A South Korean biotechnology company, RNL Bio has partnered with John Hopkins University scientists for the purpose of conducting research on adult stem cell research. Stem cells have the ability to divide into cell types and can be used for repairing tissues or grown organs. Hopkins was a very big attraction for Hopkins. It is expected that the state would emerge to play a leading role in the area of stem cell research. As per Jeongchan Ra, CEO, RNL: RNL is excited about being able to partner with a top-class university such as JHU and looks forward to collaborating with the world-renowned experts at Johns Hopkins. We believe that this is a tremendous step for us in our goal to become a global leader in the stem cell industry. On the other hand there has been criticism regarding embryonic stem cells from religious groups and people who are opposed to it on ethical grounds.
In one of the scientific trials which is being regarded as first for India, stem cells would be used for bone regeneration and the trials are already in the final stages of approval. Though trials have been conducted globally earlier too but they have never taken place on such a large scale. This will be the first time where efforts are being made by adhering to international standards. The trial would be conducted at PGIMER, CMC and AIIMS on around three hundred people suffering from avascular necrosis. Up till now around ten people have been operated using stem cells in AIIMS and in nine of the cases no adverse affect was figured out. Under this stem cells are separated from bone marrow and then they are mixed with bone and then the mix is implanted into the affected bone and it would take around two years for the trial to complete and the patient won’t be charged anything for the treatment.
The U.S. House conceded a legislation that would lift restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research. Thus, setting up a confrontation with President Bush, who was not in favor of it. The research is quite controversial because it involves stem cells taken from fertilized human eggs, or embryos, which are destroyed in the process of extracting the stem cells. Anti-abortion lawmakers and like-minded constituents believe their taxes should not fund such research. While the supporters asserted that, it is done on embryos that would otherwise be discarded from fertility clinics. In addition, they mention the emergence of stem cell research alternatives that do not require the destruction of embryos. Minority Leader John Boehner said, ‘I support stem cell research with only one exception – research that requires killing human life. Taxpayer-funded stem cell research must be carried out in an ethical manner in a way that respects the sanctity of human life. Fortunately, ethical stem cell alternatives continue to flourish in the scientific community.’ Researchers stated the most promising evidence supports embryonic stem cells that one day they might be used to grow replacements for damaged tissue, such as new insulin-producing cells for diabetics or new nerve connections to restore movement after spinal injury.
Here comes a new technique capable of encouraging the survival and growth of adult stem cell! Hats off to the U.S. scientists for creating this technique. This is a step forward towards the therapeutic use of such cells. Being the precursor cells for specific cell types, these adult stem cells can hold great promise for treating injuries and diseases. Certain growth factors – when presented in the right physical context — encourage the survival and proliferation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells that are grown outside the body. This is shown by a biological engineering Professor Linda Griffith-led team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists. This new research ignites hope for a future when stem cells — removed from a patient — could be transplanted to an injury site. This eventually will induce the new cells to grow into new, healthy tissue.
Scientists have found ways to prepare stem cells from skin of an adult rat, without harming embryos. The discovery, which was done successfully on rats, will remove the ethical concerns of using stem cells for various medical purposes. Researchers have shown that it is possible to create stem cells similar to those present in embryos from skin. So far, mature cells were considered incapable of producing stem cells. The success of the research on rat has made scientists hopeful of being able to do this in case of humans as well. If this happens, the stem cells obtained from skin cells of a person will be able to produce cells and tissues that would be genetically an exact copy of the original, dispelling any rejection by the body that was probable for a stem cell obtained from an embryo. Stem cells are totipotent–capable of developing in any kind of tissue present in the body. Such a capability is of immense benefit as they can be used to replace the damaged cells and tissues, thus providing possible cure for several diseases like diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The use of stem cells from embryo had ethical and moral concerns as the collection of stem cells damages the embryos. This many said is tantamount to murder or cannibalism. The new discovery, if successful for humans, will pave new ways for curing several diseases including those which were till now could not be treated. This will surely help cure many diseases and body defects. An advancement in this technique may also provide body organs for transplantation. The possibilities are immense but some concerns will continue to remain. The stem cells could be used rampantly for cosmetic purposes like skin grafts. This may also open a new arena of spare parts for human bodies as is available for machines. This will obviously dent the magical power of life. The cliche remains valid even here – every coin has two sides. It’s all up to us to choose the positive side. Learn more about stem cells. Source: BBC, Daily Mail Image Source: Canada.com