New Hope Emerges from Study on Stem Cells and Organ Regeneration
For the first time, researchers have been successful at reprogramming an animal’s adult cells so that they can grow into various types of tissue. In Madrid, Spain, researchers at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre were successful at accomplishing in mice what had previously only been performed in a petri dish. This research leads to the hope that organs that are diseased or damaged may be replaced using the same method. This would allow affected individuals to grow their own replacement organs inside their own body, by reprogramming their adult cells.
The results of the research were published in Nature. Until now, there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the use of stem cells for researching and treating conditions in humans, because their availability is directly related to embryos. The cells that resulted from this research closely resembled the embryonic stem cells, offering new possibilities toward using stem cell technology without the need to take the cells from discarded fetal tissue.
Science news articles are reporting new discoveries made about how stem cells are produced in the body, and how they can be used to prevent and treat serious health issues in humans. This finding is especially intriguing, as it addresses the ethical concerns that have in the past hampered progress in this area of scientific study. Although this is only the first step toward organ regeneration in an individual using their own cells, it is one giant step.