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Big Stem Cell News
National Review ^ | 6/6/7 | Yuval Levin

Posted on 06/06/2007 12:31:12 PM PDT by ZGuy

The coming week’s issue of the scientific journal Nature, made available online today, includes several extraordinary new studies on an alternative avenue to embryonic-like stem cells that does not require the destruction of embryos. In the most important paper, scientists at MIT have chemically reprogrammed regular adult cells (like skin cells) in mice to function and appear like embryonic stem cells. They express their results with simplicity and confidence: “Our results establish that somatic cells [i.e. normal adult non-reproductive cells] can be reprogrammed to a pluripotent state that is similar, if not identical, to that of normal embryonic stem cells.” They note further, “our results show that the biological potency and epigenetic state of in-vitro-reprogrammed induced pluripotent stem cells are indistinguishable from those of embryonic stem cells”. In other words, adult cells into embryonic-like cells without the need for embryos.

This is one of three studies published today showing similar results with this technique. It’s all still in mice, and results like this always need to be confirmed and re-confirmed over time, but this is a very big deal, and anticipation of it has been generating huge buzz in the stem cell world for a while now. The quotes in this Nature news story give a sense of how scientists in the field are reacting. The usually stoic German stem cell scientist Hans Scholer (who was not involved in the study himself) tells Nature, “It's unbelievable, just amazing, for me it's like Dolly [the first cloned mammal]. It's that type of accomplishment.”

But unlike Dolly, of course, this advance could also help relieve the concerns of those of us who worry about the destruction of embryos for research. This adds a heavy dose of credibility to the notion that it could be possible to get everything scientists value about embryonic stem cells without the need to destroy or harm human embryos. In the long run (and it may not be all that long to judge by the pace of progress in the past two years), the big stem cell debate of the past few years may well be made obsolete by scientific advances that get around the ethical issues.

Of course, no one has bothered to tell Nancy Pelosi. House Democrats have scheduled a vote on a bill that would turn its back on exactly this kind of work...tomorrow. Good timing.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: acs; ecs; stemcells

1 posted on 06/06/2007 12:31:13 PM PDT by ZGuy
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To: neverdem; Coleus

PING


2 posted on 06/06/2007 12:32:32 PM PDT by ZGuy (Democrats : Corrupt or deceived. There are no other options.)
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To: ZGuy
scientists at MIT have chemically reprogrammed regular adult cells (like skin cells) in mice

There are a lot of things that can be done with mouse cells that don't transfer to human cells. I'll withold judgement until they can demonstrate the transfer.

3 posted on 06/06/2007 12:33:34 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: ZGuy

If it means they don’t have to destroy babies, the Dems won’t accept it.


4 posted on 06/06/2007 12:34:32 PM PDT by HEY4QDEMS (Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.)
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To: ZGuy

This will mean nothing to the liberals. They will continue to cling to embryo destruction as a validation of their abortion views. This is an issue that will continue to cause rancor and debate, regardless of what science reveals. They will never let go.


5 posted on 06/06/2007 12:36:05 PM PDT by ElkGroveDan (When toilet paper is a luxury, you have achieved communism.)
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To: r9etb
There are a lot of things that can be done with mouse cells that don't transfer to human cells. I'll withold judgement until they can demonstrate the transfer.

How about demonstrating at least one beneficial medical therapy in humans...oh I forgot, that does make them just like embryonic stem cells...except embryonic stem cells have been shown to be very harmful to human patients. Are we sure these kinds of cells would be just as harmful in terms of cancer and rejection.

6 posted on 06/06/2007 12:43:00 PM PDT by AndyTheBear (Disastrous social experimentation is the opiate of elitist snobs.)
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To: ZGuy
The embryonic stem cell debate was bogus from the beginning. There are many ways to obtain undifferentiated cells. Killing a fetus is just one of them.

The real agenda was to give abortion a false aura of necessity.

7 posted on 06/06/2007 12:45:22 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("All the measures of the law should protect property and punish plunder." --Frederic Bastiat)
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To: ZGuy

If true, this is great news!


8 posted on 06/06/2007 12:47:18 PM PDT by TheDon (The DemocRAT party is the party of TREASON! Overthrow the terrorist's congress!)
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To: r9etb
Now a cynic might ask what is it that can be done with embryonic stem cells that can't be done with other cells ~ at least when it comes to fixing specific organs or tissues?

Let's start with the "cures" we have with embryonic stem cells ~ I'll let you start actually because I can't find one right off hand. Although I'm usually pretty good searching the net, this time it's sluggish and doesn't name anything.

9 posted on 06/06/2007 12:54:19 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Embryonic stem cells have nothing to do with fetuses or abortion. Embryonic stem cells are created in a petri dish, and harvested when the embryo is abou 4 days old.

I don’t support embryonic stem cell research, but I do believe that we should try to be accurate.


10 posted on 06/06/2007 1:31:57 PM PDT by ga medic
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

By the way, I believe this is excellent news, although I will wait until they gain human results before I get excited about it.


11 posted on 06/06/2007 1:33:01 PM PDT by ga medic
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To: ZGuy

Any scientific discovery, if used properly, is good news.

But this won’t make a pin’s worth of difference, because the proponents of fetal stem cell research WANT and NEED to kill babies. That’s the whole point. That’s why they insist on fetal stem cells and only fetal stem cells.

Their reasons are obvious.


12 posted on 06/06/2007 1:54:10 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: ZGuy
They express their results with simplicity and confidence: “Our results establish that somatic cells [i.e. normal adult non-reproductive cells] can be reprogrammed to a pluripotent state that is similar, if not identical, to that of normal embryonic stem cells.” They note further, “our results show that the biological potency and epigenetic state of in-vitro-reprogrammed induced pluripotent stem cells are indistinguishable from those of embryonic stem cells”.

Hey guys -- Thanks for the simplicity. I'm sure glad you didn't go for the complicated description. :=)

13 posted on 06/06/2007 2:03:36 PM PDT by Bob
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To: muawiyah
Let's start with the "cures" we have with embryonic stem cells ~ I'll let you start actually because I can't find one right off hand.

Right! In fact, when I read the story, all I could think is that the only thing embryonic stem cells seem to do when experimented with "therapeutically" is cause teratomas. This seems a roundabout way to accomplish an undesirable end!

No mention in this article of the many therapeutic applications of adult stem cells -- and NR has in the past been good on that!

14 posted on 06/06/2007 2:10:54 PM PDT by maryz
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To: ZGuy; Coleus; Peach; airborne; Asphalt; Dr. Scarpetta; I'm ALL Right!; StAnDeliver; ovrtaxt; ...
I can't locate the first three references from the first link with a number of search strategies.

Simple switch turns cells embryonic

Induction of pluripotent stem cells from mouse embryonic and adult fibroblast cultures by defined factors

Summary

Differentiated cells can be reprogrammed to an embryonic-like state by transfer of nuclear contents into oocytes or by fusion with embryonic stem (ES) cells. Little is known about factors that induce this reprogramming. Here, we demonstrate induction of pluripotent stem cells from mouse embryonic or adult fibroblasts by introducing four factors, Oct3/4, Sox2, c-Myc, and Klf4, under ES cell culture conditions. Unexpectedly, Nanog was dispensable. These cells, which we designated iPS (induced pluripotent stem) cells, exhibit the morphology and growth properties of ES cells and express ES cell marker genes. Subcutaneous transplantation of iPS cells into nude mice resulted in tumors containing a variety of tissues from all three germ layers. Following injection into blastocysts, iPS cells contributed to mouse embryonic development. These data demonstrate that pluripotent stem cells can be directly generated from fibroblast cultures by the addition of only a few defined factors.

15 posted on 06/06/2007 2:29:14 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: ZGuy
Actually stem cells can be created from our own blood. They are doing it now in Israel for the past several years, using your own cells to help congestive heart failure patients rebuild their hearts with their own cells.

The cells are harvested from your own blood, reduced and refined to provide only stem cells. Then injected directly into the heart to rebuild it. I’ve seen several men who have and the procedure done overseas and it is amazing.

Current studies are underway with at the Cleveland Clinic and a heart institute in Houston. A government grant has been give the Cleveland Clinic to start research on qualified CHF patients in September of this year.

16 posted on 06/06/2007 2:35:42 PM PDT by not2worry ( What goes around comes around!)
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To: neverdem; ZGuy; All

Thanks for the ping. Great post ZGuy. Thanks to all participants on this thread. Very interesting.


17 posted on 06/06/2007 3:35:01 PM PDT by PGalt
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To: neverdem
I don'thave a subscription to Cell Stem Cell but I do have access to the first two articles, which are on the Nature advance publication online page, http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/index.html . I can forward pdf's to those who want them.

Nature advance online publication 6 June 2007 | doi:10.1038/nature05934; Received 6 February 2007; Accepted 22 May 2007; Published online 6 June 2007

Generation of germline-competent induced pluripotent stem cells
Keisuke Okita1, Tomoko Ichisaka1,2 & Shinya Yamanaka1,2
1. Department of Stem Cell Biology, Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan
2. CREST, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Kawaguchi 332-0012, Japan
Correspondence to: Shinya Yamanaka1,2 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to S.Y. (Email: yamanaka@frontier.kyoto-u.ac.jp).

We have previously shown that pluripotent stem cells can be induced from mouse fibroblasts by retroviral introduction of Oct3/4 (also called Pou5f1), Sox2, c-Myc and Klf4, and subsequent selection for Fbx15 (also called Fbxo15) expression. These induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells (hereafter called Fbx15 iPS cells) are similar to embryonic stem (ES) cells in morphology, proliferation and teratoma formation; however, they are different with regards to gene expression and DNA methylation patterns, and fail to produce adult chimaeras. Here we show that selection for Nanog expression results in germline-competent iPS cells with increased ES-cell-like gene expression and DNA methylation patterns compared with Fbx15 iPS cells. The four transgenes (Oct3/4, Sox2, c-myc and Klf4) were strongly silenced in Nanog iPS cells. We obtained adult chimaeras from seven Nanog iPS cell clones, with one clone being transmitted through the germ line to the next generation. Approximately 20% of the offspring developed tumours attributable to reactivation of the c-myc transgene. Thus, iPS cells competent for germline chimaeras can be obtained from fibroblasts, but retroviral introduction of c-Myc should be avoided for clinical application.
Although ES cells are promising donor sources in cell transplantation therapies1, they face immune rejection after transplantation and there are ethical issues regarding the usage of human embryos. These concerns may be overcome if pluripotent stem cells can be directly derived from patients' somatic cells2. We have previously shown that iPS cells can be generated from mouse fibroblasts by retrovirus-mediated introduction of four transcription factors (Oct3/4 (refs 3, 4), Sox2 (ref. 5), c-Myc (ref. 6) and Klf4 (ref. 7)) and by selection for Fbx15 expression8. Fbx15 iPS cells, however, have different gene expression and DNA methylation patterns compared with ES cells and do not contribute to adult chimaeras. We proposed that the incomplete reprogramming might be due to the selection for Fbx15 expression, and that by using better selection markers, we might be able to generate more ES-cell-like iPS cells. We decided to use Nanog as a candidate of such markers.
Although both Fbx15 and Nanog are targets of Oct3/4 and Sox2 (refs 9–11), Nanog is more tightly associated with pluripotency. In contrast to Fbx15-null mice and ES cells that barely show abnormal phenotypes9, disruption of Nanog in mice results in loss of the pluripotent epiblast12. Nanog-null ES cells can be established, but they tend to differentiate spontaneously12. Forced expression of Nanog renders ES cells independent of leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF) for self-renewal12, 13 and confers increased reprogramming efficiency after fusion with somatic cells14. These results prompted us to propose that if we use Nanog as a selection marker, we might be able to obtain iPS cells displaying a greater similarity to ES cells.

and

Article Nature advance online publication 6 June 2007 | doi:10.1038/nature05944; Received 27 February 2007; Accepted 22 May 2007; Published online 6 June 2007

In vitro reprogramming of fibroblasts into a pluripotent ES-cell-like state

Marius Wernig1,6, Alexander Meissner1,6, Ruth Foreman1,2,6, Tobias Brambrink1,6, Manching Ku3,6, Konrad Hochedlinger1,7, Bradley E. Bernstein3,4,5 & Rudolf Jaenisch1,2
1. Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and,
2. Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA
3. Molecular Pathology Unit and Center for Cancer Research, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA
4. Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA
5. Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA
6. These authors contributed equally to this work.
7. Present address: Center for Regenerative Medicine and Cancer Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Boston, Massachusetts 02414, USA.
Correspondence to: Rudolf Jaenisch1,2 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to R.J. (Email: jaenisch@wi.mit.edu).

Nuclear transplantation can reprogramme a somatic genome back into an embryonic epigenetic state, and the reprogrammed nucleus can create a cloned animal or produce pluripotent embryonic stem cells. One potential use of the nuclear cloning approach is the derivation of 'customized' embryonic stem (ES) cells for patient-specific cell treatment, but technical and ethical considerations impede the therapeutic application of this technology. Reprogramming of fibroblasts to a pluripotent state can be induced in vitro through ectopic expression of the four transcription factors Oct4 (also called Oct3/4 or Pou5f1), Sox2, c-Myc and Klf4. Here we show that DNA methylation, gene expression and chromatin state of such induced reprogrammed stem cells are similar to those of ES cells. Notably, the cells—derived from mouse fibroblasts—can form viable chimaeras, can contribute to the germ line and can generate live late-term embryos when injected into tetraploid blastocysts. Our results show that the biological potency and epigenetic state of in-vitro-reprogrammed induced pluripotent stem cells are indistinguishable from those of ES cells.


18 posted on 06/06/2007 4:27:26 PM PDT by hocndoc (http://www.lifeethics.org/www.lifeethics.org/index.html)
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To: hocndoc

Thanks for the abstracts and offer, but I’m only interested in legit freebies.

Cell Stem Cell is slated to launch in July, 2007.

http://www.cellpress.com/misc/page?page=prcellstemcell


19 posted on 06/06/2007 7:24:13 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: ZGuy; 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; annalex; ...

.


20 posted on 06/06/2007 8:11:48 PM PDT by Coleus (Woe unto him that call evil good and good evil"-- Isaiah 5:20-21)
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To: Coleus; nickcarraway; narses; Mr. Silverback; Canticle_of_Deborah; TenthAmendmentChampion; ...
Pro-Life PING

Please FreepMail me if you want on or off my Pro-Life Ping List.

21 posted on 06/06/2007 8:38:51 PM PDT by cpforlife.org (A Catholic Respect Life Curriculum is available at KnightsForLife.org)
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To: r9etb

http://online.wsj.com/article_print/SB118113311623826356.html (excerpts)

Stem-Cell Advance May Skirt Ethical Debate
Scientists Return Adult Cells
Back to Embryonic State;
‘We’ll All Get More Money’
By GAUTAM NAIK
June 7, 2007; Page B1

Scientists have created embryonic stem cells without using eggs or destroying embryos, an advance that may sidestep the knottiest ethical dilemmas that have slowed stem-cell research.

In experiments on mice, four independent teams pulled off a feat that is the biological equivalent of turning back time: They returned mature cells — such as those from skin — to a primordial, embryonic state. Further experiments showed that those reprogrammed cells had the same properties as true embryonic stem cells, such as the ability to turn into muscle, heart, nerve and other tissue types — no matter what kind of mature cell they had started as.

“We’ve shown that we can reset the clock,” says Rudolf Jaenisch, a scientist at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Mass., and lead author of one of the studies, which is published in the journal Nature. However, he cautions, “we’re very far away from this being turned into routine medical treatment.” (See more on Nature’s site.4)

Crucially, three of the experiments didn’t use eggs or require the destruction of embryos, which some people believe is immoral because it kills nascent human life. “This is a startling advance,” says Donald Landry, interim chairman of the Department of Medicine at Columbia University in New York, who believes it is immoral to derive stem cells by destroying living human embryos. If it could be done in humans, “I would say that ethically this approach would be pristine.”

.....

The newer reprogramming approaches could reinvigorate interest in all manner of embryonic-stem-cell research. “States will pour more money into this research. We’ll all get more money,” predicts Kevin Eggan, a scientist at Harvard Stem Cell Institute and lead author on one of the new papers.

.....

“We don’t know if it will work in humans,” said Dr. Eggan, noting that his lab was now gearing up for experiments with human cells. But at least, he says, “we now can use the large number of fertilized embryos in IVF clinics that are routinely discarded.”


22 posted on 06/06/2007 11:22:55 PM PDT by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
The real agenda was to give abortion a false aura of necessity.

Yes. And I think some of them have had abortions or know someone who has.
They are hoping to spread the guilt which results from abortion/embryo-killing to everyone in society.
They think that will free them of their personal guilt. They can say, "Everyone's doing it."

23 posted on 06/07/2007 4:41:42 AM PDT by syriacus ("...had the US troops remained [in S. Korea in 1949], there would have been no [Korean] War")
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To: AdmSmith; Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; KlueLass; ...

Thanks neverdem.


24 posted on 06/07/2007 8:21:14 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Time heals all wounds, particularly when they're not yours. Profile updated May 31, 2007.)
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To: ZGuy

it was a “timing” issue....they tried to pull stuff off under the radar, so to speak!! nothing like bringing a bill up for an immediate vote and not giving those voting on it a chance to read it through and understand it. underhanded? yes! true to form of the OTHER side? yes!


25 posted on 06/07/2007 5:18:56 PM PDT by MountainFlower (There but by the grace of God go I.)
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To: syriacus

#23. amen!


26 posted on 06/07/2007 5:21:32 PM PDT by MountainFlower (There but by the grace of God go I.)
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To: Coleus; cpforlife.org; wagglebee; fatima; Lexinom; AliVeritas; BonnieBeth; kenth; ...

BTTT


27 posted on 06/07/2007 5:23:06 PM PDT by MountainFlower (There but by the grace of God go I.)
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