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Scientists may be growing impatient, but President Obama has been rightly taking his time in addressing a campaign promise to lift the ban on federal funding for research using new lines of stem cells to be taken from human embryos. Even for strong backers of embryonic stem cell research, the decision is no longer as self-evident as it was, because there is markedly diminished need for expanding these cell lines for either patient therapy or basic research. In fact, during the first six weeks of Obama’s term, several events reinforced the notion that embryonic stem cells, once
The latest developments in molecular biology in the prenatal diagnostic field, particularly regarding preserving stem cells extracted from amniotic liquid, were the focus of the latest S.I.Di.P conference (Italian Society of Prenatal Diagnosis and Maternal Fetal Medicine).
After a greeting from S.I.Di.P President Claudio Giorlandino and President of the Italian Gynecology and Obstetrics Society Giorgio Vittori, Professor Giuseppe Simone, the head of the Biocell Center in Busto Arsizio (VA), the first Italian center able to treat and store stem cells extracted from the amniotic liquid in liquid nitrogen, opened the conference.
“In the next five to ten years,” explained Professor Simoni,
Patents offer the economic guarantees scientists and companies need to develop new treatments, Oliver Bruestle told Deutsche Welle. He’s at the center of a German court battle surrounding embryonic stem cell research
Oliver Bruestle, director of the Institute of Reconstructive Neurobiology at the University of Bonn, is pushing for Germany to recognize the right to patent procedures conducted on embryonic stem cells, saying patents are the right way to ensure that scientists and companies profit from their work.
Greenpeace, however, is opposed to the patents. The organization filed suit against a patent granted to Bruestle in 1999, saying that the patenting
Cells grown in culture are not alone: They are constantly communicating with one another by sending signals through their culture media that are picked up and transmitted by other cells in the media. When thousands of cells are cultured together in a dish, there are hundreds of thousands of these signals present every minute, all competing to be heard.
Scientists trying to direct cells to do useful things — like causing stem cells to turn into neurons or heart cells — typically try to overcome these signals by adding their own exogenous factors. These exogenous factors are often added at
International Stem Cell Corporation, a California-based biotechnology company, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted the Company a patent for a method of creating pure populations of definitive endoderm, precursor cells to liver and pancreas cells, from human pluripotent stem cells. This patent is a key element of ISCO’s metabolic liver disease program and allows the Company to produce the necessary quantities of precursor cells in a more efficient and cost effective manner.
The patent, 8,268,621, adds to the Company’s growing portfolio of proprietary technologies relating to the development of potential treatments