In July 2001, however, the team supplemented the amount of calcium in the implanted clones. "We increased the calcium in the medium holding the embryos and saw a seven-fold increase in our week two pregnancy rates," Woods said. "We produced 19 pregnancies; the first baby has been born, and two more pregnancies are in the advanced stages."
The team concluded that the increase in calcium within the implanted clone cells directly impacted the speed of cell division. Understanding the role of calcium in equine cell activity was a direct result of work conducted by Cancer2. Cancer2 gifted the intellectual property to UI.
According to existing research, the amount of intracellular calcium is higher than normal in humans with metastasizing cancer. According to Woods' research, the amount of intracellular calcium is below normal in horses. Within Cancer2, Woods and his team have discovered a chemical that suppresses intracellular calcium. Abnormally high intracellular calcium is a root cause of abnormally high cell activity in aged humans.
"There are electrifying similarities between cancer metastasis and embryo division," said Woods. He said he is working toward critical testing of the effects of deficiencies in the suppressor in human clinical trials. "We've identified a suppressor of intracellular calcium and believe its deficiency is the root cause of abnormally high intracellular calcium."
Woods established the Northwest Equine Reproduction Laboratory on the UI campus in 1986. He had come full circle, having completed pre-veterinary courses at the UI in 1974. A few years later, he earned the D.V.M. degree from Colorado State University.
Woods returned to the Northwest briefly to practice veterinary medicine then moved east to complete a residency in large animal reproduction at the University of Pennsylvania under R. M. Kenney. Next, at the University of Wisconsin, he became a student of O. J. Ginther, and complete
Contact: Kathy Barnard
University of Idaho