This could be the most amazing feat conducted this year in the lab. It’s been referred to as a miracle in cell biology and could be the discovery of the decade. Canadian scientists have discovered a way to transform human skin cells into blood cells without the need for embryonic stem cells or adult stem cells. Reprogrammed adult stem cells (iPS) have failed in its ability to be transplanted and very difficult to produce blood cells from.
Bypassing the stem cell stage entirely, these scientists were able to produce large quantities of blood cells with young or older patients. Does this new discovery open the door for other types of cells? Science Daily reports…
“We have shown this works using human skin. We know how it works and believe we can even improve on the process,” said Bhatia. “We’ll now go on to work on developing other types of human cell types from skin, as we already have encouraging evidence. The discovery was replicated several times over two years using human skin from both young and old people to prove it works for any age of person.”
This new discovery offers hope for cancer patients who may no longer need a bone marrow transplant that needs to be perfectly matched. Also, for patients who need transfusions for surgery! Not only that but by bypassing the pluripotent stem cell stage would avoid any safety concerns that might come up. This is welcoming news for those of us who value human life by not requiring a terrible way to harvest embryonic stem cells and the inefficiency conversion results trying to produce blood cells with possible system complications such as rejection of foreign biological material.
Hopefully we will see even more innovations in this line of research later this year or next. While there has been much debate over stem cell research through the years even some in the United States have voted in their candidate because of this particular issue, and science journals like Nature before the election which was the result of fear concerning Republicans obtaining more power in Congress. But the fact remains, major breakthroughs are coming from this area of science not embryonic stem cells nor Darwianism for that matter!