Stem Cell Breakthrough: Yet Another Reason Human Embryo Source Unnecessary

LA JOLLA, CA, January 6, 2004 ( - Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, announced an alternative to embryonic stem cells yesterday. 

The company research team discovered a synthetic substance known as reversine that is able to trigger human adult cells to revert back to more primitive, undifferentiated stem cell-like cells.  Scripps stem cells were created from adult muscle cells.

Stem cell research is a relatively new and emerging field in medicine. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells, which means they can be transformed into cells ordered to almost any bodily tissue. 

In theory, this may aid in the repair and regeneration of tissues previously thought irreparable; for instance, the brain in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, or heart tissue in heart attack sufferers, and so on.  Dr. Peter Hollands, an embryologist who now runs an umbilical cord blood bank in the Toronto area says that “common sense” dictates that resources be directed toward adult over embryonic stem cell research.”

“Embryonic stem cells have many legal, moral, ethical and religious objections before even the practicalities of obtaining the cells, growing them, storing them and not least transplanting them are addressed,” Dr. Hollands told in an interview. “Adult and umbilical cord blood stem cells are readily available, have no objections associated with them and are tried and tested in clinical use. Umbilical cord blood stem cells, for example, have been used over 3000 times for 45 different diseases!” 

Adult stem cells to date have been harvested from bone marrow - a source that is painful and difficult to extract.  This new advance would mean an improved, simpler source of stem cells and as well, an end to embryonic cells and the killing necessary to create them.  

Read previous related LifeSiteNews reports: 

Blood, Not Babies, Viable Source for Stem Cells

Toronto Group Finds Stem Cells Can Be Grown From Human Skin

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