News Bits About Both Types Of Stem Cell Research

Adult stem cell research continues it’s charge with positive results for this year’s scientific break throughs which we will get to in a moment. Since President Obama has been in office, there has been much focus on embryonic cell research.

The latest news bit about the FDA allowing the first embryonic cell experiment has some buzzing as this news anchor Andrew Nichols from the CBC points out…

“Barack Obama’s inauguration was an exciting milestone for scientists in stem cell research.  Last year Obama pledged to lift some key restrictions.  And today, a U.S. biotech company received approval to test a therapy using human embryonic stem cells in people!”

What is generally misleading about stem cell research is the fact that there are two different types of this particular research. One is of course embryonic research and the other is adult stem cell research. The Bush administration only banned federal funding of embryonic research due to ethical implications. But the new President wants to change it as stated in this report

President-Elect Obama intends to sweep the new administration clean of President Bush’s pro-life policies by executive order. The president-elect intends to reverse trademark Bush-era policies including the ban on federal funding for embryonic stem-cell (ESC) research, and the ban on funding for overseas family-planning programs that offer or promote abortions.”

Former President Bush did not banned embryonic stem cell research all together which prohibit reseachers, just the public funding of it. The good news was, very little takers in the private sector were willing to pick up the lost of funds by the government. Some of that had to do with the results of the research which wasn’t baring much fruit.

But what has been producing much fruit is adult stem research and still is remarkably picking up steam. It has shown the best promise for treatment of diseases in stem cell research…Voted as the number one science break through of 2008, and it hasn’t lost anything in 2009.

Adult stem cells has shown great promise in treating aids as reported below…

Bone marrow contains stem cells that are capable of forming all types of blood cells including the white blood cells that form part of the immune system.

The scientists have found they can import three genes that protect cells against attack from HIV into these blood stem cells in the laboratory. By giving patients stem cells that carry these anti-HIV genes, the patients’ bodies are able to produce new white blood cells that are resistant to attack from HIV and so able to defend the body from other forms of infection.

The trial of the new stem cell therapy was carried out in patients with Aids-related lymphoma as the cancer is commonly treated with a bone-marrow transplant. Powerful drugs are used to strip the patient of their own bone marrow, which is then replaced with cells from a donor.” -UK Telegraph

Brazil has gotten involved with adult stem research in huge way and has been very successful so far that it has now joined an…

“…elite group of countries able to use adult stem cells identically to embryonic stem cells. The other four countries with this capability are Japan, the U.S., China and Germany. The pioneers were Japanese scientists at the University of Kyoto who successfully reprogrammed human adult stem cells in November of 2007.”

While there is excitement by the liberal media over the first embryonic cell experiment on humans, and while the UK researchers are complaining about funding in this area, more excitement in adult stem cell research…

“The UK Stem Cell Foundation and Scottish Enterprise, in partnership with the Chief Scientist Office, have been given the green light to begin trials this month using adult stem cells that could potentially restore vision to patients with corneal blindness. The planned clinical trial with around 20 patients represents a major step forward for stem cell therapies that often take years of animal testing to bring to human trials.”

It is certain a leap forward for research in adult stem cells which continues to show progress in many areas in the medical field ever since scientists were able to reprogram these cells back to their beginnings.

Adult Stems Cells Renew Themselves

Scientists conducted a study on mice which had limb muscle tissue damage. There are adult stems cells known as MusSC which under the membrane that surrounds muscle fibers. These stems cells repair tissue damage.

Scientists used MusSC to transplant into the mice. In order to be successful the transplant had to be accepted by the mice’s bodies. A rejection of the adult stems cells would make the study unsuccessful.

But the MusSC was not rejected, thus the damage was able to be repaired! Quite amazing!

The regenerated tissue, setting off massive waves of muscle cell growth and repair, and subsequently showed that the MuSC and descendents rescued the second animal’s lost muscle healing function.”

“Scientists, Alessandra Sacco and Helen Blau, had genetically engineered the transplanted MusSC to express Pax7 and luciferase proteins. As a result, every transplanted cell glowed under ultraviolet light and was easy to trace.” Science Daily

Just being able to detect the presence of these cells was very remarkable. It’s a continuing list of great success stories of adult stem cell research. Sadly, the new administration coming into office wants more focus on ES.

“U.S. researchers are eagerly anticipating the moment that President-elect Barack Obama takes office and sweeps away the Bush Administration’s restrictions on federal funding for research with human embryonic stem (ES) cells.  Scientists at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) are making no secret of their glee.  “I think everybody here is incredibly excited about the new Administration,” says Story Landis, director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and chair of the NIH Stem Cell Task Force.”

Clearly these scientists have no ethical problems with their obsession with embryonic stem cells. One nurse told me, “well they are throwing out ES anyway, so why not used them?” Adult stems cells have shown and continue to show more progress in treatment.

As I pointed out in a previous post on this subject, embryonic stems cells are money makers for research. Now it appears in more ways than one!

California Institute for Regenerative Medicine which is known as the embryonic stem cell institute approved by voters was given a gift from the State. According to the California’s state stem-cell agency, the chairman’s request for a half-million dollar salary was granted.

With California having a deficit crisis, this news as you might imagine to sit too well. Overpaying people doesn’t always happen in the private sector, it also happens in government agencies.

But anyway, back to better news, the break though in the transplant that repaired tissue was remarkable, and I would encourage any Christian out there who is thinking going into the  medical field, you might want to consider adult stem cell research!

Protein Marker Idenifies Important Stem Cells

A breakthrough in finding rare adult stem cells that are able to regenerate when the liver tissue is injured. Very big news and promising news as far as cell-replacement therapy is concerned and also for those who suffer from liver disease.

“In the future, this marker will allow for the isolation and expansion of these stem cells, which could then be used to help patients whose livers can no longer repair their own tissue. About 17,000 Americans are currently on a waiting list for a liver transplant, according to the American Liver Foundation.”

This promising research is only scratching the surface, there are other areas in which scientists are not sure about. Mainly, molecular targets that are regulated by Fox l1 are not identified as of yet. It’s also unknown to scientist what actually activates the mechanism of fox l1 and the connection it has with the liver.

“For chronic injury, the liver uses a back-up system that stimulates stem cells to proliferate and eventually differentiate into new liver cells. Greenbaum and colleagues found that these dual-potential stem cells can be identified and potentially isolated from other liver cells because they uniquely express the protein Foxl1.

The team showed that in two mice models of liver injury, stem cells and their descendents were marked by the expression of FoxL1. The researchers propose to use this marker to isolate the Foxl1-bearing stem cells and transplant them back into damaged livers to restore function.” –Science Daily

God’s design of the human body is very complicated, very advanced and precise. I believe this new found discovery using the protein marker, has quite a ways to go yet. But once again, and I can help but to put emphasis on this, adult stem cell research shows more progress in treating people than the politically correct and liberal media hyped embryonic stem cell research.

Most of the embryonic stem cells are collected by destroying human life. This of course as a Christian I take issue with. However, there are other means to collect embryonic stem cells. It’s not like true Christians are totally against that type of stem cell research. But it sure exciting to see the breakthroughs with adult stem cells that might one day help treat people in the future and save human life in the process. Lord willing.

New Breakthrough In Reprogramming Adult Stem Cells

As reported here in this blog, new advances in adult stem cell research have progressed. There was a breakthrough in reprogramming adult stems cells back to pluripotent stem cells. These cells look and act like embryonic stem cells. There was a drawback…

Only 1 out of 10,000 cells could be programmed back to pluripotent stem cells. But all was not lost, new research has improved this area…

“Now, a team of researchers led by Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, succeeded in boosting the reprogramming efficiency more than 100-fold, while cutting the time it takes in half. In fact, they repeatedly generated iPS cells from the tiny number of keratinocytes attached to a single hair plucked from a human scalp.” -Science Daily

Mass reprogramming of adult stem cells even from just human hair, has a bright future. However, this Presidential election year has been focused mainly on embryonic stem cell research especially in liberal blogs, we also see it in such places like Michigan University.

But the focus misses an important element, one of which is pretty common knowledge in the field, and that is; adult stem cells are likely to succeed better than embryonic stem cells…

“Having a very efficient and practical way of generating patient-specific stem cells, which unlike human embryonic stem cells, wouldn’t be rejected by the patient’s immune system after transplantation brings us a step closer to the clinical application of stem cell therapy,” says Belmonte, PhD., a professor in the Gene Expression Laboratory and director of the Center of Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona, Spain.”

I debated a young lady on this issue, she has spend 7 years researching embryonic stem cells. She is somewhat of an activist on the blogs who just focuses on her own research. I can understand her bias that is where she gets her income. And the reason why she would vote for someone who would increase funding.  So of course she is going to feel more strongly about it.

But the hype in embryonic stem cell especially for those who have a vested interest, show little as far as treatment is concerned. I still maintain adult stem cell research has provided better results for treatments for the future, it’s more practical, and moral from a biblical prospective.

The research has a ways to go, yet. But I think 2008, has been an exciting year for new breakthroughs in adult stem cell research, and hopefully more will come in the future. I’ll be continuing to follow stories such like these as time progresses.