Scientists Reprogram Adult Cells’ Function

washintonpost.com

Scientists have transformed one type of fully developed adult cell directly into another inside a living animal, a startling advance that could lead to cures for a variety of illnesses and sidestep the political and ethical quagmires associated with embryonic stem cell research…  

…The work was hailed as a welcome development even by critics of research involving embryonic stem cells, which can be coaxed to become any tissue in the body but are highly controversial because they are obtained by destroying embryos.

 "I see no moral problem in this basic technique," said Richard Doerflinger of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, a leading opponent of embryonic stems cell research. "This is a 'win-win' situation for medicine and ethics."

Through a series of painstaking experiments involving mice, the Harvard biologists pinpointed three crucial molecular switches that, when flipped, completely convert a common cell in the pancreas into the more precious insulin-producing ones that diabetics need to survive.

 Those who follow the actual science and not the political propaganda, understand that every major breakthrough in stem-cell research has been done with mature cells, even in countries where there is no ban on embryonic stem cell research.

About Rick