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Monday, June 13, 2005



Another Breakthrough In Adult Stem Cells


[Media Source*]

(Cross Posted on Blogger News)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scientists working in mice said they had found a way to identify master cells in the brain and grow them in large batches -- a potential way of helping patients grow their own brain tissue transplants.

The scientists said they had found a process to make the cells multiply, which would be crucial in fighting degenerative brain diseases like Parkinson's and Huntington's.

It seems that scientists have discovered another way in which to regenerate cells without using fetal tissue. Embryonic stem cells, although easier to manipulate, have the potential to become cancerous and carry the potential of being rejected by the donee's body. Not only are adult stem cells inexpensive to produce, but they may be more significant to those who suffer from Parkinson's disease or even cancer.

"We've isolated for the first time what appears to be the true candidate stem cell," said Dennis Steindler of the University of Florida, who worked on the study.

"There have been other candidates but in this case we used a special microscope that allows us to watch living cells over long periods of time through a method called live-cell microscopy, so we've actually witnessed the stem cell give rise to new neurons. Possibly a different method may come up to identify the mother of all stem cells, but we're confident this is it."

As science reveals more positive traits about adult stem cells, the weaker the argument for embryonic stem cells becomes. Embryonic stem cells have fueled heated debate between pro-lifers and abortion activists as both sides see themselves as "defending the helpless" with the former siding with the fetus and the latter the suffering patient. By using adult stem cells, patients can receive the treatment they need without stepping on any "political toes," potentially satisfying the desires of both sides of the political spectrum.



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By Darnell Clayton • 7:49 PM • Email Post • •

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