The Beauty of Nature
Stem cells have a demonstrated potential to develop and differentiate into many different cell types in the body. Indeed, under certain physiologic conditions they can generate new tissues or organ-specific cells with particular functions, thus serving as an internal repair system, dividing to replenish other cells.
A certain type of stem cell, called a pluripotent stem cell, is a cell which can generate any type of cell in the body. These include embryonic stem (ES) cells and the more recently identified induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. These have been pointed out as possessing the greatest technological potential for applications in regenerative medicine, disease modelling, and developmental biology studies. Furthermore, the iPS cell because it can be can be derived from cells in the adult body using special factors, it does not have the ethical implications associated with embryonic stem cells. However, choosing the right cell to generate iPS cells is critical to the success of iPS cell based cell therapeutics.
The Future of Medicine
Stem cell therapeutics has emerged as a new and hopeful alternative to address most serious disease affecting people today. Remarkably, stem cells have the potential to cure diseases by stimulating the regeneration of healthy tissue in areas of damage. Beyond therapeutics, stem cells are becoming an extremely important tool for drug toxicity assays so that drug-safety issues can be detected in petri dishes before they get translated to patients.
The Road Ahead
In order to provide the best possible outcome of stem cell based research and development, the quality and properties of the origin cell is essential. We have recently also identified properties of our stem cells that mirrors mesenchymal stem cells. Given the expanding use of MSCs in the treatment of immune related diseases, we are investigating the value of these cells given their nascent and more primitive phenotype. Thus, Longboat Explorers principle aims are to provide the ideal starting cell source for generating iPS cells and their downstream therapeutic cells, as well as a novel therapeutically relevant cell for mesenchymal stem cell based therapeutics. That is our contribution to the future!