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Category Archives: Arkansas Stem Cells

These Okra Health Benefits Will Make You Rethink This Summer Veggie – msnNOW

Posted: August 18, 2021 at 2:19 am

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Known for its slimy texture when cut or cooked, okra often gets a bad rep; however, the summer produce is impressively healthy thanks to its lineup of nutrients such as antioxidants and fiber. And with the right techniques, okra can be delicious and goo-free promise. Read on to learn about okra's health benefits and nutrition, plus ways to enjoy okra.

Though it's usually prepared like a vegetable (think: boiled, roasted, fried), okra is actually a fruit (!!) that originally hails from Africa. It grows in warm climates, including the southern U.S. where it flourishes thanks to the heat and humidity and, in turn, "ends up in a lot of southern dishes," explains Andrea Mathis, M.A., R.D.N., L.D., an Alabama-based registered dietitian and founder of Beautiful Eats & Things. The entire okra pod (including the stem and seeds) is edible. But if you happen to have access to a whole okra plant (e.g. in a garden), you can also eat the leaves, flowers, and flower buds as greens, according toNorth Carolina State University Extension.

Okra is a nutritional superstar, boasting plenty of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, riboflavin, folic acid, calcium, and potassium, according to an article in the journal Molecules. As for that thick, slimy stuff that okra releases when it's cut and cooked? The goo, scientifically called mucilage, is high in fiber, notes Grace Clark-Hibbs, M.D.A., R.D.N., registered dietitian and founder of Nutrition with Grace. This fiber is responsible for many of okra's nutritional benefits, including digestive support, blood sugar management, and heart health.

Here's the nutritional profile of 1 cup (~160 grams) of cooked okra, according to the United States Department of Agriculture:

If its roster of nutrients isn't enough to make you add this summer produce to your rotation, okra's health benefits may do the trick. Ahead, discover what this green machine of an ingredient can do for your body, according to experts.

Okra happens to be an A+ source of antioxidants. "The main antioxidants in okra are polyphenols," says Mathis. This includes catechin, a polyphenol that's also found in green tea, as well as vitamins A and C, making okra one of the best antioxidant foods you can eat. And that's a BFD because antioxidants are known to neutralize or remove free radicals (aka unstable molecules) that can damage cells and promote illnesses (e.g. cancer, heart disease), explains Mathis.

If going number two feels like a chore, you might want to find a place on your plate for okra. "The mucilage in okra is particularly high in soluble fiber," says Clark-Hibbs. This type of fiber absorbs water in the gastrointestinal tract, creating a gel-like substance that firms up stool and helps curb diarrhea. The okra pod's "walls" and seeds also contain insoluble fiber, notes Susan Greeley, M.S., R.D.N., registered dietitian nutritionist and chef instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education. Insoluble fiber increases fecal bulk and promotes intestinal muscle movements, which can offer relief from constipation, according to the Mayo Clinic. (Related: These Benefits of Fiber Make It the Most Important Nutrient In Your Diet)

By forming that gel-like substance in your gut, the soluble fiber in okra can also slow down the absorption of carbohydrates, thus preventing blood sugar spikes and reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes, says Clark-Hibbs. A 2016 study found that regular intake of soluble fiber can improve blood sugar levels in people who already have type 2 diabetes. "Okra is also rich in magnesium, a mineral that helps your body secrete insulin," says Charmaine Jones, M.S., R.D.N., L.D.N., registered dietitian nutritionist and founder of Food Jonezi. In other words, magnesium helps keep your levels of insulin the hormone that controls how the food you eat is changed into energy in check, thereby helping to normalize your blood sugar levels, according to a 2019 article.

Gallery: What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Pork (Eat This, Not That!)

And need not forget about those supercharged antioxidants, which may lend a hand, too. Oxidative stress (which happens when there's an excess of free radicals in the body) plays a role in the development of type 2 diabetes. But a high intake of antioxidants (e.g. vitamins A and C in okra) can lower the risk by fighting these free radicals and, in turn, oxidative stress, according to a 2018 study. (Related: The 10 Diabetes Symptoms Women Need to Know About)

As it turns out, the fiber in okra is quite the multi-tasking nutrient; it helps lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol "by collecting extra cholesterol molecules as it moves through the digestive system," says Clark-Hibbs. The fiber then brings along cholesterol as it's excreted in the stool, notes Mathis. This decreases the absorption of cholesterol into the blood, helping manage your cholesterol levels and reducing your risk of heart disease.

Antioxidants, such as the phenolic compounds found in okra (e.g. catechins), also protect the heart by neutralizing excess free radicals. Here's the deal: When free radicals interact with LDL cholesterol, the physical and chemical properties of the "bad" stuff change, according to a 2021 article. This process, called LDL oxidation, contributes to the development of atherosclerosis or plaque buildup in the arteries that can lead to heart disease. However, a 2019 scientific review notes that phenolic compounds can prevent LDL oxidation, thus potentially protecting the heart.

Okra is rich in folate, aka vitamin B9, which everyone needs to form red blood cells and support healthy cell growth and function, says Jones. But it's especially crucial for proper fetal development during pregnancy (and thus found in prenatal vitamins). "Low folate intake [during pregnancy] can cause birth abnormalities such as neural tube defects, a disease that causes defects in the brain (e.g. anencephaly) and spinal cord (e.g. spina bifida) in a fetus," she explains. For context, the recommended daily intake of folate is 400 micrograms for men and women age 19 and older, and 600 micrograms for pregnant people, according to the National Institutes of Health. One cup of cooked okra offers about 88 micrograms of folate, according to the USDA, so okra is sure to help you meet those goals. (Another good source of folate? Beets, which have 80 mcg per ~100-gram serving. The more you know!)

Prone to kidney stones? Go easy on the okra, as it's high in oxalates, which are compounds that increase your risk of developing kidney stones if you've had them in the past, says Clark-Hibbs. That's because excess oxalates can mix with calcium and form calcium oxalates, the main component of kidney stones, she says. A 2018 review suggests that eating a lot of oxalates in a sitting increases the amount of oxalates excreted via the urine (which travels through the kidneys), boosting your chances of developing kidney stones. So, folks "who are more susceptible to developing kidney stones should limit the amount of oxalate-containing foods they eat at one time," she notes.

You might also want to proceed with caution if you're taking anticoagulants (blood thinners) to prevent blood clots, says Mathis. Okra is rich in vitamin K, a nutrient that aids in blood clotting the exact process blood thinners aim to prevent. (ICYDK, blood thinners help prevent blood clots in patients with certain conditions such as atherosclerosis, thus decreasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.) Suddenly increasing your intake of vitamin K-rich foods (such as okra) can interfere with the purpose of blood thinners, says Mathis.

TL;DR If you're susceptible to stones or taking a blood thinner, check with your doc to determine how much you can safely eat before chowing down on okra.

"Okra can be found fresh, frozen, canned, pickled, and in dried powder form," says Jones. Some stores might also sell dried okra snacks, such as Trader Joe's Crispy Crunchy Okra (Buy It, $10 for two bags, In the freezer aisle, it's available on its own, breaded, or in pre-made packaged meals. That being said, fresh and frozen non-breaded options are the healthiest, as they have the highest nutrient content without added preservatives such as sodium, explains Jones.

As for okra powder? It's used more like a seasoning, rather than a replacement for the whole vegetable. "[It's] a healthier alternative to using salts or pickled ingredients," says Jones, but you probably won't find it at your next Whole Foods jaunt. Instead, head to a specialty store or, not shockingly, Amazon, where you can snag a product such as Naturevibe Botanicals Okra Powder (Buy It, $16,

When buying fresh okra, pick produce that's firm and bright green and steer clear of that which is discolored or limp, as these are signs of rotting, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. At home, store unwashed okra in a sealed container or plastic bag in the refrigerator. And be warned: Fresh okra is super perishable, so you'll want to eat it ASAP, within two to three days, according to the University of Arkansas.

While it can be eaten raw, "most people cook okra first because the skin has a slight prickly texture that becomes unnoticeable after cooking," says Clark-Hibbs. Fresh okra can be roasted, fried, grilled, or boiled. But as mentioned earlier, when cut or cooked, okra releases the slimy mucilage that many people dislike.

To limit the slime, cut the okra into larger pieces, because "the less you cut it, the less you will get that signature slimy texture," shares Clark-Hibbs. You might also want to use dry cooking methods (e.g. frying, roasting, grilling), notes Jones, vs. moist cooking methods (e.g. steaming or boiling), which add moisture to okra and, in turn, enhances the goo. Dry cooking also involves cooking at high heat, which "shortens the amount of time [the okra's] being cooked and therefore decreases the amount of slime being released," adds Clark-Hibbs. Lastly, you can minimize the slime by "adding an acidic ingredient such as tomato sauce, lemon, [or] garlic sauce," says Jones. Goo, be gone!

Ready to give okra a spin? Here are a few tasty expert-approved ways to use okra at home:

As a roasted dish. "One of the easiest and most mouthwatering ways to [cook] okra is to roast it," says Clark-Hibbs. "Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper, lay out the okra in a single layer, drizzle some olive oil, and finish with salt and pepper to taste. This will soften the okra while keeping it crispy and preventing the slimy texture that can [happen with boiling]."

As a sauteed dish. For another simple take on okra, saut it with your fave spices. First, "heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add okra and cook for about four to five minutes, or until bright green. Season with salt, pepper, and other seasonings before serving," says Mathis. Need inspo? Try this recipe for bhindi, or crispy Indian okra, from the food blog My Heart Beets.

In stir-fry. Elevate your next weeknight stir-fry with okra. The dish calls for a quick cooking method, which will help reduce the slime. Check out this four-ingredient okra stir-fry from the food blog Omnivore's Cookbook.

In stews and soups. With the right approach, the mucilage in okra can work in your favor. It can thicken dishes (think: stew, gumbo, soup) just like cornstarch, according to Mathis. "Simply add diced okra [into your soup] about 10 minutes before [you finish] cooking," she says. Try this mouthwatering seafood gumbo recipe from food blog Grandbaby Cakes.

In a salad. Make the most of summer produce by pairing okra with other warm-weather veggies. For example, "[cooked okra] can be cut up and added to a delicious summery tomato and corn salad," says Greeley.

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New NSF Grant Awarded to Hendrix Biology Professor Duina – Hendrix College Events and News

Posted: August 14, 2020 at 1:49 am

CONWAY, Ark. (August13, 2020) Dr. Andrea Duina, a professor of biology and chair of the biochemistry-molecularbiology program at Hendrix College, has received a three-year, $480,000 grantfrom the National Science Foundation (NSF) that will help undergraduatestudents gain new insights into some of the fundamental mechanisms thatregulate how genes are utilized by cells. This grant is the latest in a seriesof NSF grants awarded to Duina for research that increases the scientificcommunitys understanding of life beginning at the cellular level.

Since propergene regulation is essential for most cellular and organismal functions, thesestudies address questions with far-ranging implications, Duina said. For ourstudies, we use the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as the modelsystem, and given the high degree of functional conservation across all life forms,findings from these studies will shed new light into processes relevant to allorganisms, including humans.

This grant, oneof five received by Duina from the NSF for undergraduate research in his lab at Hendrix,will provide more opportunities for Hendrix students to carry out cutting-edgeresearch.

Students willfurther develop their skills in various aspects of the scientific process,including experimental design and execution, data interpretation andevaluation, science communication to other scientists and to the generalpublic, and critical evaluation of current research literature, Duina said.

In addition tothe grants direct benefit to students who conduct research in Duinaslaboratory, it will have an expanded impact at Hendrix through the elements ofthis project that Duina plans to incorporate into some of the courses he teaches.

This NSF grantalso stands as a testament to Hendrixs strong commitment in promotingstate-of-the art STEM undergraduate research on campus, he said. Hendrix canbe proud of its role in developing well-rounded and well-prepared scientists.

About Hendrix College

A private liberalarts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earnsrecognition as one of the countrys leading liberal arts institutions, and isfeatured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Changethe Way You Think About Colleges.Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrixas a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876,Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. Tolearn more, visit

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Deacon Butch King learns to accept the ‘gift’ of cancer – Arkansas Catholic

Posted: December 13, 2019 at 3:48 am

By Aprille HansonAssociate Editor

Aprille Hanson

Deacon Butch King and his wife Debbie (left) stand with their daughter Paula Draeger (center) in front of the Seed of Hope garden at UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute in Little Rock Dec. 4. Last month, King was able to place a seed of hope token into the garden, signifying he is cancer-free, thanks to a stem cell donation from his daughter.

Aprille Hanson

Deacon Butch King and his wife Debbie (left) stand with their daughter Paula Draeger (center) in front of the Seed of Hope garden at UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute in Little Rock Dec. 4. Last month, King was able to place a seed of hope token into the garden, signifying he is cancer-free, thanks to a stem cell donation from his daughter.

Deacon Butch King was given a gift in 2017. He was diagnosed with a rare disease MDS/MPN, myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasm-unclassifiable to be exact.

The hybrid disease results when bone marrow overproduces unhealthy blood cells, according to University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.

The diagnosis sent the family on a harrowing journey for the next two and a half years: four changes of insurance coverage and medical facilities, 19 rounds of chemotherapy, 430 lab results, 14 bone marrow biopsies, 11.25 gallons of donated blood and the disease progressing to Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Looking at a deadly disease as a gift takes a radical faith in God, one that King and his wife Debbie have carried with grace to his cancer-free diagnosis Nov. 4.

It was given to us as a gift. And how do we manage gifts? We care for them, we nurture them, we polish them, show them off with pride and we give thanks to God. Those are his words, our words together. We had a gift and we had to manage it, we didnt get a choice, his wife said.

King was ordained a deacon in 2012, serving at Immaculate Conception Church in North Little Rock. The couple has four children, 12 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, with another on the way in March. After 23 years of serving in the U.S. Air Force working in secure communications, he spent 22 years with the U.S. Postal Service.

In October 2016, he had a metal stent placed in his heart and could not have any surgeries for the following six months. In November of that year, he twisted his knee at work. When he was finally ready to have knee surgery in May, his lab work was irregular. In June they learned he had developed a rare blood disorder, MDS, which later in the year progressed to MPN. It required a stem cell transplant, with only a 30 percent chance of surviving a transplant.

I was kind of stunned at first, King said. As a deacon, he had been used to visiting the sick in nursing homes and hospitals.

This is one of the stories you can say, I know how you feel because Ive been there or were praying for you and really mean it, he said.

With every roadblock of insurance not covering the procedure or a hospital turning the transplant down because he was high risk, faith prevailed.

In December 2017, their youngest daughter Paula Draeger, 38, was a perfect match for a stem cell transplant, an extremely rare result.

OK, we can do this; were going to heal him. Weve got the perfect match. If this doesnt work, nothing will. So that was just kind of the reaction, lets do it, the married mother of two said.

Debbie King said, Shes a Spina bifida baby. We were told that she would be a vegetable when she had her spinal surgery. So shes a miracle to be here; long before this ever came God had a plan.

Once Medicare kicked in, insurance would cover a transplant if a clinical trial was available. It led the family to 13 visits to University of Oklahoma Stephenson Cancer Center in Oklahoma City, though they refused the transplant.

Debbie King said they specifically chose Oklahoma City because the family had been, and still are, praying daily for Blessed Stanley Rothers intercession.

The martyr, who grew up on a farm in Okarche, Okla., was declared blessed on Sept. 23, 2017, in Oklahoma City. He was killed in 1981 while serving his people in Guatemala.

He needed a miracle. And we said God provides miracles, Debbie King said.

Before we started any treatment we would place the entire illness and what would be happening at Blessed Stanley Rothers gravesite in Oklahoma City, visiting 11 times, she said.

Whats the miracle? The miracle is the faith. And thats what Butch has said, she said.

On March 13, the Kings were told they wouldnt be continuing the trial in Oklahoma.

We were ready to just be on maintenance and enjoy the days we had, she said. On March 14, our 44th wedding anniversary we were celebrating what we thought could be our last one.

But Dr. Appalanaidu Sasapu, hematologist oncologist with the UAMS Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Program, never gave up on them. Because Kings disease had progressed to leukemia in April, the stem cell procedure could now be done at UAMS and covered by insurance.

Draeger said the stem cell donations, done over a weekend via a port, were simple, with no side effects aside from building her energy up in the following week.

For what youre able to give somebody, what you have to endure pales in comparison to what hes been through and what you can give him, she said.

King no longer has the blood disease and is cancer free, though he will continue at least a years worth of chemotherapy treatments.

Since his diagnosis, they attend the smaller St. Patrick Church in North Little Rock for Mass, but he cannot yet return to ministry.

We do our prayer time in the mornings and evenings, we count our blessings every night before we go to bed and we just know, what was our blessing today? Did we see somebody that we havent seen before that God put in our path? Is it a new doctor who is going to take this on? King said.

But through this whole process weve been truly blessed, had no regrets. If I had to do it over, if thats the path of my life that God wants me to take, then Ill do it.

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Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Program …

Posted: September 16, 2019 at 8:42 pm

The UAMS Cancer Institute is home to Arkansas only adult Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Program program.

The Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Program is FACT accredited and meets themost rigorous standards in every aspect of stem cell therapy, from clinical care and donor management to cell collection, processing, storage, transportation, administration and cell release.

The thirty-year program also is recognized as an Optum Transplant Center of Excellence.

Allogeneic transplants involve the transplantation of stem cells obtained from a donor and are used to treat patients with lymphomas, leukemias and other blood disorders.Learn More

Autologous transplants involve the collection of stem cells from a patients own bone marrow or blood to be infused into the patient. This type of transplant is used to treat patients with multiple myeloma, relapsed lymphoma and other blood disorders. Learn More

Read more about stem cell transplants from the National Cancer Institute

Interested in possibly becoming a stem cell donor? Visit

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Stem Cell Therapy in Little Rock – Chiropractor Little Rock AR

Posted: May 3, 2019 at 10:48 am

What is Stem Cell Therapy?

Stem cell therapy is the administration of umbilical cord stem cells (UCSC) into a patients body based on the recommendation from your medical provider or nurse practitioner. The cells can be administered through injection or IV infusion to maximize the therapys reach.

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Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that are capable of giving rise to indefinitely more cells of the same type. They have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body and serve as what can be accurately described as an internal repair system, replenishing other cells. Each divided cell has the potential to become another type of cell with a specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell.

Umbilical Cord Stem Cells are derived exclusively from the umbilical cord tissue of healthy birthed babies & healthy mothers, which is the safest and least-invasive method of extraction available.

Seek out degeneration: They build, repair, and grow new tissue

Anti-inflammatory: They are effective in reducing inflammation

Immunomodulatory: They help modulate the bodys immune responses

Its the future of medicine. A search of provides information on more than 4,000 clinical trials being conducted worldwide.

Pluripotent: A pluripotent cell has the capability of developing into various types of cells or tissues

self-renewal: Stem cells replicate themselves every 28 hours for 65 generations, giving rise to millions of undifferentiated cells

If possible, stop or reduce all aspirin products, non-steroidals, Vitamin E supplementation, and the use of fish oil at least five days before the therapy. Be sure to stay hydrated prior to the procedure.

The duration of the therapy is short, simple, and can take between ten to twenty minutes depending on the amount administered and the procedure chosen. This time will include cleaning and prepping the injection points.

If possible, stop or reduce anti-inflammatory medication for at least one to two weeks. Remember: Stem cells replicate every 28 hours through 65 cycles of replication.

At 3-4 Weeks Post-Therapy: Light exercises and stretching; no high-impact activities.

One Month Post-Therapy: Aggressive stretching, light-weight training; as tolerated by joints

Second Month-Post Therapy: Increase workout regiment and sport-specific activities

Yes! The use of Umbilical Cord Stem Cells is FDA cleared and our provider abides by all of the most stringent medical guidelines. Your comfort, safety, and recovery are the top concern.

The cells are rigorously tested and screened under NIH, FDA, AATB, and AABB guidelines.

Because UCSC are less mature than other cells, the bodys immune system is unable to recognize them as foreign and therefore, they are not rejected. There has never been a documented instance of rejection in graft vs. host.

Journal of Translational Medicine 2007, Stem Cell Therapy for Autism. Thomas E. Ichim, Fabio Solano, Eduardo Glenn, Frank Morales, Leonard Smith, George Zabrecky, and Neil H. Riordan

See this testimonial about how Stem Cell Therapy in Little Rock is helping our patients. Natural State Integrative Health is one of the few locations in Central Arkansas offering this cutting edge treatment for pain management.

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Top 15 Anatomy News For 2017 – Bio Explorer

Posted: March 11, 2019 at 10:42 pm

Top Anatomy News For 2017: There were several advancements, breakthroughs, and innovations in several fields of biology in 2017. In this article, lets glance over the top 15 anatomy and physiology related news in 2017. Also find out who won the Nobel prize for anatomy in 2017. Lets begin.

Enhanced Reality Human Anatomy Learning Tool

The year 2017 brought a revolution in anatomy education at medical universities. The way anatomy is taught substantially changed and has made it virtually possible for students to learn the subject without the use of cadavers.

A Simpler Model For Rib Proximal-Distal Patterning

Researchers studied the development of the vertebrate rib cage. They discovered using computational tools that concentration levels of the Hedgehog protein are essential for cells to make the decision to form born or cartilage in the rib cage.

Discovery of Linkage Between Hallucination & Musical Aptitude

Researchers at the University of Liverpool discovered a link between brain structure and an individuals susceptibility to experiencing hallucinations and to their musical aptitude. In People with musical knowledge, hallucinations were less likely. This new finding opens the door to possibility that providing musical training to psychotic patients or those experiencing hallucinations can help fight off the disease.

Hippocampal CA2 Region For Social Interactions

Researchers were able to elucidate the function of a minuscule area of the hippocampus known as the CA2. The team discovered that CA2 is responsible for development of social memory which involves remembering faces and objects.

Human NMJs Morphologically Unique From Rodent NMJs

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh studied cell connections known as Neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) to elucidate the connection between nerves and muscles and how impulses are transmitted from one to the other, and how this information can be used to study NMJ disorders in detail.

Rods in The Retina Help in Daylight Vision

A team of scientists at the Institute of Ophthalmic research and the University of Tubingen has discovered that rods are capable of much more than just dark vision. They were able to show that rods, in fact, do contribute to vision in daylight conditions up to the highest level of light.

Breakthrough New Therapy For Sciatica Patients

Scientists have developed a new therapy for lower back pain and sciatica treatment. The new image-guided radiofrequency treatment has produced incredible results in sciatica patients.

Unique Questionnaire To Detect Osteoporosis Early

A group of scientists designed a questionnaire for older women along with bone density measurements that can help identify women at risk of osteoporosis early on, thus preventing hip fractures.

Discovery of Spinal Cord Role in Providing A Steady Gait

Researchers at the Salk Institute have discovered a potentially new and interesting role of the spinal cord information processing. While walking, specific neurons process and filter out information that proves to be disruptive thus providing a steady gait.

Nucress Scaffold Technology For Bone Healing

Scientists have developed a new technology at the University of Arkansas called the NuCress Scaffold. The scaffold can be loaded with drugs, stem cells or hormones for treatment and bone growth. This technology can prove beneficial for patients requiring bone healing.

Novel MRI Technique Discovers Spinal Disc Degeneration Cause

Scientists have discovered that spinal disc degeneration is caused by changes in the water content of the disk. They used a novel MRI technique to study the movements of water in the spine and its effect on spinal degeneration.

Virtual Reality For Paraplegics

Researchers in Switzerland have implemented Virtual reality to reduce phantom pain in the body. This technology allows people with paraplegia to feel sensation in their paralyzed legs.

Leopard Geckos Tail Cut-Off Research In Spinal Cord Treatments

A University of Guelph researcher discovered that cells known as the radial glia present in the spinal cord region of a leopard geckos tail have unique regenerative properties. When the tail is cut off, these cells proliferate to regrow the lost body part. These cells are found in the spinal cord and may provide a way to treat humans with spinal cord injuries.

Breakthrough Stem Cell Research in Spinal Cord Injury

Scientists elucidated the role of stem cells in the treatment of spinal cord injury by transplanting human stem cells into paralyzed rats. These rats regained mobility in their legs and also showed spinal cord healing.

Nobel Prize Winners in Anatomy/Physiology For 2017

Three scientists namely Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael W. Young were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology for the year 2017 for their contributions to molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm.

Do you know of any breakthroughs in Anatomy for 2017 that we missed here? Comment them below.

Top 15 Anatomy & Physiology News In Innovations & Breakthroughs For 2017

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Posted: January 29, 2019 at 11:41 pm

Dr. Mark Miedema was inspired to pursue a career in medicine after working with his father on medical missions in Haiti. He chose the specialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) as it provides the unique opportunity to come alongside patients as they recover from injury and return to function.

After residency, Dr. Miedema pursued further training in Interventional Spine Care at UCLA where he completed a prestigious one-year ACGME-accredited fellowship earning the Fellow of the Year award. He is board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Pain Medicine.

Dr. Miedemas expertise is in non-operative spine and orthopedic care. Specifically, electrodiagnostics (EMG/NCV) as well as a broad array of spinal injections, joint injections, nerve blocks and regenerative injection therapy (stem cells, PRP and prolotherapy). Dr. Miedemas philosophy is patient-centered, focusing on education and using a multidisciplinary approach to relieve pain and restore function.

Dr. Miedema enjoys being outdoors; particularly fly-fishing, bird hunting and playing tennis.


University of Arkansas, Little Rock, AR, 2009

Halifax Medical Center, Daytona Beach, FL, 2010

University of Colorado, Denver, CO, 2013

UCLA Medical Center & West LA VA, Los Angeles, CA, 2014

Board Certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

10301 Kanis RoadLittle Rock, AR 72205-6205

(501) 604-6900 Tel(501) 604-3683 Fax

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Stem Cell Therapy in Arkansas | Arkansas Heart Hospital

Posted: October 1, 2018 at 11:46 pm

The Arkansas Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine is providing leadership with the newest techniques in this field of technology using adult stem cells only. Offering therapy to patients with cardiovascular diseases or recent heart attack, orthopedic medicine and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Stem Cell therapy has been widely accepted for over 20 years in the treatment of other diseases in multiple sequences.

Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. In addition, in many tissues they serve as an internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential either to remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell or a brain cell.

Stem cells are distinguished from other cell types; they are unspecialized cells capable of renewing themselves through cell division, sometimes after long periods of inactivity. Stem Cells can be induced to become tissue or organ specific cells with special functions. In some organs, such as the intestines and bone marrow, stem cells regularly divide to repair and replace worn out or damaged tissues.

Research shows the potential of stem cells to help patients with cardiovascular disease is abundant. The patients own regenerative stem cells can be injected into the veins, arteries, or directly into the heart muscle for the treatment of heart failure, heart attacks and peripheral vascular disease. Our trained nurses, technicians cardiologists and surgeons work as a dedicated team with each patient to review their options.



Patients undergoing Stem Cell therapy for cardiovascular diseases will also have a series of pre- and post-procedure diagnostic tests to complete during the first monitored year.

The patients own regenerative stem cells are used to treat many types of chronic pain from shoulder, knee, hip and degenerative disk disease. After the harvesting procedure for regenerative cells in the abdominal fat, the surgeon will implant these at the site of injury. Clinical research shows that it is possible to use regenerative cells to effectively restore and repair damaged or aging cells and regenerate tissue in the body.


CLINICAL MONITORINGPatients undergoing stem cell therapy for degenerative diseases will also have a series of pre- and post-procedure diagnostic tests to complete during the first monitored year.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a relatively common, often debilitating illness, which has a major impact on the people of the world. There are a number of treatments designed to alleviate symptoms, but there is no cure. Stem Cell therapy is designed and has the potential to treat the underlying issue of loss of lung tissue. Our research trial is designed to prove how much Stem Cell therapy improved COPD. Like some of the therapies already mentioned the patients own regenerative stem cells are harvested from the abdominal fat tissue and then injected back into the patient intra-vascularly.



Pre and Post Procedure; All COPD patients will have a series of pre- and post-procedure lung function measurements collected by their treating physician. Patients will be asked to perform the lung function test at two, six and 12 months post procedure.

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Stem Cell Therapy in Arkansas | Arkansas Heart Hospital

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Stem Cell Injections | Arkansas Surgical Hospital

Posted: October 15, 2017 at 9:13 am

Stem Cell injections are primarily forpainful joints.These injections,provide a (non-surgical) treatment option, to hopefully provide long-lasting relief from chronicjoint pain. The injections are performed under imaging guidance, as needed,to ensure proper placement of the stem cells. The stem cells have two key properties: The ability to self-renew and the ability to differentiate, giving rise to the mature types of cells that make up our organs and tissues.

In general, Stem Cell injections can be helpful in treating moderate osteoarthritis in the hip, knee, shoulder, ankle, or thumb, where there is not complete collapse of the joint space and not bone on bone changes. There are some medical issues (like lymphoma and leukemia) that will preclude you from having a stem cell procedure done.

We most commonly use stem cell injections for larger joints, such as hips and knees but also can be used in smaller joints as well. Stem cell treatment is also an option for chronic tendon issues that have been resistant to other treatments. These are typically in the shoulder, elbow and Achilles tendon.

The final cost of this treatment will ultimately be determined by what particular injections are being done. The cost can vary but is estimated at $4000 to inject one joint and $5000 for two joints. Your physician may also suggest following up with a Platelet Rich Plasma or (PRP) injection which would be an additional cost.

Stem Cell therapy is typically not covered by your insurance company. You will need to pay out of pocket for the treatment at the time of service, but it has the potential to help you either avoid a major surgical procedure or it could help you have a better outcome and/or quicker recovery if it is performed alongside surgery.

Some of our physicians offer stem cell injections at Arkansas Surgical Hospital.

We will schedule a consultation for an appointment to review your X-rays, conduct a physical exam anddetermine if you are a good candidate for these injections or not.

IF you are a good candidate, the doctor will harvest your own stem cells from fat or bone marrow and reinject them into your joint or tendon. This procedure is FDA approved for safety.

There is some limited data suggesting an ability to regenerate cartilage in joints, but it also appears that whether or not the cartilage regenerates has little correlation with relief of pain. If there is significant spurring and significant loss of the joint space, there is little chance of cartilage regeneration.

In our experience most patients have seen moderate relief of pain around 1-2 months post injection. This will hopefully continue to improve for the first 3-6 months after the stem cell procedure. Unfortunately there may be patients who do not see any improvement at all from this procedure. Stem cell and PRP injections are still viewed as an experimental treatment option and research is still being done now to determine what areas this is most effective in and who the best candidates are. Call us today if you are interested!

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Stem Cell Injections | Arkansas Surgical Hospital

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‘There is no contradiction to being a vegan and eating GMO foods’ – Genetic Literacy Project

Posted: August 23, 2017 at 4:44 am

My names Diana Pea, and I am a yoga-loving, bicycle-riding, palm oil-avoiding. environmentalist, ingredient list-reading vegan. I get 92.4 percent of my monthly calories from simple foods: rice, beans, tofu, and soybean oil (yes, I calculated it). I calculated the ecological impact of the rice I eat assuming it came from California vs. Arkansas. Essentially, Im a walking stereotype.

The reason why I state these things about myself is because I want to make it clear that I share the same concerns as the rest of the vegan population, particularly an adherence to the central tenant of the vegan philosophy: an optimization of agriculture to minimize suffering and pain of sentient beings. However, regardless of my stereotypically vegan behavior, I, unlike many vegans, am in favor of biotechnology, particularly GMOs, in agriculture, and I think that all vegans should be.

Lets take one simple example first: genetically-engineered wheat and other staples or seeds to produce omega-3 fatty acids. Crops like these could very well be an excellent replacement of fish for omega-3 fatty acids, taking away any excuse for people to continue eating fish. This would reduce the suffering within aquatic ecosystems, and it could be implemented if we got burdensome governments out of the way of innovation. There is no plausible mechanism of harm to such an idea. We know that the staples we eat are safe and that omega-3 fatty acids are safe. Thus, a staple that is engineered to produce omega-3 wouldnt be dangerous.

One might argue that we can simply use flaxseeds instead of GE foods; however, this isnt a very practical idea. First of all, staples are already widely eaten, making it much easier to get people to switch from fish to a staple with GEO-derived oils than to flaxseeds. Additionally, 96 percent of the US flaxseeds are grown in North Dakota. This isnt a coincidence. This is because of the fact that different places have varying soil conditions, climates, and other factors that lead to different yields of different crops.

Farmers want to optimize yields, which is why farmers in Idaho grow lots of potatoes, while those in Arkansas grow lots of rice. If we were to decide to suddenly eat more flaxseed as a nation, then not only would many farmers have to switch to growing these seeds, but yields wouldnt be optimal everywhere. This would mean more land being devoted to agriculture, which would hurt natural ecosystems. These practical limitations make GE staples a much better substitute source for omega-3 than flax seeds.

A vegans view of GE innovations

Many of my fellow vegans might argue whether such an innovation will be vegan at all. They might say that they dont want fish genes in their wheat, ignoring the fact that fish genes dont exist (All humans share many genes in common with fish: are they human genes or fish genes?). There is no need to use genes from an actual fish in the first place. Modern technology, being as cool as it is today, gave us DNA synthesizers that enable the construction of synthetic genes from known genomic templates, making an actual fish totally unnecessary in the process of genetically engineering staple crops to make omega-3. Besides, even if we did need the fish, there would be no need to kill one to get DNA. Youd simply need one cell sample, and you could then use PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to make thousands of copies of the gene in question for R&D. Lets not make the perfect the enemy of the good here. Nonetheless, the genes in question would come from algae since fish dont have them, so the entire debate is moot. Although the point still stands for any crops modified with genes originally found in animals.

Furthermore, yield-preserving traits like Bt and Roundup-Ready allow for crops to beat pests like insects and weeds in a safe, effective way, and there are hundreds of independent studies to prove it. This means less land for agriculture being needed, allowing for more habitats for animals around the world. On top of that, Simplots Innate Potato resists browning and bruising and allows for long-term storage, with a future generation model resisting late blight fungus, all with the FDA seal of approval.

These traits mean fewer fungicides used, less food waste (on the field, in the store, and at home), less land needed to grow the same amount of potatoes, and more affordable crops. All of these traits are good for optimizing agriculture for the environment and consumers, and are just a few examples of traits that could be and are being utilized as we speak. Imagine what more could be done if we stopped hampering this amazing technology with burdensome regulations. We could do a lot of good for the world of agriculture with such beneficial innovation.

Additionally, biotechnology could generate synthetic animal products. We already use genetically engineered yeast and bacteria to produce all sorts of valuable substances, from insulin to the vitamins in the tablets I personally use in place of many foods. They are also used in making many common foods, such as almost all of the hard cheese made in the world, and many beersalthough many GMO labeling laws exempt these foods. The rennet used in the cheese-making process used to come from calves, making GE microorganisms a more humane source. There is no reason why we cant use this same biotechnology to produce milk proteins to make cheese free of cows or to accelerate growth in cell cultures to make synthetic meats.

In fact, many groups are working on these sorts of projects, and some dont involve genetic engineering at all. Memphis Meats, New Wave Foods, and many other groups are doing the admirable work of taking animals out of agriculture, while feeding the world more efficiently in the process. Its extremely unfortunate that many of those getting in the way of such goals are vegans, but would rather let their naturalist ideology and dogma supersede their opposition to animal exploitation

Harmless biopsies allow for the collection of cells from donor animals, and these cells can be used to make tons of meat to make millions of burgers. Yes, you read that right. Even if this technology involved the deaths of a few animals to harvest the substrate medium and scaffolding structure for the cultured beef, that doesnt change the fact that this is a net benefit to preventing animal deaths. This technology could lower the death toll from the current unimaginable number (go ahead and try to imagine 10,000,000,000 per year of anything; its literally unimaginable) to a much smaller amount that is a net benefit to livestock. Once again, lets not make the perfect the enemy of the good here. Being purists will only hurt animals.

Other technologies such as induced-pluripotent stem cells (regular cells turned into stem cells) can take what little animal involvement that takes place in cellular agriculture and reduce it even further to almost nothing Scientists are already developing gel-based scaffolding methods to replace the collagen used normally, along with growth media free from fetal bovine serum. Cellular agriculture is progressively lessening its reliance on animals to produce food to feed the world. Its important for vegans to come together to support this technology to back research that could improve it even more. I cannot stress enough the point that being purists will only hurt our cause; we can make cellular agriculture rely as little on animals as possible, which is a net benefit to animals.

Call for vegan action

Unfortunately, people arent choosing to adopt a vegan diet. The reasons are irrelevant, as the end result is still the same: less than 2 percent of the population consists of vegans at any given time. We are never going to convince the large majority of people to adopt a collective vegan diet. Attempting to do so is admirable, but its not working. As unfortunate as that is, we can still do a lot more good for livestock animals with the aforementioned technology. There is no good reason to eschew it and stand in the way of perfectly good solutions through fear mongering and obstruction.

I became a vegan as an extension of my pacifist and environmentalist leanings. Because of this, I would hate to see fellow vegans stand in the way of protecting our fellow earthlings for baseless ideological reasons. Vegans could come together through finances, promotional manpower, and even by becoming researchers and educators to create a new generation of scientists to work on cellular agriculture.

With that being said, I think we should all remember the following: The best argument against the outreach method is a five-minute conversation with the average meat eater.

Im sorry to say that, but its true. People view the animal rights movement negatively, and extremist organizations like PETA have only hardened stereotypes. Organizations like Mercy for Animals utilize proven, effective methods of advocacy, but, while commendable, is not enough.

My goal is the same as that of many ethical vegans: sending the animal-based food industry as close to obsolescence as is practically possible. Im going to side with the winning team to make that goal a reality, and I truly hope that fellow vegans will side with me on that front in principle, participation, and finances. Our fellow earthlings demand it. Please dont let them down.

Diana Pea is an ethical/ecological vegan at Brooklyn College training to educate people about science. A long-time advocate, she promotes biotechnology and other evidence-based agricultural solutions to optimize food production and distribution, feed the world and to finally put an end to animal agriculture. Follow her on Twitter @Inorganic_Vegan.

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