It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

NEWS: Harvard Make Fantastic Stem Cell Discovery

page: 1
7

log in

join
share:

posted on Aug, 22 2005 @ 04:35 PM
link   
A potentially dramatic development in stem cell research has been unveiled by Harvard scientists this week. The scientists have successfully fused an adult skin cell with an embryonic stem cell, taking the need away from having to create and destroy human embyros. The scientist said in their early research that the fused cell "was reprogrammed to its embryonic state".
 



www.washingtonpost.com...
"If future experiments indicate that this reprogrammed state is retained after removing the embryonic stem cell DNA - currently a formidable technical hurdle - the hybrid cells could theoretically be used to produce embryonic stem cells lines that are tailored to individual patients without the need to create and destroy human embryos," said a summary of the research reported on the Science site.

That could lead to creation of stem cells without having to use human eggs or make new human embryos in the process, thereby sidestepping much of the controversy over stem cell research.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Laboratory grown human embyronic stem cells were used by the researchers which essentially changes a skin cell into an embryonic stem cell. The hybrid cells "had the appearance, growth rate, and several key genetic characteristics of human embryonic cells," according to the summary report on their research.

This is fantastic news for everyone. If this discovery proves correct then there will be no more moral arguments over the use of human embryo's in research and scientists will be free to continue their studies into the capabilities of human stem cells.


[edit on 22-8-2005 by Mayet]




posted on Aug, 22 2005 @ 11:27 PM
link   
I heard about this on the radio today, and was going to post an article. You beat me to it, though. This is big news, though.... this discovery could circumvent all of Bush's bans on embryonic stem cell research, and actually allow our medical researchers to explore this side of medical technology.

Given my girlfriend's career in medical research, and her interest in a position with a company that does stem cell research among other things. This is very good news for both her potential employer, and her, who is intrigued by the field, yet hesitant to harvest cells from aborted fetuses. Hopefully, this will prove to be cells that are just as well suited for this research as true embryonic stem cells are.



posted on Aug, 22 2005 @ 11:33 PM
link   
Isn't there an issue over the DNA of the skin cells? I believe they have two sets of DNA which increases the chance of rejection?



posted on Aug, 22 2005 @ 11:46 PM
link   

Originally posted by obsidian468
this discovery could circumvent all of Bush's bans on embryonic stem cell research, and actually allow our medical researchers to explore this side of medical technology.


Absolutely untrue. There is no ban on stem cell research. He just doesnt want to provide federal funding for it. If there were any way of using embryonic stem cells (not possible now because of the rejection problem), drug companies would be putting their own money into the research. There is also no evidence embryonic cells are any more useful than those found in your own pelvis, which, btw, are used all the time to heal spinal injuries. You wouldn't have guessed that from this article which implies that only embryonic cells are useful. The reality is almost completely the opposite.

And again, there is NO BAN ON EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH so please you guys quit saying that.



posted on Aug, 23 2005 @ 12:10 AM
link   
I don't know how well that this will work; but if it does then I am very excited about the posibilties. Maybe great leaps in the medical/scientific community will occur now becuase of the ability to study these cells. Maybe not. But at least the ability to make those discoveries will be able to occur without the controversy.



posted on Aug, 23 2005 @ 12:11 AM
link   

Originally posted by jacquio999

Originally posted by obsidian468
this discovery could circumvent all of Bush's bans on embryonic stem cell research, and actually allow our medical researchers to explore this side of medical technology.


Absolutely untrue. There is no ban on stem cell research. He just doesnt want to provide federal funding for it. If there were any way of using embryonic stem cells (not possible now because of the rejection problem), drug companies would be putting their own money into the research. There is also no evidence embryonic cells are any more useful than those found in your own pelvis, which, btw, are used all the time to heal spinal injuries. You wouldn't have guessed that from this article which implies that only embryonic cells are useful. The reality is almost completely the opposite.

And again, there is NO BAN ON EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH so please you guys quit saying that.


Bush's lack of federal funding has effectively banned stem cell research, without saying as much. Many of the firms that want to do such research need very expensive equipment that isn't readilly available. Several states, including Maryland, where I live, have approved state funding, but the budgets are far less than the feds could provide.

And yes, scientific evidence does suggest that embryonic stem cells are better suited to stem cell research than other forms of stem cells because of their lack of pre-designation. The aborted fetuses that these cells are often harvested from are those that have yet to really develop. They're often from aborted fetuses from within the first three months of pregnancy, where the fetus is still just a clump of cells, and shows no real human form. This means that the cells are still at a point where they could become any cell needed. They have not been pre-disposed to be cells in the heart, lungs, bones, skin, brain, etc. In essence, they're still a blank slate. This is why embryonic cells work better for this research than others.

If this study can prove that basic skin cells can actually be made into embryonic stem cell equivalents, then this means great advances for medicine, without having to harvest from a single fetus. Some of the advances that could be achieved would be cloned parts with a person's own DNA, thereby simplifying organ transplants, and negating the rejection risks (since the DNA is the same). It could also lead to great advances in disease treatment, treatment and correction of birth defects, not to mention giving a greater insight into the basic workings of the human body, allowing medical technology to actually cure far more problems than it does now. It would lessen treatment, and increase cures.

Also, for your information, I'm not coming into this debate with only the information presented in this article. My girlfriend works as a medical researcher, is in process of getting a job working with stem cell reserach, and knows quite a bit on the subject. In addition to that, I've also done quite a bit of my own reading on the subject, in an effort to better understand the issue, so as to make a more informed decision on it.

In my opinion, it's silly to deny this research, because of the great benefit it could have for humanity. If the government doesn't want to approve funding for research on cells gained from aborted fetuses, that's fine, so long as this study proves fruitful, and can circumvent the need for fetus tissue.




top topics
 
7

log in

join