Tag Archives: stem cells

Stem Cells Created from Adults’ Cells

For the first time, researchers have successfullycreated stem cells from the skin cells of adults. This is considered the first step in developing patient-specific cells lines to treat diseases like heart failure, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and vision loss, but it is also the first step inhuman reproductive cloning, an issue fraught with ethical dilemmas. To create the stem cells, researchers fused a grown skin cell with an ovum whose DNA had been removed. The resulting embryo contains an inner lining of pluripotent stem cells. Of 39 attempts to create stem cells from adult cells, the researchers succeeded only once for each of their two skin cell donors. More… Discuss

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Questions Raised About Stem Cell Study Findings

A Japanese scientist who published groundbreaking research on stem cells earlier this year is now calling for the study to be withdrawn. Scientists have as yet been unable to replicate the study’s finding that bathing mature cells in a weak acid solution could quickly and cheaply convert them into stem cells, and questions have been raised about the accuracy and legitimacy of the data and images included in the study. The RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Japan is now conducting an inquiry into the paper. More… Discuss


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Amniotic Fluid Could Help Heal Preemies’ Intestines

About 10 percent of babies born prematurely and weighing less than 2 lb (800 g) go on to develop necrotizing enterocolitis, a serious intestinal infection that can cause tissue death and progress to blood poisoning. In severe cases, surgery to remove the diseased tissue may become necessary. In the future, however, stem cells found in amniotic fluid may be used to treat the condition, reducing the need for surgical intervention and improving survival rates. Preliminary studies on lab rats indicate that these cells have the capacity to reduce inflammation and repair damage to the intestines. More… Discuss



Gerbils Regain Hearing through Stem Cell Treatment

UK researchers have restored hearing in animals with the use of stem cells for the first time. About 10 percent of people with profound hearing loss have damaged nerve cells, called spiral ganglion neurons, that fail to detect signals created by sound vibrations. Using stem cells from a human embryo—which can become any other type of cell—the scientists created cells similar to the spiral ganglion neurons. They then injected them into the ears of deaf gerbils. By the end of the study, an average of 45 percent of the animals’ hearing range had been restored. However, scientists said the possibility of treating humans in this way is still distant. More… Discuss



Amniotic Fluid Promising Source of Stem Cells

Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that retain the ability to develop into any one of numerous cell types, and they therefore hold the key to promising new medical treatments. Yet, research into their use has been somewhat limited due to the controversy surrounding the harvesting of the most flexible type of stem cell, the embryonic stem cell. Stem cells collected from amniotic fluid, however, do not raise such ethical concerns and could be a useful alternative. Researchers have been able to make these cells pluripotent, or nearly fully flexible, by adding a chemical that modifies the configuration of their DNA without introducing new genes to the cells. More… Discuss