A genetic engineering breakthrough could lead to a genetic switch, or drug, that allows people to grow new muscle cells to replace those that are damaged, worn out, or not working for other reasons, and provides a new tool for the study of difficult-to-treat muscle cancers
January 13, 2006
British scientists are seeking permission to create hybrid embryos in the lab by fusing human cells with rabbit eggs. If granted consent, the team will use the embryos to produce stem cells that carry genetic defects, in the hope that studying them will help understand the complex mechanisms behind incurable human diseases.
To make a hybrid embryo, a human skin cell would be taken from a person with motor… read more
June 21, 2002
Scientists from the National Institutes of Health have reversed the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in rats using stem cells from mouse embryos. Another team of scientists from the University of Minnesota Medical School has isolated a stem cell from adult human bone marrow that can produce all the tissue types in the body, from blood to muscle to nerve.
The new reports may re-fuel the debate in the US… read more
May 31, 2003
The key gene that keeps embryonic stem cells in a state of youthful immortality has been discovered.
The breakthrough may one day contribute to turning ordinary adult cells into those with the properties of human embryonic stem cells (capable of differentiating into the different cells in the body). This would end the need to destroy embryos to harvest the cells for new medical treatments.
Comment: “This is very… read more
May 29, 2013
A single injection of human neural stem cells produced neuronal regeneration and improvement of function and mobility in rats impaired by an acute spinal cord injury (SCI), an international team led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine reports
Grafting neural stem cells derived from a human fetal spinal cord to the rats’ spinal injury site produced an array of… read more
August 12, 2008
Researchers at Harvard used cells from adults with genetic diseases to make nine stem cell lines (induced pluripotent stem, or iPS cells) capable of being turned into any type of cell or tissue) that have the genes for those diseases.
These disease-specific cell lines (including Down syndrome, Type 1 diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease) provide a new way for researchers to study diseases: by cultivating the iPS cells into specific… read more
November 27, 2002
Proposed stem cell experiments would involve creating a human-mouse hybrid to test different lines of human embryonic stem cells for their quality and potential usefulness in treating specific diseases.
Any animals born from the experiment would be chimeras — organisms that are mixtures of two kinds of cells, such as a mouse with a brain made entirely of human cells or a mouse that generated human sperm. However, Dr.… read more
September 23, 2013
Embryonic stem cells have the enormous potential to treat and cure many medical problems. That is why the discovery that induced embryonic-like stem cells can be created from skin cells was rewarded with a Nobel Prize in 2012.
But the process… read more
August 25, 2010
The Obama administration said Tuesday that it would appeal a court ruling challenging the legality of President Obama’s rules governing human embryonic stem cell research.
The head of the National Institutes of Health said the decision would most likely force the cancellation of dozens of experiments in diseases ranging from diabetes to Parkinson’s, and suspend $54 million in financing for 22 scientific projects by the end of September. An additional 60 projects are threatened.
June 16, 2006
Biologists say they are close to finding a cellular elixir of youth: a cocktail of proteins that can convert adult cells into embryonic stem cells that are able to grow replacement tissues, according to two studies published in Nature June 14.
If found, this recipe could leapfrog the intense controversy involved in extracting stem cells from a human embryo, which is destroyed in the process.
Instead, doctors might… read more
June 26, 2009
Genes that make muscle stem cells in the embryo are surprisingly not needed in adult muscle stem cells to regenerate muscles after injury, scientists working at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Embryology with colleagues have found.
The finding challenges the current course of research into muscular dystrophy, muscle injury, and regenerative medicine, which uses stem cells for healing tissues, and favors using age-matched stem cells for therapy.
October 17, 2005
Scientists have devised two new techniques to derive embryonic stem cells in mice, one of which avoids the destruction of the embryo, a development that could have the potential to shift the grounds of the longstanding political debate about human stem cell research.
The second new technique manipulates embryos so they are inherently incapable of implanting in the uterus, a possible ethical advantage in the proposed therapy.
Both… read more
March 10, 2005
A new way of growing human embryonic stem cells in the laboratory will reduce the risk that their use in therapy could go wrong, say scientists.
At present the cells are cultured using live animal cells, which carries the risk of contamination with viruses and other harmful agents. Researchers at Advanced Cell Technology in Boston have developed a method that replaces the use of animal cells with a sterile… read more
February 19, 2008
University of Edinburgh researchers have developed new methods to use a patient’s own stem cells to repair damaged bones and cartilage, using a “bioactive scaffold” to protect the stem cells and stimulate their growth into bone or cartilage.
The method could treat conditions such as osteoarthritis and trauma victims whose bones have been shattered beyond repair.
February 11, 2008
The prospect of using transplants derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to reverse Type I diabetes has come a step closer with the news that the technique seems to work in mice, according to scientists from San Diego based Novocell.
The Novocell team grew hESCs in the lab until they differentiated into insulin-producing islet cells. The cells were injected into the abdomens or backs of mice whose own… read more