Skip to comments.Scientists Use Monkey Clones for Stem Cells
Posted on 11/14/2007 11:05:58 PM PST by neverdem
Researchers in Oregon are reporting that they used cloning to produce monkey embryos and then extracted stem cells from the embryos.
Not only is this the first time such cells have been produced in any animal other than a mouse, but the method, the researchers say, should also work in humans. In 2004, South Korean researchers reported making stem cells from cloned human embryos, but the claim turned out fraudulent.
We hope the technology will be useful for other labs that are working on human eggs and human cells, the lead researcher of the group, Shoukhrat Mitalipov at Oregon Health and Science University in Beaverton, said in a telephone interview. I am quite sure it will work in humans.
The monkey stem cells were genetically identical to an adult monkey, Semos, whose cells were cloned. They are a sort of universal cell that can, in theory, develop into any tissue or organ.
Medical researchers and patient advocacy groups have long hoped to use human embryonic stem cells to study diseases and supply replacement cells to treat them. So far, though, stem cell research has not yielded cures, and many obstacles lie ahead.
An advantage of using cloning to obtain stem cells is that they would genetically match a patients cells, making it unnecessary to suppress the immune system if the stem cells are used in treatment. Cloning could also produce stem cells that genetically match patients with complex diseases like Alzheimers. That might let scientists study those cells and understand how the diseases progress...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
IIRC, the Rh factor used in blood typing came from work with Rhesus monkeys.
I have to wonder, is there any detectable genetic degradation that occurs during this process of cloning? Or does it possibly exist at an undetectable level?
Per many research sources, clones tend to suffer from genetic degradation to the point where it impacts health and directly impacts their longevity.
The question becomes "Are we truly producing viable stem cells" via this method? Only continued research will show one way or another. Yet I'm inclined to believe that stem cells produced via this method are subject to the same problems that the whole, "intact" clone is.
And then we are approaching the tremendous issue about destroying any human life to "harvest" transplant material, be it down to the tiniest cell. Not going there until after coffee.
Just what we need, more monkeys who look exactly alike.
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