Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Stem cell obstacles

01.12.2008
"There are still a number of major hurdles in the path of stem cell research today that are preventing the routine application of the technology in regenerative medicine." So say UK scientists writing in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Biotechnology.

In an article entitled, "Blazing the trail from stem cell research to regenerative medicine", Jane Bower of the ESRC Innogen Centre, at University of Edinburgh, and colleagues highlight some of the recent advances in stem cell science. They suggest that research in this area holds promise for applications in regenerative medicine, but point out that technical and ethical remain to be addressed. The researchers also discuss the issue of how to patent stem cell discoveries and to make them commercially viable.

Stem cells are immature cells that can replicate rapidly and then mature into the different cells needed around the body to build tissues in the skin, liver, heart, bone, brain, blood cells, nerves. They are present only in limited quantities in adults but are present in huge numbers in embryonic tissue. Human embryonic stem cells are currently the most promising source for therapeutic purposes, but their use has ethical implications.

Stem cell research holds great promise in medicine. Advocates hope that the work will lead to important therapies for tackling major degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer’s, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and arthritis. There are also the possibilities of using stem cells to treat debilitating injuries of the spinal cord and other structural injuries. Indeed, the recent case of the trachea engineered to avoid organ rejection by using a patient's own stem cells is a prominent and early success. Stem cells will also have applications in discovering and testing new drugs.

"Technical solutions may involve the use of human embryos and this has created barriers to the use of the technology in a number of countries," Bower and colleagues say, "There is already a need for the progressive development of appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks to allow both the scientific and clinical research to move forward." The team adds that, "Although public acceptability of the technology is by no means universal, it does not at present appear that therapeutic applications are likely to meet with wholesale rejection."

The researchers explain that while there remain technical obstacles to be overcome in stem cell research, Western scientists are not the only ones working on advancing this field. Scientists in China, South Korea, and India are also taking steps forward, although revelations of scientific fraud have led to additional negative publicity.

Nevertheless, the team believes that if a high level of routine success were achieved outside the West, then this might have a positive impact on the public demand for stem cell therapies in the West and so create the political pressure necessary to address the regulatory, legal, and ethical issues sooner rather than later.

Albert Ang | alfa
Further information:
http://www.inderscience.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute

nachricht Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

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

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>