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, firstname.lastname@example.org; Clive Svendsen, (608) 265-8668, email@example.com
Terry Devitt | Newswise Science News
Inactivate vaccines faster and more effectively using electron beams
23.03.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP
Hunting pathogens at full force
22.03.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
23.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
23.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences