A Nobel-Worthy Stem Cell Discovery
It is getting harder and harder, in fact, to keep up with all of the breakthroughs coming out of the biotech, as so much news is coming from this sector.
I’m still astounded by one announcement made recently…
Scientists have identified the gene that locks down inactive DNA — SP100.
Let me explain.
The SP100 gene expresses an RNA protein that keep portions of the genome that shouldn’t be activated locked down. This is critical because every cell in your body contains the entire vast genome, containing all of the information necessary to become all of our many thousands of cell types.
Also contained in every cell’s DNA is the instruction code that controls the incredible complexity of the way that each of these thousands of cell types interacts with every other cell in the body.
It’s really quite stunning when you think about it.
Obviously, any individual cell contains genes that are not active. Some of them are genes that are not active in that particular cell type. Others that are protected from activation or transcription are the genes that determine what a cell’s identity is.
You would not, for example, want toenail cell genes activated in heart valves or bone genes activated in your eyes.
But, it is possible for any cell to become any other cell type — if you know the genetic code and the right gene switches…
Because genes can be accidentally activated by various factors, including natural cosmic rays, cells keep much of the genome in a protected, secure state, except when the cell is first developing or when it is replicating. The genes in the protected or silenced state are part of the heterochromatin, in which the DNA is tightly folded.
The gene that keeps the heterochromatin folded and protected from transcription — under most circumstances — is the SP100 gene. Now that this is known, it is possible to block the SP100 gene’s activity in a number of ways, such as short interfering RNA.
When SP100 gene activity is blocked, the genes that are protected inside the heterochromatin are available for reprogramming. In terms of regenerative medicine, the most-important reprogramming is the conversion of a cell to induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell status. These rejuvenated, immortalized cells have the same potential to become other cells as embryonic cells.
This discovery will accelerate regenerative medicine and enable untold numbers of therapies.
When different cell types can be made easily, everything from heart disease to lactose intolerance and diabetes will be curable. It should and probably will result in a Nobel Prize when its importance becomes evident.
One study in which muscle progenitor stem cells were given to prematurely aged mice, resulting in amazing rejuvenation, even though the cells didn’t actually become part of the host animals. Stem cells are producers of remarkable growth hormones and other substances that hold remarkable regenerative powers. I like this particular article because one scientist mentions that the transformation in the mice was so amazing that he thought that the old mice had been switched with young ones.
The point, though, is that the SP100 gene discovery is going to help make this sort of therapy possible for humans. It will enable rapid, reliable conversion of your cells to iPS, and then immune-matched therapeutic cells.
I guarantee that I’ll have much more on this for you in the near future. This is one of the biggest victories in the battle against disease and aging in my lifetime.
This is a great time to be alive and investing.
Yours for transformational profits,
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