Researchers Develop Embryonic Stem Cells From Skin
In a step forward for regenerative medicine, researchers have transformed skin cells into embryonic stem cells that now can be converted to just about any other cell type, with profound implications for human health and disease.
The approach entails transplantation of an individual's genetic material — DNA — into an egg cell depleted of its genetic material. The technique is called somatic cell transfer.
What is the significance of this approach, then? It obviates the need to harvest human embryos or kill them, and researchers no longer need to be at odds with the Vatican or other religious faiths, ethical or cultural beliefs. Since it does not use fertilized embryos to obtain stem cells, or destroy the embryos, no ethical issues are involved.
Human cloning is not likely the objective of the method described in the journal Cell, by Oregon State University scientists led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov, senior scientist at the Oregon National Primate Research Center.
Cloning of the sheep Dolly in 1996 in the United Kingdom was followed by cloning of almost 20 species including goats and rabbits. However, complex creatures such as monkeys or primates, with advanced biologies and reproduction systems, defied cloning efforts.It was also impossible to develop a human clone. However, the research is already stirring up a hornet's nest. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston warned in an AFP release that other researchers will use the new technique to try to clone people. "This way of making embryos will be taken up by people who want to produce cloned children as copies of other people."
"Whether used for one purpose or the other, human cloning treats human beings as products, manufactured to order to suit other people's wishes." He added, "A technical advance in human cloning is not progress for humanity but its opposite," he said in a statement released to AFP.
"While nuclear transfer breakthroughs often lead to a public discussion about the ethics of human cloning, this is not our focus, nor do we believe our findings might be used by others to advance the possibility of human reproductive cloning," the scientists said.
By reprogramming the skin cell to any other cell type, scientists should no longer be the butt of political or religious opposition.
"A thorough examination of the stem cells derived through this technique demonstrated their ability to convert just like normal embryonic stem cells, into several different cell types, including nerve cells, liver cells and heart cells," says Mitalipov.
In addition, "since the reprogrammed cells use genetic material from the patient, there is no concern about transplant rejection."
"While there is much work to be done in developing safe and effective stem cell treatments, we believe this is a significant step forward in developing the cells that could be used in regenerative medicine," Mitalipov said.
The major application of stem cell research include treatments for Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and blindness. "Reprogramming somatic cells into pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs) by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) has been envisioned as an approach for generating patient-matched nuclear transfer (NT)-ESCs for studies of disease mechanisms and for developing specific therapies," the researchers summarize.
The Controversial ‘Liberation Therapy’: Is It Good For Multiple Sclerosis?
With the number of advancements that has been intended for Multiple Sclerosis, why is the so-called ‘Liberation Therapy’ found to ineffective? What makes the said therapy to be considered as a failure when it comes to treating the auto-immune disease? Could it mean that it’s now a hopeless case for one of the world’s most dreaded diseases? Here’s what experts have to say
Multiple Sclerosis May Now Be Predicted Through Fatigue And Leg Dysfunction, Experts Say
Considering that the emergence of Multiple Sclerosis is still being considered as mysterious, are there ways to predict if a person is at risk of developing the said auto-immune disease? What’s the truth behind claims that Fatigue and Leg Dysfunction may be used as onset identifiers of the disease? Find out what health experts have to say
Recovery From Multiple Sclerosis Found In The So-Called 'tDCs' Technology, Details Inside
What is 'tDCs'? Considering that Multiple Sclerosis has been one of the world's fast emerging diseases, can the cure be found in this new technology called 'tDCs'? How can a patient recover from the aid auto-immune disease with the help of this technology? Here's what health professionals have to say
Apitope's Peptide Vaccine Finally Sheds Light To Multiple Sclerosis; Details Inside
With the continuous efforts to eradicate Multiple Sclerosis, how significant is Apitope's peptide vaccine for the said auto-immune disease? Could this vaccine be the advent of new medications to treat one of the diseases that has already affected millions of lives? Find out what experts have to say
Deep Brain Stimulation Shows Potential In Anorexia Therapy
Considering the continuous efforts to spread awareness to the adverse effects and the nature of Anorexia, have scientists just found the answer to the said medical condition? What's the truth behind claims that deep brain stimulation is allegedly showing promising results in anorexia therapy? Here's what experts have to say
New Stem Cell Treatment Finally Sheds Light To Multiple Sclerosis
As of the press time, a significant number of experts are still on the hunt to look for the best answer for Multiple Sclerosis. Now, what’s the truth behind a recent claim that a new stem cell treatment can allegedly ‘freeze’ the progression of the auto-immune disease? Could it finally be the answer to this long dreaded disease? Find out what experts have to say
MORE IN ITECHPOST
Top TikTok Growth Services to Check Out This Year
It's 2020, which means that it's the year of the TikTok. If you haven't already noticed, TikTok is a pretty big deal.
Wellness Technology is a Billion Dollar Industry. Here Comes the Next Wave: Death Positive & Grief Wellness
The World Health Organization estimates that 25% of all people will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, with roughly 450 million individuals currently struggling with a condition.
Eight Must-Have Tools to Keep Your Car Out of Garage
We all dread taking our car to a garage for repairs. We might just want to avoid the inconvenience of being off the road or maybe the costs associated, which can even lead to knock-on effects on things like our holiday plans.
6 Hacks for Students to Choose a Laptop While on a Budget
The modern world tries to drown us in the sea of choices. One can’t simply buy a laptop - there are hundreds of laptops around and sometimes our budget becomes the only real limitation we can rely on. But how to choose other parameters to get the best laptop possible?