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Using Stem Cells to Cure Blindness
Technology Review ^ | August 15, 2006 | Emily Singer

Posted on 08/16/2006 9:15:06 AM PDT by Ben Mugged

Scientists are taking the first major step in using stem cells to replace retinal cells lost to degenerative eye diseases such as macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. According to findings published today, researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle can reliably make retinal cells from embryonic stem cells. The researchers are now implanting the cells into blind animals to see if the cells can restore vision.

"This work is the first step toward retinal reconstitution," says Stephen Rose, chief research officer at the Foundation Fighting Blindness, a nonprofit funding agency based in Owings Mills, MD. ~snip~ According to a paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers can reliably generate retinal progenitor cells, which then have the ability to turn into any cell type in the retina, such as photoreceptors, retinal ganglion cells, or other cells. Preliminary results show that when the cells are transplanted into retinas either in a dish or in live animals, the cells migrate to different layers of the retina and begin to express proteins characteristic of the resident cells, including photoreceptors. The researchers are also developing ways to efficiently turn the progenitor cells into photoreceptors in a dish.

(Excerpt) Read more at techreview.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: blindness; cure; stemcells
Exciting if true.
1 posted on 08/16/2006 9:15:09 AM PDT by Ben Mugged
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To: Ben Mugged

Unacceptable, even if true.


2 posted on 08/16/2006 9:18:33 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: Ben Mugged
make retinal cells from embryonic stem cells

But wouldn't this be creating embryos/humans for replacement parts?

"The term, embryo, is used to describe the early stages of fetal growth, from conception to the eighth week of pregnancy."

..some slippery slope.

3 posted on 08/16/2006 9:22:29 AM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: Ben Mugged

Let the Harvest of Souls begin! -sarc


4 posted on 08/16/2006 9:22:46 AM PDT by frogjerk (REUTERS: We give smoke and mirrors a bad name)
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To: Ben Mugged

Did they even try this with adult stem cells? Probably not. Embryonic stem cell usage is an abomination.

How is a human embryo less valuable than someone's eyesight.


5 posted on 08/16/2006 9:24:23 AM PDT by Integrityrocks
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To: Ben Mugged

To get enough embryos to address the 17 million Diabetes patients alone would require 1.7 million eggs. Superovulation would require 170 million women to donate ten eggs at a cost of $200,000 for 50-100 eggs. Which socioeconomic group will be targeted for infertility to accomplish this one diseases research? These Superovulation regimes have been known to cause Cancer and Lupus.


6 posted on 08/16/2006 9:24:42 AM PDT by massgopguy (massgopguy)
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To: Integrityrocks
How is a human embryo less valuable than someone's eyesight.

It's just a clump of cells like the scraping from inside your cheek, doncha know? -sarc

7 posted on 08/16/2006 9:26:20 AM PDT by frogjerk (REUTERS: We give smoke and mirrors a bad name)
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To: Ben Mugged

Hitler would be proud!


8 posted on 08/16/2006 9:26:51 AM PDT by frogjerk (REUTERS: We give smoke and mirrors a bad name)
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To: Wonder Warthog
Unacceptable, even if true.

Agreed. My hope is if stem cells can be used to cure blindness, the source of those stem cells can be resourced from embryonic to a mature donor. Using stem cells harvested from the patient reduces the risk of rejection of the resulting tissues. Embryonic stem cells have never been successfully used for any clinical trials.

9 posted on 08/16/2006 9:28:17 AM PDT by Ben Mugged (Why is it that our children can't read a Bible in school, but they can in prison?)
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To: Ben Mugged
Scientists are taking the first major step in using stem cells to replace retinal cells lost to degenerative eye diseases

Doesn't mean it'll work (remember umbilical cord blood?) by any stretch of the imagination. They can just as easily take the first major steps in creating Unicorns.

10 posted on 08/16/2006 9:42:49 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: Wonder Warthog

There is a prophecy among Orthodox Christians that in the days of the Antichrist, all of Christ's miracles will be duplicated, except that the dead will not be raised.


11 posted on 08/16/2006 9:43:48 AM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: Ben Mugged

I hope LIONS International does not support this.


12 posted on 08/16/2006 9:46:40 AM PDT by massgopguy (massgopguy)
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To: Ben Mugged
The recent discovery of adult retinal stem cells may pave the way to replace diseased retinas and restore vision.

The article contradicts the foundation's website. The website says,

"The recent discovery of adult retinal stem cells may pave the way to replace diseased retinas and restore vision."

13 posted on 08/16/2006 9:49:17 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Ben Mugged
Please kill your child so we can help the blind see. Sounds like a great idea.

The pro-death crowd is so rabid to have any good news to report about embryonic stem cells, that they hold out all kinds of promises of therapies that haven't even been tested on MICE yet.


14 posted on 08/16/2006 9:57:56 AM PDT by Antoninus (Public schools are the madrassas of the American Left. --Ann Coulter, Godless)
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To: Wonder Warthog

Just so that you all know that there is room for dissention among us on such issues--

I am a pro-choice but hard core conservative. Call me libertarian in this regard if you will. Though I do not personally approve of the act of abortion, I would restrict it in some ways, but not outlaw it.

And in the same way that I would condone the use of ill-gotten goods (say confiscated drug money) to be used for some other good purpose, I tentatively condone the use of embryonic stem cells to improve the lives of the living.

So far, I have seen evidence that these cells can be used for good, even though it is likely that they were not obtained through any act of goodness.

I'm sorry, but I am against many of you here. And yes, it is true that I am not religious, and that seems to be what most of the objection to the practice of abortion is predicated on-- though I do view the Christian religion as a great source of good in the world, and I am in fact envious of those who conjure belief.

I respect your point of view, greatly, but I will not yield on my point of view. You can reply to this post if you wish and I will read them, but I will not reply back, because this is an issue that we can never find common ground on or work out through debate.


15 posted on 08/16/2006 10:49:53 AM PDT by agooga (For they sow the wind, and they will reap the whirlwind.)
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To: <1/1,000,000th%
The article contradicts the foundation's website. The website says, "The recent discovery of adult retinal stem cells may pave the way to replace diseased retinas and restore vision."

The article may be referring to a different study but more likely the reporter is misinterpreting and misstating the facts in a continuation of attempts to show results from embryonic stem cell research.

Many reporters (even for science related journals) are not knowledgeable enough about the science on which they report to describe the research completely accurately. Confusion about the exact meaning of "embryonic stem cell" is widespread.

16 posted on 08/16/2006 11:07:04 AM PDT by etlib (No creature without tentacles has ever developed true intelligence)
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To: etlib

That seems reasonable to me.

Nobody yet has found any therapeutic use for embryonic stem cells.


17 posted on 08/16/2006 1:48:40 PM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Ben Mugged

can reliably make retinal cells from embryonic stem cells. >>>>

killing babies isn't the way to go.

ADULT cells are moral, effective and ethical.

Stem cells ADULT promise cure for vision loss http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1618712/posts
Bone marrow may restore cells lost in vision diseases http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1646976/posts


18 posted on 09/22/2006 10:50:28 AM PDT by Coleus (Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, geese, algae)
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