Category Archives: stem cell news

popular science predictions

Popular Science Predicts Stem Cell Breakthrough in 2013

popular science stem cellsPopular Science Magazine Mentions Stem Cells in New Year Predictions – While not overly specific, the latest issue of Popular Science has the phrase, “Stem Cells for All” on its cover, and predicts that stem cells could sidestep controversy and make a real breakthrough in 2013.

The basis of this prediction is largely due to the earlier announcement that researchers had transformed skin cells into working neurons for the first time. This is significant, of course, because stem cells harvested from skin cells sidesteps the ethical / religious elephant in the room ever-present in embryonic stem cell discussions and funding.

Stem cells hold the promise of revolutionizing how doctors study diseases, how pharmacologists test drugs, and in turn bring about treatments tailored to individuals instead of the current “one size fits all” approach to most treatments.

You can read the Popular Science article here in their “2013 predictions.

Popular Science Magazine


stem cell scientists Shinya Yamanaka and John B. Gurdon

Stem Cell Discoveries Win Nobel Prize

2012 Nobel Prize in Medicine Awarded – A pair of stem cell discoveries some 40 years apart have earned John B. Gurdon of the University of Cambridge & Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

Their discoveries are central to the promise of regenerative medicine and offer hope that human organs can be repaired or replaced with one’s own cells.

Of course, the findings certainly raise ethical and religious questions about animal cloning and the ability of science to create life. read the article: Cloning and Stem Cell Discoveries Earn Nobel in Medicine – NYTimes

Mitt Romney’s Position on Stem Cell Research

Romney’s Position on Stem Cell Research: There is a lot of information online including a plethora of quotes in regards to Mitt Romney’s position on stem cell research. Complicating the issue for Mitt is the fact that his wife suffers from multiple sclerosis, a disease that may benefit from stem cell research.

His general position in 50 words or less is that he is “pro life,” believing that life begins immediately at conception. Because of that position, he is against the practice of abortion or stem cell research that involves the destruction of human embryos. He opposes government funding of such stem cell research, but has said that it is not unethical to use “excess” embryos from IVF clinics.

“I am in favor of stem cell research. I am not in favor of creating new human embryos through cloning.”
Quoted  5-01-2005, National Review Online

Essentially, he supports finding a “scientific solution” to stem cell research that does not involve the use of human embryos & the ethical dilemma that it presents. (including induced pluripotent stem cells & something called “altered nuclear transfer“)

Here are some good resources if you’d like to dig down more on Romney’s position on stem cell research:

“I believe stem cell research is important to our state, for our nation, and I also believe there should be ethical lines drawn on the appropriate type of research. Stem cell research is important, and I’ll support it, and I’m gonna continue to encourage ethical lines to people be drawn in a way that respects human life…” Quote 5-08-2005, Tempe, Arizona

Have you found any more recent quotes from 2012 from Mitt Romney on stem cell research? Please comment below.

Geron Halts Stem Cell Research

geron coroporation stem cell

Geron Corporation

Geron Quits Stem Cell Research – A leader in the field of stem cell research, and in the midst of the world’s first clinical trial using embryonic stem cells, Geron Corporation abruptly announced that it is leaving the stem cell business entirely.

This bombshell comes in the midst of a terrible year for the California-based biopharmaceutical company in which the company stock has dropped about 70%. In the wake of the announcement, the stock dropped to another 52 week low today of $1.58 per share.

The decision to cease stem cell trial, which held promise for those with spinal cord injuries, was reportedly a financial decision, as the company said it would focus on more lucrative projects including cancer treatments.

However, critics wonder if this decision was really based primarily on money. “This company would not walk away from this trial in the absence of an unexpected complication or safety concern, if there was any evidence that it was working,” said Dr. Daniel Salomon of the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego.

Many are left to wonder whether embryonic stem cell research has been abandoned entirely in the U.S. Read the story from ABC News


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Researchers Create New Organ From Stem Cells

mouse stem cells

mouse stem cells

Functioning Organ Created From Stem Cells

Japanese researchers from the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology have successfully created a fully functioning pituitary gland from the embryonic stem cells of a mouse.

The cultured pituitary gland was then successfully implanted into a mouse, (replacing the animal’s non-functioning organ) where it worked flawlessly.

The significance of this can’t be overstated, as what they have successfully created a functioning organ from a group of stem cells. Although the procedure was done with a mouse, this is an important step in the effort to reproduce human organs, which researchers say is still years away. Read this story

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