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About Stem Cell Research


Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can develop into specialized tissue types. Researchers are investigating how to isolate and culture them, and control their differentiation, in the hope that they can be used to treat and understand a variety of diseases.

Stem cells can be derived from a number of cellular sources: adult, fetal, and placental tissues; umbilical cord blood; and embryos. Stem cells from these different sources have different properties.

Adult stem cells can be obtained from the bodies of adults and children, and until recently considered multipotent, which means that particular adult stem cells can develop into specific tissue types. Adult stem cells have been used in therapies such as bone marrow transplants for years.

Embryonic stem cells are found in early embryos. They are pluripotent, which means they can develop into all tissue types and be cultured as stem cell "lines." No therapies have been developed from human embryonic stem cells, which were first isolated in 1998.

In recent years, new methods of cellular reprogramming have enabled the derivation of so-called induced pluripitent stem (iPS) cells, which seem to have the full powers of embryonic stem cells but are from adult body cells.

Human embryonic stem cell research is controversial because it destroys embryos. Most investigations use embryos created but not used for in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. Some scientists have worked to derive human embryonic stem cells using a cloning technique called research cloning, which raises a separate set of troubling questions.



The Real Deal with Stem Cell Therapy in the PhilippinesThe Philippine StarNovember 17th, 2014There is a big difference between these “magic potions” offered by unscrupulous clinics and the real scientific approach to stem cell therapy.
Evaluating California’s Stem Cell Experimentby David E. JensenSacramento BeeNovember 15th, 2014CIRM expects to be taking part in 10 early-stage clinical trials this year; however, no California-financed cures or therapies have reached the clinic and none are likely to do so for years.
Are All Pluripotent Stem Cells Equal?by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesNovember 12th, 2014A new paper by long-term advocates of research cloning implies that it has no advantage over reprogramming cells.
Scientists Find That SCNT Derived Cells and IPS Cells are SimilarNew York Stem Cell FoundationNovember 6th, 2014Cells derived from these two methods resulted in cells with highly similar gene expression and DNA methylation patterns and similar amounts of DNA mutations.
Can Scientists Patent Life? The Question Returns to the Supreme Courtby Michael HiltzikLos Angeles TimesOctober 31st, 2014The thorny and unresolved question of whether life itself can be patented may come again before the U.S. Supreme Court, if it accepts a motion filed by Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog.
Procedure on Paralyzed Man Stirs Hope and Cautionby Benedict CareyThe New York TimesOctober 21st, 2014The case of a Polish man who was paralyzed from the chest down until receiving a novel nerve-regeneration treatment has stirred as much excitement on the Internet as it has extreme caution among many experts.
Study Backs Use of Stem Cells in Retinas by Andrew PollackThe New York TimesOctober 14th, 2014Since they were first isolated 16 years ago, the progress of human embryonic stem cells has been slow, but now researchers are reporting an encouraging step.
Stem Cells for Diabetes: The Danger of the Word ‘Cure’by Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogOctober 13th, 2014Newspapers around the world widely exaggerated the potential impact of the recently reported production of insulin-secreting cells from human embryonic stem cells.
Stem Cell Treatments Surging Into Clinicby Bradley J. FikesUT San DiegoOctober 7th, 2014How the government, insurers and patients would pay for very expensive new stem cell therapies drew the attention of more than 700 biomedical and health-care executives at the 2014 Stem Cell Meeting on the Mesa.
Biotech Company Regeneus Under Fire For Saying AFL Approved Stem Cell Treatment, Claims Made to Patientsby Louise MilliganABCOctober 6th, 2014A listed company offering stem cell treatments to injured athletes is under fire for talking up the AFL's "approval" of its procedure and allegedly misleading the stock exchange.
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