Stem Cell Cloning

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Good News Bad News – Therapeutic Cloning of Stem Cells


copied cause these things have a habit of disappearing over time)

Govt. funds controversial stem cell work

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document.write(‘Monday, September 29, 2003 Posted: 4:46 PM EDT (2046 GMT)

Monday, September 29, 2003 Posted: 4:46 PM EDT (2046

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Saying
the research offers huge potential, the U.S. government announced three small
grants on Monday for researchers to examine human embryonic stem cells.

Work using the cells is controversial because opponents say it is unethical
to work on human embryos, however tiny. President George W. Bush agrees and has
strictly limited federal funding for the work to batches of cells that existed
as of August 2001.

The National Institutes of Health announced it was giving $6.3 million over
three years to three centers to work on their stem cells — the University of
Wisconsin’s WiCell Institute; the University of Washington Seattle and the
associated Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; and the University of
Michigan Medical School.

"America’s scientists need powerful tools to find better ways to
diagnose and treat health problems," Health and Human Services Secretary
Tommy Thompson said in a statement.

"Understanding the biology of stem cells can help fill in the blanks
about what causes cells to misbehave in disease."

Stem cells taken from tiny embryos just a few days old have the potential to
form any kind of cell, tissue or organ in the body.

Scientists hope to learn how to direct their development, with the eventual
aim of personally tailored treatment for patients with a range of diseases from
juvenile diabetes to Parkinson’s. The cells could also treat spinal cord
injuries, cancer and heart disease.

Several types of stem cells can be used, but researchers believe embryonic
stem cells are the most flexible. Now they must be made using cloning
technology, but the hope is that by studying embryonic stem cells, scientists
can figure out how to take any old cell and make it perform the same magic.

"What gives stem cells their unique property to self-renew? When, how
and why does a stem cell decide to differentiate, becoming another kind of
cell?" NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni asked in a statement.

"There is so much basic research we must conduct before we can unlock
the potential of these cells and fulfill their promise," he added.

Supporters of stem cell research say federal funding is vital to keep the
work in the public domain and make sure that ethical constraints are followed.

The researchers receiving the grants include the University of Wisconsin’s
James Thomson, one of the discoverers of human embryonic stem cells.

Copyright 2003 Reuters.
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten,
or redistributed.
Stem cell definition from NIH – Start here
if you want to understand stem cells and how they potentially apply to disease
cure.  It clarifies most of the misconceptions.
Very thorough report on the current status of Stem Cell Research from the
American Association for the Advancement of Science. Includes the President’s
August, 2001 decision, ethical issues, who supports and doesn’t support and why. 
Official NIH Stem Cell Research Page

Good News: 

There is a very interesting article in the December 3, 2001 issue of U.S. News regarding “Therapeutic Stem A company called Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) has accomplished what some experts are calling “the hugest medical breakthrough (in medical history)of the past half century – an accomplishment that could cure many diseases of aging and provides hope for people (with immune related diseases). Unlike existing stem cell lines, stem cells created through cloing would provide a patient with a fresh supply of cells with his or her own genetic code” – (hence less concern for transplant rejection). 

Now for the bad news: “it’s a long way from cures in animals to human therapies. ACT’s Michael West estimates that treatments for the average person are still at least 10 years awaY.”

Source Search on First Human Clone – Very interesting article you can
purchase for $2.00 on line. I have the mag and will quote additonal points in the What’s New area of the website.