US scientists identify brain stem cells, strengthens case for adult stem-cell research

.- American scientists say they have found a way to identify brain stem cells and make them multiply to treat degenerative brain diseases like Parkinson's and Huntington's. The research was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In treating these diseases, the stem cells could come from the patient himself. While scientists have been working on mice, they believe the research can be transferred to humans.

"We've isolated for the first time what appears to be the true candidate stem cell," said Dennis Steindler of the University of Florida, who worked on the study.

Steindler said researchers employed a method called live-cell microscopy, which uses a special microsope us to watch living cells over long periods of time. Through this method, Steindler said researchers witnessed the stem cell give rise to new neurons, reported Reuters.

Researchers have said they are also able to freeze the stem cells. When they are needed, they can be thawed and the cell-generating process can begin.

They also believe the cells may play an important role in cancer treatment.

The new discovery strengthens the case in favor of adult stem-cell research over embryonic stem-cell research.

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