STEM-CELL STUMBLER: From flatworms to stem cells +++ Clinical trials overview +++ Harmful therapies?

Last night on Radio 4, Edinburgh professor Charles ffrench-Constant [yes, that's spelt right] gave a great talk, connecting his school-boy experiments with flatworms to the latest stem cell research by Professor Yamanaka. (Shinya Yamanaka is one of the scientists featured in our documentary.) It's on the iPlayer, so listen to it while you can!

In addition, read below for the latest on clinical trials. And we're sharing a warning on 'stem cell tourism'.

From BBC Radio 4:

BBCCharles ffrench-Constant: 'Regenerating the human body'

"Fourty years ago, as a schoolboy, our wonderful biology teacher introduced me to what I think is still think is one of the most remarkable experiments I've ever done. He gave me a very sharp razor blade and he gave me a small saucer of dirty water, in the bottom of which were some very small creatures called flatworms..."
Listen to the programme

© EuroStemCell:

Clinical trials news

"Stem cell research does hold promise for the development of new treatments for a wide range of diseases. But before new treatments can reach patients, they must be tested in clinical trials. We've put together this brief update on some stem-cell-related trials currently under way or recently approved."
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From The Scientist:

Opinion: Reforming Stem Cell TourismStem Cell: istockphoto, dra_schwartz; Airport:, Ana Sousa

"In some cases, physicians’ medical licenses have been revoked and investigations of misconduct have been pursued, but the number of fraudulent clinics are vast and growing, offering stem cell treatments for several debilitating and incurable ailments, including Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and cancer. These clinical charlatans play on the hopes of patients and families for whom traditional therapies have failed, and on the hype surrounding stem cell research, touting the latest miracle cure."
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