Stem-cell science is one of the most promising areas of biomedical research with the potential to dramatically improve treatment of the most intractable diseases, but it will likely take several more years to fully realize its potential.
That was the message at the annual Ansary Symposium on Stem Cell Research on June 6. The day-long event, which marked the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Ansary Stem Cell Institute at Weill Cornell Medical College, assembled the country’s leading stem-cell investigators to discuss the field’s achievements, its challenges and future.
“The potential for stem cells is tremendous: If someone has a
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Nerve stem cell transplants may help slow the progression of macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness in the developed world, U.S. researchers said on Monday.
They said putting nerve stem cells from StemCells Inc near the retinas of rats with a form of macular degeneration helped keep the disease from advancing to blindness for several months.
“These cells improve the chemical environment in the back of the eye,” said Ray Lund of the Casey Eye Institute at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, whose findings were presented at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.
And now there are three: in the wake of announcements from laboratories in Oregon and California that they had created human embryos by cloning cells of living people, a lab in New York announced on Monday that it had done that and more.
In addition to cloning the cells of a woman with diabetes, producing embryos and stem cells that are her perfect genetic matches, scientists got the stem cells to differentiate into cells able to secrete insulin.
That raised hopes for realizing a long-held dream of stem cell research, namely, creating patient-specific replacement cells for people with diabetes, Parkinson’s disease,
For the first time, cloning technologies have been used to generate stem cells that are genetically matched to adult patients.
Fear not: No legitimate scientist is in the business of cloning humans. But cloned embryos can be used as a source for stem cells that match a patient and can produce any cell type in that person (…)
“This is a dream that we’ve had for 15 years or so in the stem cell field,” said John Gearhart, director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Gearhart first proposed this approach for patient-specific stem cell generation in
Regenerative medicine took a step forward on Monday with the announcement of the creation of the first disease-specific line of embryonic stem cells made with a patient’s own DNA (…)
“This is a really important step forward in our quest to develop healthy, patient-specific stem cells that can be used to replace cells that are diseased or dead,” said Susan Solomon, chief executive officer of NYSCF, which she co-founded in 2005 partly to search for a cure for her son’s diabetes.
Stem cells could one day be used to treat not only diabetes but also other diseases, such as Parkinson’s and