Scientists Progress in Quest to Grow Muscle Tissue in Labs
- "The researchers
are now working
on optimizing the growth of human muscle tissue, including finding a way to get blood flow to the tissue, the best source of cells and the best growing medium for the cells."
have used stem cells to regenerate myelin in mice, paving the way for new MS treatments. Other scientists have created mice from two fathers
. Meanwhile, using stem cells to treat paralysis advances from mice
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]
Using a 3-D petri dish,
Researchers at Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island have built a completely functional artificial human ovary
that will allow doctors to harvest immature human egg cells (oocytes) and grow them into mature, ready-to-be-fertilized human eggs
outside the body. (In vitro
) The advance could eventually help preserve fertility for women facing chemotherapy
or other medical treatments that may be destructive to ovarian folliculogenesis. Press Release.
. (paywall) [more inside]
Scientists Repurpose Adult Cells
- "Scientists have transformed one type of fully developed adult cell directly into another inside a living animal, a startling advance that could lead to cures for a variety of illnesses and sidestep the political and ethical quagmires associated with embryonic stem cell research." [nature abstract
, nature writeup
, audio announcement
Scientists have discovered that "endometrial regenerative cells" (ERC's)
-- in other words, human menstrual blood -- contains stem cells
. ERC-derived stem cells seem to have a number of superior traits
to both bone marrow derived and umbilical cord derived stem cells, the previous gold standards: they can give rise to a variety of different cell lines without differentiation, they multiply more quickly than other stem cells, they are able to replicate more times without adversely mutating, and they apparently do not need to be closely genetically matched to the recipient. Now some women have even begun banking their menstrual blood
to preserve their stem cells through a company called "C'Elle: Your Monthly Miracle"
-- check out their FAQ
and online video
. This follows last May's announcement that menstrual blood derived cells can pretty much cure Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in mice
, a disease for which there is no current therapeutic treatment available.
Canadian scientists heal spinal injuries with stem cells from skin
(in rats). "Over the course of their research, the team found that skin-derived stem cells share characteristics with embryonic neural stem cells, which generate the nervous system. ... After 12 weeks, the rats were able to walk better, with more co-ordination." [more inside]
has a somewhat technical but free supplement
on stem cells (alongwith a podcast and related blog
Examining Bush's stem cell policy, two years later.
Kinsley: Put it all together, and the stem cells that can squeeze through Bush's loopholes are far less promising than they seemed two years ago, while the general promise of embryonic stem cells burns brighter than ever. If you claim to have made an anguished moral decision, and the factual basis for that decision turns out to be faulty, you ought to reconsider or your claim to moral anguish looks phony. But Bush's moral anguish was suspect from the beginning, because the policy it produced makes no sense.