Human embryonic stem cells

John Clark (
Sun, 8 Nov 1998 16:55:10 -0500

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Human embryonic stem cells have been isolated and I think this is very big news. The feat was independently achieved by two different teams using completely different methods, although both were financed by the Geron corporation, the same company that made a splash a few months ago when they immortalized cells by lengthening their telomeres. Human embryonic stem cells are undifferentiated but can develop into any of the 220 different kinds of cells that make up the human body. This is a huge step toward cloning spare organs with no danger of rejection from your immune system. And why not clone organs, we already know how to clone individuals. A reporter asked Dr. Thomas Okarma, Geron's vice president for research "Can the mortal body therefore be repaired with new tissues, new tissues that remain youthful indefinitely?" Dr. Okarma replied "Exactly."

Apparently I'm not the only one who was impressed, these results were published in the journal Science on late Thursday afternoon (November 6 issue) and on Friday the price of Geron stock tripled and the trading volume was more than 80 times it's normal level making it the most actively traded in the market.

John K Clark

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