Human cloning has been used to create stem cells from adults for the first time, in a breakthrough which could lead to tissue and organs being regrown.
Using the cloning technique that produced Dolly the sheep in 1996, researchers were able to turn adult human skin cells into stem cells, which can grow into any type of tissue in the body.
They even used the cells of a 75-year-old man, raising the prospect of body parts being regenerated in old age.
The advance could lead to new tissue-transplant operations for a range of debilitating disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, heart disease and spinal cord injuries.
Last year, a team created stem cells from the skin cells of babies, but it was unclear whether it would work in adults.
However, a team of scientists from the Research Institute for Stem Cell Research at CHA Health Systems in Los Angeles and the University of Seoul said they had achieved the same result with two men, one aged 35, the other the 75-year-old.
“The proportion of diseases you can treat with lab-made tissue increases with age. So if you can’t do this with adult cells it is of limited value,” said Robert Lanza, co-author of the research, which was published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.
The technique works by removing the nucleus from an unfertilized egg and replacing it with the nucleus of a skin cell. An electric shock causes the cells to divide until they form a “blastocyst,” a small ball of a few hundred cells.
In IVF, a blastocyst is implanted into the womb, but with the new technique the cells would be harvested to create other organs or tissues.
The breakthrough is likely to reignite the debate about the ethics of creating human embryos for medical purposes and the possible use of the same technique to produce cloned babies — which is illegal in Britain.
The Latest on: Cloning adult stem cells
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The Latest on: Cloning adult stem cells
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The outcome of the fusion process of a somatic (adult ... high-level inefficiency. Cloning is performed by isolation and enucleation (by spindle removal) of an egg cell and transfer of a diploid ...
- A Decade Later: Time for a Dose of Reality on Stem Cellson May 4, 2022 at 5:01 pm
But these use stem cells (once seen as less versatile) found in adult tissues and in umbilical ... rejection has led researchers to support cloning human embryos, to obtain cells that genetically ...
- Nuclear Transplantation, Embryonic Stem Cells, and the Potential for Cell Therapyon April 13, 2022 at 5:00 pm
Therapeutic cloning might substantially improve the ... derived from less well differentiated adult cells, such as adult stem cells. The genome of adult stem cells might resemble that of embryonic ...
- Reverend’s stem cell support is personalon March 25, 2022 at 5:00 pm
argues that all types of stem cell research should be allowed in an effort to find cures for diseases, while at the same time agreeing that cloning humans should be banned. Unlike adult stem cells ...
- Subcommittee hears testimony on stem cell researchon December 6, 2021 at 1:33 am
But critics say new developments with adult stem cells should be ... Another source of stem cells being studied, therapeutic cloning, is no less controversial. It involves creating an embryonic ...
- You, again: Are we getting closer to cloning humans?on June 21, 2021 at 7:09 am
"If cloning embryonic stem cells is successful ... but Lovell-Badge suggests that the "demands on reprogramming your adult cell back into the embryo are so much greater if you want that embryo ...
- A Submission to The House of Lords Select Committee on Stem Cell Researchon April 23, 2021 at 7:01 pm
S.1 There are scientific aspects of cloning and stem cell research which needto be clarified before ethical questions are posed. In particular, it seemsthat research on adult stem cells is ...
- Therapeutic cloningon July 25, 2020 at 9:11 pm
Adult stem cell transplants use a patient's own stem ... cells were collected from the patient as an embryo. Therapeutic cloning could produce stem cells with the same genetic make-up as the ...
- US deliberates on embryonic stem cells, cloningon April 14, 2019 at 6:14 pm
“I strongly oppose human cloning,” Bush said in his August ... the extensive work already sponsored by NIH using human adult stem cells,” says NIH Acting Director Ruth Kirschstein.
- The Facts and Fiction of Cloningon November 24, 2010 at 12:23 pm
In nuclear transfer, DNA from an unfertilized egg is removed and replaced with DNA from an adult ... angle to cloning. For some, the technology is seen not as a source for stem cells to cure ...
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