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Stem cells from skin

21 November 2007

A new breakthrough in creating stem cells from human skin could solve bioethical problems in stem cell research

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Researchers in Wisconsin and Japan said yesterday that they have turned ordinary human skin cells into what are effectively embryonic stem cells without using embryos or women’s eggs — the previously essential ingredients that have embroiled the medically promising field in a nearly decade-long political and ethical debate.
The ability to turn adult cells into embryo-like ones capable of morphing into virtually every kind of cell or tissue, described in two scientific journal articles yesterday, has been a major goal of researchers for years. In theory, it would allow people to grow personalized replacement parts for their bodies from their skin cells and give researchers a powerful means of understanding and treating diseases.

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Much stem cell research until now had got stem cells from human embryos, creating an ethical dilemma of having to kill human embryos, and create them in order to kill them.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 22 November 2007 1:03 am

    Nifty. Science never ceases to amaze me. I hope everyone is able to duplicate their results and thereby pull embryonic stem-cell research off the table.

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