Adult stem cells go embryonic

James Lewis
And now for some good news.

Eternal youth may be hard to find, but not if you’re an adult stem cell. In a stunning feat of basic biological science, three research groups just reported in Nature that adult stem cells, which can be found in everyone’s hair follicles and spinal fluid, can be turned into embryonic (undifferentiated) stem cells with only a few biochemical tricks.

That means that replacement cells for damaged organs can be made at almost any stage of life development. More specifically, it promises that bald men will soon be able to regenerate their own hair, using stem cells from their own hair follicles. Eventually more complex organs may be regenerated from adult cells that are very easy to collect.

This is amazingly good news. If adult stem cells can be freely turned into embryonic ones, there is no more zero-sum debate about either embryonic or  adult sources. We won’t have to worry about the ethical dangers of fetal stem cell research. As a nice side benefit, this discovery will also pop the hot air of a lot of political balloons from all the demagogues who have been taking potshots at President Bush for restricting the stem cell lines that are available for research. Governator Arnold’s three billion dollar California State boondoggle for stem cell research suddenly becomes irrelevant. 

 
Sometimes science really comes through with a good one. Perhaps now the scientists can just go ahead and do their work without political disinformation filling the air.


James Lewis blogs at http://www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com 

And now for some good news.

Eternal youth may be hard to find, but not if you’re an adult stem cell. In a stunning feat of basic biological science, three research groups just reported in Nature that adult stem cells, which can be found in everyone’s hair follicles and spinal fluid, can be turned into embryonic (undifferentiated) stem cells with only a few biochemical tricks.

That means that replacement cells for damaged organs can be made at almost any stage of life development. More specifically, it promises that bald men will soon be able to regenerate their own hair, using stem cells from their own hair follicles. Eventually more complex organs may be regenerated from adult cells that are very easy to collect.

This is amazingly good news. If adult stem cells can be freely turned into embryonic ones, there is no more zero-sum debate about either embryonic or  adult sources. We won’t have to worry about the ethical dangers of fetal stem cell research. As a nice side benefit, this discovery will also pop the hot air of a lot of political balloons from all the demagogues who have been taking potshots at President Bush for restricting the stem cell lines that are available for research. Governator Arnold’s three billion dollar California State boondoggle for stem cell research suddenly becomes irrelevant. 

 
Sometimes science really comes through with a good one. Perhaps now the scientists can just go ahead and do their work without political disinformation filling the air.


James Lewis blogs at http://www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com