Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Research marks giant step in potential of using stem cells to treat human disorders


Nuclear transfer yields immune-matched human embryonic stem cell lines from patients with spinal cord injury, juvenile diabetes and immune deficiency

Research from the Republic of Korea’s Seoul National University published in this week’s edition of Science represents a major advance in the science of using stem cells to repair damage caused by human disease and injury, according to Gerald Schatten, Ph.D., professor and vice chair of research development in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a co-author on the Korean study.

"What the study shows is that stem cells can be made that are specific to patients regardless of age or sex and that these cells are identical genetic matches to the donor," said Dr. Schatten, who also is director of the Pittsburgh Development Center (PDC) at the Magee-Womens Research Institute and a professor of cell biology and physiology at the School of Medicine. "If they can be safely used in transplant, the promise for effective treatment – perhaps even cure – of devastating diseases and injuries comes within reach."

Researchers led by Woo Suk Hwang, D.V.M., Ph.D., professor at Seoul National University, previously made history when they announced the first successful cloning of a human embryonic stem cell line in February 2004 at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Seattle. Dr. Hwang and his colleagues have since refined their techniques, making astonishing progress in just one year, said Dr. Schatten, who acted as an advisor to the Korean lab for the purposes of data analysis, interpretation and preparation of an English-language manuscript on the landmark study.

As Dr. Hwang and his colleagues report, 18 women donated 185 eggs specifically for research purposes at Hanyang University Hospital in Seoul. Of these, 125 came from 10 women under the age of 30. To obtain somatic cells, the researchers recruited 11 donors, who included males and females ranging in age from 2 to 56. In the case of minors, parental consent was obtained. A somatic cell is any cell in the body other than sperm or egg cells. Among somatic cell donors were individuals who had juvenile diabetes, spinal cord injury and a genetic immune deficiency called congenital hypogammaglobulinemia, which can lead to an increased risk of infections.

Using these resources, 11 lines of human embryonic stem cells were derived through nuclear transfer. Somatic cells used from donor patients were grown from skin biopsies. These 11 lines were established from 31 artificially engineered cell constructs created by nuclear transfer. An average of 17 eggs were used for each stem cell line.

Neither sex nor age of the nuclear donor appeared to influence success in deriving embryonic stem cell lines. However, eggs donated by younger women showed a higher rate of success than those from older women. Among egg donors under 30, an average of less than 14 eggs were used to generate a stem cell line.

"This research is doubly important because it shows that efficient patient-specific cellular models of human disease can be developed and studied with more precision than ever before," said Dr. Schatten, whose own cloning work is confined to non-human primates. "With the promise of curing devastating disease and reversing injuries that cause so much human suffering, isn’t it a moral obligation for scientists to continue this avenue of research responsibly?"

Dedicated to sound and responsible medical research and collaboration, the Pittsburgh Development Center of Magee-Womens Research Institute explores the molecular biology of cell function to determine the origins of developmental diseases, the causes and prevention of adverse pregnancy outcomes and the potential of stem cells for treating human disease.

Among its other strengths, the PDC is emerging as a world center for the study of stem cells, which are precursor cells with the ability to grow into any tissue and have the capability for treating a variety of human diseases. Before stem cell treatments are developed, PDC researchers will determine the best conditions in which to grow these precious cells. PDC researchers will demonstrate their safety and effectiveness in the laboratory before patients receive stem cell treatments.

Michele D. Baum | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>