Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Life Links 9/4/07

Britain's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is expected to give the okay for British researchers to attempt to create human-animal hybrid embryos sometime tomorrow. Researchers hope to create this hybrid embryos and then kill them for their stem cells. HFEA reports claim the majority of the public support this research but I'm wondering what "factual information" was given to poll respondents to make them less hesitant.
The consultation, a £150,000, three-month mix of opinion polls, public meetings and debates, found participants were initially cautious of merging animal and human material, but became more positive. "When further factual information was provided and further discussion took place, the majority of participants became more at ease with the idea," the HFEA's report says.

A girl from Missouri has had her blindness (optic nerve hypoplasia) in China with umbilical cord blood. The multi-part article notes the girl has supposedly seen some improvement responding to light and has 20/400 vision. The cost of the trip and treatment was $40,000.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have discovered unique stem cells in human blood vessels which could possible be used to treat muscle injuries.
In a study using human muscle tissue, scientists in Children's Stem Cell Research Center - led by Johnny Huard, PhD, and Bruno PĂ©ault, PhD - isolated and characterized stem cells taken from blood vessels (known as myoendothelial cells) that are easily isolated using cell-sorting techniques, proliferate rapidly and can be differentiated in the laboratory into muscle, bone and cartilage cells.

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