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July 30th, 2010
02:13 PM ET

Landmark embryonic stem cell study to proceed

The first human clinical trial of a therapy involving embryonic stems cells has been approved to proceed, Geron Corporation announced Friday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had originally approved the study in January 2009 and was scheduled to have begun last summer.

But the plans for the trial came to a halt when Geron discovered that animals in a preclinical study had developed a higher frequency of cysts than had been seen in other studies, the company said in a statement Friday. The FDA placed a hold on the trial. Since then, Geron has developed new markers and assays for the therapy, and conducted another preclinical animal study.

The purpose of this first phase of research in humans is to test the safety of a therapy in patients with spinal cord injury. Candidates for the trial are those with the most severe injuries.

Dr. Thomas Okarma, president and CEO of the Geron Corporation, told CNN in 2009 that scientists would also look for any signs of recovery, in addition to verifying safety, in the Phase 1 trial.

Despite approval in 2009, the plans for the trial came to a halt when Geron discovered that animals in a preclinical study developed a higher frequency of cysts than had been seen in other studies, the company said in a statement Friday. The FDA placed a hold on the trial. Since then, Geron has developed new markers and assays for the therapy, and conducted another preclinical animal study.

If successful, Geron's therapy, called GRNOPC1, may also have applications for Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and a fatal neurological disorder called Canavan disease.

The company can't speculate on when the trial will begin, but the hope is to start this year, Geron spokeswoman Anna Krassowska said.

The field of embryonic stem cells has been highly controversial because the research process involves destroying the embryo, typically four or five days old, after removing stem cells. These cells are then  blank and can become any cell in the body.


soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. Brian-SoFla

    Finally!!!!!! Science is advancing AGAIN!

    July 30, 2010 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SSG

      Really what have they accomplished? Lets see they found out using enbronic stem cells in animals creates problems for that animal. Yep that is an advancement.

      August 1, 2010 at 02:40 | Report abuse |
    • Paul Browne

      Yes this is excellent news, I blogged about this when Geron first announced the trial back in January 2009 http://speakingofresearch.com/2009/01/23/a-new-era-for-embryonic-stem-cells/ and was disappointed when additional animal studies identified potential problems. It's reassuring to know that Geron have put in the time and money to perform further animal studies to determinte if the potential problem with cyst formation was critical. It's best to be as sure as possible about these things before taking a novel therapy into clinical trials involving real patients.

      My best wishes go to the people who will take part in this trial, though it's sobering to know that none of them have yet been injured.

      August 2, 2010 at 03:41 | Report abuse |
  2. mike

    I know right!!! After what, a decade?

    July 30, 2010 at 15:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Gary

    My daughter is hearing impaired. This is great.

    July 30, 2010 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Tom

    Glad moron Bush isn't president anymore to veto it

    July 30, 2010 at 17:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Cassandra

    This is fantastic news! I am excited to see the results!

    July 30, 2010 at 17:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Kyle

    I know there are more terminal illness but I hope that they can fast track diabetese on there for me, had it since I was a child and it is now been 20 years!

    July 30, 2010 at 17:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Mike

    Kyle – Geron is working on pancreatic iselet cells as well. This is earlier stage than the spinal cord therapy but Geron already is able to produce iselets that respond to blood sugar levels and produce insulin. It will still take a number of years but you might just get your wish.

    July 30, 2010 at 20:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Gerald Reynolds

    Stem cells can heal sickle cell anemia in a day when administered correctly.It was done years ago when doctors at I think Mt. Sinai and the only think left to try to this dying young boy were embryonic stem cells.Both parents consented and by the genius of humankind the boy was not just cured but his blood type changed to that of his donor's.......wow.....wow

    July 30, 2010 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SSG

      Those were adult stem cells although embronic stem cells have been known about far longer tha adult stem cells no one has been helped with embronic stem cells all cures with stem cells that have accured have been done with adult not embronic.

      August 1, 2010 at 02:37 | Report abuse |
    • doctor1

      I suggest you read more about stem cell transplants. They are used in sickle cell patients but it is a very intense process that involves the patient receiving significant chemotherapy +/- radiation therapy prior to transplant. It can be a lifesaving procedure but it is important that people realize that the process involves a significant risk of death from organ failure or infection in the peri-transplant period.

      August 1, 2010 at 23:36 | Report abuse |
  9. lineman

    This is the one thing that can destroy opposition to stem cell research – Hope

    July 30, 2010 at 22:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. jhenz

    best news i've read all day!

    July 30, 2010 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Eva

    Fantastic news. Stem cell therapy is sorely needed for hundreds of devastating, debilitating conditions, including many in children.

    July 30, 2010 at 23:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Eva

    PS - I will be the first person in the world to receive an experimental placenta stem cell treatment for a debilitating, deadly and incurable blood plasma cancer. This stem cell treatment is the only treatment that can save my life, and I am only 40. So I know first hand how a small bag of stem cells can be the difference between life and death, and between a healthy, normal life and endless suffering. We really need this, and anyone who has a desperately ill child, friend or relative will know.

    July 30, 2010 at 23:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • giz

      I desperatly hope it works for you!

      July 31, 2010 at 04:29 | Report abuse |
    • predestined

      Good wishes for you Eva.

      August 1, 2010 at 03:25 | Report abuse |
  13. Derek

    Hi Eva, who will be conducting your treatment? Will it be a company called Advanced Cell Technology?

    July 31, 2010 at 03:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Jim

    Not all embryonic stem cells require the destruction of the embryo. Advanced Cell Technology (ACTC) will also soon be approved to start a treatment using embryonic stem cells using a proprietary method that does not harm the embryo. Called the NED (No Embryo Destruction) lines, ACTC is awaiting FDA approval to start a trial to cure/treat macular degeneration. Lots about to happen in this field.

    July 31, 2010 at 03:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. LRoy

    People...embryos are HUMAN BEINGS!!!!! This is the deliberate destruction of a HUMAN BEING for the sake of science!!! So WHAT the unborn person is ONLY eight cells...it could be two cells or two billion million. A person is a person no matter alive or in the womb.

    HUMAN BEINGS should not be used as a product of science. What is the cost? One less person in the world JUST so you can be "cured" of whatever illness you have? Good luck with that one. I'd rather DIE thank you very much.

    We must support ONLY adult stem cell research.

    ALL life must be protected from conception to natural death...NO exceptions!!!!!!!

    July 31, 2010 at 09:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Guest

      Okay for the last g--mn time....
      Embryos ARE NOT humans. Fetus' ARE NOT humans. As a Christian, I can tell you that there is not a SINGLE VERSE IN ALL OF THE BIBLE saying they are.
      That mess was made up hundreds and hundreds of years ago by what we now know as the Vatican, to prevent the destruction of potential Catholics in order to protect their political/religious hold on early Europe. (Sorry if I offend, but it's true).

      P.S. – Less people being born would be a Godsend, seeing as how the Earth is getting dangerously overcrowded as it is. You might rather die, but I guess you can say that as you're obviously healthy. Try spewing that garbage to someone who really is dying or horribly diseased; see how they take it.

      July 31, 2010 at 10:17 | Report abuse |
    • dsallen

      @ Guest – Yes there is. Jeremiah 1:5 AND "less people being born is a Godsend" is completely counter to what the Bible teaches.

      July 31, 2010 at 12:16 | Report abuse |
    • JustinFromNJ

      A ball of eight cells is not a human being. A fetus becomes "human" when it is viable outside the womb. With current medical science, this is approximately 24 weeks after conception.

      You would rather "save" a ball of eight cells that (a) is not remotely close to viable, and (b) may not even make it to term, or even have a chance to do so (the ball of cells might not even get attached to the uterus), instead of saving hundreds, even thousands of lives?

      What about miscarriages? Shouldn't we at least get *something* from the loss of a potential life?

      If you don't believe that stem cell research is good because of your religious beliefs, fine. Don't get any treatments using stem cells. But don't push your religious views on someone who doesn't agree with you.

      You would rather, by inaction, kill many, many people in order to "save" a blastocyst. This is sickening, disgusting, inhumane, and completely immoral. And this is coming from an atheist, who of course is incapable of morality. It is really sad and pathetic to see someone who is capable of, through inaction, causing so much death even attempt to claim that people like me have no "morality".

      July 31, 2010 at 15:50 | Report abuse |
    • nonovyerbeezwax

      "We" must? Who's "we". I don't have to do any such thing. "No exceptions"? Sez you; who died and made you the grand Poo-Bah of the universe?

      July 31, 2010 at 16:34 | Report abuse |
    • Noncommonsensical

      JustinFromNJ

      A ball of eight cells is not a human being. A fetus becomes "human" when it is viable outside the womb. With current medical science, this is approximately 24 weeks after conception.

      ----

      The above is factually, scientifically100% incorrect. The unborn at all stages of development are human beings. The only thing worse then willful ignorance, is willful ignorance justified under the guise of, "Well, I don't believe the same as you do!". This isn't something you believe. Either you accept the fact that the unborn at all stages are human beings or you don't. But not accepting that fact doesn't mean it's not.

      July 31, 2010 at 17:23 | Report abuse |
    • predestined

      @dsallen "Before I formed you", could be a thousand years "before I formed you". There's nothing in there that indicates a time after conception. I'd be interested in hearing your take on all the miscarriages and other failures that regularly occur to embryos.
      If God's plan for some embryos is to be flushed down a toilet, then perhaps God's plan for others is to serve the needs of the sick.

      August 1, 2010 at 03:20 | Report abuse |
    • WarhammerTwo

      Just a few things:

      1) Adult stem cells have, to this point, only been able to treat BLOOD related diseases. Nothing else. That is still awesome and I am very thankful for that technology. Hence that story SSG related regarding the boy with Sickle Cell Anemia. See? A blood disease. It's still fantastic that he got cured. I remember reading a while ago where a scientist (and the exact facts escape me at the moment) was able to reverse engineer (for lack of a better term) an adult stem cell into it's embryonic form. I hope and pray that pans out but I haven't heard anything more of this in recent months. The thing you need to remember, though, is in order to know how to turn an adult stem cell into an embryonic stem cell, we need to KNOW about embryonic stem cells. I comment more on that below.

      2) Do you know where scientists get embryonic stem cells? THEY DO NOT MAKE THEM! They are donated, in almost all cases, from In-Vitro Fertility clinics. Couples come in, the clinic takes the eggs and sperm, make up lots of embryos and implant a handful into the would-be mother. After she gets pregnant, she has a choice as to what will happen to all the left over embryos not implanted. She can store them for future use (expensive), donate them to infertile couples (ala Bush's snowflake babies), donate them to science (stem cells) or have them destroyed (because technically they are considered biohazards). So if you don't plan to have anymore kids and don't want other folks gestating your embryos, isn't it better to donate them to be turned into stem cells to be studied and tested with the potential of finding treatments and cure for God-knows-how-many people rather than tossing them in a biohazard drum for incineration?

      3) If you are against embryonic stem cell research and abortion, you damn well better not be a hypocrite and be for in-vitro fertilization. They destroy lots of embryos in their clinics. Sometimes they even perform selective abortions. Since IVF is tricky, often the doctors will implant 6 to 10 embryos in the would-be mother to make sure at least one will take. If all 10 take (which is rare), that could end up being fatal to the mother and the babies. Wombs aren't made to carry that many kids at one shot. Although, some can. That's how Jon and Kate Plus Eight came to be. But that was incredibly risky of her to do. So, the doctor will go in and terminate a few of them to make the eventual remaining births safer.

      Anywho, as a biologist who does pharmaceutical research for a living, I think we need to investigate BOTH adult and embryonic stem cells. We really, as a scientific community, still know so very little about stem cells in general. Heck, every year, we're discovering new cellular receptors and metabolic pathways to exploit as potential drug targets. In my company, we're looking at drugs that target recently discovered receptors that we still have no idea how they work. We just know that if you block them, it results in the response we want. All the steps involved in that response? We have no idea. But we're studying it, looking for the answer, the key. Stem cells are the same way. And the only way we'll ever learn more is to keep studying them, dissecting them, taking them apart and putting them together again. Even if we want to turn other cells into embryonic stem cells. We still need to KNOW all we can about embryonic cells to make sure the ones we make are the same as the ones nature makes. Otherwise all we can say is that we've made cells SIMILAR to embryonic stem cells. That's science, folks.

      Hope I've clear some things up.

      August 1, 2010 at 23:27 | Report abuse |
    • Nursehope

      Are you a scientist? Have you actually studied Anatomy and Physiology and Microbiology? Your opinion is that of an uninformed lay person who places their "belief" on 3rd/4th hand knowledge.

      August 1, 2010 at 23:30 | Report abuse |
    • JustinFromNJ

      @Noncommonsensical

      "The above is factually, scientifically100% incorrect. The unborn at all stages of development are human beings. "

      No, they are cells which contain human DNA; they are *potential* human beings. That is a huge distinction. The skin cells sloughed off your body when bathing contain human DNA - does that make those cells "human"? (If your answer to that question is no, based on the fact that dead skin cells are not part of the human reproductive cycle, then consider the fact that cloning technology may one day make those flakes of dead skin just as much of a "potential" human being as a fertilized egg.) Are each of the sperm created by a human male, or each of the eggs contained in a human female, an individual human? After all, both are a stage of the development cycle of an unborn human.

      "The only thing worse then willful ignorance, is willful ignorance justified under the guise of, "Well, I don't believe the same as you do!". This isn't something you believe. Either you accept the fact that the unborn at all stages are human beings or you don't. But not accepting that fact doesn't mean it's not."

      You've just made the same supposed error of "willful ignorance justified by personal beliefs" yourself. You believe that a blastocyst is human, but that belief does not make it so. You believe that my thoughts on the matter are scientifically and factually incorrect, but that belief does not make yours right or mine wrong. The scientific basis for my opinion (that a fetus "becomes" truly human at the medical definition of viability) is just as valid as yours.

      The crux of the matter is that the question "What is human?" is not something that pure science can answer. That answer will always be based on the religious, spiritual, and philosophical beliefs of the individual seeking it. And I have no issues with how someone other than me defines the beginning of a human life, just as long as those beliefs do not interfere with my life or what type of treatment plan I accept for a disease or condition that I might be afflicted with at some point.

      August 2, 2010 at 00:09 | Report abuse |
  16. bill

    An embryo is a life. It was God that created punishment for killing the child in a mothers womb. That was not made up by the Vatican.

    Killing a child is murder...and I'm still for allowing these people to commit it.

    July 31, 2010 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Christopher

      I'm glad to see that people like you are a minority this kind of discussion for once.

      July 31, 2010 at 15:02 | Report abuse |
    • predestined

      Are mothers who suffer miscarriages going to hell?
      BTW: God doesn't create punishment, God passes it in ways that are beyond our comprehension or jurisdiction.

      August 1, 2010 at 03:24 | Report abuse |
    • Samantha

      @bill You say "It was God that created punishment for killing the child in a mothers womb."

      Are you aware that the embryos used for stem cell are from embryos created via IVF? They were never in a woman's womb, they were created in a petri dish and were destined to be thrown away because the donors no longer needed them.

      So were is your point now?

      August 1, 2010 at 21:57 | Report abuse |
    • Nursehope

      Yes! Killing a child IS murder. Harvesting stem cells from a non-living entity is NOT murder. IF you subscribe to the "eight-cells=a life" theory, YOU are killing yourself everyday. Imbibe an alcoholic beverage...POW! dead brain cells (more than 8) . When you become immortal and NEVER shed your skin (every 180 days) or create a new digestive system (every 6 months) only then can you claim murder! tsktsk

      August 1, 2010 at 23:37 | Report abuse |
  17. Megan

    As excited as I am for this news, the editing on this article is atrocious. Two whole paragraphs are the same, almost word for word. Come on, CNN.

    July 31, 2010 at 12:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. sambvka

    Wonderful news!!!

    July 31, 2010 at 12:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. betsy

    I think if any of you that are so enthusiastic about this would do some reading on the subject, you would have a bit more to say than "great" "at last" blah blah . The reality of stem cell research is that the chance of finding something useful from embryos is considerably less than using umbilical cord cells,fetal, or adult. Im not going to go into the specifics, but please read a bit before making stupid comments. Ignorance is bliss they say, but knowledge is power.

    July 31, 2010 at 13:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      Betsy:

      I've read extensively on this subject, and I recommend you do so as well before you accuse others of being ignorant. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, which means that they can form any type of cell in the body. Adult cells cannot, which greatly limits their ability to treat a whole host of debilitating diseases. Taking the Geron study as one small example, no form of adult stem cell currently known can form oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (the cells used in the clinical trial), so adult stem cells cannot be used to treat paralysis. Geron is also actively exploring using these same cells to treat MS and Alzheimers. No form of adult stem cell is known to be useful to treat these diseases. As another of many relevant examples, Geron can create pancreatic iselet cells which can potentially be used to treat Type 1 diabetes. No adult stem cell can be used to create iselets. Adult stem cells have significant limitations, which is why scientists have been so excited about the development of embryonic stem cells.

      August 1, 2010 at 15:01 | Report abuse |
  20. BB

    There are those saying that using an embryo is murdering. Now I'm not sure this is true or not but I was told that they use the embryos from women that have abortions. Is this true? Does anyone on here have that answer?

    July 31, 2010 at 14:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jeremy

      Only if you consider in-vitro fertilisation to be an abortion.

      July 31, 2010 at 22:39 | Report abuse |
    • Samantha

      BB- These are embryos from IVF, no long wanted or needed by the donors and slotted for destruction anyway, whether for science or in the trash. These embryos were never going to be implanted into the uterus of a women.

      August 1, 2010 at 22:05 | Report abuse |
  21. Daniel

    Looking forward to the age of scientific enlightment lol Maybe these trials the world is going through right now is all leading up to a new world and not a dead one( all you 2012 world ending believers). The question is who will survive and can we hold strong to the mentallity of progression and not a state of regression.

    July 31, 2010 at 15:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Dave

    Best news I have heard in the longest time!

    July 31, 2010 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. wls

    Why should we all be held hostage by the the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
    Bureaucrats and morons. GET RID OF ALL OF THEM.

    July 31, 2010 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • nonovyerbeezwax

      No problem. Can we use you as the guinea pig?

      July 31, 2010 at 16:32 | Report abuse |
  24. jeremy

    Chill people. These embryos are donated by parents who have undergone in-vitro fertilisation. Typically 6 or more eggs are fertilized, 2 or 3 are used and the rest are either discarded or donated. Stem cells can also be duplicated indefinitely so there will never be a need for "fetus farming".

    July 31, 2010 at 22:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. cw

    One thing no one mentions is the serious advantage adult stem cells have with regard to non-rejection of tissue. Adult stem cells are harvested from one's own body–hence no rejection of the implanted tissue. The companies which are promoting embryonic stem cells conveniently "fail" to mention that potential use of embryonic stem cells is compromised by complications related to tissue rejection... and they promise that embryonic stem cells will cure a wide range of diseases. Realistically and empirically, how often does any one therapy cure such a diverse range of diseases? I hate to see hurting people's hopes elevated and then possibly dashed by the grandiose promises of these for-profit enterprises.

    July 31, 2010 at 23:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Parkerman

    This is great science, but I'm sorry, no one is a moron for being concerned that a living human embryo has to be destroyed to get these stem cells. I love the possibilities for this science, but I wish they could come up with a way it could be done without it. I am very torn between this and I respect both sides on this issue that feel strongly either way. They are both right and they are both wrong. We willo continue to wrangle this issue as the pendulum swings both ways in politics, but please no more name calling.

    July 31, 2010 at 23:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. SSG

    I am 51 now i first heard about embryonic stem cells I was still in High School about 15 years latter I learned that adults also had stem cells. Strangely enough in all those years since then the only medical successes I have heard of have envolved adult stem cells. Ever wonder why. Please don't say President Bush he only stopped spending Federal money on experiments on new lines of embryonic stem cells. States could still spend money on research, individuals who believed in the research could still spend their money on the research and other countries could spend their money on the research?

    Knowing all that I ask all of you why was it so bad that United States Federal Money was not going to be spent on research involving new lines of embryonic stem cells? Why must my Tax dollars be spent on research that has produced nothing in 30 years? Why when there has been no successes using embryonic stem cell any where in the world must I help pay for research that in reality shows little promise. When adult stem cells have given us so many wonderful cures I would rather have my money spent on something that has shown positive results. not some pie in the sky research that everytime they think they are making head way they run into another problem with using embryonic stem cells. Why pay for it when it is more likely that adult stem cells can produce results better and surer.

    August 1, 2010 at 03:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Samantha

      Geron is a privately funded company and has not used government funding to get its stem cell platform to where it's at with government money... that's why it's so far ahead of the game.

      ...embryonic stem cell have been know about for many years but the first stem cell lines were not developed until about 15 years ago. On top of that the first lines that were established used mouse feeder cells to keep them alive in culture rendering them unusable for humans. Many obstacles needed to be overcome and much research needed to be done to understand the process required to guide pluripotent cells into new cell lines.

      August 1, 2010 at 22:25 | Report abuse |
  28. SSG

    Having said my little piece I ask every to please go donate blod and ask about becoming a bone morrow / stem cell donor I did. If you really want to help someone you will to. I fall you want is some else to step forward (ie the U.S. Government) then all I can say is you are a coward.

    August 1, 2010 at 03:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. scott jacobs

    The logic of some people is astounding.

    "SSG
    Really what have they accomplished? Lets see they found out using enbronic stem cells in animals creates problems for that animal. Yep that is an advancement."

    Did you even go to school?

    August 1, 2010 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • nonovyerbeezwax

      Do you even have to ask? Any dumber, and we'd have to water them.

      August 1, 2010 at 12:30 | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      I think SSG's point was that the only "advancement" that has been made with embryonic stem cell research is the possibility of actually causing problems at least in animal studies. Meanwhile there's been plenty of advancements in non-embryonic stem cells that don't require destroying life and actually work. See http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n1/stem-cells for more info.

      August 1, 2010 at 15:07 | Report abuse |
  30. Stuart

    What a waste. Autologous and umbilical cord stem cells are already curing illnesses around the globe (although not in the primitive medical halls of the US and Canada) relegating embryonic cells to the Dark Ages. Geron is just trying to collect on bad investment. They did not see the future coming and are lying their way to cut their losses; sort of like a VHS manufacturer that the future in TV viewing is in tape. Let's see how many fools fall for this.

    August 1, 2010 at 12:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Samantha

      "What a waste. Autologous and umbilical cord stem cells are already curing illnesses around the globe (although not in the primitive medical halls of the US and Canada) relegating embryonic cells to the Dark Ages."

      Other countries have used autologous and umbilical cord stem cells to cure spinal cord injuries??? Really??? They have the technology to grow new islet cells??..Really? Where? Please point me in the direction of the research papers from the global scientific community that support what you say. Until then, I do declare you're talking out your a** or just regurgatating what your pastor tells you.

      August 1, 2010 at 23:13 | Report abuse |
    • WarhammerTwo

      To be fair Samantha, Stuart is somewhat correct. Adult stem cells and neonatal cells have been used as treatments for several diseases. What Stuart leaves out are what KINDS of diseases. Which just so happen to be all blood related diseases. Don't get me wrong, Sam, I agree with you completely and want to commend you on the very strong arguments you are making. You don't happen to be a scientist or a doctor, are you? You sound like one. Anywho, keep up the good fight.

      August 1, 2010 at 23:45 | Report abuse |
    • WarhammerTwo

      Samantha, interesting bit of research: http://www.pnas.org/content/100/10/5807.abstract. Stem cells from Human Exfoliated Deciduous teeth (SHED). I haven't read the whole paper yet (probably tomorrow during lunch) but the abstract sounds interesting: SHED were identified to be a population of highly proliferative, clonogenic cells capable of differentiating into a variety of cell types including neural cells, adipocytes, and odontoblasts. After in vivo transplantation, SHED were found to be able to induce bone formation, generate dentin, and survive in mouse brain along with expression of neural markers.

      I hope to God it goes somewhere.

      August 1, 2010 at 23:50 | Report abuse |
  31. I NEED A CURE

    This is good news! I was reading the other day, that treatment for my disease could be advanced by stem cell research. Some people need to be more open-minded. The last thing we need is religious people making decisions for scientists. Their agendas are are holding us back. I'm looking forward to something thing new. More power to the democrats!

    August 1, 2010 at 12:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Stuart

      Thank you Karl Marx.

      August 1, 2010 at 21:02 | Report abuse |
  32. Crownnoble

    I favor non-embryonic stem cell research but not embryonic. It smells of theft. Thieves come to kill, steal, and destroy that they may have life themselves. The embryoes are full human life forms for their DNA says they are no other. In embryonic research the stem cells are stolen because the embryo has not given its permition to be taken and of course they cannot, but that is beside the point. The embryo is killed and also destroyed in the process. The whole goal is to give life to another. One would argue that the embrios would die anyway, yes so, but that to me is lame. On 9/11 a simular mind set took place. Airplanes were stolen, buildings and other things destroyed, and people were killed to gain life, eternal life in the thieves mind. They too can argue that they killed were going to die anyway. Please note that I did not claim embyos are persons, I claimed they are full human life forms. To take a human life without just cause is in my opinion wrong. If one wishes to donate their hand to save their face, so be it. But, do give them the option as to wether or not to save their neighbor. That is between them and their conscience. It is a matter of persuit of life and liberty, not destroying them. Is not this what America is about.

    August 1, 2010 at 14:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nursehope

      Not sure where you "heard" embryos are full human life forms...that is totally FALSE! The scientific community and those versed in Anatomy and Physiology will educate you. Please do your research,

      August 1, 2010 at 23:41 | Report abuse |
  33. Dale

    A question begs to be asked. How long has it been since there has been a cure for a lethal world disease.
    The answer is POLIO not smallpox. Think about George Washington, how he solved the smallpox’s problem.
    The reason why, Polio was cured because it was killing too many people, including the rich people even a U.S. president had polio, so they had to come up with a cure.

    A question begs to be asked. Why hasn’t there been any cure for big-time world lethal diseases lately?
    The answer is, if the world comes up with cures, you kill the cash $$$ flowing to these corrupt, greedy, medical organizations, they do not care about people’s pain and miseries. They only care about how much money they can make off of sick people

    People that are sick and dying will pay any thing to get better, people that can afford treatment For example diabetes, millions of people have diabetes all over the world.

    There are blood glucose meters and test strips, insulin manufacturers, Avandia , Ongiyza and all of the other Medicines, specialists in diabetes.
    If a cure were to happen, think about it. Too much money BILLIONS of $$$ involved. SO No diabetes cure will happen.

    And it is the same way with cancer if you cure it, no Billions of $$$ coming in.

    There will always be sick people; Sick people and their miseries, are moneymakers’ BILLIONS OF $$$ coming in for the medical industry.

    Washington, D.C, why was health care reform so hard $$$.

    Think about this, when somebody in Washington, DC or somebody with a lot of power and money get sick do you hear of them dying. They are insiders; they get the very best treatment.

    There are superior medical treatments available for these people.
    THESE TREATMENTS and “CURES ARE”,,, TOP-SECRET.

    August 1, 2010 at 15:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • nonovyerbeezwax

      Booga, booga, booga. Watch out for those black helicopters, honey.

      August 1, 2010 at 19:39 | Report abuse |
  34. Paul

    Wake up people. Embryos are not cats or dogs. They are very much human, just very small and we all used to be like them a very long time ago. Fortunately, no one killed us to gain long lives for themselves. If today the rationale is that they are going to be discarded and killed anyway, who is next on the chopping line? Death row prisoners, old folks with hearts and kidneys that should not go to waste if they are being unproductive. A human is a human, no matter how small or big.

    August 1, 2010 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • nonovyerbeezwax

      Blah, blah, y blah. Every time a post starts with "Wake up, people!", it is filled with moronic nonsense. Yours is no exception.

      Last I heard, no one espoused killing old people or death row prisoners for their organs. These embryos aren't people; they're going to be tossed in the trash. You can't say the same for the elderly or those who will be executed, and to attempt to draw parallels is specious. Knock it off and get another pastime. You're not good at this one.

      August 1, 2010 at 19:37 | Report abuse |
    • Nursehope

      And you know this to be true how? Have you examined an 8-celled zygote under a microscope? No life forms there! DNA does not equal a living being.

      August 1, 2010 at 23:43 | Report abuse |
    • WarhammerTwo

      Hey Nursehope, you misunderstand Paul's poorly worded argument. The basic tenant behind all the anti-embryonic crowd is that the blastocyst has the POTENTIAL to develop into a human being and is therefore just as valuable as a human because, if left to its own devices, that is what it will become. I see their point but I simply can't justify letting all those left over IVF embryos getting tossed in the trash. They need to be put to good use so that their creation isn't in vain. Paul's comparison between between extracting stem cells from embryos and killing old people is, however, incredibly naive, and demonstrates how little he knows about stem cells, how they work or the IVF process where they come from.

      August 2, 2010 at 00:03 | Report abuse |
  35. Piper

    Given that my brother suffered a spinal cord injury last month after a catastrophic motorcycle accident, I have recently learned to appreciate the value of these treatments. It is easy for one to protest them on quazi moral grounds when they do not have to deal with the aftermath of not taking action.

    August 1, 2010 at 16:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. cappy2

    What great news!!! Now please,can you grow me a new pair of lungs? When you can't breathe nothing else matters. Help!

    August 2, 2010 at 04:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Interesting

    With any luck anyone injected with these will turn into a goat.

    August 2, 2010 at 09:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. ray

    It might be useful for blogers to read the recent summary of current stem cell research by an AP writer MALCOLM RITTER at http://www.biosciencetechnology.com/News/FeedsAP/2010/08/adult-stem-cell-research-far-ahead-of-embryonic/
    This gives a good overview of the kinds of successes of adult stem cell applications and the current efforts with embryonic stem cells. My understanding is that even adult stem cells from a variety of sources have enough "plasticity" to differentiate into a large number of cell types that show exciting capabilities.

    August 2, 2010 at 19:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. ray gibbs

    I affirm science–always forward, never backwards. Patients accepting same–heroes true blue. Poet's speed.

    October 12, 2010 at 17:09 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.