The prospect of treating genetic diseases with corrected stem cells grown from patients’ own bodies has moved closer, after the results of a remarkable experiment.
Scientists have successfully reprogrammed skin tissue from people with a rare form of anaemia to create powerful stem cells, while at the same time rectifying the genetic defect that causes the condition.
The corrected stem cells could be grown into blood precursor cells for therapy. As these would carry a patient’s own DNA, except for the mutation responsible for the illness, they could be transplanted without risk of rejection by the body’s immune system.
Though the research
Image by thomtrance via Flickr
An experiment successfully performed by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Missouri in Colombia, described in Nature magazine shows that cells removed from a patient’s skin and transformed into cells similar to embryonic stem cells have become a laboratory model for diseases and can be observed in real time and studied to find new cures. The researchers recreated spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) pluripotent stem cells removed from the skin of a child affected by the neurodegenerative genetic disease. In the laboratory, the cells behaved exactly as they do in
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, known for “miracle” surgeries, has completed a medically historic procedure where doctors used stem cells taken from the fat tissue of a 14-year-old boy and combined them with growth protein and donor tissue to grow viable cheek bones in the teen.
Brad Guilkey, 15, suffers from a rare kind of genetic disorder known as Treacher Collins Syndrome, where the bones and other tissues are prevented to develop in the face (…)
The medical team implanted cadaver bone into Brad’s face in May, and then they injected his own stem cells into the donor bone to fill
Image by JohnnyRokkit via Flickr
Scientists are one step closer to creating a gene therapy/stem cell combination to combat genetic diseases. With work, this research may lead to not only curing the disease, but also repairing the damage left behind.
While gene therapy is a burgeoning field that has shown great results in treating genetic disorders, many of those diseases leave behind heavily damaged tissue that the body is unable to repair. So even if the disease is completely eradicated, quality of life may not necessarily improve, and without help, health can still continue to deteriorate.
Since stem cell research began, there
A young woman is back home after a desperate journey to China for experimental stem cell treatment to heal her brain.
It wasn’t a disease or a genetic defect that led to her condition. Instead, Jackie Murphree, 22, went into a coma and woke up unresponsive and in need of wheelchair after a drunk driver struck her car.
The Decatur High honor student turned Aggie was leaving for work one morning two years ago when the accident occurred. The driver got probation.
In the latest on her slow and painful journey to find the person she used to be, Jackie went to