liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

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Stem Cell Update

In today's news: Scientists in Britain are breeding embryos from stem cells made by inserting human DNA into an animal cell with most of its genetic material removed. Human eggs are hard to come by. They say this process is "less cumbersome and yields better results", but not why. They call them "hybrid embryos".

The public is not amused, and the scientists fear that they will loose their funding.

And some less ambiguously good stem cell news, they have had success getting viable stem cells from amniotic fluid. Amniocentesis is used with slight risk if there is any concern about the embryo's genetic makeup.

By breeding stem cells scientists have been able to grow functioning muscle, fat, blood vessel, nerve and liver cells. They can't make tissues very well, because growing multiple cell types together in an organized fashion is complicated. A liver is a whole lot more than a bunch of liver cells. And muscles cells need something to pull against to develop correctly.
Tags: ethics, genetic engineering, pregnancy, science

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