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Thread: Have the Korean SCNT advances speeded things up?

  1. #1
    Senior Member mk99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    toronto, canada

    Have the Korean SCNT advances speeded things up?

    I have nothing but respect and admiration for the Korean team for making a significant step forward in this technology.

    But does it really make a difference in terms of speeding up cures to SCI & other conditions?

    The ability to make a "custom" stem cell line doesn't mean that the new cells know where to go and what to do anymore than the existing ESC lines do.

    Am I wrong?

  2. #2
    Knowledge = power.
    Power = Application
    Application = success/cure.

    Yes, all advances speed up the process because they force others to replicate or improve the existing science, it provides a new standard to which all others are measured, it demands review by the science, political and financial sectors of other countries/parties, it reveals plausibility or not, it strengthens awareness and advocacy, it provides hope, it saves time/money (efficiency) and it ultimately provides a still stronger foundation for the possibilities represented by the effort.

    I believe, resoundingly so, that, yes, it certainly does speed things up.

    Onward and upward.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Schmeky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    West Monroe, LA, USA

    I believe so. If anything, this will eventually reveal the potential, or lack thereof, of ESC to cure SCI as well as other conditions.

  4. #4
    Don't forget the lure of dollars.

    There are many people spending money to
    go to the Dominican Republic for
    injections that do nothing!
    My buddy was one!

    What nation needs masses of
    armies/nuclear weapons when
    people are giving it money!


  5. #5
    Mike, I think Chris is correct, although I don't know how big of an impact it will make for SCI research.

    While the new cell lines won't know where to go anymore than existing lines, as you note, they offer the ability to observe their growth in culture and allow scientists to see whether or not they develop differently. With respect to a cure for SCI specifically, I don't think it will make too big of a difference, as I would be hard pressed to think of a way in which SCI could change your genetic makeup systematically. (Reduced metabolism, sure. Genetic alterations? Doubtful.)

    That said, combining it with methods such as those reported in this recent Chinese study could be beneficial for genetically matched stem cell treatments. On the other hand, genetically modified autologous cell transplants may surprise everyone. (Grant ends July 31, 2005. We should be hearing something soon, I'm hoping.)

    ...let's tell it how it is, and how it could be... how it was, and of course, how it should be

  6. #6
    There are now 9 people with spinal cord injury with their own embryonic stem cells. I don't know what regulatory hurdles they have to overcome in Korea but they can now do what had been done in animal studies, i.e. treat the cells with retinoic acid to differentiate them to neural stem cells and to reduce the possibility of teratoma formation. Then, I can't think of any reason to not transplant them. No immunosuppression is needed. Wise.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Leo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Yankton, South Dakota
    I think yes, and I take back what i said in other thread. i think we will see fed funding of esc in gwb's time at white house. we just can't hold our head under the sand for three years while scientific breakthroughs happen.

    "All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given you."
    Gandolf the Gray

  8. #8

    Your question carries several other questions that many people are asking.

    1. What are the pros and cons of starting an embryonic stem cell transplant trial in human now?
    • Pro - The cells are there. Safety of cell transplantation is well established, using methods such as those developed by Hongyun Huang, injecting a small volume of suspended cells into the surrounding cord. It may provide some early results that would galvanize the field. It could be billed as a safety and feasibility study so that expectations are not so high that the trial would not be regarded as a failure if it does not produce remarkable improvements right away.
    • Cons. Any problem with the trial would be immediately heralded as a failure. So far, the animal studies have still produced only modest improvements of function with just the cell transplants. Combination therapies may be required.

    2. What safety studies would be needed before the embryonic stem cell are tranplanted into humans?
    • Clear demonstration that the likelihood of teratoma formation is low or absent. Most of the studies to date involving transplantation of human embryonic stem cells into rats or other animals have not shown a high risk of teratoma formation. This may be because these are xenografts. Although the animals were immunosuppressed, it is possible that there is still some immune response that is eliminating cells that grow out of control. In the case of the transplants of cloned stem cells, the cells are unlikely to be rejected.
    • Extensive tests of the cells to ensure that they do not have animal serum contaminants and development of culturing methods to reduce this possibility. Although Hwang is using human serum to grow the cells, apparently at least one step of the stem cell isolation involved the use of bovine serum. They will need to test the cells extensively.
    • Assessment of the cells for any abnormalities. There are many obvious tests but the question is which tests and how extensive the testing should be. Standards will have to be set.
    • Determination of optimum dose. How many cells are needed and produce the best results?
    • What is the best way to deliver the cells, into the spinal cord?

    These are experiments that need to be done. What is good is that many groups will be working with Dr. Hwang. For example, I hope that our group will be starting studies soon, to determine the best way and place to transplant embryonic stem cells into contused spinal cords. I am sure that Dr. McDonald's laboratory and Hans Keirstead's laboratory are working on these problems. By working together, I think that we can move ahead much faster.


  9. #9
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Montreal,Province of Quebec, CANADA

    Here what Hwaung said

    "Hwang made the remarks at a press conference in Seoul while evaluating the roadmap toward therapeutic applications of embryonic stem cell research.

    ``If we compare our research to a marathon that finishes at actual medical usages of stem cell study, the establishment of a stem cell line from a cloned embryo is at the halfway mark,ЎЇЎЇ the 52-year-old said.

    He also said the techniques of developing the stem cell lines into specific cells and organs stand at the 25-kilometer mark while animal tests and prevention of teratoma (cellular cancer) are at 30 kilometers.

    ``The 35-kilometer mark signifies the standardization of a stem cell cure in accordance with many targeted diseases. Human Clinical tests and the post-therapy overview will like between there and the finish line,ЎЇЎЇ he said.

    According to the analogy of a 42.195-kilometer race, Hwang said his team has passed a turning point and currently runs somewhere between 20 and 25-kilometer mark."

    I posted link to full article here-

    web page

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    katonah , ny, usa
    aNYONE INJURED BEFORE 1999, how the fuck can you be soo patient?

    sherman brayton

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