Human stem cell research
Major events during 2008
2008-FEB-19: Stroke damage repaired by embryonic stem cells --- in rats:
Research using adult stem cells had a two decade head start before embryonic
stem cell research began. There are currently many practical applications of
adult stem cells; however, therapies using embryonic stem cells were not
expected for many years in the future. That schedule may have to be modified
because of major successes achieved by researchers at Stanford University School of
Medicine in California.
Researchers caused strokes in ten laboratory rats, causing serious disabilities.
They then coaxed human embryonic stem cells to develop into neural stem cells.
The latter were transplanted into the rats. The cells migrated to the damaged
area of the rats' brains, incorporated themselves into surrounding brain tissue.
The cells developed into neurons and two other important types of brain cells.
"The transplanted cells helped repair the stroke damage and enabled
the rats to recover lost function in front legs weakened as a result of
Referring to the rats' functioning after treatment, one of the leaders of
the research, Dr. Gary Steinberg, said:
"It was not quite back to normal but, at least in the rat, it looks
like it's going to be close to normal -- very impressive. ... Now
remember, this is a rat, not a human. We still have to make that step.
But if we could achieve that kind of recovery in humans, we would have a
The researchers hope that this approach will be used on human patients
within five years. 1
Related essays on this web site:
Cloning and stem cell research are unrelated lines of research. However, they
both start with an ovum and initially use some of the same techniques.
References used in the above essay:
"Stem cells repair stroke damage in rats," Reuters, 2008-FEB-19, at:
- "Michigan voters to decide on 'Dr. Death' and embryonic stem cells," Citizen
Link newsletter, 2008-JUL-08.
"inkslwc,"Michigan Ballot for 2008: Proposal 2: Stem Cell Research,"
Republican Ranting, 2008-SEP-18, at:
"Michigan Stem Cell Initiative (2008)," Ballotpedia, 2008-NOV-10, at:
Copyright © 2008 to 2010 by Ontario Consultants
on Religious Tolerance
First posted: 2008-FEB-22
Latest update: 2010-SEP-28
Author: B.A. Robinson