Public release date: 20-Feb-2010
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Contact: Jennifer Michalowski
michalow@hhmi.org
301-215-8576
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

George Daley to discuss challenges and opportunities facing stem cell scientists



2010 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
The United States government's decision last year to lift restrictions on federally-funded stem cell research has helped the nation's stem-cell researchers concentrate on science, but limitations remain – even under the new policy, according to George Daley, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Children's Hospital Boston.

Daley's presentation at the AAAS Annual Meeting in San Diego, Calif., on February 20, 2010 will describe the current climate facing stem cell researchers in the United States. He will also discuss his current viewpoint on whether induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) -- which are derived from adult cells – will have the same potential therapeutic utility as human embryonic stem cells.

Human embryonic stem cells have the remarkable capacity to mature into all of the 200 kinds of cells that make up the human body: skin, bone, nerve, blood, heart, and so on. By this nature, the cells hold great promise for treating devastating diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, cancer, and diabetes. However, some consider human embryonic stem cell research controversial because, in some cases, the new stem cell lines are derived frozen human embryos that have been donated for research. New strategies have been recently developed that circumvent this issue by genetically reprogramming adult cells.

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http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-gdt021710.php