February 8, 2014

Positivity: Stunning adult stem cell developments evoke hope, caution

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Washington:

Feb 7, 2014 / 04:02 am

Remarkable advancements in stem cell biology are enabling scientists to reprogram mature cells into a variety of different tissues – but experts say these methods should be used carefully to avoid ethical questions and inadvertent cloning.

While the new technology is an “exciting and surprising development,” said Brendan Foht, assistant editor of “The New Atlantis” bioethics journal, “some important scientific and ethical questions need to be addressed” before the technique is applied to human cell therapy.

“The scientists found that the cells made through this technique seemed to have even more developmental potential than embryonic stem cells,” and are able to turn into a variety of embryonic and placental tissue in addition to a range of adult tissues.

“This means that this technique may not just be a way of creating stem cells, but a way of creating embryos,” opening the door to human cloning, Foht told CNA on Jan. 5.

The new mechanism produces “stimulus triggered acquisition of pluripotency” or STAP cells, which uses stressful situations, such as acid baths, to trigger adult animal cells into a re-programed state where they can develop into a wide range of tissues.

Findings were detailed in two papers published in the scientific journal “Nature” on Jan. 29, involving research from the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Japan as well as the Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in the United States. …Feb 7, 2014 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Remarkable advancements in stem cell biology are enabling scientists to reprogram mature cells into a variety of different tissues – but experts say these methods should be used carefully to avoid ethical questions and inadvertent cloning.

While the new technology is an “exciting and surprising development,” said Brendan Foht, assistant editor of “The New Atlantis” bioethics journal, “some important scientific and ethical questions need to be addressed” before the technique is applied to human cell therapy.

“The scientists found that the cells made through this technique seemed to have even more developmental potential than embryonic stem cells,” and are able to turn into a variety of embryonic and placental tissue in addition to a range of adult tissues.

“This means that this technique may not just be a way of creating stem cells, but a way of creating embryos,” opening the door to human cloning, Foht told CNA on Jan. 5.

The new mechanism produces “stimulus triggered acquisition of pluripotency” or STAP cells, which uses stressful situations, such as acid baths, to trigger adult animal cells into a re-programed state where they can develop into a wide range of tissues.

Findings were detailed in two papers published in the scientific journal “Nature” on Jan. 29, involving research from the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Japan as well as the Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in the United States. …

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