Monday, October 23, 2006

Embryonic stem cells cause tumors - what? Don't tell the media.

Why hasn't this story about embryonic stem cells causing tumors in rats with a syndrome similar to Parkinson's disease received more American media attention? As of this posting the Washington Post, ABC News, the Arizona Daily Star, and the Canton Repository were the only American papers covering this story according to a search of Google news. What would the coverage be like if the stem cells hadn't formed tumors?
The new cells integrated into the animals' brains and produced copious amounts of dopamine. As a result, the animals' motor coordination improved almost to the point of being normal, according to the report in yesterday's online edition of the journal Nature Medicine.

But when the animals were autopsied after three months and their brains were examined microscopically, the team found multiple tumors, indicating that some of the injected cells did not settle into the job of being neurons but rather had begun to grow uncontrollably.

No comments:

Post a Comment