Lead Into Gold; MORE Progress on IPSCs
Good news on a Saturday morning: A new paper is out touting more advances in understanding the mechanisms of IPSCs. It is written in pure scienceze and is way over my head. But a scientist friend of mine translated it and it appears that the paper's authors have discovered that two potential obstacles to the full use of these new cells--the use of viruses to introduce the genes that reprogram the skin or other cells into stem cells and concerns about the genes themselves--may not be serious problems after all.
In an article called "Defining Molecular Cornerstonesduring Fibroblast to iPS Cell Reprogramming in Mouse," published in Cell Stem Cell (2, 1-11), scientists apparently found that the viral expression shut down after 10 days and that the added genes only needed 10 days to achieve full and stable reprogramming. If the virus expression is shut down it means they become dormant (I think). And the genes seem to have completed their work are no longer a factor after 10 days because the IPSC become stable and can be multiplied in culture as IPSCs. Of course, that still leaves tumor formation, but that is true of embryonic stem cells as well.
The "need" for therapeutic cloning is becoming an increasingly difficult argument to make--if all you want from cloning are tailor made, patient specific pluripotent stem cells. Of course, that has never been all "the scientists" (by which I mean the intelligentsia and the brave new worlders) wanted. Rather, their ultimate goals, in my opinion, have always been fetal farming, genetic engineering, reproductive cloning, and all that jazz.
Three cheers! We may be getting to the place where a ban on all human cloning will be politically viable.
P.S. I have the PDF. If anyone would like it, send me a private -e-mail and it will be on its way to you.
Labels: Lead Into Gold