May 2008: Stem Cell & Cloning Research

Scientists Turn Ethical iPSC "Embryonic-Like" Stem Cells Into Heart & Blood Cells 'Dolly the Sheep' Cloner Eyeing Joint Study with iPS Cell Inventor World's First Cloned Dog Will Participate in First Breeding NEW! Genetically Altered Embryo Points to Human Cloning Concerns… SCIENTISTS TURN ETHICAL iPSCs INTO HEART & BLOOD CELLS. Stem cell researchers continue to make progress with induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells, which are embryonic-like stem cells that don't require the destruction of human life to obtain. After their discovery last year, pro-life groups hailed the cells as an ethical alternative to embryonic stem cell research. The UCLA researchers that have advanced the use of the iPS cells before were able progress further and grow functioning heart and blood cells. They said the success is the first time iPS cells have been differentiated into the three types of cardiovascular cells needed to repair heart and blood vessels. Dr. Robb MacLellan, the senior author of the study, published in the May 2008 edition of the medical journal Stem Cells, says the discovery could one day lead to clinical trials of new treatments for people who suffer heart attacks, have atherosclerosis or are in heart failure. He also said the ethical cells don't present the same problems as the use of embryonic stem cells — that have issues with growing tumors and immune systems rejecting them. “I believe iPS cells address many of the shortcomings of human embryonic stem cells and are the future of regenerative medicine,” he said. “I’m hoping that these scientific findings are the first step towards one day developing new therapies that I can...

Embryonic Stem Cell Research Likely Won't Cure Any Diseases (6/04)

Embryonic Stem Cell Research Likely Won’t Cure Any Diseasesby Wesley Smith LifeNews.com Note: Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute and a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture. His next book, to be published in the fall, is Consumer’s Guide to a Brave New World. Ian Wilmut, co-creator of Dolly the cloned sheep, wants your tax dollars to pay Big Biotech and their business partners in elite university life-science departments to conduct research into human cloning. Wilmut dropped this little bon mot to the London Telegraph while on his way to the United Nations to lobby against a pending international protocol that would outlaw all human-somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) cloning. He took the opportunity of being interviewed to grouse that America’s refusal to publicly fund research into human cloning is stifling science and slowing the development of new medical cures. Wilmut’s complaint is part of an intense public-relations campaign intended to pressure federal and state governments to publicly fund human cloning.   Yet only three years ago, during the great stem-cell debate of 2001, biotech advocates assured a wary nation that they only wanted taxpayers to pay for embryonic-stem-cell research (ESCR) that would be strictly limited to using embryos leftover from in-vitro-fertilization treatments. After a protracted political struggle, President Bush partially accommodated the request by allowing federal funding on embryonic stem-cell lines already in existence as of August 9, 2001. But now, we are being told that ESCR alone won’t lead to treatments for degenerative diseases and disabilities such as Parkinson’s, spinal-cord injury, Lou Gehrig’s disease, juvenile diabetes, and the like. It...