According to Science magazine, reprogrammed adult stem cells that regress to an embryonic state and have the same ability to transform into all the different tissues in the human body just like embryonic stem cells are the most important discovery of 2008. The prestigious magazine awarded the so-called ethical stem cells for their possible efficiency in curing degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and muscular dystrophy without the ethical implications associated with embryonic stem cell use. The direct observation of extrasolar planets and the development of new superconductors were also in the ranking.
Australian scientists have developed a new technique using stem cells, in the hope to replace damaged cells in Parkinson’s disease. The technique could be developed for application in other degenerative conditions.
Drs Clare Parish and Lachlan Thompson lead the research from the Florey Neuroscience Institutes and the University of Melbourne. They are members of the newly established Stem Cells Australia collaboration launched at the University of Melbourne today.
Stem Cells Australia is a new $21m Australian Research Council Special Research Initiative bringing together Australia’s leading stem cell scientists.
Led by internationally renowned stem cell expert Professor Martin Pera and administered by the
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“During filming for ‘Doc Hollywood’ in 1991, I noticed spasms in my left pinkie finger. In about 6 months most of my hand was shaking and my shoulder was sore”. Michael J. Fox, an internationally renown star since “Back to the Future”, told weekly magazine ‘Grazia’ how he discovered his illness and what he has experienced in the past years.
At the age of 30, his career was cut short by Parkinson’s disease. Now, after years of silence, isolation, alcohol, and crisis (“Initially I reacted with rage, I just wanted to drink so
(…) In January, recognizing the worsening situation, the health ministry announced a package of rules for the industry. Organizations using stem cells must register their research and clinical activities, the source of the stem cells and ethical procedures. The ministry asked local health authorities to halt any unapproved clinical use of stem cells in their regions. And it called for a nationwide moratorium on new clinical trials for stem-cell therapies, adding that patients in existing clinical trials should not be charged.
So far, however, the ministry’s clampdown has proved ineffective. According to a Ministry of Health spokesman, not one clinic
Deep in the brain, buried in the hippocampus and subventricular zone, reside adult neural stem cells, cells that retain the ability to become other types of neural cells and could serve as possible treatments for ailments ranging from vision impairment to Parkinson’s to spinal cord injuries. Doctors, scientists and patients, however, are understandably hesitant to go digging around for them, their location being “a great deterrent,” Sally Temple, founder of the New York Neural Stem Cell Institute, said at the 2009 World Stem Cell Summit here on Wednesday.
Researchers, therefore, are anxious to uncover other, more accessible neural stem cell