Stem cell transplant repairs damaged gut in mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease.

A source of gut stem cells that can repair a type of inflammatory bowel disease when transplanted into mice has been identified by researchers at the Wellcome TrustMedical Research Council Cambridge Stem Cell Institute at the University of Cambridge and at BRIC, the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The findings pave the way for patient-specific regenerative therapies for inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis.

All tissues in our body contain specialised stem cells, which are responsible for the lifelong maintenance of the individual tissue and organ. Stem cells found in adults are restricted to their tissue of origin, for example, stem cells found in the  will be able to contribute to the replenishment of the gut whereas stem cells in the skin will only contribute to maintenance of the skin.

The team first looked at developing intestinal tissue in a mouse embryo and found a population of stem cells that were quite different to the  that have been described in the gut. The cells were very actively dividing and could be grown in the laboratory over a long period without becoming specialised into the adult counterpart. Under the correct growth conditions, however, the team could induce the cells to form mature intestinal tissue.

When the team transplanted these cells into mice with a form of , within three hours the stem cells had attached to the damaged areas of the mouse intestine and integrated with the gut cells, contributing to the repair of the damaged tissue.

Dr Kim Jensen, a Wellcome Trust researcher and Lundbeckfoundation fellow, who led the study, said: “We found that the cells formed a living plaster over the damaged gut. They seemed to respond to the environment they had been placed in and matured accordingly to repair the damage.

“One of the risks of  like this is that the cells will continue to expand and form a tumour, but we didn’t see any evidence of that with this immature stem cell population from the gut.”

Cells with similar characteristics were isolated from both mice and humans and the team were also able to generate similar cells by reprogramming adult human cells, so called induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs), and growing them in the appropriate conditions.

“We’ve identified a source of gut  that can be easily expanded in the laboratory, which could have huge implications for treating human inflammatory bowel diseases. The next step will be to see whether the human cells behave in the same way in the mouse transplant system and then we can consider investigating their use in patients,” added Dr Jensen.

Metoclopramide: No Link Seen With Birth Defects, Stillbirth.

Women prescribed the antiemetic agent metoclopramide during pregnancy appear to be at no significantly increased risk for adverse outcomes, including spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, and infants with congenital malformations, according to results from a new study from Denmark.

The study was published in the October 16 issue of JAMA.

Metoclopramide, a drug frequently used for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, is thought to be safe, but information on the risk of specific malformations and fetal death is lacking,” write Björn Pasternak, MD, PhD, from the Department of Epidemiology Research, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues.

The authors note that most women who experience nausea and vomiting during pregnancy can be conservatively managed with a variety of approaches. However, 10% to 15% eventually need to be treated with drugs. Physicians often try treatment with antihistamines and vitamin B6 first, but if those options fail, metoclopramide is often the next choice.

The authors note that previous studies focusing on relatively small numbers of pregnancies have found no problems with metoclopramide.

“Although these findings are generally reassuring and indicate that metoclopramide does not increase the risk of congenital malformations when these outcomes are assessed in aggregate, malformations are a heterogeneous group of disorders and preferably should be studied individually,” the authors write. “Furthermore, no sufficiently powered study has investigated the risk of fetal death associated with metoclopramide exposure in pregnancy.”

To close that gap in knowledge, Dr. Pasternak and colleagues used nationwide health databases covering 1997 to 2011 to identify more than 1.2 million pregnancies and compared pregnancy outcomes of women who took metoclopramide with those who did not.

They say they found no significant association between metoclopramide use and malformations overall (prevalence odds ratio, 0.93; 95% confidence interval, 0.86 – 1.02) in matched cohorts. Among 28,486 women who took metoclopramide during their first trimester of pregnancy, 721 delivered infants with a major congenital malformation, an incidence of 25.3 cases per 1000 births (95% confidence interval, 24.5 – 27.1). The incidence among the matched cohort of women who did not take the drug was about the same: 3024 malformations reported among 113,698 women, or 26.6 cases per 1000 births.

Moreover, the investigators found no evidence that metoclopramide was associated with any of 20 other individual categories of malformation, including neural tube defects, transposition of great vessels, ventricular septal defects, atrial septal defects, tetralogy of Fallot, coarctation of the aorta, cleft lip, cleft palate, anorectal atresia/stenosis, and limb reduction.

In addition, they report, no association was seen between use of the drug and increased risk for spontaneous abortion, preterm birth, low birth weight, fetal growth problems, or stillbirth.

“These safety data may help inform decision making when treatment with metoclopramide is considered in pregnancy,” the authors conclude.

This study was supported by a grant from the Danish Medical Research Council. The authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Source: JAMA.





Noma: a neglected enigma.

Noma is a disease surrounded by riddles. It manifests itself only in the poorest populations in developing countries, enclosed by ignorance and extreme poverty. The worldwide prevalence of noma is unknown—estimates range from 30 000 to 140 000 cases.1 Most cases of noma worldwide occur in the so-called noma belt, which is situated directly south of the Sahara and runs across Africa from Senegal to Ethiopia. Another puzzle is that child mortality and malnutrition are prevalent on the Indian subcontinent, but noma is not reported there.23 The prevention and treatment of noma is not a priority in the countries where the disease is prevalent. Moreover, deaths from noma are not included in the mortality statistics of these countries. The cause of noma—the biological mechanism that ignites the gangrene—remains a mystery. Although the disease is clearly an opportunistic infection, we still do not know whether some of the commensal microorganisms in the oral microbiota play a particular part in the expanding gangrene. Also puzzling is how an unknown percentage (a common estimate suggests 10%) of noma patients survive the often extensive gangrene without any medical treatment. Antibiotic treatment of noma has not been subject to medical research, except for in some old observational studies.4 Furthermore, after one and a half centuries of surgical experiments, a good surgical treatment for a frequent sequela of noma, complete trismus of the mouth, has still not been found.5

The study by Baratti-Mayer and colleagues, undertaken in Niger, focuses on risk factors for noma. It is admirable that this large group of Swiss scientists, almost all members of the only scientific group on noma in the world, GESNOMA, has embarked on such a large and well-organised prospective, matched, case-control study to assess the risk factors for noma, and even more admirable that they have collected their data successfully under very difficult circumstances.

Their results confirm that malnutrition has a paramount role in the development of noma, and that poverty is associated with the disease. They also confirm a link between noma and recent illnesses of respiratory and intestinal origin. A new aspect to their study is the inventory of the oral microbiota in patients with noma and in controls. Their results do not confirm the role of Fusobacterium necrophorum (present in herbivores) as a trigger organism for noma, as suggested by Enwonwu and colleagues6 who hypothesised that the presence of herbivore livestock was a potential risk factor for noma. Baratti-Mayer and colleagues also describe differences in the intraoral microbiota of noma patients and controls, with a lower amount of Fusobacterium genus and spirochetes in patients with noma than in healthy controls. This result is intriguing because previous findings by Stewart,7 Eckstein,8 and Emslie9 showed the presence of spirilliform and fusiform microorganisms (called Borrelia vincenti and Fusiformis fusiformis at that time), often in large numbers, in biopsy samples taken from the transitional zone between the gangrene and healthy tissue, which suggested an important infiltrating role for these two microorganisms. In this context, the results of this study do not solve the puzzle of the trigger of this devastating gangrene but rather magnify it. Invasive diagnostics with, for example, needle biopsies from this transitional zone could help to elucidate the nature of this gangrene.

An interesting finding, which is not commented on in the Discussion section, is that all 82 patients with noma received amoxicillin and metronidazole, resulting in a mortality rate of 8·5%. This article is, as far as I know, the first publication reporting treatment results of a series of noma patients since 1966, when Michael Tempest reported a similar mortality rate of 8% in 250 patients treated with penicillin.4 This finding implies that a combination of amoxicillin and metronidazole is a good treatment to give to patients with noma, and perhaps also a penicillin, in view of the results of half a century ago.

However, a major problem is that most patients with noma worldwide do not have access to medical facilities because they are not available or are too expensive. Patients might consult a traditional healer, whose treatment (often a branding iron or caustic herbs) will lead to a deterioration in the patient’s condition. Western non-governmental organisations have also provided treatment in the past. Unfortunately, such programmes are now in jeopardy because of political instability and concomitant insecurity for aid workers from developed countries.

Noma is a disease that can be prevented completely by a particular level of economic welfare for the poorest people in society. This degree of welfare has been reached by most of the world’s population, which has expanded across the planet for thousands of years. An old companion on this journey of expansion, which is found on the edges of human being’s habitat (and is the case for every animal), is hunger and death. Death by starvation is expressed in many ways, of which noma is iconic as the “face of poverty”.10 We want to eradicate phenomena such as extreme poverty, famine, and starvation, as seen in the definition of the Millennium Development Goals and the recent G8 focus on nutrition. The future will show us whether or not these goals are the starting points of a feasible global health target.


1 Fieger A, Marck KW, Busch R, Schmidt A. An estimation of the incidence of noma in north-west Nigeria. Trop Med Int Health 2003; 8: 402-407. CrossRef | PubMed

2 Black RE, Cousens S, Johnson HL, et al. Global, regional, and national causes of child mortality in 2008: a systematic analysis. Lancet 2010; 375: 1969-1987. Summary | Full Text | PDF(1713KB) | CrossRef | PubMed

3 Gragnolati M, Shekar M, Das Gupta M, Bredenkamp C, Lee Y. India’s undernourished children: a call for reform and action.World Bank, 2005. (accessed June 2, 2013).

4 Tempest MN. Cancrum oris. Br J Surg 1966; 53: 949-969. CrossRef | PubMed

5 Montandon D. Surgery of noma: a 20-year experience. Stomatologie 2007; 104: 1-9. PubMed

6 Falkler WA, Enwonwu CO, Idigbe EO. Isolation of Fusobacterium necrophorum from cancrum oris (noma). Am J Trop Med Hyg 1999; 60: 150-156. PubMed

7 Stewart MJ. Observations on the histopathology of cancrum oris. J Pathol 1912; 16: 221-225. PubMed

8 Eckstein A. Noma. Am J Dis Children 1940; 59: 219-237. PubMed

9 Emslie RD. Cancrum oris. Dent Pract Dent Rec 1963; 13: 481-495. PubMed

10 Marck KW. Noma, the face of poverty. Hannover: MIT-Verlag GmbH, 2003.

Source: Lancet

The Greatest Scam In History: Global Warming.

“It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; it is a scam.”

Those are the words of the founder of The Weather Channel John Coleman.

At this point in time I see there is an overwhelming number of people who are all beginning to see through this manmade Global Warming fib the Elite have created. What a time for it to all come together as the meeting in Copenhagen to discuss climate change and push forward the new carbon tax is only days away.

al gore

Many experts in the field are also beginning to really stand up and speak their own truth about global warming, giving the general public a look into “the fast one” the Elite is trying to pull on the collective.

I feel it’s amazing to see what is happening around the world right now. The intensity around so many big scale events is building and truth is flowing to the surface about the true agendas behind these events. It is absolutely something we can ALL see the light behind.

I have never seen so much light come out of Elite Agenda events since I started observing and researching 5 years ago. In literally every move they make the collective is beginning to see the truth behind it and their plans are falling apart one day at a time.

For me this is a true measure of how powerful the collective consciousness is when more and more of us begin to speak our truth and share peacefully amongst one another. Global Warming is one of the many issues people are beginning to see more clearly and there are many many more to come. So many that the world we know now, is literally going to be entirely different in a few years as the acceleration of consciousness REALLY picks up.

Here is an interesting video between Glenn Beck and John Coleman, talking about Global Warming and their thoughts.