Monday, August 22, 2005

stem cells, part 2

As if to prove my earlier point about stem cells--that there is a lot to learn before cloning becomes necessary, if it ever does,--in today's Washington Post, Rick Weiss reports that a team of Harvard researchers managed to "reprogram" an adult's stem cells so that they became embryonic stem cells. Led by Chad A. Cowan of Harvard, the research team fused the adult stem cell with an embryonic stem cell to create a hybrid cell. They still need to find a way to separate the DNA from the adult and that of embryo, but their work, at least in theory, presents a way to provide stem cells carrying the patient's DNA--thus making it less subject to rejection--without cloning. The scientific paper will appear August 26 issue of Science (subscription).

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