Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Stem cell scientists seek abnormal embryos

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    17,427

    Stem cell scientists seek abnormal embryos

    http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/h...sh_1563987.htm


    Stem cell scientists seek abnormal embryos

    Judy Skatssoon
    ABC Science Online

    Wednesday, 8 February 2006


    Stem cell lines derived from abnormal embryos can improve our knowledge of genetic diseases, researchers say (Image: NASA)

    Australian researchers are seeking the country's first licences to make stem cell lines from freshly created human embryos with genetic abnormalities.

    This is a shift from the current situation where all research in Australia on human embryos has been confined to frozen spare embryos created during previous in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment.

    The medical director of Sydney IVF, Dr Robert Jansen, says the group has applied to the National Health and Medical Research Council's licensing committee for two licences for fresh embryos.

    One relates to embryos created during IVF, but having genetic diseases like Huntington's, cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy.

    The second licence is for IVF embryos that have failed to develop properly and contain chromosomal abnormalities or mutations.

    "Both the new licences are [to] intentionally produce abnormal stem cell lines so that they can be used for research into the relevant diseases," Jansen says.

    Dr David Cram of Monash IVF and his colleague, stem cell pioneer Professor Alan Trounson, are also seeking access to embryos with genetic diseases.

    "We are going through a process at the moment to gain approval for using embryos that are being found to be affected by genetic disease for creating stem cell lines," Cram says.

    "The whole idea is that we believe that these stem cell lines will be useful in ultimately identifying new treatments for patients ... to identify a potential drug to change the abnormality."

    Fresh or frozen?
    The use of fresh embryos was addressed by the stem cell and cloning Legislation Review Committee, which handed down its report last December about changes to current stem cell research laws.

    The Lockhart report recommends that "fresh ART [assisted reproductive technology] embryos that are diagnosed by pre-implantation genetic diagnosis ... as being unsuitable for implantation should be permitted to be used, under licence, for research, training and improvements in clinical practice".

    Cram says legislative changes will be required before researchers can have access to fresh, as opposed to frozen embryos.

    Abnormal embryos can be identified using pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (Image: Sydney IVF)
    However, Jansen says the restrictions on using fresh embryos are not enshrined in law, but are only a "suggestion" of the Australian Health Ethics Committee, which stipulates a two-week waiting period before a couple commits an embryo to research.

    The timeframe effectively rules out the use of fresh embryos, which would be too old to use for stem cells after two weeks.

    Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis
    The abnormal embryos the researchers are seeking will be the products of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PIGD), which allows scientists to detect abnormalities in a blastocyst before it's implanted in the womb.

    In a paper published in the journal Endocrine Reviews, Trounson reviews the use of chromosomally abnormal or mutant human embryos from IVF clinics using PIGD.

    "These ... lines are an important resource for functional genomics, drug screening and, perhaps eventually, cell and gene therapy," he writes.

    Cram says it's also more efficient to use fresh embryos because freezing can damage them.

    He says the group will also apply to import stem cell lines created from abnormal embryos internationally to "cover all our bases" in case the application for a licence is unsuccessful.

    Ethical issues
    Associate Professor Sue Dodds, from the University of Wollongong specialises in feminist approaches to bioethics.

    She says the biggest ethical issues about using fresh embryos relate to the potential to put pressure on women to provide embryos on demand for research, rather than creating them as part of a legitimate IVF process.

    She says there are also perceptions about the so-called "slippery slope" towards production-line approaches to human life.

    "As a matter of public policy it's been decided that we cannot create embryos for the purpose of research ... [but can only] use ones that would otherwise be destroyed because they're not being used for IVF," she says.

  2. #2
    Leif, you are a very knolledgable man. Are you SCI, a doctor or just so very interested in research.
    I wish I knew alot more about my condition and the chances of a "cure".
    By the way...in your opinion, how close do you personally think we are.
    Don't have to answer if you don't want to.
    All the best bud.
    C-5 incomplete , walking with crutches. In controlled pain. Respect to all SCI people.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    17,427
    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyC
    Leif, you are a very knolledgable man. Are you SCI, a doctor or just so very interested in research.
    I wish I knew alot more about my condition and the chances of a "cure".
    By the way...in your opinion, how close do you personally think we are.
    Don't have to answer if you don't want to.
    All the best bud.
    Jonny, thanks but I’m not a knowledge’d man in this field. I’m just a SCI person like you searching for information and answers. The knowledge is the sum of this board, the sum of all those members you might say, plus the always encouraging answers and comments from the administrator Dr. Wise. – You just continue to post, maybe it is you that will post a breakthrough for all of us some time. The beauty of this site works that members posts their posts and then other members will comment and discuss the topics if it is of interest and then we will be guided be professional answers from the SCI-nurses and doctor Wise. - Quite cool, don’t you think? And it works.

    For your condition; you will learn fast. Just continue to read all kinds of posts and don’t be afraid to ask questions or post your own news or questions. Become engaged and very soon you will know a lot of stuff. How close we are with respect to a cure? I can’t answer that one, I believe no one can. But one thing I can tell you is that we are closer then we ever have been. Science on this field is doing progress every day. But don’t be to optimistic. This research is difficult any many tests (clinical trials) will have to be carried out before we reach our common goal… What we can do meantime is to get engaged, learn, ask questions and try to tell our politicians how important it is to create a policy where researchers will have good environments to find this “cure”… If you go through some threads you will find many answers how far we are from a cure.

    When it comes to this “cure” I like to view it this way; my grandfather become ninety-four before he died. I’m “just” forty-four. If there will be a cure here i.e. in six years I will be fifty. This means I could have forty-four more years of walking – that's a lot of walking. And you are much younger I can see, meaning you will have plenty of walking ahead of you – hopefully

    All the best to you as well, and continue your search for knowledge. Leif
    Last edited by Leif; 02-08-2006 at 01:24 PM.

  4. #4
    Quote by Lief,
    Jonny, thanks but I’m not a knowledge’d man in this field.

    Lief, you may not think that you are knowledgable in this field, but your passion and yes knowledge is constantly keeping us CC members current on what is going on in the hopes for a "cure".

    Thank you,
    Riz
    C5 incomplete

  5. #5
    Senior Member roshni's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Old Bridge, New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    2,496
    Leif,

    I always learn something new from your posts. I admire your dedication and am grateful for your efforts. Many, many thanks, Leif.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    17,427
    Thank you and the same to you Riz and Roshni, but stop it. I only answered Jonny.

    Dedication is due to I’m tired of this SCI (and are so lucky that I am not so damaged because of this SCI that I cant fight for a cure, not all of us are that lucky) and wants to ease the daily living and if we are lucky could find a way to get substantial improvement or at least a little bit. I wish I can turn my dedication into other fields as soon as possible – hopefully, if we all work together, imagine the power we could have had then!

    I suggest we all take 5 years off, and only work for this, day and night. This would have done the job I think. And I mean it, no joke
    Last edited by Leif; 02-08-2006 at 02:23 PM.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-21-2005, 05:22 PM
  2. Replies: 12
    Last Post: 06-18-2003, 09:24 AM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-09-2002, 04:47 PM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-26-2002, 06:36 PM
  5. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-26-2001, 11:25 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •