Human Exceptionalism

Lead Into Gold: IPSC Researchers Create Disease-Specific Cells for Study

Breakthroughs continue to be made in the IPSC arena. One of the primary purposes for therapeutic cloning was supposed to be the ability to create pluripotent embryonic stem cell lines for study from patients with specific diseases. No cloned embryonic stem cells yet at all, but the IPSC lines are being made for just that purpose. From the story in Cell:

Tissue culture of immortal cell strains from diseased patients is an invaluable resource for medical research but is largely limited to tumor cell lines or transformed derivatives of native tissues. Here we describe the generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from patients with a variety of genetic diseases with either Mendelian or complex inheritance; these diseases include adenosine deaminase deficiency-related severe combined immunodeficiency (ADA-SCID), Shwachman-Bodian-Diamond syndrome (SBDS), Gaucher disease (GD) type III, Duchenne (DMD) and Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD), Parkinson disease (PD), Huntington disease (HD), juvenile-onset, type 1 diabetes mellitus (JDM), Down syndrome (DS)/trisomy 21, and the carrier state of Lesch-Nyhan syndrome. Such disease-specific stem cells offer an unprecedented opportunity to recapitulate both normal and pathologic human tissue formation in vitro, thereby enabling disease investigation and drug development.

And not an embryo destroyed, nor a woman’s eggs procured risking her health. Quick: Somebody tell Senator Joe Biden!

HT: Don Nelson