FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Alternative Sources for Stem Cells

Several research projects offer promise for harvesting viable human stem cells from sources other than human embryos -- potentially removing a major ethical quandary in the progress toward stem cell treatments.

Experiments with human muscle, skin and fat cells have yielded encouraging results. An Australian research team has cultivated stem cells taken from inside an adult nose; these could potentially be used for growing nerve, heart, kidney and muscle cells. And in Norway, a research team has used adult human bone marrow cells to grow spinal cord nerves in chicken embryos.

The Catholic Church funded part of the Australian study to demonstrate that progress in stem cell research could be made without using human embryonic stem cells.

Sources: MSNBC, FuturePundit