Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Adult Stem Cell Breakthrough

Researchers announced Tuesday that they created stem cells without destroying an embryo:

Both teams call the new cells induced pluripotent stem cells and say they look and act like embryonic stem cells -- the master cells that give rise to every cell and tissue in the body.

"We can now envisage a time when a simple approach can be used to produce stem cells that are able to form any tissue from a small sample taken from any of us," Ian Wilmut of the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, said in a statement.

Both teams used just four genes to transform ordinary skin cells called fibroblasts into induced pluripotent stem cells -- iPS cells for short.

"We are now in a position to be able to generate patient- and disease- specific stem cells, without using human eggs or embryos," Yamanaka said in a statement.

"These cells should be useful in understanding disease mechanisms, searching for effective and safe drugs, and treating patients with cell therapy," he added.
"Similar to human embryonic cells, human iPS cells should prove useful for studying the development and function of human tissues, for discovering and testing new drugs, and for transplantation medicine," added Thomson, whose team first discovered human embryonic stem cells in 1998.

RELATED STORY:How it could benefit the GOP


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home