Human Stem Cells Made From Cloned Embryos
Oregon scientists report breakthrough
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2013 4:29 PM CDT
This undated image made available by the Oregon Health & Science University shows a stem cell colony developed from cloned human embryos.   (AP Photo/Oregon Health & Science University)

(Newser) – Scientists have made a long-sought—and controversial—breakthrough: They created stem cells from cloned human embryos for the first time, reports AP. In theory, the development by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University means that doctors might someday be able to grow tissue from an ailing patient's own DNA, thus reducing the chance of rejection in a transplant. Commonly cited examples are growing brain tissue to help a patient with Parkinson's disease, or pancreatic tissue to help diabetics.

It's "one landmark step in a very long journey," says an expert at Children's Hospital Boston who wasn't involved with the work. The Oregon scientists say they don't think the embryos used in their process could develop into babies, reports NBC News, but the procedure is nonetheless controversial because it requires that the embryos be destroyed. Nature notes that competing technology in the last decade has made the push toward embryonic stem cells less intensive, but adds that the new paper in Cell is sure to reignite the debate. The scientists used eggs from donors, and it took six years to replicate the success they had with monkey embryos. They chalked it up to a series of small revisions over the years instead of a single aha! moment.

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Showing 3 of 129 comments
Chatsworth
May 16, 2013 8:09 PM CDT
Oh boy,the fight to life folks are going to go wacky now.Actually, this is freaky to me and I don't even care about abortion rights or such.I'm sure there will be legislation on this issue in the future.
smartin007
May 16, 2013 5:31 AM CDT
Lots of fear of the unknown. It's unjustified. I think some of these treatments actually already EXIST. How has Michael J. Fox become better/improved from his Parkinson's? Almost unheard of, right? another Michael...Michael Douglas survived pancreatic cancer...(it has a 10 to 20%) survival rate. If they have taken the chance and survived via this kind of therapy, they will most certainly make a true "Pro Life" statement by supporting this cause/therapy. Many have loved ones who can benefit from new treatments ASAP.
DougMasters
May 16, 2013 12:26 AM CDT
Now, just figure out how to clone a whole body mmmkay. And figure out how to transplant my brain in to it. Hey, while you're at it try to figure out how to use those cells to continuously fix our hearts and our brains.