International Adult Stem Cell 'Retraining' Project Starts in England (5/04)

An exciting research project to utilize the body’s own adult stem cells to regenerate areas of tissue damage is uniting scientists in Birmingham, London and Ontario, Canada. The University of Birmingham is leading a three year study with long term aims of helping stroke, Parkinsons and diabetes patients. £401,772 funding has been granted by the Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council and the Medical Research Council. Adult stem cell research offers enormous potential for treating a host of diseases for which there are no cures, by replacing damaged cells… How Adult Stem Cells Saved My Life: A Personal View of the Stem Cell Debate:  http://www.frc.org/index.cfm?i=PV04G02&f=WU04G18&t=e For more information about stem cells, click here. Certain types of adult stem cells seem to have the ability to differentiate into a number of different cell types, given the right conditions.  If this differentiation of adult stem cells can be controlled in the laboratory, these cells may become the basis of therapies for many serious common diseases.  This study sets out to harvest stem cells from brain and pancreas, with the hope of ‘retraining’ them for use in other parts of the body.  Stem cells from these two tissues are being focused on as they share a lineage and have similar characteristics.  Since it is easier to harvest stem cells from the pancreas than the brain, this project will evaluate whether adult stem cell transfer between the organs is a feasible approach for brain repair. Using the body’s own stem cells should eliminate problems of cell rejection, and moves on from controversial embryonic stem cell use.  Trial leader Ann Logan, Professor of Molecular...