Thursday, August 07, 2008

More disease-specific iPS cell lines

Harvard researchers have now created 20 different disease-specific induced pluripotent stem cell lines. From the story:
U.S. stem cell experts have produced a library of the powerful cells using ordinary skin and bone marrow cells from patients, and said on Thursday they would share them freely with other researchers.

They used a new method to re-program ordinary cells so they look and act like embryonic stem cells -- the master cells of the body with the ability to produce any type of tissue or blood cell.

The new cells come from patients with 10 incurable genetic diseases and conditions, including Parkinson's, the paralyzing disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, juvenile diabetes and Down's Syndrome.

Meanwhile, George Daley has joined Kevin Eggan on the "we'll say ridiculous crap about cloning" train.
While the cells are an alternative to the more controversial embryonic stem cells, taken from a human embryo, Daley and Melton are adamant that they do not replace them.

For one thing, viruses are used to carry the transformative genes to make the iPS cells. Daley says cloning technology is still superior. "The egg does it faster and better," he said.
What???? So says the guy who doesn't have a single stem cell line created from a cloned human embryo. It's going to start to get real hard for human cloning proponents like Daley and Eggan to not get laughed when they continue to act like human cloning experiments are still worthwhile.

Also of note, the Washington Post write-up has a quote from Doug Melton saying the cell will be provided to researchers "virtually free."

No comments:

Post a Comment