Scientists Create Stem Cells from DNA a Human Skin Cell
Researchers using DNA from an individual’s skin cell have successfully made an [b][url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/oregon-scientists-get-stem-cells-from-cloned-human-embryos/2013/05/15/dc011cbc-bdac-11e2-9b09-1638acc3942e_story.html]embryonic clone[/url][/b]. This breakthrough discovery has opened the door to stem cell research. Scientists can now use the embryonic clone as a source of stem cells, for super personalized therapies made from that individuals own DNA. It’s unlikely that this clone could develop into a human, say the scientists, a team of biologists from the U.S. and Thailand. The team plans to publish a paper in the future detailing why not, Nature reported. Previously, the team conducted this entire process, including a technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer, in monkeys. Those monkey embryo clones always died before they could grow into adult monkeys. “While nuclear transfer breakthroughs often lead to a public discussion about the ethics of human cloning, this is not our focus, nor do we believe our findings might be used by others to advance the possibility of human reproductive cloning,” [b][url=http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/research/centers-institutes/onprc/scientific-discovery/scientists/mitalipov.cfm]Shoukhrat Mitalipov[/url][/b], the clone research’s lead scientist, said in a statement. Mitalipov is a biologist who studies cells and development at the Oregon Health and Science University. This is a feat that’s been a long time coming. The world even got a bit of a tease of it nearly a decade ago, in 2004 and 2005, when Woo Suk Hwang of Seoul National University said he’d made human clones. It turned out Hwang was lying. Now, Mitalipov and his team have made clones using the same basic technique that created [b][url=http://www.animalresearch.info/en/medical-advances/151/cloning-dolly-the-sheep/]Dolly the cloned sheep[/url][/b] in 1996. The scientists took skin cells’ nuclei—the centers of the cells, where the cells keep their DNA—and transplanted them into eggs that had their own genetic material removed. They then grew the eggs for a few days, harvested the daughter cells that appeared, and created a cell line, or a colony of cells that reproduces stably. The stem cells in the cell line could become several different types of adult cells, just like natural stem cells. In the future, stem cells made in this way will compete with another method of creating personalized stem cells. Researchers previously showed they are able to transform adult skin cells directly into stem cells, with no stop for a transfer into an egg along the way. Such cells are called induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPSCs, and they don’t require the creation of embryos.