Stem Cell Breakthrough Spares Embryos

Technique sidesteps both ethical and technical difficulties
By Sophie Goldstein,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2007 5:48 PM CDT
Stem Cell Breakthrough Spares Embryos

Normal skin cells can be transformed into the equivalent of stem cells in mice, researchers report, and the new technique may revolutionize research on humans. Because it doesn't involve embryos or eggs, the process skirts the ethical quagmires surrounding human stem cell research; the easy availability of raw material and relative simplicity of the technique are logistical pluses.

American and Japanese researchers working in three independent groups treated skin cells from mature mice with specific genes, returning them to a malleable embryonic-type state. Researchers cautioned that human treatments aren't close, but enthusiasm is high: One scientist who wasn't involved in the experiments compared to accomplishment to the creation of Dolly, the first cloned mammal. (Read more stem cells stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.