17
Nov
07

Embryonic stem cells… without creating or destroying embryos? HECK YES.

This is a fascinating article from The Telegraph about Professor Ian Wilmut’s recent announcement that he is abandoning the Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) technique for creating cloned embryos, which he pioneered over a decade ago. Wilmut, professor at the University of Edinburgh and creator of Dolly the sheep, is instead focusing on a new technique known as “de-differentiation,” currently being researched by Professor Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University. Yamanaka’s technique would result in pluripotent ESCs without the use of human eggs, and without the creation or subsequent destruction of ANY human embryos.

Here’s the article. (clicky)

Folks, this seems like (at least the beginning of) a win-win situation for the future of therapeutic cloning and genetic medicine. The fact that a “giant” like Professor Wilmut has jumped on-board with such energy and certainty, INSTEAD of pursuing the avenue accorded him by his government-issued permit to create human embryos, should speak volumes about the seriousness of de-differentiation’s potential.

This excites me to no end. 🙂

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The random musings of a 30-something, West Texas high-school science teacher. Hoo-RAY.
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