The U.S. government approved the first 13 batches of human embryonic stem cells on Wednesday, enabling researchers using them to get millions of dollars in federal funding as promised by President Barack Obama in March.
“Today we are announcing the approval of the first 13 stem cell lines,” Collins told reporters in a telephone briefing.
In March, Obama lifted restrictions on human embryonic stem cell research imposed by his predecessor, George W. Bush.
He could not lift a restriction set by Congress, called the Dickey-Wicker amendment, that forbids the use of federal money to make the stem cells, which require destruction of a human embryo. But the decision made it possible for researchers to use federal funds to work with cells that others have made.
Adult stem cell research has produced treatments for 73 different conditions, while embryonic stem cell research has not produced a single therapy or helped a single patient. But those facts were conveniently omitted from a recent column advocating increased taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research (“Stem cell opportunity,” Commentary, Feb. 20).
The column also neglected to mention the biggest advance in stem cell research in the last decade – the creation of induced pluripotent stem cells.
That development allows researchers to reprogram adult stem cells to behave like embryonic stem cells without destroying human embryos. It was hailed by the journal Science as the scientific breakthrough of 2008 and trumpeted on a recent Time magazine cover.
For the first time in the United States, stem cells have been directly injected into the spinal cord of a patient, researchers announced Thursday.
Doctors injected stem cells from 8-week-old fetal tissue into the spine of a man in his early 60s who has advanced ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It was part of a clinical trial designed to determine whether it is safe to inject stem cells into the spinal cord and whether the cells themselves are safe (…)
Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center have created stem cells from the eggs of aging mice that could be used for reproductive purposes and regenerative medicine. The study, published in April issue of Aging Cell, found that even though the eggs from older females were slightly less efficient at making stem cells than those from younger females, the capacity to create stem cells was sustained.
OHSU research demonstrates not all embryonic stem cells are equal; produces the world’s first primate chimeric offspring
Newly published research by scientists at Oregon Health & Science University provides significant new information about how early embryonic stem cells develop and take part in formation of the primate species. The research, which took place at OHSU’s Oregon National Primate Research Center, has also resulted in the first successful birth of chimeric monkeys — monkeys developed from stem cells taken from two separate embryos. The research will be published this week in the online edition of the journal Cell and will be published in a future printed copy of the journal.
The research was conducted to gain a better understanding of the differences between natural stem cells residing in early embryos and their cultured counterparts called embryonic stem cells. This study also determined that stem cell functions and abilities are different between primates and rodents.