Engineered Stem Cells Seek out and Kill HIV in Living Mice

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posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 09:37 PM
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reply to post by Phagette
 


I concede I feel like I'm in remedial microbiology here. But, I love learning new stuff.

Thank you again for sharing so much and taking the time to answer questions and address peoples' concerns. Members like you are the reason I love ATS. No belittling or down talking. Straight shooting here is what I know and what it means as best as I can explain it.

Your presence here made this the most flagged thread I've ever authored. Between you being here Phagette, and the subject matter, I think those two things are the reason for peoples' interest here.

Thank you for taking time to teach us some new stuff. I'm sure I'm not the only one who appreciates it.




posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 09:38 PM
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reply to post by fictitious
 


I am far from genius. I have simply spent decades educating myself and working in the fields about which I speak. And, I would not comment on anything which I did not have knowledge or had not previously educated myself. But perhaps that's where we differ. You may think I am rude for calling you out, but people in my industry don't think that's rude - it's etiquette. We exist on facts, not opinions, not feelings. Evidence-based facts. So when someone makes an unsubstantiated claim, it is our job to call them on it. That ensures science and scientists have integrity, which is what you want in the long run. And to be quite honest, I'm sick of people confusing opinions for facts. Further, if your opinion on this matter is not based on actual knowledge, who cares? Again, maybe too harsh. But, it's not like we're talking about our favorite pizza or whether a movie made us laugh. We're talking about facts. Whether this technology excites you, scares you or angers you is not really my concern. I'd like to come across friendly and educational, but sometimes I loose patience.

Yes, stem cell-based research suffers from economic woes. (And we - scientists - generally agree it's the best funded field right now, so imagine how the rest of scientific research is doing!) And yes, embryonic stem cells are MUCH harder to work with than most people a decade ago thought. We all honestly thought the technology for working with them would move faster, but it hasn't. Would it move faster if we just threw more money at it. Probably not significantly. We are at a technological bottleneck - waiting for a breakthrough to make working with them on a daily basis easier. Until then, more money is not likely to solve the problem. Which is why most "stem cell" researchers have switched to working with progenitor cells or on a new technology called iPS. This stands for induced pluripotent stem cells wherein we take a cell type that is adult but fairly immature and overexpress (produce a lot of) the genes we have learned allow embryonic stem cells to be/stay stem cells. Voila! They take on the characteristics of stem cells! And then we try to push them to become whatever cell type we want - hair, blood, etc. Here is a very cool movie where the researchers took cells that would become hair and used iPS to turn them into heart cells (you're looking at the beating of one cell - amazing!): www.youtube.com...

Companies in many fields from food service to banking have shut down world wide due to economic woes and some of those may happen to focus their efforts on stem cell research. Geron is not one of those companies. In fact, Geron currently has 6 clinical trials going (www.geron.com...). I was saddened to hear they did have to shut down the world's first embryonic stem cell clinical trial due to money problems. I was lucky to hear Geron's CEO and one of their top researchers speak last year at the World stem Cell Summit in Pasadena, where we were updated on the progress of this clinical trial - it was very exciting! There were rumblings from many companies as well as researchers at academic institutions about feasibility of keeping this (all forms of stem cell) research alive given economic conditions. Much emphasis was also placed on the fly-by-night companies offering unsubstantiated "stem cell" cures, diminishing the value and hope credible stem cell researchers offer.

I guess that's why I was offended by your statement. So many of our livelihoods depend on an educated public and sadly, our public is not so educated on the topic. They only know what they hear on the nightly news, which is more pundit than fact-based these days. There IS a tremendous amount of progress being made in stem cells/progenitor cells/iPS cells with respect to basic knowledge as well as in treating diseases.

Here is another study I was particularly impressed with from the World Stem Cell Summit:
www.cirm.ca.gov...
www.cityofhope.org... ial-for-brain-tumors.aspx
clinicaltrials.gov...

Imagine being able to inject modified "killer" neural stem cells for someone that has brain cancer! And these killer neural stem cells have been shown effective for all sorts of metastatic cancers, even breast cancer!
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 09:40 PM
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reply to post by ILikeStars
 


I'm not very good at saying it, but thank you!

I suppose a part of me feels like it's my job to educate people, even online. If I can, I should.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 09:40 PM
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Originally posted by Rockpuck
reply to post by daynight42
 


I can understand. But it would ultimately be a choice.. you shouldn't restrict my wish for eternal life just because you have a philosophical issue with it.


I don't. It's the law of the universe that I observe, and you'd be dealing with that if you had a conflict with it. I find the idea of eternal life attractive myself. I am just pointing out what I notice, and I'm sure that there is a good reason for it to be that way. I didn't design the world or make the laws; I just take notice of them and try to obey them because however they came to be, it is for a higher purpose than some single man wishing he didn't have to face death one day.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 09:59 PM
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Originally posted by ZeroKnowledge
reply to post by FlyInTheOintment
 



In this current study, the researchers similarly engineered human blood stem cells and found that they can form mature T cells that can attack HIV in tissues where the virus resides and replicates.

From the OP's link.
On general topic, this is pretty cool however it is not the cure. At least yet. The virus has high mutations rate and every individual is different so this technique will need to tune the cells per individual (or at least for groups of individuals) - which is very expensive, and according to the article it does not kill the virus completely. Just lowers its "concentration" and its effects on immune system.


While this all seems great, what happens if the mutated HIV cells change the Stem cells?
Is it possible we might get a cancerous cell growth that is communicable?
A "Zombie" disease that is spread by blood, saliva or even worse by scratches?
Seems crazy to think of that I know, but 60 years ago pills that give men an erection would have been a crazy thought as well as being able to keep a whole library of books in something as small as a cell phone!
Good find though OP, even though I'm an idea pessimist!



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 10:52 PM
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It's just a matter of time till big pharma comes and "debunks" this.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:05 PM
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reply to post by Phagette
 


This isn't a site for only peer reviewed facts and studies to be posted. You are in the wrong place if that's what you expect from ATS. This isn't a place that comments posted to a thread are all supposed to be or expected to be factual evidence to back up the op. Its about discourse and yes...even opinions.

I truly appreciate your enlightment on this topic, however, not your self-righteousness or your lack of an open mind. But since you take no note of opinions, I know that won't bother you.

By the way, I never called you a genius. But since you thought I did, I suppose that says a lot about your character. Oh, and welcome to ATS.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:06 PM
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reply to post by KryptKeeper
 


Diabetes is a terrible disease - I'm sorry!

There have been some exciting advances made, but human subjects research is difficult. First, great leaps have been made in discovering that this is actually an autoimmune disease wherein your T cells go haywire and begin attacking the pancreatic islet cells. Well, the great leaps were really in discovering that we could nearly reverse the process by adding properly functioning regulatory T cells (we call them Tregs for short), whose job it is to turn off the haywire T cells. One problem with this therapy has been that true success in animal models required there to be some (even if just a few) functioning islet cells, yet most people in the US who might have qualified to enter such a clinical trial would have been required to have end-stage disease (many, many clinical trials are like this). Damn Catch-22! Only the sickest get to be part of risky clinical trials but the sickest are likeliest to die or not to benefit.

However, just this year, the world's first clinical trial using the patient's own Tregs - growing them up in huge numbers and then delivering them back to the patient - began!
clinicaltrials.gov...
You'll want to scroll down to the inclusion/exclusion criteria to see if you qualify. And if you do or don't know if you do, bug your doctor!!! The clinical trial is being held at UCSF, which may require travel. Only you can decide if it's worth it.

In addition, there are several clinical trials using progenitor/stem cells to help reseed lost islet cells!
clinicaltrials.gov...

I just did a search for stem cells and diabetes, so this search turned up clinical trials for type II diabetes (which I know doesn't concern you) and shows trials that are not recruiting for patients anymore. But you can get an idea of what's out there. Again, you'll want to scroll down each one and look at the inclusion/exclusion criteria to see if you even qualify.

Finally, my personal advice, having worked with people who run clinical trials, is to find one that is in Phase II rather than Phase I. It's just that in Phase I, they are still working out the safety issues. By Phase II, they have safety issues resolved (which does NOT mean they are safe for everyone, just that they have the safety issues defined for you to consider) and they are now focused on efficacy. Of course, Phase III would be best - where they are just extending a Phase II to include a ton more people - because at least a decade or two sometimes has passed and all the kinks are clearly defined.

Best of luck!



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:16 PM
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Originally posted by Phagette
reply to post by fictitious
 


I am far from genius. I have simply spent decades educating myself and working in the fields about which I speak. And, I would not comment on anything which I did not have knowledge or had not previously educated myself.


There is a secret to life in our current society. Find the thing that you are naturally good at. Find the thing you have a passion for and are enthusiastic about. They may not always be the same thing, unfortunately. But learn all you can about what you are naturally good at and what you are inclined to have a passion for and like. Become a specialist in something.



But perhaps that's where we differ. You may think I am rude for calling you out, but people in my industry don't think that's rude - it's etiquette. We exist on facts, not opinions, not feelings. Evidence-based facts. So when someone makes an unsubstantiated claim, it is our job to call them on it. That ensures science and scientists have integrity, which is what you want in the long run. And to be quite honest, I'm sick of people confusing opinions for facts.


Professionalism. It's called professionalism.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:22 PM
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Originally posted by Phagette

I suppose a part of me feels like it's my job to educate people, even online. If I can, I should.



Your enthusiasm and loyalty for your profession is welcome on ATS as far as I'm concerned.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:38 PM
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Originally posted by windword
reply to post by D_Mason
 


I don't know too much about HIV/AIDS but I don't doubt that there has been a lot of disinfo on the subject, but could you explain the hoax part? I'm sure a lot of HIV patients would argue that their disease is real.

There used to be a lot of stuff out there about the WHO having developed AIDS on purpose and such, is that what you mean by hoax?

Just curious. Not trying to start anything trolly.


Hoax, meaning, a virus was credited with causing an immune deficient state, (AIDS,) even though immune deficiencies were previously documented historically in hardcore drug users, people living in unsanitary conditions, people infected with parasites, people infected with tropical diseases, etc. etc. There isn't one AIDS defining illness under the AIDS umbrella of illnesses which didn't already exist, and which isn't caused by something else.

Hardcore drug use with crack, heroin, crystal meth, etc. causes an immune deficient state in people.
With homosexuals who live in the so called "fast track." lifestyle, it has been observed that repeated infection with STDs and the subsequent repeated treatment, or abuse of antibiotics also cause an immune deficient state.
Repeatedly exposing the bloodstream to semen, has been documented to harm the immune system, I can go on an on.

Then you have the tests and monitoring techniques.
ELISA, and Western Blot, antibody, and antigen tests, are non-specific in the proteins they detect, meaning there are over 100 different things that can make those methods of testing react positive.
PCR based testing is just as useless, and the test labels for PCR tests state so "The COBAS® AMPLICOR HIV-1 MONITOR Test, v1.5 is not intended to be used as a screening test for blood or blood products for the presence of HIV-1 or as a diagnostic test to confirm the presence of HIV-1 infection."
White Blood Cell Counts, also don't tell you anything, as many different conditions, circumstances, and ailments are documented to cause lower, or higher counts. Further, the immune system is multi faceted, not simply blood based. An analogy, if people live along the coasts, in the mountains, in the forests, and grasslands etc. why do a census only in the grasslands and use that to estimate the population of the whole land?

Then you have the medications, whose side effects often times also fall under AIDS defining illnesses. Or simply fall under non-HIV related conditions, such as liver failure, kidney failure, etc.

What I meant by hoax.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:48 PM
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reply to post by D_Mason
 


Okay. I believe you. Your explanation went way over my pay grade!


One question however, are those immune deficiencies that you are referring to, are they also virus based? For example Diabetes can be brought on by behavior and diet and it is an acquired immune deficiency, but it's not a virus, is it?
edit on 15-4-2012 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 12:40 AM
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reply to post by D_Mason
 


D_Mason,

You are simply wrong. You are clearly reciting things you heard elsewhere but you have no personal knowledge of any of these things/techniques. And since I know your type, I know nothing I can say will convince you otherwise. If, however, you are really interested in learning about HIV/AIDS, I invite to come work in my lab. I will happily teach you how we grow the virus, infect cells, spread the infection from one cell to another, infect mice reconstituted with human immune systems, detect the virus (DNA, RNA, proteins) in very, very specific ways - indeed using the techniques you so handily dismiss as non-specific. And, if at the end of let's say 3 months, you still don't believe, I will happily allow you to inject yourself with one of the many strains we have (lab designed strains, clinical isolates, dual tropic strains, HAART resistant strains).

Okay, that would be unethical. And even if you were merely a volunteer, I'm pretty sure EH&S wouldn't allow me to allow you to do that. But, it would give you a chance to test the hypothesis...Believe me, once you think you might be infected, you'll tend to believe the accuracy and specificity of all of our tests and assays.

Indeed, a lot of diseases (genetic, viral, environmental) lead to immune deficiencies - and we have names for all of them! AIDS was so named because when the symptoms were being defined, we did not yet have a defined bug. And when the bug was finally defined, we wanted to name it based on the symptoms it caused. There are over a dozen viruses that cause the common cold, yet people don't seem up in arms that we simply call the illness "the cold" and do not reference the specific virus. Or a dozen types of bacteria and viruses that cause pneumonia, but people don't say, "Hey, you already have one that causes pneumonia! How can there be TWO (or more) bugs that cause the SAME symptoms?!"

Many children acquire HIV through blood transfusions, mother's breast milk, or through the placenta. These infants have not been exposed to drugs or other immune deficient-causing agents.

More importantly, we can culture the virus out of the cells of these patients and infect new, previously uninfected cells. And with the advent of the humanized mouse models, we can completely fulfill Koch's postulate and induce HIV-disease (AIDS) in mice.

I can take it even further! I can create a humanized mouse with a mixture of cells that either contain my anti-HIV gene or not. After the mice are infected with HIV, if you join my lab, you can assay them and see for yourself that the human cells containing our anti-HIV genes fail to die while the control cells not engineered with the anti-HIV genes in the same animal, eventually completely disappear. How about an HIV strain known to infect only CCR5/CD4 expressing cells? In time, they will be the cells to disappear. Conversely, CXCR4/CD4-infecting strains of HIV will lead to the disappearance of only CXCR4/CD4 and not the CCR5/CD4 expressing cells. Pretty specific.

And if you don't trust the western blot, ELISA or PCR kits out there, don't worry - we don't use them! We design our own. Honestly, the clinical kits are too expensive. I'll teach how to design an experiment with proper positive and negative controls.

But, if you are wondering why the COBAS® AMPLICOR HIV-1 MONITOR Test, v1.5 says "The COBAS® AMPLICOR HIV-1 MONITOR Test, v1.5 is not intended to be used as a screening test for blood or blood products for the presence of HIV-1 or as a diagnostic test to confirm the presence of HIV-1 infection." I'm happy to explain. See, this test is intended to assay viral loads ("Gold standard automated solution for HIV-1 viral load testing"), which by definition is a test for HIV RNA. But blood and blood products have A TON of RNAses, enzymes that naturally chew up RNA. And Roche is too cheap to prove to every regulatory agency world-wide that their test cleans up all the RNAses such that a negative is true negative (because a negative could simply be that the naturally occurring RNAses in the blood chewed up the free HIV RNA before we had a chance to get to the assay step). Roche doesn't want THAT lawsuit! So they'd rather let some other chump biotech/pharma company spend the money proving their negative is a true negative with respect to blood. They don't want to be responsible for diagnostic testing. But once someone is confirmed positive and being negative is no longer an issue, their happy to say their test provides "High levels of sensitivity for accurate measurement of viral suppression in patients on anti-retroviral therapy." It's all about the lawsuits. There is NO one manufacturer that is willing to take on the legal burden - they all want "confirmatory" test. Again, it's all about the lawsuits.



posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 12:50 AM
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reply to post by D_Mason
 


Oh, and I have never seen a study of "repeatedly exposing the bloodstream to semen" for any reason or disease. Please provide a reference for that. How would you do that? Cut open the arm of a person and then have someone ejaculate all over their cut? Or do you just IV inject semen? Do you control for sperm donors with and without exposure to your environmental AIDS-inducing agents? Is that even a biologically relevant phenomenon?

Either way, I can't seem to find such a study, but I am really interested in how they wrote those IRBs (IRB: institutional review board - a request to perform research on humans).



posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 07:27 AM
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Dmason is obviously reciting bogus claims made by Peter Duesberg that have been debunked many years ago. Posts like yours are dangerous and should be removed from these forums immediately.

I know it's a conspiracy forum, but posting gunk like this shouldn't be tolerated. HIV causes Aids, there is zero doubt about it.

Wake up. ATS, you have a duty to ensure nonsense like this isn't attached to your name.

I love how posters read one article from one source and then come on here and speak in absolutes as if, they, themselves, are an expert on the subject.

This site is suppose to Deny Ignorance, not encourage it.



edit on 16-4-2012 by macaronicaesar because: (no reason given)
edit on 16-4-2012 by macaronicaesar because: (no reason given)
edit on 16-4-2012 by macaronicaesar because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 08:18 AM
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Great info, OP!!! S&F. My mother passed away in 2009, she had AIDS. I only wish they had started earlier but I am happy to know that maybe, just maybe, there will be a new treatment for those afflicted.



posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 12:03 PM
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Originally posted by D_Mason
Repeatedly exposing the bloodstream to semen, has been documented to harm the immune system, I can go on an on.


Where did this come from and who on this planet is repeatedly introducing semen into someone's bloodstream?

And for GOD sakes.... why?



posted on Apr, 19 2012 @ 11:16 AM
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reply to post by Phagette
 



Sorry but i'm going to have to disagree. I work with several people who originate from the middle east. They find the doctors to be so much better in India, that they will travel there for any serious medical work. They all tell me that the doctors can literally look at you and almost instantly know whats wrong. Where as the doctors here took months and month and months of testing without any conclusions. The one woman told me she went through this, and after returning to india to be examined they figured out the problem in one day. And they way the american doctors were treating actually made her current condition worse than it ever should have been.

Sorry but in the end, in america all they care about is money and that is a fact.






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