Friday, July 29, 2005

Successful Stem Cell Research - From Adult Cells

SWEDISH researchers have created new functioning brain cells from stem cells drawn from the brains of living adults, sparking hope that effective treatments for devastating illnesses like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's could be at hand, media reported overnight.

Neurosurgeons withdrew the stem cells from the brains of adults during routine surgery for hydrocephalus, or water on the brain, a researcher at the Stockholm Karolinska Institute told the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet.

As long as an agent was present to induce cell division, the extracted stem cells created new and working brain cells.

"So far we have managed to produce several millions of new cells from the original stem cells. About 25 percent of them are (active) neurons," Ulf Westerlund, who presented his doctoral thesis on the subject last week, told the paper.

Maybe now we can leave the embryos alone.