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Thread: Major Discovery for Non-Embryonic Stem Cell Research

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    Major Discovery for Non-Embryonic Stem Cell Research

    Scientists overcome hurdles to stem cell alternatives

    By Rob Stein
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, September 30, 2010; 10:51 PM

    Scientists have invented an efficient way to produce apparently safe alternatives to human embryonic stem cells without destroying embryos, a long-sought step toward bypassing the moral morass surrounding one of the most promising fields in medicine.

    A team of researchers at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute in Boston published a series of experiments Thursday showing that synthetic biological signals can quickly reprogram ordinary skin cells into entities that appear virtually identical to embryonic stem cells. Moreover, the same strategy can then turn those cells into ones that could be used for transplants.

    "This is going to be very exciting to the research community," said Derrick J. Rossi of the Children's Hospital Boston, who led the research published in the journal Cell Stem Cell. "We now have an experimental paradigm for generating patient-specific cells highly efficiently and safely and also taking those cells to clinically useful cell types."

    Scientists hope stem cells will lead to cures for diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injuries, heart attacks and many other ailments because they can turn into almost any tissue in the body, potentially providing an invaluable source of cells to replace those damaged by disease or injury. But the cells can be obtained only by destroying days-old embryos.

    The cells produced by the Harvard team, known as induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, would avoid that ethical objection and could in some ways be superior to embryonic stem cells. For example, iPS cells could enable scientists to take an easily obtainable skin cell from any patient and use it to create perfectly matched cells, tissue and potentially even entire organs for transplants that would be immune to rejection.

    'Game changer'

    While cautioning that the work needs to be repeated elsewhere and explored further, other researchers said the technique appears to represent a major development in the promising field of "regenerative medicine," which aims to create treatments tailored to individual patients.

    "All I can say is 'wow' - this is a game changer," said Robert Lanza, a stem cell researcher at Advanced Cell Technology in Worcester, Mass. "It would solve some of the most important problems in the field."

    The results were so striking that the Harvard Stem Cell Institute where Rossi works had already ordered every scientist working on iPS cells to switch to the new process.

    "This paper is a major paper, in my view, in the field of regenerative medicine," said Douglas A. Melton, a leading stem cell researcher who co-directs the institute.


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?hpid=topnews

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    A "game changer" indeed! Looks like we are not too far from discovering how to harness the human potential for self healing through regeneration (without ethical issues). Fascinating article, thanks for posting Balletmom :-)
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    umbilical cord blood stem cells already used to cure sickle cell anemia

    A friend's daughter was cured of the horrible disorder, sickle cell anemia after matching umbilical cord blood stem cells were used. There has to be a donor match though. Many hospitals are saving umbilical cord blood.

    I know of one center in NJ and another in NY doing this procedure.
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    Well with all these other potential sources of useful stem cells, I guess now we can "ethically" if not ceremoniously just discard the 400,000 to 500,000 IVF embryos presently in deep freeze.

    Because that is their fate absent research use, it is perverse to argue against embryonic stem cell research. It is also unconscionable to spend a single penny on these non-embryo sources for stem cells unless they truly hold a better hope for sick folks.

    Thinking souls live in petri dishes only appears sane in the US because so many people think that is the case despite a vacuum of evidence for it. Other countries will take the lead in many scientific areas as we fret over imaginary problems.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    Thinking souls live in petri dishes only appears sane in the US because so many people think that is the case despite a vacuum of evidence for it.
    Is that a misquote or the truth leaking out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CHRIS WBS View Post
    Is that a misquote or the truth leaking out?
    Heh? Are you really suggesting I might have been saying 8-cell embryos are capable of thought? Seriously?

    There is not a lick of evidence souls exist or live in petri dishes in deep freezes or anywhere. And you know it. The only gap here is in admitting it.

    Countries unburdened by medieval superstitions like souls will move ahead of us in science and technology as we struggle with purely imaginary problems like souls in petri dishes which I might add will be saved from use in research only to be thawed and discarded. Much more ethical.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 10-20-2010 at 11:27 AM.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    It is also unconscionable to spend a single penny on these non-embryo sources for stem cells unless they truly hold a better hope for sick folks.
    I guess you missed this in the article:

    "The ability to safely and efficiently generate patient-specific cells has the potential to transform transplantation medicine," Lanza said.

    Or perhaps you missed this:

    "For example, iPS cells could enable scientists to take an easily obtainable skin cell from any patient and use it to create perfectly matched cells, tissue and potentially even entire organs for transplants that would be immune to rejection. "

    Embryos are NOT patient-specific.

    And for anyone who may not know Lanza's credentials:

    "Who is Robert Lanza?

    Robert Lanza, M.D. is considered one of the leading scientists in the world. He is currently Chief Scientific Officer at Advanced Cell Technology, and Adjunct Professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He has hundreds of publications and inventions, and over two dozen scientific books: among them, “Principles of Tissue Engineering,” which is recognized as the definitive reference in the field."
    Last edited by Ballet Mom; 10-20-2010 at 02:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ballet Mom View Post
    I guess you missed this in the article:
    How much money did they spend overcoming the potential CANCER problem in using these non-embryonic cells?

    That sounds like a bigger issue and it certainly doesn't sound like they completely cracked that nut.

    How many other dangerous issues are they wasting money and time overcoming to address an imaginary ethical issue?

    We are the laughing stock of the world over the superstition level in the US. It is out of control.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 10-20-2010 at 02:19 PM.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    How much money did they spend overcoming the potential CANCER problem in using these non-embryonic cells?

    That sounds like a bigger issue and it certainly doesn't sound like they completely cracked that nut.

    How many other dangerous issues are they wasting money and time overcoming to address an imaginary ethical issue?

    We are the laughing stock of the world over the superstition level in the US. It is out of control.
    The cancer issue I believe was due to using a virus used to introduce the stemcells into the body that was the problem that was overcome using this new technique.

    Perhaps what we're wasting money on is the use of embryonic stem-cell research. Only time will tell and you certainly aren't able to determine that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ballet Mom View Post
    The cancer issue I believe was due to using a virus used to introduce the stemcells into the body that was the problem that was overcome using this new technique.

    Perhaps what we're wasting money on is the use of embryonic stem-cell research. Only time will tell and you certainly aren't able to determine that.
    And just how the hell is it MORE ethical to throw these 500,000 embryos away than using a tiny handful of them for research?

    Until someone ponies up a rational answer to that then every penny spent on these other stem cell sources is WASTED. And you know it. The gap is in admitting it.

    There is no evidence there is a real ethical issue here apart from medieval imaginary CRAP. And you know it. The gap is in admitting it.

    Impairment of intellectual honesty surrounding this and many other issues from the theological crowd. As usual.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

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    It's like you have to check your intellectual honesty at the door when you step into faith. It's enough to make a cat laugh.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

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    BalletMom... since you claim you aren't a creationist, at what point in human evolution did the soul get injected?

    250,000 years ago?

    150,000 years ago?

    100,000 years ago?

    Until you come up with an answer and EVIDENCE for it, you can't support the "souls in petri dishes" idea.

    And you know it.

    Faith is NOT a way of knowing a damn thing.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
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    "We are all African."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    And just how the hell is it MORE ethical to throw these 500,000 embryos away than using a tiny handful of them for research?

    Until someone ponies up a rational answer to that then every penny spent on these other stem cell sources is WASTED. And you know it. The gap is in admitting it.

    There is no evidence there is a real ethical issue here apart from medieval imaginary CRAP. And you know it. The gap is in admitting it.

    Impairment of intellectual honesty surrounding this and many other issues from the theological crowd. As usual.
    What a truly bizarre thing to say. How was it wasted to cause scientists to research non-embryonic stem cells and end up with a better discovery?

    I won't even start listing the many, many unethical and horrific experiments that scientists have performed on the unsuspecting. Scientists have no claim to the moral high ground. And you are a hateful person.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    BalletMom... since you claim you aren't a creationist, at what point in human evolution did the soul get injected?

    250,000 years ago?

    150,000 years ago?

    100,000 years ago?

    Until you come up with an answer and EVIDENCE for it, you can't support the "souls in petri dishes" idea.

    And you know it.

    Faith is NOT a way of knowing a damn thing.
    You are a hateful and disgusting loser.

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