Human stem cells successfully cloned for the first time
A working process for cloning stem cells from existing human cells has finally been discovered by a team at Oregon Health & Science University.
These stem cells were created by reprogramming healthy skin cells, a goal that has eluded researchers around the world for years. It’s the first key step in developing medical procedures for replacing dying or injured cells with new ones to stave off disease and age. That could mean growing a new liver, or kidney or heart, in the lab for an organ transplant, or even repairing the brains of those suffering with diseases like Parkinson’s.
The team was led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov from the reproductive and developmental sciences department of the Oregon National Primate Research Centre. He said: “A thorough examination of the stem cells derived through this technique demonstrated their ability to convert just like normal embryonic stem cells into several different cell types, including nerve cells, liver cells and heart cells. Furthermore, because these reprogrammed cells can be generated with nuclear genetic material from a patient, there is no concern of transplant rejection.”
“While there is much work to be done in developing safe and effective stem cell treatments, we believe this is a significant step forward in developing the cells that could be used in regenerative medicine.”
The technique Mitalipov and his team used is called “somatic cell nuclear transfer” — as you can see in the video, it essentially involves sucking out the DNA from an adult cell and inserting it into the empty nucleus of a donor egg. This creates a clone of the original cell, and is in fact the first step in the cloning method used to create animal clones like Dolly the sheep.
However, in its therapeutic mode, the new cells can be grown as replacements for the original type of cell. That objective hasn’t been reached until now as human eggs are extremely fragile compared to many of the animals which we have cloned. That Mitalipov and team have succeeded is down to research on primates, and adapting primate stem cell research to humans.
As a cell divides after fertilisation, it undergoes several transformations as it prepares to split and multiply. The metaphase is the moment just before a cell splits, as the chromosomes align alongside each other in the very centre of the cell so that, when it splits, one goes one way as another goes the other, each taking the full copy of the genetic code. The researchers managed to stall the metaphase while the cell underwent nuclear transfer, effectively giving the new chromosomes time to get settled before the metaphase finished and cell division proceeded.
An added bonus is that the eggs used have not been fertilised, so there won’t be any debates over the ethics of embryonic stem cells as we have seen in the US in the past. While the researchers placed skin cell nuclei into the receptor egg cells, the method is conceivably similar for any other kind of cell.
And, while it may sounds like the first step towards a practical method for cloning humans, the Mitalipov has made it clear that’s not the aim. “Our research is directed toward generating stem cells for use in future treatments to combat disease. While nuclear transfer breakthroughs often lead to a public discussion about the ethics of human cloning, this is not our focus, nor do we believe our findings might be used by others to advance the possibility of human reproductive cloning.”
The research has been published in the journal Cell.
Can someone from the sciencey side of tumblr please explain this ?
This is called shape memory. It’s made from an alloy of titanium and nickel (I believe it’s called nitinol). It has the ability to “remember” the shape it’s taken.
When cold you can bend it whatever which way, but once you heat it (or in this case put it in what I presume is hot water) it will take the original shape.
— June 23, 2013
Be sure to look out for the Moon these next few months as it approaches Perigee, because the full moons during these times will appear exceptionally large. The Moon will be at its Perigee, or closest approach, in July 23 and it will reach full moon only a few minutes after it passes this point in its orbit.
These ‘super moons’ not only appear larger because they are physically closer but, combined with a full moon, the mind can play tricks on you to think they are much larger. This phenomena is called the Moon Illusion. Try to catch these full moons as they rise/set because the illusion works when there is an object in the foreground, like a tree, building or mountains.
Stargazing Events for 2013
I & my cousins may be pissing ourselves…
sona-the-pony asked: I wanna fuck your oc. O3O
(Source: thranduilwhispers, via ariyous-dusk-mod)
(Source: oratorasaurus, via trentmeow-deactivated20130322)
(Source: angelclark, via ariyous-dusk-mod)
ipaintyouwings:Message from David Karp
everyone needs to read this.
Plus both our logos end in punctuation!
you can walk diagonally in pokemon x and y
“let me like that post so i can look at it again sometime!”
I know how you feel
Honey Dip Vector
A news station was interviewing a man who lived near a dangerous intersection. It is known for an inordinate number of car crashes.
HE JUST KIND OF STEPS BACK
“oh see there you go son”
BALLS OF NONCHALANT STEEL
“See, now this is the kinda shit I’m talking about…”
(Source: deadmutation, via brainrainbows)