Of all the alcoholic liver disease patients thronging the out-patient departments of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), nearly 50% are from Punjab.
What draws them to this institute is the stem cell treatment offered to the severe alcoholic hepatitis that acts as a boon.
PGI is the only tertiary hospital in the region which caters to this end-stage liver disease from Punjab, Himachal, Haryana and Chandigarh.
The stem cell treatment reports 78% success in cases of severe alcoholic hepatitis. A report on the same had been published in the prestigious American journal of gastroenterology this month. Moreover,
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“For the first time, taxpayer money will be used to kill human beings in the embryonic state in order to harvest stem cells,” wrote the Osservatore Romano newspaper, which underlined how this is the result of new guidelines “after President Barack Obama overturned a decision by the Bush administration banning publically funded stem cell research”.
The Vatican newspaper cited the website of the Episcopal Conference of the United States which said “this is a new chapter in the division between biomedical research and its necessary ethical basis, the respect for human life at all stages.”
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After US President Barack Obama opened up to embryonic stem cell research, “we will have an America that will begin to run ,and an Italy that risks becoming a parasite,” were the fears expressed by pharmacologist Elena Cattaneo, director of the stem cell research center of the University of Milan.
Obama’s attitude, observed the Italian researcher today during a meeting in Milan, “is very positive. He has opened the door to research,” she said to Adnkronos Salute, “but with caution, without crying miracle. With the idea that perhaps tomorrow future generations will be able to benefit
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Ever since human induced pluripotent stem cells were first derived in 2007, scientists have wondered whether they were functionally equivalent to embryonic stem cells, which are sourced in early stage embryos.
Both cell types have the ability to differentiate into any cell in the body, but their origins — in embryonic and adult tissue — suggest that they are not identical.
Although both cell types have great potential in basic biological research and in cell- and tissue-replacement therapy, the newer form, called IPS cells, have two advantages. They face less ethical constraint, as they do not require embryos.
Japanese researchers have been able to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in monkeys by transplanting nerve cells derived from embryonic stem cells into their brains, the team has announced.
The finding is the world’s first reported success of its kind with a primate, according to the research team led by Associate Prof. Jun Takahashi of Kyoto University‘s Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences. It has been released in the online edition of U.S. journal Stem Cells.
After the transplant, the monkeys, which had been almost unable to move, showed improvements in their symptoms to the point where they became able to