Scientists have announced a breakthrough in stem cell research which could turn human cells back into its nascent and fresh state. Stem cell research has immense possibilities in the treatment of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Arthritis. The latest breakthrough has been termed as the third breakthrough in stem cell research.
This time the breakthrough comes from Japan which has already got it inventor a Nobel Prize. Two scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine for their work on Stem Cells, John B. Gurdon of the University of Cambridge in England and Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University in Japan. Both had laid the foundation of regenerative medicine and the idea of rebuilding the body with tissues generated from its own cells looks increasingly attainable.
The work done by both the researchers concerns the management of living cells and forms the basis of techniques for cloning animals and produce stem cells. Stem cells are the starter cells from which the mature tissues of the body are produced. Dr Gordon was the first to succeed in producing a Frog Clone. Dr. Yamanaka discovered the proteins with which an adult cell can be converted to an egg-like state.
Researchers are working to create stem cells in the lab and coax them to grow into differentiated cells opening the doors for creating organs destroyed by disease or accidents. Rejection has been one of the biggest impediments in the realization of this goal. One of the ways out this will be the stem cells to have to carry the patient’s own genetic code, to identify them as friendly.
Ongoing embryonic stem cell therapy clinical trial is facing a number of challenges which includes prohibitive costs involved as well as many legal and ethical issues. Despite many lucrative and successful developments, commercial exploitation has been slow to emerge. The new discovery could remove the financial and technical barriers in stem-cell research provided it overcomes safety hurdles and ethical issues.
Chris Mason, a professor of regenerative medicine at University College London said, “If it works in man, this could be the game-changer that ultimately makes a wide range of cell therapies available using the patient’s own cells as starting material,”