Location: St. Cloud, Minnesota, United States

I have a bacheolors degrees in biology (genetics research and cell biology) and philosphy (ethics) and a minor in Chemistry. Specifically in genetics and biomedical ethics. I used to teach kids robotics and cell biology (on the side), while I did computing for Cray Researc/SGI/Cray Inc by day.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Stem Cell research vs embroynic stem cell research

Stem Cell research is not banned in the US. In fact this is the first president that funded Stem Cell research. Adult stem cell research is active and even shows some promise.

Embroynic stem cell research is being done, and is also not banned. But it not funded by the federal goverment. Private industry is free to fund it, but currently it does not hold as much promise. Perhaps partially due to the number of ethical concerns involved. There is some research that indicates some progress in congenital heart defects with embryonic stem cells, but the question is could it be done with adult stem cells.

Even stem cells from adipose tissue (Fat) can be used, which we know we have a ample supply.. sigh... :). Umbilical cords are another good source for very early stem cells.

Here is a nice list of current treatments available, adult stem cells versus embryonic stem cell

However, that said.. I understand there are conviences and potential for embryonic cells. And in fact.. at least some money has gone from NIH in the form of grants to distribute existing embryonic stem cell lines. The WARF got $1.7 million. I see 22 to 29 lines of embryonic stem cells currently registered at NIH. Out of the original what looks like 7 cell lines. I saw 22 to 29 since some are not shipping, some withdrawn and others failed to expand into undifferentiated cell cultures. These lines can be reproduced and modified, so new lines based on these can be created.

Other options maybe in the future saving umbilical cord tissue and use that for the individual, potentially inserting a missing gene or repairing an current gene for areas of enzyme deficiancies.


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