Thursday, January 31, 2013

Remember That Stem Cell Debate?

Remember a few years back when the biggest debate was over stem cell research? Although we don't hear about it as much anymore, some advances in the field are yielding exciting possibilities, and with those possibilities, some concerns. 

"The Berlin Man" received a blood stem cell transplant (which is pretty much a bone marrow transplant) a few years ago to treat his Leukemia. Surprisingly, after the treatment, his HIV seemed to have disappeared. Although remnant traces linger, he is symptom free and has been off is medication for over five years now! So is this possibly a cure?

Stem cell research is finding all sorts of new discoveries. For example, embryonic stem cells (the big debate) offer a plethora of information and opportunity, while somatic or adult stem cells (like the blood stem cells) don't have the flexibility or potential of the embryonic. So what did scientists do? They've found a way to essentially create stem cells in labs that resemble embryonic stem cells, without actually harvesting any!

Pretty crazy stuff. It seems as though this advancement means no more debate. But wait, there's more...

Read more of my article here, on The International!

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