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European Stem Cells Bank for Research

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 09:22

A central Stem Cell Bank at European level is the ambitious goal of the new joint project named Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). In this bank induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) are centrally stored. Scientists and industry can use them for disease research and the development of therapies against neurodegenerative diseases.

Prof. Klaus Kümmerer, Director of the Institute of Sustainable and Environmental Chemistry at Leuphana University Lüneburg, researches new properties for pharmaceutical drugs with an aim to making them biodegradable in rivers and lakes.

As reported by The New York Times recently, China is loosening its test procedure requirements for cosmetics and other skin care products that until now have been tested on animals.

Some 50 scientists worldwide plan to use crowd funding for the development of a computer model of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The project is called Openworm and interested parties were invited to participate with a donation via the crowd funding platform Kickstarter.

By radiocarbon dating human nerve cells, a German-Swedish research team has been able to prove that, contrary to previous assumptions, regeneration of nerve tissue in the cerebral cortex after a stroke is not possible.

Scientists led by Dusko Ilic from King's College London have created a layer of human skin from human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. The method can be used for both non-animal tests for drugs and cosmetics as well as for researching skin diseases.

At the Freie Universität Berlin a junior professorship is currently advertised. She or he will have knowledge of alternative methods to animal testing and experience in the field of reconstructing skin models.

The European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) is conducting a survey on in vitro methods for estimating how the liver metabolises chemicals.

In the context of the EU project "Virtual Liver Networks", experts led by Prof. Tobias Preusser from the Fraunhofer Institute of Medical Image Computing (MEVIS) in Bremen in collaboration with the Department of Experimental Molecular Imaging at the University Hospital Aachen and the Leverkusen Bayer Technology Services have developed a program that can realistically simulate blood flow and metabolic processes in the liver.

Computer scientists and engineers led by Prof. Dr. Ing. Ulrich Rückert at Bielfeld University are currently working on models that use specialised computers to simulate aspects of the human nervous system as part of the EU project “Human Brain Project”.