Now Stem Cell Research Does Not Have to Rely on Abortions

In response to concerns about stem-cell research in an article I posted four years ago, Dr. David Stevens pointed out the use of adult stem cells made up the bulk of positive accomplishments up to then and would become a reality much sooner. Apparently, sooner may be right now.

Scientists at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh have discovered often overlooked adult (or post-natal) stem cells have the same ability as embryonic stem cells to multiply, a previously unknown characteristic indicating they may play an important therapeutic role in treatments. Researchers from Children's and the University of Pittsburgh were able to expand the use of post-natal stem cells to a population level comparable to that reached by those using embryonic stem cells.

Previous research has found embryonic stem cells could undergo more than 200 population doublings (a method of measuring the age of a population of cells) before cells begin to die.
This new study found a unique population of muscle-derived stem cells was able to undergo more than 200 population doublings too.

Moreover, these post-natal cells were able to undergo population doublings while maintaining their ability to regenerate muscle in an animal model, a key finding indicating they could maintain their treatment potential. This ability to self-replenish is significant. For stem cells to be used for treatment, a large quantity of the cells would be required.

Another plus about adult and post-natal stem cells: With post-natal stem cells taken from the recipient and then reintroduced, rejection or autoimmunity wouldn't be an issue.

This wonderful finding would certainly relieve concerns by many Christians who oppose stem cell research because fetal cells are obtained from abortions and provide some important breakthroughs for helping to repair and regenerate damaged tissues.

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh June 23, 2005 Free Full-Text Article

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