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Stem cells in humans

  1. Dec 10, 2007 #1
    What kind of stem cell technology is being used in humans right now and by what places? I mean some stem cell technology is being used currently in humans right?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 11, 2007 #2
    Nah mate, it's still in testing. Looks good though.

    And the punchline is all this hooplah over embryonic stem cells and a team in Austraila (I think, someone will have to back me up on this) has made a process that if it works it will have all the benefits of embryonic stem cells off of skin cells.
  4. Dec 11, 2007 #3

    jim mcnamara

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    ian smith who posts here and moonbear both are knowledgeable in medical applications like this.

    I am not. But, as far as I know, there are no FDA approved uses for stem cell technologies in the US. For political reasons, the US stem cell tissue regeneration research effort has not kept up with other countries. So it may have not gotten as far
    as Europe or Australia.
  5. Dec 11, 2007 #4

  6. Dec 12, 2007 #5
    First thing I want to say here is that we need to make sure to be clear when we speak about stem cell. There are two main catagories; adult stem cells(ASC) and embryonic stem cells(ESC). All the debating that is going on is typically over the more controversial ESC's.

    As far as is there SC treatment being conducted right now the asnwer is yes and they make use of ASC's. To my knowledge there are no current treatments for humans using ESC's, Although ASC treatments have benn occouring for years. The most popular human treatment of SC's is the use of ASC(hematopic to be more exact) in Bone marrow transplants which and been going on for years. Im not sure on how many ASC treatment are out of clinical trials but i do know there are alot of different clinical trials going on with them for everyhting from heart diases and cancer to blindness/ vission impairment.

    if you do a google search or go to your library and look ni online juornals you are sure to find more info that you can handle.

    Also i wanted to add that i cant speak specifically to wether the US is number one in stem cell reasearch or not but once again you have to look at whether we are talking about ASC or ESC. The media likes to confuse these the situation by using the blanket term "stem cells" but keep in mind ther is a difference. And As far as i can tell with all the papers Ive seen the US doesnt seem to far behind, but then again who care we live globally today anyways.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2007
  7. Jan 8, 2008 #6


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    Here's a guy with a clinic doing stemcell therapy...


    No more pig pancreas eyelets for Diabetics... thanks to stemcell therapy.


    Its not just the extraction/production of stemcells and their application that comprises stemcell technology. There is hardware that is being developed and is developed that can be used for other therapies... for instance... the magnetic blood separator... this can be used to pull infected T cells out of the blood using antibodies and magnetic coloids...

  8. Feb 1, 2008 #7


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  9. Feb 1, 2008 #8


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    That's superb, it looks like technology is getting very far. With a bit of funding, Bible style healing should be well within reach. But what about the third world? How will they ever benefit?
  10. Feb 1, 2008 #9
    Maybe by not having people talk about Biblical stuff like "bible style healing there"
    not really.

    I mean Im all for ethics most of the time but Im hating how religious stuff is holding back stem cell research and other scientific things, not because of ethics but because of the religious views people have

    But whatever I mean just because Im not religious doesnt give me the right to ***** at religious people I guess. I just don't think that deluding yourself about God to feel better (or because you were raised to delude yourself about god, or for whatever reason) is the ethical/scientific/rational etc way to go. I'm not saying that god doesnt exist. Im just saying that we're so far from being able to prove that God exists that it's stupid to base really really important decisions like stem cell research on the belief that he/she/whatever you want to call it exists and I also think that the more faith you have in God the more likely you are to be deluded

    I probably just got a ton of people mad at me eh
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2008
  11. Feb 1, 2008 #10


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    How about people that don't have a religion that prohibits stem cell research can donate and they can receive the benefits. Those that are opposed to it cannot, as it would be against their beliefs to have their life or the life of a loved one saved. That way, the rest of us can can continue with the advances in science.
  12. Feb 1, 2008 #11
    well that would be pretty ****ing depressing though

    as much as I dislike religion (Which is just a personal preference thing) discriminating against religious people is still discrimination. I mean thats not very far from discriminating against people because of things like their height, or eye color or hair color. Its not quite the same thing, if their actions have held back stem cell research, but it's close enough to make me feel nauseous on an ethical level, which is hard to do because I've been pretty open to for example genetic experimentation on humans as long as it isnt done in a discriminatory way and doesnt have any negative effect on me. and Im fine with abortions. I mean Im not very bothered ethically by things (on the other hand I don't like to be the one that causes suffering and I dislike things to suffer. At least in animals. I love animals. Just not sure how I feel about people right now)

    But if its against a religious person's beliefs to have the stem cell stuff done on them and/or people they care about I guess we're not discriminating them by not providing the service to them, since we're withholding the treatment due to their own personal preferences

    I just think that the people who are against stem cell research, even holding it back, might turn around and go "actually I want that on me" if it becomes available to be used safely

    I suppose really that Im heavily heavily for intellectual advancement i mean even at high costs. I mean when has stupid compassion done as any good
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2008
  13. Feb 1, 2008 #12


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    What's incredibly interesting is that researchers and practitioners are using the patient's own stem cells to achieve these results. This by-passes all the concerns of those people who have second thoughts and guesses surrounding the use of stem-cells in general.

    In fact there is news that (did I post this already) you can induce a skin cell of your own to become a differentiating stem cell that will work as efficiently if not better than a donated stem cell. (no anti-rejection drugs etc...)

    This really has nothing to do with robes and pointy hats etc....
  14. Feb 1, 2008 #13


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    That would go against the hippocratic oath Evo!! There was a case where the child of some JWs was taken by the government from the parents for a blood transfusion (against JW beliefs). The oath took precedent over the belief. The child is better now and the parents are suing!!!
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2008
  15. Jun 2, 2008 #14
    What DNA do stem cells have
    Ie do implanted stem cells end up with different DNA than adult stem cells that are already in our body, or do they end up taking on the identical DNA of the cells around them regardless?
  16. Jun 2, 2008 #15
    All the cells in a given organism have exactly the same DNA. There are differentiated tissues because different genes are EXPRESSED in different cells. The fundamental question of developmental biology is: "What causes different genes to be expressed in different cells at different times?".

    To build an organism, initially all the cells are the same, pluripotent, stem cells. As time goes on and more divisions occur environmental cues determine how the cells differentiate, expressing different genes from one another.

    Initially these cues are largely spatial, ie. cells near the front of the embryo turn into X, cells near the back of the embryo turn into Y. As time goes on, more sophisticated systems of chemical gradients are set up which guide the developmental program.

    An expert could say much more... The point is: Every cell of a given organism contains the complete genetic blueprint for that organism. Environmental factors determine what any given cell does with that information.

    People are interested in stem cells because they are cells which have not yet differentiated and so have the potential to turn into any other kind of cell in the presence of the appropriate environmental factors. The difficulty with this research is of course in determining what the appropriate environmental factors actually are.
  17. Jun 2, 2008 #16
    I know that stem cells accumulate DNA damage like any other cell but what I mean is could you introduce embryonic stem cells/outside cells with different DNA (ie if the person's immune system didn't reject them or something) or would the stem cells aquire the dna of the cells around them anyway
  18. Jun 2, 2008 #17
    okay never mind about my stem cell questions but I do have one question:

    how long could you keep a sample of DNA for (ie frozen) in a way where you can know what the original DNA was? Why can you keep or not keep it for that amount of time? thanks
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2008
  19. Jun 3, 2008 #18

    Andy Resnick

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    There's one fundamental problem with this seductive reasoning:

    Most scientific research (and a lot of medical care) is funded by the government through taxation.

    That taxes are used to fund research means that taxpayers have a say in how the money is spent (representation). Ethical issues abound in medical research- not just the obvious issues (cloning, abortion, genetics) but also non-obvious ones (animal models, use of patient data). As responsible scientists we have an obligation to openly disclose what we do and carry on rational dialog with those that have different ethical guidelines. As responsible doctors, we have an obligation to respect the wishes of patients (DNR orders, no blood transfusions) whose beliefs may contradict scientific guidelines.
  20. Jun 4, 2008 #19
    K i just have two questions about stem cells then

    One..when they hooked up the blood of an older mouse up to it's younger clone for 6 weeks..how much did it stimulate stem cells in the brain? Could that over time be used to regenerate the whole brain and/or any part of it that we wanted to regenerate?

    Could we regenerate the whole brain and/or any part of it that we wanted to regenerate (I mean if there was a medical reason to) in someone right now using adult stem cells theoretically by using gene therapy to make them produce more stem cells or something (I thought they found a rat gene they made them produce three times the amount of stem cells?) or is that completely out of our reach?
  21. Jun 5, 2008 #20
    Ignore my previous question because it was stupid
    But I do have a question; couldn't you stimulate both and adult and embryonic cells through younger blood? Like if it stimulates adult stem cells, will it also stimulate embroyonic stem cells inside someone's body? (If you figured out what did the stimulation)
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