Jun 08 2005

More Breakthroughs In Adult Stem Cells

Published by at 9:04 pm under All General Discussions,Stem Cell Debate

Science Daily has some news out in the adult stem cell research. It includes some good background on the challenges in this field.

While research on human embryonic stem cells gets most of the press, scientists are also investigating the potential therapeutic uses of adult stem cells. Although less controversial, this research faces other difficulties. Adult stem cells are extremely difficult to isolate and multiply in the lab.

Now, as reported in the May 6 issue of Cell, researchers led by Rudolf Jaenisch of the Whitehead Institute have discovered a mechanism that might enable scientists to multiply adult stem cells quickly and efficiently.

This is equivalent of the break through ik in South Korea that rippled through the press. Developing therapies is half the battle, harvesting and growing the source material is critical to getting therapies out to patients. They include a great example of how to use adult cells from the patients to create new cells and tissues:

“This may allow you to expand adult stem cells for therapy,” Hochedlinger said. “For instance, you could remove a person’s skin tissue, put it in a dish, isolate the skin stem cells, then subject it to an environment that activates Oct4. This would cause the cells to multiply yet remain in their stem cell state. And because this process is reversible, after you have a critical mass of these cells, you can then place them back into the person where they would grow into healthy tissue.”

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