iPS cells as alternative to embryonic stem cells

Here is a new word for you: iPS cells (induced pluriponent stem cells), which work just as well as stem cells taken from killed embryos, as Chinese scientists have proven:

In papers published online Thursday by two scientific journals, separate teams of researchers from Beijing and Shanghai reported that they had for the first time created virtual genetic duplicates of mice using skin cells from adult animals that had been coaxed into the equivalent of embryonic stem cells.

The findings were welcomed by supporters and opponents of human embryonic stem cell research as a long-sought vital step in proving that the cells could be as useful as embryonic cells for studying and curing many illnesses. . . .

“This gives us hope for future therapeutic interventions using patients’ own reprogrammed cells,” Fanyi Zeng of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, who worked with Zhou, said during a telephone briefing for reporters. . . .the work is “proof that iPS cells are functionally equivalent to embryonic stem cells,” [Shaorong] Gao said in a telephone interview.

Other researchers agreed, praising the work as a long-awaited confirmation of the cells’ equivalence.

“This clearly says for the first time that iPS cells pass the most stringent test,” said Konrad Hochedlinger, a stem cell researcher at Harvard University.

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About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    This is great. Hopefully all biotech firms will in fact completely switch from embryonic to iPS so we can all work out a merciful plan for caring for the children who can be salvaged from the scientific horror which is this remarkable utilitarian and loveless era in human history.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    This is great. Hopefully all biotech firms will in fact completely switch from embryonic to iPS so we can all work out a merciful plan for caring for the children who can be salvaged from the scientific horror which is this remarkable utilitarian and loveless era in human history.

  • Jamie Chan

    You realize that “the children who can be salvaged from the scientific horror” aren’t children. They are embryos. Scientifically, they are defined as human cells and not humans based on the fact that they have the possibility to live and are not actually alive themselves. Also, of the already hundreds of thousands of embryos the majority of them cannot be used for donation to other couples. These leftover fertilized eggs aren’t suitable because of the questionable viability of the eggs. They are of inferior quality and will not lead to life.

  • Jamie Chan

    You realize that “the children who can be salvaged from the scientific horror” aren’t children. They are embryos. Scientifically, they are defined as human cells and not humans based on the fact that they have the possibility to live and are not actually alive themselves. Also, of the already hundreds of thousands of embryos the majority of them cannot be used for donation to other couples. These leftover fertilized eggs aren’t suitable because of the questionable viability of the eggs. They are of inferior quality and will not lead to life.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    An embryo isn’t alive? You’d better check that, Jamie. When do you think an embryo becomes a child, if it isn’t already a child in a continuous mode of development?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    An embryo isn’t alive? You’d better check that, Jamie. When do you think an embryo becomes a child, if it isn’t already a child in a continuous mode of development?


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