One-parent embryos: A step ahead in stem cells

When the subject is stem cell research, the term embryo is not only ethically charged, but increasingly hard to define.

Now, University of Pennsylvania researchers have stretched the definition even further. In studies with mice, they created embryos using genetic material from only one parent – either a mother or a father.

This dead-ended the embryos’ development, but not before the organisms reached the stage where they contained embryonic stem cells – the precious precursors of all types of specialized cells.

In a first-of-its-kind experiment, these embryonic stem cells were used to reconstitute the blood systems of adult mice whose own blood cells were destroyed by radiation.

The study, published last month in the journal Genes & Development, is another step forward for the emerging field of regenerative medicine, which aims to find ways to repair and rebuild human tissue. If the same approach works in humans – a big if – then patients could be given stem cell treatments that their immune systems would not reject.

More info:  Associated Press

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One Response to “One-parent embryos: A step ahead in stem cells”

  1. leslielee Says:

    although I could not fully digest and understand the article, it is a

    fascinating concept. glad the work is being done, silence the nay-

    sayers by using this method.

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