Friday, May 20, 2005

Stems Cells Already Created

Scientists clone human stem cells from patients

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - South Korean scientists who cloned the first human embryo to use for research said on Thursday they have used the same technology to create batches of embryonic stem cells from nine patients.

Their study fulfills one of the basic promises of using cloning technology in stem cell research -- that a piece of skin could be taken from a patient and used to grow the stem cells.

Researchers believe the cells could one day be trained to provide tailored tissue and organ transplants to cure juvenile diabetes, Parkinson's disease and even to repair severed spinal cords. Unlike so-called adult stem cells, embryonic stem cells have the potential from the beginning to form any cell or tissue in the body.

Woo Suk Hwang and colleagues at Seoul National University report their process is much more efficient than they hoped, and yielded 11 stem cell batches, called lines, from six adults and three children with spinal cord injuries, juvenile diabetes and a rare immune disorder.

"This study shows that embryonic stem cells can be derived using nuclear transfer from patients with illness ... regardless of sex or age," Hwang told reporters in a telephone briefing.

"I am amazed at how much they have accomplished in just a year and the amount, the quality and the rigorousness of their evidence," Dr. Gerald Schatten of the University of Pittsburgh, a stem cell expert who reviewed the study, said in a telephone interview.


Well the cats out of the bag. I think politicians should ignore the Catholic Church (unless it changes it's tune to a more pragmatic stance). This cat is not going back in the bag. The U.S. government needs to get in on the ground floor so that international ethical standards can be set. As long as we stay out and get preachy about the morality of stem cell research, individual nations and entities will continue work and it would be much harder to restrain anything as the field expands.

I do believe in therapeutic cloning, which from what I understand and have read is a different animal than human cloning. But this is not the type of thing that needs to go on unsupervised and if the US Government in tandem with the EU, the Asian block, Canada, perhaps South Africa, Russia and other big guns, don't get in now, it'll be too late later.


Blogger Marie said...

Stem Cell research affects all of us with neurological disorders. I urge President Bush to lift some of the restrictions on stem cell research.

58 Senators Call on Bush to expand stem cell research.

9:34 AM  
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