It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

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

Thank you.


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


At last! Stem cells with no embryo controversy!

page: 1

log in


posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 10:09 AM

At last! Stem cells with no embryo controversy!

Scientists have made ordinary human skin cells take on the chameleon-like powers of embryonic stem cells, a startling breakthrough that might someday deliver the medical payoffs of embryo cloning without the controversy.
(visit the link for the full news article)

Related News Links:

Related Discussion Threads:
Breakthrough in primate cloning
Embryonic Stem Cells--- are we playing God?

posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 10:09 AM
Well after years of political banter over this hot topic, scientists have made ordinary human skin cells take on the "powers" of embryonic stem cells. Stem cells differ from regular cells in that they are the "master" cells. Being the first cells, they have no specific function and therefore can be grown into any cell to create specific tissues (which form organs).

One possible problem is that the technique which was used by a Dr. Shinya (of Kyoto University) and James Thomson (of the University of Wisconisn-Madison) requires disrupting the DNA of skin cells. This creates the potential for developing cancer, yet experts believe given more time such byproducts can be avoided.

I'm very excited and optimistic after reading this. Hopefully this will allow us to move past the bioethics, and help people with diabetes, Parkinson's, and spinal cord injuries.
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 20-11-2007 by Scramjet76]

posted on Nov, 21 2007 @ 09:42 AM
I thought I would include this basic Q & A about stem cells..

Q: What is a stem cell?

A: Stem cells are the body's master cells, the source of all cells and tissue such as brain, blood, heart, bones, muscles and skin. Because embryonic stem cells can develop into many kinds of tissue, scientists have long sought to find a way to create such cells that are genetically matched to patients as a potential path to treat disease and injury. They've pursued this through cloning, which uses embryos. But through a new method, "direct reprogramming," scientists have found a way to produce cells that appear virtually identical to stem cells, without using embryos.

Q: What is the difference between embryonic and adult stem cells?

A: Embryonic stem cells come from days-old embryos and can produce virtually any other type of cell in the body. They are called pluripotent stem cells. Adult stem cells are harbored in blood and mature tissue in the bodies of children and adults. They are more specialized than embryonic cells and give rise to specific cell types, although they may be coaxed into a broader range of cell types under the right conditions.

Q: What's so great about this new approach?

A: Through a new method, "direct reprogramming," scientists have found a way to produce cells that appear virtually identical to stem cells that doesn't require women's unfertilized eggs to make embryos; human eggs are in short supply for research. And it doesn't involve the destruction of embryos, which is required to harvest stem cells from within them. That destruction has led some groups to oppose the cloning approach for ethical and religious reasons. Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church and some other religious and conservative political figures believe the destruction of any embryo is wrong, although some opponents of abortion rights support human embryonic stem-cell research.

Q: Does this mean scientists will no longer need human eggs or embryos?

A: No. Scientists say research should continue on embryonic stem cells. But this new development will likely reduce the demand.

Q: How does the new method work?

A: Four genes were inserted into each skin cell. Scientists knew these particular genes turn other genes on and off, but how the combination converted skin cells into mimics of stem cells remains a mystery.

Q: Are there any drawbacks to this new approach?

A: At this early stage, the technique being used disrupts the DNA of the skin cells, which leads to a potential for cancer. For now, that makes it unacceptable as a way to create stem cells for disease treatment. But the DNA disruption is just a byproduct of the technique, and experts believe there is a way to avoid it.

Q: What does it mean for average people? Can we expect to see new treatments anytime soon?

A: Not for years. Besides overcoming the cancer obstacle, scientists still have to answer basic questions about these cells. In medicine, these cells would probably be used first for lab studies like screening potential drugs. Scientists hope to harness the transformational qualities of stem cells to treat a variety of diseases, including brain cells for Parkinson's disease, pancreatic cells for diabetes and nerve cells for spinal-cord injuries.

Q: How big a breakthrough is this?

A: One researcher compared it to the Wright Brothers' airplane. Ian Wilmut, who cloned Dolly the sheep, said he is dropping the cloning approach for stem cells to begin testing this new method.


posted on Nov, 21 2007 @ 09:51 AM
You know what I found odd about this? Two companies came up with this discovery at the exact same time. This tells me that this was already known and is only being publicized for political reasons.

It shows me that scientific discovery is in fact being withheld from us until it serves a purpose for the PTB.


posted on Nov, 21 2007 @ 10:04 AM
reply to post by Dr Love

You're right to be suspicious, but i don't think that suspicion nessecarily needs to be laid directly at the feet of political subversion.

A tamer theory could be that modern day corporate activity is so subversive that companies are literally pacing themselves as if they were on some sort of track.

As such, this 'discovery' could be referred to as the starting pistol.

What you say does hold an element of truth - many laws of modern life do hold some impact on technology; you could say that because of the various restrictions on genome research that it is possible for the audit office (or whatever it is that monitors this research) is able to control the various stages of progression of each individual research project.

From this speculative theory, one could assume that those in charge of the authorities on this matter can infact shape the corporate battlefield the same way one would create a false-flag scenario in order to send two countries to war with one another.

Personally, i believe that the church and the various religious contradictions provide a certain element of caution on this research - thereby causing people to be cautious about what exactly is happening.

I'm not saying i agree with their point of view, but i'm glad that there are people willing to voice their opposition on elements of the research being carried out.

top topics

log in