One of the first and eventually most widely available fetal stem cell strains, WI-38 was harvested (in 1962) and has arguably helped save more lives in the ensuing years than any other created by researchers. Vaccines made using WI-38 cells have immunized hundreds of millions of people against rubella, rabies, adenovirus, polio, measles, chickenpox and shingles. WI-38 has helped epidemiologists identify viral culprits in disease outbreaks and understand cellular senescence. They have served as a normal control for disease comparison, and remain a leading tool for probing the secrets of cellular aging and cancer. Nature explores the line's controversial history
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posted by zarq
on Jun 28, 2013 -
An awkward moment at the diner (complete with startled waiter) leads into a lengthy article about regrowing breasts
from stem cells that are themselves harvested from liposuction, the procedure of which has been undergoing trials and continual improvement since 2006. The FDA has yet to approve it in the USA. (maybe NSFW sideboobs) [more inside]
posted by Old'n'Busted
on Oct 21, 2010 -
"Con men used to travel town to town hawking medical remedies said to be made of Chinese snakes. Snake oil
was useless and dangerous. So the FDA was created to put a stop to it and other food and drug scams. But, today, quack medicine
has never been bigger. In the 21st century, snake oil has been replaced by bogus therapies using stem cells
. Stem cells may offer cures one day, but medical charlatans on the Internet are making outrageous claims that they can reverse the incurable, from autism to multiple sclerosis to every kind of cancer."*
Video Part 1
[13:15] || Part 2
[11:49]. [more inside]
posted by ericb
on Apr 18, 2010 -
After recent promising results
demonstrating the ability to change mouse skin cells into stem cells, researchers have replicated this change in human skin cells in papers published in Science
(access to full articles requires subscription) . The White House, somehow, is trying to take credit
for this. The potential of all this: huge.
posted by switchsonic
on Nov 21, 2007 -
has a somewhat technical but free supplement
on stem cells (alongwith a podcast and related blog
posted by Gyan
on Jul 2, 2006 -
"Russian Oligarachs Want Immortality"
. Vladimir Bryntsalov has had a course of stem cell injections and feels no older than 20, though his biological age is about 60. Treatment will cost you $10,000-20,000 in Moscow. In many Western countries, such clinics would not even get the opportunity to open their doors. During a recent speech, President Bush denounced stem cell therapy as "godless."
posted by stbalbach
on Mar 19, 2005 -
Come out, experts from the woodworks!
Neu5Ac and Neu5Gc are sugars found on cells present in nearly every mammal, from chimps to pigs. When scientists altered the genes of mice so that they couldn't produce them, the mice died. However, unlike our closest relatives, humans lack a gene that makes Neu5Gc. The gene is not gone, but rendered silent by a fatal mutation, one that occured approximately 500,000 ago. Now, note that it is illegal to produce any new embryonic stem cell lines. Any scientist will tell you that extant and legal human stem cell lines have been existing in calf serum and often on layers of mouse "feeder" cells for growth. As such, they are immersed in a bath of antigen and if re-introdcued would elicit a strong immune response. I.e. although of human origin, they would be treated as foreign cells if injected. It is likely they would be rejected if injected with today's techniques anyway, but this may represent another significant hurdle for research, one that could be sidestepped with more progressive policy. (Via The Regular
posted by willns
on Jan 24, 2005 -
The False Controversy of Stem Cell Research.
Kinsley: In fact, thinking it through is a moral obligation, especially if you are on the side of the argument that wants to stop or slow this research.
It's not complicated. An embryo used in stem-cell research (and fertility treatments) is three to five days past conception. It consists of a few dozen cells that together are too small to be seen without a microscope. It has no consciousness, no self-awareness, no ability to feel love or pain. The smallest insect is far more human in every respect except potential.
posted by skallas
on May 31, 2004 -
Thou shalt not make scientific progress.
"Medical research is poised to make a quantum leap that will benefit sufferers from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, muscular dystrophy, diabetes and other diseases. But George W. Bush's religious convictions stand in its way."
posted by homunculus
on Mar 24, 2004 -