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Donor cells from new source ignored by the immune system

Researchers at Kansas State University have successfully transplanted cells from one species to another without triggering an immune system rejection response or requiring drugs to suppress the immune system. This hopeful news for transplant medicine is reported in the online edition of the journal Experimental Neurology, published by Elsevier. Researchers transplanted umbilical cord matrix stem cells from a pig into the brain of a live rat, and for reasons they as yet do not understood, the recipient’s immune system did not detect nor reject the foreign cells, which survived for more than six weeks. No drugs were used to suppress the immune response.

Human Interference May Have Caused SARS To Jump Species

In the last few months, severe acute respiratory syndrome has infected thousands in Asia, traveled to various parts of the world and gained international attention. In April 2003, the disease was conclusively identified as a type of coronavirus unlike any other known human or animal virus in the Coronavirus family.
Sanjay Kapil, a Kansas State University associate professor of diagnostic medicine pathobiology, says human interference with domestic and wild animals could be a factor in the development of the disease.
Samples of the pathogens identified in severe acute respiratory syndrome look similar to coronaviruses found in animals. Because the sequences found in human samples are unique, the virus must have changed substantially when it transferred from animals to humans, Kapil said.

Dramatic increase in college students’ mental health problems over last 13 years

College students frequently have more complex problems today than they did over a decade ago, including both the typical or expected college student problems — difficulties in relationships and developmental issues — as well as the more severe problems, such as depression, sexual assault and thoughts of suicide. That is the finding of a study involving 13,257 students seeking help at a large Midwestern university counseling center over a 13-year period. Some of these increases were dramatic. The number of students seen each year with depression doubled, while the number of suicidal students tripled and the number of students seen after a sexual assault quadrupled.

Umbilical cord matrix, a rich new stem cell source, study shows

The cushioning material or matrix within the umbilical cord known as Wharton’s jelly is a rich and readily available source of primitive stem cells, according to findings by a research team at Kansas State University. Animal and human umbilical cord matrix cells exhibit the tell-tale characteristics of all stem cells, the capacity to self-renew and to differentiate into multiple cell types. The cells — called cord matrix stem cells to distinguish them from cord blood cells — can be obtained in a non-invasive manner from an abundant source of tissue that is typically discarded.