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Embryonic Stem Cells—and Other Stem Cells—Promise to Advance Treatments

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Old 07-02-2009, 07:59 PM   #1
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Default Embryonic Stem Cells—and Other Stem Cells—Promise to Advance Treatments

Embryonic Stem Cells—and Other Stem Cells—Promise to Advance Treatments

Adult stem cells may reach patients first, and induced pluripotent stem cells have greatest potential

By Katherine Hobson, Posted July 2, 2009
http://health.usnews.com/articles/he...reatments.html

While the attention of the public and ethicists has been focused on embryonic stem cells, research into other kinds of stem cells—including the kind of adult bone-marrow stem cells Clegg received—has been advancing and, in some cases, exploding. "I have never been in a field that is moving at this pace," says Jonathan Chernoff, deputy scientific director at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. Adult stem cells have been used in bone marrow transplants
for 40 years, and trials like the one involving Clegg are expected to expand their use. Meanwhile, many scientists predict that induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, created by turning back the biological clock of normal adult cells, will one day supplant embryonic stem cells.

But scientists still call embryonic cells the "gold standard" for stem cells, which is why they've been the subject of privately- and state-funded research while federal funds were restricted. It's also why researchers are excited about Obama's move to allow the government to fund research using lines of embryo-derived cells, as long as the embryos are left over from fertility treatments, not created solely for research purposes.
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