an R&D pro. Entries from participants age 17 and under are also welcome, and will be judged in a separate category.
To help refine and realize their design concepts, three winners will each receive the following prizes:
     
$7,000 in cash, plus:
   
- a complimentary consulting session with Health and Wellness experts at the global design and innovation firm IDEO
- a free access ticket to the “innovation incubator” Health 2.0 Conference planned for September 2011 in San Francisco, CA
- introduction to Silicon Valley investors and other relevant experts
- additional hands-on assistance towards commercialization of your design idea, as appropriate
 
Two additional prizes will also be awarded: $2,500 cash for the “Most Creative Idea” and $1,500 cash for the “Best Kids’ Concept” (age 17 and under)
 
(total cash prizes $25,000)
 
For the second year in a row, open community voting on the website will determine the top 10 finalists for this competition. Final winner selections will be made by a group of expert judges with deep expertise in diabetes care, medical technologies, design, and venture capital funding. Submissions are accepted in the form of a 2-3 minute video to be uploaded to YouTube, or a 2-3 page written "elevator pitch" plus supporting graphics, also to be uploaded online. The deadline for entries is Friday, April 29th, 2011, at 11:59 pm Pacific time. Winners will be announced on Monday, June 13th, 2011.
“CHCF is committed to improving quality of care for patients with chronic conditions," said Sophia Chang, director of the Foundation's Better Chronic Disease Care program. “Once again, we are delighted to support this design contest, which encourages and rewards innovative thinking and the development of new tools for diabetes.”
The Design Challenge concept was born in Spring 2007, when creator of DiabetesMine Amy Tenderich posted an Open Letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, calling for the gurus of consumer design to help revolutionize design of diabetes devices. In the weeks and months that followed, numerous individuals and organizations came forward with compelling new prototypes, designs, and ideas.
“We’re very excited to expand the reach of the contest this year,” said Tenderich. “Not only do we look forward to another bounty of creative submissions, but we’re also planning a Diabetes Innovation Summit event that will bring together patient advocates, medical device designers, investors and other experts. It’s all about making ‘patient-centered care’ a truly meaningful term.”
Official contest information and rules can be found at http://www.diabetesmine.com/designcontest

Friday, March 04, 2011

AARP Webinar : The Health Care Law: Changes & Improvements

Event Date: 03/09/2011 02:00 PM Eastern Standard Time And You can register by following this link..
 AARP is having a free webinar about the New Healthcare Law.
Some provisions of the new law become effective over a number of years. During this webinar, we will highlight the provisions that you can take advantage of now — and what will be available down the road.
You may have questions about what the new health care law means for you and with this webinar you can learn about the changes and improvements in the law.
Learn what the health care law means for: --People with health insurance --People who are uninsured or who buy their own coverage --Small business owners --People with Medicare --People planning for their long term care. This 60-minute web event will also include time for you to ask questions of AARP experts.

Learn what the health care law means for
people who:

   •   Have health insurance
   •   Are uninsured
   •   Buy their own coverage
   •   Own a small business
   •   Have Medicare
   •   Are planning for their long-term care

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