December 9, 2012
Stem-Cell Cures Without the Controversy (MATT RIDLEY, 12/09/12, WSJ)
Posted by Orrin Judd at December 9, 2012 5:23 AMUntil Dr. Yamanaka's breakthrough of five years ago, few biologists held out much hope that the cells of an adult person could be made into stem cells, in contrast to those of an embryo. Debate still continues among biologists about whether such adult cells approach the gold standard of adaptability that embryonic stem cells show, but few would now bet against that goal being achieved one day.It's not far-fetched to conclude that, thanks to induced pluripotent stem cells, the embryonic stem-cell debate is fading fast into history. If stem cells derived from the patient's own blood are to offer the same therapeutic benefits as embryonic stem cells, without the immunological complication of coming from another individual, then there would be no need to use cells derived from embryos.Indeed, that was one of Dr. Yamanaka's original motivations when he set out to induce pluripotency in adult cells. Though he supported embryonic stem-cell research in principle, he once said: "I thought, we can't keep destroying embryos for our research. There must be another way."
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