Really Great Stem Cell Research News

Researchers at Harvard and Advanced Cell Technology are reporting that they have been able to turn ordinary skin cells into stem cells by dousing them with the proteins made by four specific genes. The researchers were then able to turn the stem cells into mature cells of various tissues. This work is building off the discovery last year that adult cells could be reverted to embryonic stem cell-like state by integrating four specific genes that previous research had found were active in embryonic stem cells. Because the genes were added using viruses to produce these induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells researchers worried that they might have a high potential for turning cancerous.

The new breakthrough would seem to be an end run around the cancer problem. As Reuters reports:

The team at Harvard University and Massachusetts-based Advanced Cell Technology Inc(ACTC.PK) said their technique involves soaking cells in human proteins that turn back the clock biologically, making the cells behave like powerful embryonic stem cells.

Dr. Robert Lanza of Advanced Cell sees almost immediate commercial applications.

"After a few more flight tests -- in order to assure everything is working properly -- it should be ready for commercial use," Lanza said by e-mail. ...

"This method eliminates the risks associated with genetic and chemical manipulation, and provides for the first time a potentially safe source of iPS cells for translation into the clinic," Lanza said.

"This is the ultimate stem cell solution -- you just add some proteins to a few skin cells and voila! Patient-specific stem cells!"

If this proves out, regenerative medicine would get a huge boost because such cells would be a source for rejection-proof transplant cells and tissues that could be used to repair the damaged organs of each individual patient. 

Whole Reuters article here

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  • ||

    I'm assuming that stem cells made from your own self will be better at treating you than stem cells from somebody else? Less risk of rejection, immune system problems, etc.?

    If so, did withholding funding for fetal stem cell research spur work in other related areas, including this one?

  • ||

    ...their technique involves soaking cells in human proteins that turn back the clock biologically...



    I see a Rejuvenating Bath Oil in our future. A very near future.

  • ||

    Take that, you misirable death pushers.

  • Gus||

    "If so, did withholding funding for fetal stem cell research spur work in other related areas, including this one?"

    You know, 50 years from now GW Bush will be considered on of the greatest presidents evah. Not only for his position on fetal stem cell funding, but for just about everything he did while in office.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Dr. Robert Lanza of Advanced Cell sees almost immediate commercial applications.

    *whew* You know, for a minute there, I was concerned that dumping shitloads of federal funding onto stem cell research just to piss off the Republican base might not be justified.

  • ||

    @Gus
    I am no huge fan of GWB but even if he was the greatest President "evah", the media has already decided to re-write history for us so in 50 years the financial crisis of 2059 will still somehow be all his fault.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    I'm assuming that stem cells made from your own self will be better at treating you than stem cells from somebody else? Less risk of rejection, immune system problems, etc.?

    That's what I heard.

    If so, did withholding funding for fetal stem cell research spur work in other related areas, including this one?

    That seemed apparent the whole time federal funds were not used.

  • ||

    "If so, did withholding funding for fetal stem cell research spur work in other related areas, including this one?"

    So... wouldn't withholding funding for General Motors spur them to an equally successful future?

    And wouldn't withholding funding for an overhaul of the health care system spur the health care system into overhauling itself?

    CB

  • ||

    So... wouldn't withholding funding for General Motors spur them to an equally successful future?

    And wouldn't withholding funding for an overhaul of the health care system spur the health care system into overhauling itself?


    You mean as opposed to the Obama Administration submitting a "Five Year Plan" for government to "fix" these problems? When has ANY government been able to turn massive central control into success? Never.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Damn it! They promised us California voters that our bloated-state-budget-funded stem cell research center would make all the big discoveries!

  • ||

    *whew* You know, for a minute there, I was concerned that dumping shitloads of federal funding onto stem cell research just to piss off the Republican base might not be justified.



    Hugh, I assume your point is sarcastic, since this is exactly the type of non-fetal stem cell research allowed (indeed, encouraged) by Republicans? I apologize for even asking, but I do see so many comments from people who can't distinguish between types of stem cell research.

  • GWB||

    Great news! Maybe now morons will stop referring to people who don't want to kill human embryos as "against stem cell research".

  • ||

    From the article:

    "After a few more flight tests -- in order to assure everything is working properly -- it should be ready for commercial use,"

    Hold the fucking phone. There must be at least a score of government agencies who want to "test" this to make sure it somehow falls under their jurisdiction and can be manipulated for evil government deeds, or to stamp it out before it starts to cure everything.

    "We can't have people living in good health with easily repaired ailments! We need fear of everything all the time, or we'll all be unemployed! And what would this mean for socialized medicine? You mean people wouldn't need us to save them? Kill it. Kill it, now!"

  • ||

    "This is just an ordinary fetus, but to people like me, it's hope."

  • Sam Grove||

    So, can they guide these stem cells into producing any body organ at will, or do they need a "template"?

  • Another Phil||

    Great news! Maybe now morons will stop referring to people who don't want to kill human embryos as "against stem cell research".

    Nice straw man. Jackass. I think I'll go finish eating my human embryo and feta omelet now.

  • ||

    No comments thus far mentioning abortion, the real impetus behind embryonic cell pushers.

  • ||

    I assume these stem cells are not totipotent? That they couldn't be used to replace hematopoietic stem cells?

  • ||

    Bo-oring! Don't you know the only exciting stem cell news must involve the destruction of fetuses? Creating and destroying a few million fetuses to produce enough stem cell lines to be worth much...now THAT would be news! Front page NYT, easily. This? Ho hum.

  • ||

    This report is line with what I have read before, but I am always skeptical of pink sheet companies.

  • Obama||

    awesome, no need to stop smoking when I can just grow a new lung at 60!

  • Another Phil||

    Bo-oring! Don't you know the only exciting stem cell news must involve the destruction of fetuses?

    Not one fetus has ever been destroyed for stem cell research. An embryo is not a fetus. Jackass. Teh libruls love killing babies though!

  • JB||

    Ron,

    I think you missed the lede.

    The funding for this didn't come from the Federal government.

  • Gil Hamilton||

    Cool. Now I can grow a third arm.

  • ||

    Cool. Now I can grow a third arm.

    Not the extra appendage that's at the top of my list.

  • ||

    It strikes me that this same research could yield insights into cancer causes and cures, so I will look for signs of such developments in future reports on this technology. (I realize that cutting out tumors and replacing them with decanted tissues is an obvious application to cancer treatment, but I was of course talking about understanding the mechanisms that underlie cancerous deviations, and finding ways to prevent those mechanisms or their effects in the first place.)

  • ||

    Amazing. Simple skin cells taken from you can be altered to turn into stem cells to repair all parts of your body (yeah that last part trickier).

    As Reynolds says, more faster please.

  • ||

    Although ACTC is currently on the Pink Sheets they are in the process of moving to the OTC Bulletin Board. They are getting all their financial records, etc., up to date.

    That had some serious financial issues about 1/2 a year to 1 year ago but things are improving. They got some funding from a private investor and income from licensing their technology.

    Of course, this is still a small and risky company but things have improved over the past year.

  • bottomfeeeder||

    I am going to be filthy rich off my 35,000 dollar investment. own an EVER million shares at .035
    The PPS will be trading over a dollar fifty in a 5 months or less. 4 years 20 dollars a share. BTW feeed loves Lanza!

    feeed

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