- News Home
10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
- About Us
Stem Cells Show Versatility, Power
20 June 2002 (All day)
Stem cells got a publicity boost on 20 June at a Minneapolis, Minnesota, press conference. One researcher reported on a new type of adult cell that appears to be as versatile as embryonic stem (ES) cells. Another reported progress in using embryonic stem cells to treat an animal model of Parkinson's disease.
Catherine Verfaillie, a blood stem cell researcher at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, described what could turn out to be a "universal" stem cell that isn't derived from embryos. Verfaillie calls them multipotent adult progenitor cells (MAPCs). Her team harvested these cells from the bone marrow. The researchers found that MAPCs from rats, mice, and humans can be induced in test tubes to resemble cells in many types of bodily tissues, she said. Furthermore, if the cells are injected into early embryos, they later appear in "every organ" in the body--suggesting that they might be compatible with a body's every need.
Also featured was research spearheaded by mouse ES cell researcher Ronald McKay of the National Institute for Neurological Diseases and Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland. His team cultivated dopamine-producing cells from mouse ES cells and injected them into rats with a version of Parkinson's disease. The treatment alleviated the animals' symptoms. Both reports appear in the 21 June issue of Nature online.
The evidence was there that dopamine-producing ES cells should treat Parkinson's disease in rats, but now "he's put it all together," says Ted Dawson of the Parkinson's Disease Center at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, of McKay's research. Reaction to Verfaillie's work was enthusiastic as well. She has shown that "the cells are stable and can contribute to a very broad spectrum of mature cell populations," says blood researcher John Dick of Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children.