Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are somatic cells that are reprogrammed into becoming stem cells and these can then become a wide range of cells and tissues. The ability to turn, say, skin cells into muscle or nerve cells is the foundation of the emerging field of regenerative medicine.
Once again we want to report of some interesting pieces of science news. Continue reading Science round up 2
Umbilical cord blood contains stem cell, which can be used for scientific research and medical treatments, including the treatment of leukemia. Since umbilical is a waste product without a real purpose, the use of umbilical cord stem cells is much less controversial than the use of embryonic stem cells.
In our post Breakthrough artificial egg cells we discussed the possibility to create egg cells from skin tissue. In that article we asserted that one of the main advantage of this development is the possibility to avoid surgery to collect egg cells from a woman. However, this procedure still require a biopsy.
But science, especially in the field of stem cell research, is making fast progress. According to the science daily scientists have succeed in harvesting stem cells from urine. The importance of this development is clear, taking urine samples is one of the most convenient medical procedures (from the prospect of the patient/donor).
If scientists can succeed in creating egg cells from urine stem cells, then egg cell donation will become as easy as sperm donation. Since urine samples can be collected everywhere, this also allows to circumvent strict laws against (commercial) egg cell donation which are enacted by some countries.
In my post Alternative for Abortion I discussed Robin Baker’s proposal for a new system of contraception. In this system people are sterilized at young age, while their gametes are stored ex vivo. However, this would involve two invasive medical procedures in case of women. The possibility of creating egg cells from stem cells extracted from urine, will make this system of contraception much more attractive