The possibility of using a patient’s skin to generate healthy new heart, liver or nerve cells has moved a step closer after a breakthrough by US scientists.
Using the cloning technique which produced Dolly the Sheep in 1996, researchers were able for the first time to turn human skin cells into “embryonic” stem cells, which can grow into any type of tissue in the body. Continue Reading »
Recent news that Geron has abruptly pulled out of the embryonic stem cell (ESC) business, after having just begun the only human clinical trials with ESC’s, has been met with deserved rejoicing by the pro-life community. While it certainly is a blow to the ESC movement, it doesn’t necessarily signal the impending implosion of the ESC industry.
A District Court judge in the US has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to ban federal funding for human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research. The decision, by Judge Royce Lambeth, is the latest development in the case of Sherley v Sebelius – a landmark lawsuit filed against the US’s state-funded National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2009.
The case was brought by two scientists, Dr James Sherley and Dr Theresa Deisher, who opposed changes to NIH guidelines that expanded hESC research following an executive order by President Barack Obama. This order eased restrictions on hESC research imposed by the previous President, George W. Bush, but the pair, who both work with adult stem cells, argued the new guidelines violated the Dickey-Wicker Amendment. This is a 1996 law which bars the use of federal funds for ‘research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed’. Continue Reading »
After years of controversy, a therapy based on human embryonic stem cells is finally being tested in humans. The treatment holds out hope to paralyzed people, but at how great a risk?
Hans Keirstead wakes up every morning at his home near Los Angeles and checks CNN. He’s looking for news about the first-ever human test of embryonic stem cells, launched in October by the biotechnology firm Geron. Mostly, he’s looking for bad news. “If someone dies, or is in pain, then it’s over,” he says, pushing a hand through his tawny hair. Keirstead, dressed in a loose linen shirt and wearing a thumb ring, is a biologist at the University of California, Irvine, who has variously been called the “rock star,” “miracle worker,” and “Pied Piper” of stem-cell science. Today he has a corner office in a new $67 million research center paid for in part by California voters, whom he helped persuade to vote for a $3 billion stem-cell spending plan in 2004 with a video of partially paralyzed rats walking again after stem-cell transplants performed in his laboratory. Continue Reading »
A challenge to funding of human embryonic stem-cell studies should be dismissed after an appeals court found the government-backed research to be lawful, the Obama administration said.
The Justice Department in a filing today urged U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth to end a lawsuit that seeks to block the U.S. Health and Human Services Department and the National Institutes of Health from spending federal funds on researching human embryonic stem-cells, known as hESC.
Last year, Lamberth temporarily barred U.S. agencies from funding human embryonic research, finding it likely violated a 1996 law called the Dickey-Wicker Amendment. The law prevents the government from spending money on research where a human embryo is damaged or destroyed. Continue Reading »
CHICAGO & MENLO PARK, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Researchers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) recently enrolled their first subject in a national clinical research trial of a human embryonic stem cell-based therapy for participants with a subacute thoracic spinal cord injury. Continue Reading »
In the six months since scientists announced they had infused a drug made from human embryonic stem cells into a partially paralyzed patient’s spine, the identity of the recipient has been shrouded in secrecy.
Recently, rumors began circulating in Internet chat rooms that details about the closely guarded experiment were finally about to be revealed. Continue Reading »
For the first time, researchers are using embryonic stem cells in a clinical trial to treat patients with spinal cord injuries. The trial strives to test whether these cells can be safely used to treat humans.
This initial investigation of embryonic stem cells stands apart from prior trials, which have all relied on adult stem cells. If successful, it may be expanded to larger clinical trials. Continue Reading »