09 November 2009

Hopeful Stem Cell News Stories

Any adult cell can become a stem cell. This is a striking finding from the Cambridge, Mass. researchers.
“Essentially, all cells have the potential to become pluripotent. It is something that seems to happen to the cells under these conditions stochastically — that is, in a continuous, but probabilistic fashion,” Jaenisch explains. _Softpedia

Stem cell treatment restores limb function in rats with cervical spine injuries. The UCI team used human embryonic stem cells (pre-oligodendrocytes) that "rebuilt myelin, stopped tissue death and triggered nerve fiber regrowth".

Patients with advanced leukemia successfully treated with stem cells. Of the 58 patients, 35% survived 3 years -- an exceptionally good result for patients at such an advanced stage.

New technique developed to separate "safe" from "unsafe" stem cells before therapy. Stem cells vary in their likelihood to grow out of control and cause malignancies. "Undifferentiated" stem cells are more likely to lose control of growth.
Scientists from Invitrogen and the Buck Institute for Age Research, located in Novato, California, collaborated in developing this innovative solution that depletes greater than 99% of undifferentiated human embryonic stem cells from differentiated populations. They are presenting data on this new technology at the International Society for Cellular Therapy Meeting in San Diego. __LabmateOnline

Stem cells provide the bricks and mortar for constructing human tissues and organs. We are just beginning to learn how to create them, and to use them safely and efficaciously. In ten years -- if the US biomedical system has not been completely destroyed by government intervention -- we will look back to the present, amazed that human medicine was ever so primitive and hopelessly ineffective.

Cross-posted at Al Fin Longevity

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