- BBC News: “‘Ethical’ Stem Cell Crop Boosted”
A team at the Scripps Research Institute continues to learn more about generating stem cells from adult human tissue, an alternative to the controversial method of destroying viable human embryos to harvest their stem cells. The new development increases the potential yield of adult stem cell harvesting, using chemicals to make the process two hundred times more efficient while doubling the technique’s speed.
BBC News reports that the first successful production of stem cells from adult skin cells took place in 2007 (we commented on the news in our November 24 News to Note). Yet the success rate of production at the time was only one in ten thousand cells, and the process took weeks. Furthermore, the scientists used a virus to transform the cells, which led to worries about cancer formation.
Last May, however, the team determined how to create the stem cells with chemicals rather than a virus. The new breakthrough is an improvement of that procedure. Researcher Sheng Ding, who was also instrumental in the previous work, noted, “Both in terms of speed and efficiency, we achieved major improvements over conventional conditions. This is the first example in human cells of how reprogramming speed can be accelerated.”
The new technique should propel further research into the team’s stem-cell-producing method, which should, in turn, bring the promise of widespread stem cell therapies closer to reality. And the process is entirely free of the moral and ethical dangers associated with embryonic stem cell research—which looks more and more unjustified as time passes.
- The Debate over Stem Cells
- Stem Cells
- Get Answers: Abortion, Euthanasia, Christian Parenting, Cloning, Morality
For More Information: Get Answers
Remember, if you see a news story that might merit some attention, let us know about it! (Note: if the story originates from the Associated Press, FOX News, MSNBC, the New York Times, or another major national media outlet, we will most likely have already heard about it.) And thanks to all of our readers who have submitted great news tips to us. If you didn’t catch all the latest News to Know, why not take a look to see what you’ve missed?