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Monday, April 03, 2006

adult stem cell watch

From this article in yesterday's Washington Post:
U.S. researchers said yesterday they had transformed immature cells from men's testicles into stem cells, which they then coaxed into becoming nerve, heart and bone cells.

Their work has not been assessed by standard peer-review processes but was presented at a meeting of stem cell researchers in Valencia, Spain. If other researchers can duplicate their efforts, the study offers a possible new source of valuable stem cells.

The researchers, at PrimeGen Biotech LLC in Irvine, Calif., worked with immature cells found in testes and ovaries, known as germ cells. Scientists have hoped to use germ cells as a source of tissues for transplant and other medical uses.

The findings are certain to be scrutinized before they are accepted. Earlier this year, South Korean researcher Hwang Woo Suk was disgraced for having faked two studies in which he claimed to have cloned human embryos and used them as a source of embryonic stem cells.
Boy, these must be difficult times for all those embronic stem cell research advocates. With so many reports coming out showing the potential for adult stem cells, and the Korean cloning scandal to boot, will they join the adult stem cell cause (at least as an additional cause, if not a replacement)? Or does it take all the fun out of it when you can't destroy some human embryos in the process?

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