More good news for stem cell research
Scientists reported Sunday they had found a plentiful source of stem cells in the fluid that cushions babies in the womb. The announcement may make it easier to sidestep the controversy over destroying embryos for research.
Researchers at Wake Forest University and Harvard University reported the stem cells they drew from amniotic fluid donated by pregnant women hold much the same promise as embryonic stem cells. They reported they were able to extract the stem cells without harm to mother or fetus and turn their discovery into several different tissue cell types, including brain, liver and bone.
One of the more promising aspects of the research is that some of the DNA of the amnio stem cells contained Y chromosomes, which means the cells came from the babies rather than the pregnant moms.
The doctors go on to say that actual embryonic stem cells may "do more tricks" (I swear those are the words they used) than these stem cells, but that these are a giant leap forward, and represent a way around the ethical concerns that currently occupy at least our federal government, if not some percentage of the citizens as well.
As before, I'm amazed that this isn't bigger news...
posted by Brian at 12:21 AM