STEM-CELL STUMBLER: First clinical trial of embryonic stem cells in Europe +++ Pluripotent stem cells not needed? +++ Children's teeth

Breaking news today: Doctors at the Moorfields Eye Hospital in London are ready to begin Europe's first clinical trial using human embryonic stem cells.

Talking about the ethical issues surrounding embryonic stem cells and how they can be avoided, our film will tell you about the breakthrough discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS). But with this technique came a danger of tumor formation. Yet it has now been suggested that the state of pluripotency might not even be needed...

Last not least, stem cells have recently been discovered in children's teeth. Click below for the full stories.

From the BBC:

BBC/ACTUK medics lead Europe's
first embryonic stem cell trial

Prof James Bainbridge from Moorfields Eye Hospital said: "There is real potential that people with blinding disorders of the retina including Stargardt's disease and age-related macular degeneration might benefit in the future from transplantation of retinal cells."
Read the article (with video clip)

Flickr/GE HealthcareFrom The Scientist:

Skipping Pluripotency

"The discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) in 2006 opened the door to promising research and therapeutic techniques, such as the generation of disease models and the potential to replace cells damaged by neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s. Derived from fetal or adult cells, iPSC strategies avoided the ethical issues surrounding embryonic stem cells. But they retained one critical drawback—the propensity for tumor formation. In the last 18 months, however, researchers have discovered a new reprogramming technique that could avoid that problem altogether: the direct conversion of one differentiated cell type to another."
Read article

From NBC Miami:

NBC/GettyChildren's Teeth Help Stem Cell Research

"In some cases, physicians’ medical licenses have been revoked and investigations of misconduct have been pursued, but the number of fraudulent clinics are vast and growing, offering stem cell treatments for several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."
Read article

  • In our weekly STEM-CELL STUMBLER, we share some stem-cell related links and clips we've come across over the last few days. While we don't endorse any of these links, we invite you to add your comments.