Jump to content
N*Raged Forums

bye, bye, daddy.


Recommended Posts

Stem cells from embryo created without sperm


US scientists have isolated stem cells from monkey embryos created using only an egg. They then coaxed these stem cells into taking on the characteristics of neurons, heart muscle and other tissue types.


The embryos were generated through a process called parthenogenesis, in which the egg is never fertilized, but instead duplicates one set of chromosomes. That duplication is lethal, because two maternal sets of chromosomes are incompatible. But the so-called "parthenote" that results still develops far enough so that the equivalent of embryonic stem cells can be harvested from it.


The breakthrough by researchers at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, in North Carolina, and Advanced Cell Technology in Massachusetts, was first reported in New Scientist in October 2001. It provides a way of obtaining embryonic stem cells (ESCs) without destroying a potential life.


Research involving ESCs is ethically controversial, because it involves the destruction of an embryo that could develop into a child. Therapeutic cloning - which would involve creating a cloned embryo of a patient, to act as a source of compatible stem cells for treatment - is similarly problematic.


The new cells seem to have very similar properties to regular embryonic stem cells, the scientists report. They can grow as an undifferentiated cell line, which means that the cells can remain as "blank slates" in the culture dish. But they can also be coaxed into becoming cells with the characteristics of neurons, heart muscle and other tissue types.

No assumptions


"This line seems to be ideally suited to develop tissue [replacement] therapy for neural diseases such as Parkinsons'," says researcher Kathleen A. Grant of Wake Forest University.


The researchers believe there is no reason why similar cells could not be derived from humans. In fact, in November 2001, ACT reported the successful creation of human parthenotes - although no stem cells were derived from them.


The research is a welcome step forward, says Azim Surani of the The Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research Campaign Institute of Cancer and Developmental Biology in Cambridge.


But before any therapeutic applications are developed, it is important to make sure that the cells function normally, he warns. That is especially important with cells derived through parthenogenesis, because they have two sets of female chromosomes, instead of one set each from a male and a female.


Surani did extensive experiments in the 1980s with similar cells from mice. He says it was relatively simple to transform them into certain tissues, like neurons. But he had less success at making others, such as muscle.


"We should be aware that there are differences between normal ES cells and parthenogenetically-derived cells," says Surani. "We can't assume they are perfectly all right."


Journal reference: Science (vol 295, p8)


Link to comment
Share on other sites

i would like to note that Wolfie moved this topic out of jealousy. he is terribly upset that he is no longer needed to procreate.

Not true. It's a rip off to mother nature, to the natural order of things. Thus, it belongs in the rip offs area. http://www.n-raged.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...