Stem cells cloned from human adults may lead to patient-specific medical treatment

A team of scientists have used cloning methods to produce stem cells from the skin cells of adult patients. To do this, researchers extracted DNA from the cells of two adult males, aged 35 and 75. The DNA was then fused with human eggs donated by four adult women. The study, published in the scientific journal Cell, shows that it might be possible for scientists to grow patient-specific cells to treat illnesses such as heart disease or even blindness.

This marks only the second time human stem cells have been cloned, and the first time cells from an adult have been successfully copied. The first such procedure, performed last year, was completed using cells from infants, which are considered more malleable. The scientists involved in the new study, based in Los Angeles and South Korea, showed that the cells they harvested could develop into any of the major tissues found in a human embryo, giving them the "potential for applications in a range of therapeutic contexts." Therapeutic cloning describes the concept of using a subject's DNA to create stem cells tailored for their own body, cells that could then be used to cure diseases or repair tissues in the original donor.

A team of scientists have used cloning methods to produce stem cells from the skin cells of adult patients. To do this, researchers extracted DNA from the cells of two adult males, aged 35 and 75. The DNA was then fused with human eggs donated by four adult women. The study, published in the scientific journal Cell, shows that it might be possible for scientists to grow patient-specific cells to treat illnesses such as heart disease or even blindness.

This marks only the second time human stem cells have been cloned, and the first time cells from an adult have been successfully copied. The first such procedure, performed last year, was completed using cells from infants, which are considered more malleable. The scientists involved in the new study, based in Los Angeles and South Korea, showed that the cells they harvested could develop into any of the major tissues found in a human embryo, giving them the "potential for applications in a range of therapeutic contexts." Therapeutic cloning describes the concept of using a subject's DNA to create stem cells tailored for their own body, cells that could then be used to cure diseases or repair tissues in the original donor. The US government has banned the use of federal money for human cloning research

But therapeutic cloning raises ethical questions. In 2005, The United Nations General Assembly adopted a non-binding declaration that called for the ban of human cloning on the grounds of dignity. And the United States government has restricted the use of federal funds for research into therapeutic or reproductive cloning.

By fusing DNA from skin cells with human eggs, the scientists were effectively creating a human embryo. While they harvested the cells during the early stages of cell multiplication, the resultant embryo could theoretically have been implanted into a host and brought to term, making it an actual human clone. The authors of the study choose not to address this issue, discussing instead the cells' potential for helping humans produced in the traditional manner.

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bluesbaby5050: Human Stem Cells Cloned for the First Time

An international team of scientists announced today that for the first time ever, they were able to create new human stem cells by cloning older, fully mature human cells. The process cannot be used to create full human clones, as the scientists involved were quick to point out,(Take notice how quick they pointed this supposed fact out to us?) but it does allow for cells to be grown to fit specific functions within an individual's body — resulting in new, patient-specific liver cells or heart cells that actually pulse on their own, for example.
"We believe this is a significant step forward."

Eventually, scientists hope to refine the process to the point it could be used to help treat disease and even create whole custom organs, but that is likely to be several years away at the earliest. "While there is much work to be done in developing safe and effective stem cell treatments, we believe this is a significant step forward in developing the cells that could be used in regenerative medicine," said Shoukhrat Mitalipov, the leader of the research team and a senior scientist at the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC), in a news release.

The research team was led by scientists at the Oregon Health & Science University, who used a technique similar to the one that created Dolly the sheep, the first mammal cloned from adult cells, back in 1996. In a basic sense, this method involves taking an adult cell from a patient's body, sucking out the central portion containing DNA (the nucleus), then injecting this material into an empty egg cell donated by another human volunteer. The genetic material from the adult cell tells the empty egg cell what type it should mature into.
Genetic material tells the empty cell what to mature into. http://vimeo.com/66012007 (I have my doubts of this being the first time with this stem cell accomplishment, and that they have been able to clone humans, and animals for some time now, and this is just my opinion).

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