Thursday, October 09, 2008

It takes cojones to fight Parkinson's, diabetes

Study : Testicle Stem Cells Appear as Versatile as Embryonic Stem Cells

"WASHINGTON — Cells taken from men's testicles seem as versatile as the stem cells derived from embryos, researchers reported Wednesday in what may be yet another new approach in a burgeoning scientific field.

The new type of stem cells could be useful for growing personalized replacement tissues, according to a study in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature. But because of their source, their highest promise would apply to only half the world's population: men...

The testicular cells avoid the ethical dilemma of embryonic stem cells, which are harvested in a process that destroys the embryos. For that reason, some people, including President Bush, oppose their use for ethical or religious reasons.

"The advantage these cells have in comparison to embryonic stem cells is that there is no ethical problem with these cells and that they are natural," said study lead author Thomas Skutella, a professor at the Center for Regenerative Biology and Medicine in Tuebingen, Germany."

This will not replace embryonic cells- no such analog has been found for women yet, for example- but it will reduce demand on the supply of embryonic cells available, which could speed research. If you want to read the actual paper, it's here , but it costs $32.00 to read it.

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