Research Project 2010b - Microglia Stem Cells
Update June 2011:
After months of fundraising we are now delighted to announce that the project has started!
Through many donations large and small, the community has raised sufficient funds to initiate the project. Last month, we passed the 80% mark and knew that full success would only be a matter of time. Then, something amazing happened: though promoting this effort, a far sighted investor has stepped forward who can see the potential in developing this research project. The angel has been in touch with Mondey and committed a substantial contribution towards a research arm that is closely aligned to the project LongeCity is funding. Thus, we have achieved something amazing together: every dollar donated to this life extension research project has not only been doubled through internal funds but multiplied manifold! Few people, especially those with very limited personal means, who want to invest in life extension would find such effective opportunities to make a real difference.
Update May 2011:
2 new ways of donating:
1) Donate 'points'
Forum users and volunteers collect ‘Thank You’ points through good contributions. You can now donate these points to our Treasurer Shepard
and they will be converted to funding at a rate of ₮10=$1! (doubled by matching! so for a limited time only, in effect $2!)
2) Join the 'I'll donate if you will' challenge
'The Immortalist' says "I will donate $20 if you will"
>> Click here for other ways of donating of this project
THE PROJECT IN A NUTSHELL
Cognitive functions of the brain decline with age. One of the protective cell types in the brain are called microglia cells. However, these microglia cells also loose function with age.
Our aim is to replace non-functional microglia with new and young microglia cells derived from adult stem cells.
We will inject these young microglia cells into 'Alzheimer mice'- a model for Alzheimers disease.
After giving the cells some time to work, we will sacrifice the mice and measure microglia activity, neurogenesis, proliferation of neuroprogenitors and plaque density in the brain.
A reduction in plaque density of Alzheimer mice would be a first proof that the transplanted microglia are performing their expected function.
⇒Read the full proposal here
⇒Further information and discussion
Scientific research is the only way to conquer the blight of involuntary death. The ImmInst.org community is not rich, so we pick our priorities quite carefully.
The Microglia Stem Cell was of interest for the following reasons:
- it investigates a crucial age related pathology in the brain
- it aims to develop a practical therapeutic solution in the not too distant future
- it is small enough that your donation, every cent of which will be matched by ImmInst, *will* make a real difference
- it is led by a reputable scientist who will respond to community questions and update us periodically on the progress of the research
Any donation, of any amount is appreciated. We need at least $16.000 to get going, with the matched funding in place that means at least $8000 from donors like you. Any surplus would go into the next scientific research initiative that is already in the pipeline.
We are still raising funds for the Microglia Stem Cell Research project.
Do you know someone who has Alzheimer's? Its a horrible condition, there is no cure and even cryonics doesn't seem like a promising strategy. The worst thing: we all get it. Chances are, the age associated neurodegeneration is already happening within your own body. It happens to all of us. After puberty, plaque builds up in the brain, and inflammation increases. But there are cells that help to keep brain damage under control for a while. Microglia are specialised immune cells in the brain. They 'eat' dead cells and extracellular junk. During aging however, these cells stop working well, and even start causing problems.
What is there to do? One approach aims at replacing old, dangerous microglia with young, useful ones. Stemcells are a source of young cells - can we make new microglia cells from stemcells?
The research which we are sponsoring aims to do the following:
- Take adult stem cells from mice and turn them into microglia precursor cells.
- Inject these new cells into old mice
- Sacrifice the mice to check whether the cells created in the lab have wandered into the brain
- In later stages, see, if the cells have started doing the work of microglia cells -- do they fight Alzheimer plaques?
If this research were to succeed it would produce any number of interesting results, all of them amazing:
- Can we create microglia precursor cells from stem cells?
- Can we create cells in the lab that wander through the blood brain barrier and to a site of inflammation in the brain? -- Even if they don't replace microglia such a finding would harbour great potential for 'loading' these cells with drugs or other factors and use them as delivery vehicles.
- Can we think about a treatment where you get a periodic injection of 'fresh' stem-cell derived microglia cells? Does this work safely in mice so we can think about human trials?
We might not get these answers straight away. We understand that science doesn't work that way. Sometimes, all you get is an indication that things are not as easy as you thought, and that in itself is valuable. But we are confident that we have a reputable team and a world-class institution who will feed back new and interesting results directly to our community, who will answer questions and listen to suggestions. All we need is funding. In what may be the most interesting science initiative we have funded to date, ImmInst has pledged to match every dollar that is donated to this project. We need to gather about $8000 in donations to get going. Please consider a donation now, the clock is ticking!
How to Donate?
If you would like to donate to the ImmInst science funding drive, just follow these simple steps.
1.) Go to the main donate page located here
Next select or enter the amount you wish to donate, remember if you are entering an amount, follow the standard 2 decimal place system.
Example: If you want to donate 15 dollars, then enter 15.00
Now select the currency you wish to donate in, then click the donate button.
You'll now see a new page, if you would like to remain anonymous, then check the appropriate box.
The automated payment system is set up to use PAYPAL. If you are unable to use paypal, your donation can also be made by via Google Checkout.
Every cent you donate will go directly to this cause. There are no admin costs or hidden charges - BUT we have to pay a fee for payment transfer services like paypal. Therefore, if you are thinking of making a larger donation ($400+), please consider sending it by cheque to
1022 Stark Street
Wausau, WI 54403, USA
Please include a note indicating your user/display name in the forums in the note section of the check, unless you wish to remain anonymous.