Since then, the cells have become a household word, a source of hope for the afflicted, and a boon to biologists and biology everywhere. The cells, which in nature exist for only a fleeting period before marching down different development pathways to become any of the 220 types of cells of the human body, had been shown by Wisconsin developmental biologist Jamie Thomson to be controllable in the lab dish.
The feat was hailed as a remarkable biomedical coup, a development that would one day revolutionize transplant therapy by making unlimited amounts of cells of all types available for transplant, and as a crucible for drug discovery and window to the earliest stages of human development.
In the following decade, the all-purpose cells have also become politicized and industrialized. In the laboratory, scientists have directed blank-slate stem cells to become blood cells, neurons, and beating heart cells. Stem cells and their derivatives are used in industry as high-throughput screens to test drugs for efficacy and toxicity.
The list of stem cell milestones in both science and society is long and diverse. Here are a few.
-- Nov. 6, 1998: Publication in the journal Science of the seminal paper announcing the first successful derivation and sustained culturing of human embryonic stem cells.
-- Sept. 14, 1999: The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation establishes WiCell as a clearinghouse to distribute stem cells and foster research.
-- Aug. 9, 2001: President Bush announces his decision to limit federal funding for embryonic stem cell research to cell lines in existence at that point in time.
-- Sept. 4, 2001: A team of Wisconsin scientists led by Dan Kaufman announces it has coaxed stem cells to become blood cells.
-- Nov. 30, 2001: Neural progenitor cells, stem cells that have migrated part way down the developmental pathway to becoming specific types of brain cells, are created and implanted in mice where the cells further develop into functioning neurons. The work was conducted in the laboratory of UW-Madison stem cell scientist Su-Chun Zhang at the Waisman Center.
-- Feb. 10, 2003: Wisconsin scientists James Thomson and Thomas Zwaka report the ability to manipulate genes in human stem cells, a technique critical to studying gene function and creating cells to mimic disease in the lab dish.
-- June 26, 2003: Embryonic stem cells are coaxed to become heart muscle cells by a team led by UW-Madison cardiologist Timothy Kamp.
-- Nov. 2, 2004: California voters approve Proposition 71, which authorizes the state to spend $3 billion over ten years on embryonic stem cell research.
-- Nov. 20, 2004: Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle announces that Wisconsin will invest up to $750 million over several years in biomedical research, including new building initiatives and direct support for research. The announcement is the catalyst for the development of the public-private Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.
-- Jan. 31, 2005: Wisconsin scientist Su-Chun Zhang creates the first spinal motor neurons.
-- Oct. 3, 2005: The National Institutes of Health names WiCell as the nation’s first National Stem Cell Bank.
-- Jan. 1, 2006: WiCell researchers announce the development of stem cell culture media free of animal products, a development necessary to culture cells for therapy in humans.
-- May 17, 2007: UW-Madison establishes the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center.
-- June 20, 2007: For the second time, President Bush vetoes legislation that would expand federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research.
-- Nov. 20, 2007: Two teams of researchers, including a Wisconsin team led by James Thomson and Junying Yu, show that skin cells can be genetically reprogrammed to behave like embryonic stem cells.
CONTACT: Timothy Kamp, (608) 263-4856, email@example.com; Clive Svendsen, (608) 265-8668, firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Devitt | Newswise Science News
Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes
15.01.2018 | Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen
New method to map miniature brain circuits
15.01.2018 | The Francis Crick Institute
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
Scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München have discovered a mechanism that amplifies the autoimmune reaction in an early stage of pancreatic islet autoimmunity prior to the progression to clinical type 1 diabetes. If the researchers blocked the corresponding molecules, the immune system was significantly less active. The study was conducted under the auspices of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) and was published in the journal ‘Science Translational Medicine’.
Type 1 diabetes is the most common metabolic disease in childhood and adolescence. In this disease, the body's own immune system attacks and destroys the...
15.01.2018 | Event News
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
15.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
15.01.2018 | Life Sciences
15.01.2018 | Life Sciences