Loading
UCLA researchers confirm new stem cell breakthrough

.- U.S. scientists have reprogrammed human skin cells into cells with characteristics similar to those of embryonic stem cells, confirming the breakthrough discovery made by a Japanese researcher, according to news reports.

Stem cells are considered to have significant potential for medical treatments including tissue regrowth and transplants.  While some stem cells can be extracted from adult tissue, others are produced through the controversial process of cloning human embryos and destroying them to harvest their cells.  Embryonic stem cells have the ability to become every cell type found in the human body.

Scientists at the University of California at Los Angeles genetically altered human skin cells using four regulator genes, publishing their findings in the February 11 edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences.

Their process produced what are called induced pluripotent cells, or IPS cells, that are almost identical to human embryonic stem cells in function and biological structure.

The lead author of the study was Kathrin Plath, an assistant professor of biological chemistry and a researcher with the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research.  She described the research in a prepared statement. 

"Our reprogrammed human skin cells were virtually indistinguishable from human embryonic stem cells," she said.  "Our findings are an important step towards manipulating differentiated human cells to generate an unlimited supply of patient specific pluripotent stem cells. We are very excited about the potential implications."

The UCLA research confirms the similar work of researchers Shinya Yamakana at Kyoto University and James Thomson at the University of Wisconsin.  Plath said the studies demonstrate human IPS cells can be easily created by different laboratories and could mark a milestone  in stem cell-based regenerative medicine.

The new technique could replace a stem cell harvesting method called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), sometimes called therapeutic cloning.  At present, therapeutic cloning has not been successful in humans. 

The first study author William Lowry, assistant professor of molecular, cell, and developmental biology, also addressed the findings in a statement.

"Reprogramming normal human cells into cells with identical properties to those in embryonic stem cells without SCNT may have important therapeutic ramifications and provide us with another valuable method to develop human stem cell lines," he said.

Like other prominent stem cell researchers, Lowry claimed that embryonic stem cell research was still necessary. 

"It is important to remember that our research does not eliminate the need for embryo-based human embryonic stem cell research, but rather provides another avenue of worthwhile investigation," he said.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
18

Liturgical Calendar

April 18, 2014

Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Gospel
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 52:13-53:12
Second Reading:: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel:: Jn 18:1-19:42

Homily of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Homily
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: