Re: new stem cell breakthrough

From: phil osborn (
Date: Tue Aug 15 2000 - 21:57:52 MDT

>From: Damien Broderick <>
>Subject: new stem cell breakthrough
>Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 17:42:46 +1000
>14 August 2000
>Therapeutic cloning involves culturing stem cells in the laboratory that
>could become replacement nerves and organs to overcome a range of
>devastating illnesses.
>Earlier this year the team at Monash Institute announced that they were the
>first in the world to grow nerve cells in the laboratory.
>The next stage in the development of this therapy is to grow these cells
>using a patient's own DNA, so that when introduced to the body, the immune
>system will not reject them.
>In another world first the Monash team has proven this theory using a mouse
>model. The scientists have established cloned mouse stem cell lines which
>have the potential to grow into any type of mouse cell.
>"This is an important development and proof of principle of therapeutic
>cloning theory," said Professor Alan Trounson, Deputy Director of the
>Monash Institute of Reproduction and Development.
>"Much important research is still needed before we can take this treatment
>to the public however this model is an important step that brings together
>the specialised skills of the team at Monash Institute," said Professor
>Monash PhD student, Ms Megan Munsie, has removed the genetic material or
>DNA from an unfertilised mouse egg. She has replaced it with the nucleus
>or DNA of another developed cell from a "target mouse". This insertion of
>a nucleus from a developed or differentiated cell "fertilizes" the egg by
>introducing two complete sets of chromosomes.
>"An embryo is grown for several days to blastocyst stage," explains Ms
>Munsie. "Stem cells are then removed from the embryo and cultured in the
>"These stem cells have the same genetic make up as the original target
>mouse and therefore if we were to program the cells to become a specific
>body type, theoretically they could be introduced to the target mouse to
>treat illnesses," said Ms Munsie.
>This study is being published in the August edition of Current Biology.
>The commercial partner for this research is Australian biotechnology
>company, Stem Cell Sciences.
>Damien Broderick
Nice! Now the next trick will be to get the absolute best egg cells to
start with. I mean the ones that have the really dynamite mitochondria.
There is an enormous variation in mitochondrial efficiency, and specific
mitochondrial lines have been closely correlated with life expectancy. So
you find the best ones and put in an ideal mix of several top strains, and
you've got the next FloJo.
Or, in the case of the potential for tissue/organ replacement, you put in a
new heart that is seen as yours by your immune system, but it runs at
olympic athlete levels.

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