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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.



'Manufactured' Babies of Same-Sex Parents May Soon Be Reality[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Beth GreenfieldYahoo ParentingFebruary 26th, 2015News of another fertility breakthrough has been getting attention this week, with some saying it will allow same-sex couples to “manufacture” biological babies using embryonic stem cells.
How Much Do Stem Cell Treatments Really Cost?by Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogFebruary 22nd, 2015Part of the way that clinics cut corners to boost their profits is by not following FDA regulations, putting patients in danger.
Meeting Review of Unique Stem Cell Ethics Symposium @UCDAVISby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogFebruary 15th, 2015The participants included numerous patients and patient advocates, bioethicists, stem cell researchers, physicians, attorneys, institutional compliance officers, and more.
Mitochondrial Mission Creep and the Cloning Connection by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesFebruary 14th, 2015Shoukhrat Mitalipov wants to use nuclear genome transfer for age-related infertility. He has joined forces with the disgraced stem cell researcher Hwang Woo-suk.
Stem Cell Pioneer Joins Forces with Stem Cell Fraudsterby Ahn Mi-Young and Dennis NormileScience InsiderFebruary 10th, 2015Hwang said they will place their laboratory in China to avoid Korea's strict bioethics regulations.
Could 'Superdonors' Make Replacement Organs That Work In Anyone?by Luke TimmermanForbesFebruary 9th, 2015Scientists have known for years there are people in the world with a rare gift—their cells look innocuous to the immune systems of many other people. What if they became “superdonors?”
Stem Cell Clinics, FDA, and Giant, Unapproved For-Profit Human Experimentsby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogJanuary 27th, 2015The argument by for-profit clinics for stem cell deregulation and weakening of the FDA’s role in regulating stem cell products is a direct challenge to our system of science-based medicine.
Stem Cell Bill to Thwart False ClaimsBangkok PostJanuary 10th, 2015In Thailand, stem cell treatment is allowed only for leukaemia and thalassaemia. But several clinics with unlicensed practitioners promote wild claims to customers.
CIRM 2.0by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesJanuary 7th, 2015The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is attempting a "reboot" in an effort to accelerate the development of cures, though its critics remain skeptical.
Ten Years In, California's Stem Cell Program is Getting a Rebootby Michael HiltzikLos Angeles TimesJanuary 3rd, 2015The new president of California's stem cell agency is planning to launch CIRM 2.0, a comprehensive reboot of the program.
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