New Stem-Cell Method Shows Promise

Handout image shows a mouse embryo formed with Stimulus-Triggered Acquisition of Pluripotency (STAP) cells. (CNS photo/Haruko Obokata, RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology handout via Reuters)

A new method of creating versatile stem cells from a relatively simple manipulation of existing cells could further reduce the need for research involving human embryos. Although the process has been tested only in mice, two studies published on Jan. 29 in the journal Nature detailed research showing success with a process called stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency, or S.T.A.P. Scientists from Japan’s Riken research institute and Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston were able to reprogram blood cells from newborn mice by placing them in a low-level acidic bath for 30 minutes. “If this technology proves feasible with human cells, which seems likely, it will offer yet another alternative for obtaining highly flexible stem cells without relying on the destructive use of human embryos,” said the Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, director of education at the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The latest from america

Protestors march to support a U.N. anti-corruption commission in Guatemala City on Jan. 6. Photo by Jackie McVicar.
“What they are doing not only puts Guatemala at risk but the entire region. Bit by bit, for more than a year, they have been trying to divide us. The elections are at risk. We are six months away.”
Jackie McVicarJanuary 18, 2019
“We will just do what we need to do to help people in need,” said Antonio Fernandez, C.E.O. of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of San Antonio.
Emma Winters January 18, 2019
The study found Latina immigrant women in Arizona who were pregnant during the contentious S.B. 1070 passage had babies with lower birthweight compared with those in prior years. Average birth weights did not decrease among U.S.-born white, black or Latina women during the same time.
J.D. Long-GarcíaJanuary 18, 2019
This week's guest is Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, founder of New Wave Feminists, a pro-life feminist organization dedicated to changing the divisive language surrounding the abortion debate.
Olga SeguraJanuary 18, 2019