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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Health Research: Light, not pain-killing drugs, used to activate brain's opioid receptors ♦ First embryonic stem cell therapy safety trial ♦ Vital step in stem cell growth revealed

Vitamin D toxicity rare in people who take supplements Americans have low vitamin D levels and as a result vitamin D supplement use has climbed in recent years. Vitamin D has been shown to boost bone health and it may play a role in preventing diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and other illnesses. In light of the increased use of vitamin D supplements, researchers set out to learn more about the health of those with high vitamin D levels. They found that toxic levels are actually rare
First embryonic stem cell therapy safety trial in Asian patients A clinical trial for patients with degenerative eye diseases is the first to test the safety of an embryonic stem cell therapy for people of Asian descent. The study, which followed four individuals for a year after they were treated with embryonic stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelial cells for macular degeneration, observed no serious side effects related to the therapy.
Light -- not pain-killing drugs -- used to activate brain's opioid receptors Neuroscientists have attached the light-sensing protein rhodopsin to opioid receptor parts to activate the receptor pathways using light from a laser fiber-optic device. When an opioid receptor is exposed to a pain-killing drug, it initiates activity in specific chemical pathways in the brain and spinal cord. And when the researchers shone light on the receptors that contained rhodopsin, the same cellular pathways were activated. Neurons in that part of the brain release chemicals such as dopamine that create feelings of euphoria
Vital step in stem cell growth revealed Stem cells, which have the potential to turn into any kind of cell, offer the tantalizing possibility of generating new tissues for organ replacements, stroke victims and patients of many other diseases. Now, scientist have uncovered details about stem cell growth that could help improve regenerative therapies.

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