Canadian scientists have produced the first induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from a horse. The cells show all the typical characteristics of pluripotent stem cells, including the formation of tumors in immuno-compromised mice.
Two recent stories are exciting about the possibility of treating young children, even in the womb, with adult stem cells. One study shows that cardiac adult stem cells can be isolated from young children with heart problems, even as young as one day old.
An announcement recently from Japanese universities that they are establishing an institute to use adult stem cells for breast reconstruction is welcome news, recognizing the current uses as well as future potential of adult stem cells for patients.
Using a very roundabout technique, scientists have created mice with two genetic fathers. But don’t look for this to be applicable any time soon with humans. The convoluted technique needs flow charts to explain (thankfully provided by the authors in their paper.)
While the subject of cloning has not been in the news lately, people should realize that there are some scientists who still want human clones, and politicians pushing for approval of human cloning for experiments.
Scientists at McMaster University in Canada have shown that they can transform human skin cells directly into blood cells, without going through an intermediate stem cell stage.
The media have rarely reported on the multitude of successes with adult stem cells in the past, preferring to focus on unethical, unsuccessful embryonic stem cells. So it was heartening to see Malcolm Ritter and the Associated Press put out a story that highlights some of the real successes and promise of adult stem cells, as opposed to the wishful thinking and hype of embryonic stem cells.