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Stem Cells, but not from embryos

02 Mar 09

Stem Cells, but not from embryos
A report in Nature is claiming that scientists are a step closer to creating stem cell treatments without using embryos.

The team from the Medical Research Council Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh were themselves surprised to find that they could manipulate human skin cells to act like embryonic stem cells without using a virus. They reprogrammed the cells by inserting four genes initially, and then removing them once the process was complete.

Stem cell work so far has focused on taking human embryonic stem cells as they have the ability to become any one of the 220 cell types in the body. But this discovery, although at early stages, may make potentially safe and ethical sources of cells available.

Professor Andras Nagy, co author from the University of Toronto, said "We hope that these stem cells will form the basis for treatment for many diseases and conditions that are currently considered incurable."

Get a life!

25 Feb 09
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