Science Daily reports:
(Feb. 12, 2008) — UCLA stem cell scientists have reprogrammed human skin cells into cells with the same unlimited properties as embryonic stem cells without using embryos or eggs.Read the whole thing here.
The implications for disease treatment could be significant. Reprogramming adult stem cells into embryonic stem cells could generate a potentially limitless source of immune-compatible cells for tissue engineering and transplantation medicine.
"Our reprogrammed human skin cells were virtually indistinguishable from human embryonic stem cells," said Plath, an assistant professor of biological chemistry, a researcher with the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research and lead author of the study. "Our findings are an important step towards manipulating differentiated human cells to generate an unlimited supply of patient specific pluripotent stem cells. We are very excited about the potential implications."
Good news all around. There goes another campaign issue down the drain.
The state of scientific understanding is constantly changing. Yesterday's crises turn out to be today's opportunities. It is quite possible that an abundantly available supply of embryonic stem cells, such as the Democrats sought to provide, would have postponed or even precluded this immensely fruitful line of research that has produced a superior alternative.