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Guest: Dr. Arun Sharma; Topics: Cedars-Sinai using space for stem cell research, space and regenerative medicine research, microgravity and stem cells, Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.
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We welcomed Dr. Arun Sharma to the program to discuss the role of space and today's advanced stem cell research for regenerative medicine repairs here on Earth. I suggest you read the following Cedars-Sinai articles about stem cells to space and their research plan involving space and microgravity: 1) https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/research/news/cedars-science/2021/sending-stem-cells-into-space.html#:~:text=Electronic%20Research%20Notebook-,Sending%20Stem%20Cells%20Into%20Space%20to%20Develop%20Medicine%20of%20Tomorrow,of%20diseases%20back%20on%20Earth.; 2) https://www.cedars-sinai.org/newsroom/cedars-sinai-looks-to-space-for-tomorrows-stem-cell-therapies) 3): www.cedars-sinai.org/blog/what-are-induced-pluripotent-stem-cells.html. In addition to these three articles, you can easily find much more on this topic plus other research institutions and organizations using space and microgravity for this breakthrough medical research. As with other Space Show archived programs, I suggest you follow the tags as they represent the topics talked about with Dr. Sharma during the interview. For your convenience, I've repeated the tags below:
Tags: Dr. Arun Sharma, Cedars-Sinai Medical Research Cedars-Sinai Dept. of Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Sharma's space interest & research history, regenerative medicine history, stem cells, Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, making pluripotent stem cells, age concerns and pluripotent stem cells, stem cell research on the ISS, microgravity, stem cells with other than 1g gravity, 2016 ISS report for stem cell microgravity research, commercial space stations, Axiom, cardiology stem cell repair, heart tissue regrowth with stem cells, clinical trials underway, space grows better stem cells, animals and stem cells, cloning, White Rhino's, research funding, basic research - not commercial, ethical concerns, research oversight, Crisper, new research opportunities with commercial space stations, global biomedical stem cell research, commercial space company Varda, commercial launchers.We started our discussion by having Arun tell us about his early age space interests, activities all followed by his school and then university studies. As you will hear, Arun's very early in life space interests, along with the careers and interests of his parents, helped shape him to be one of the world's leading researchers with stem cells in space and regenerating heart muscle. A true space cadet triumph if you ask me. From space cadet to world renown space medical researcher. This is in my opinion a good reason why our kids should get early space and space activity experience.
Besides learning about the early space activities and interests of our guest, I was fascinated by his explaing to us how induced pluripotent stem cells are made in the lab from a simple blood draw from the patient. You don't want to miss this discussion. Also, the role of microgravity and what they hope they learn from stem cells on the ISS that can benefit humans now and in the future.
I valued his spending time to respond to my question about ethical oversight to prevent the mad scientist research outcome that we all know is possible. Arun went through many of the safety and oversight protocols and agencies involved in this type of research, not just in the U.S. but around most of the world. Funding awards were also part of the oversight because without compliance with the funding requirements, there is no funding, no grants awarded, etc. Personal ethics and individual vigilance are of course the ultimate protection against abuse.
I also appreciated the comments by our guest regarding the likely future use of commercial space stations as the ISS will eventually be retired. Note how Arun expected there to be more research opportunities with the private sector stations than with the ISS. Listen to his explanation for that assumption and let us know if you agree with him. Please post your comments on our blog for this program.
Arun got some questions about Moon and Mars research. While he was interested, it's a long way off so the medical research side of Moon-Mars is not where the grant money is or the research focus. Fremont John called asking him how one turns a stem cell into a heart cell or another body cell. Listen to his explanation as to how they grow a heart cell from the pluripotent stem cell.
Please post your comments/questions for our guest on the blog for this show. Dr. Sharma can be reached on his Cedars-Sinai faculty research page and through The Space Show.