October
11
 

Adult stem cell research progress

A number of promising developments in adult stem cell research have been reported over the past couple of weeks. They include:

  • Mesenchymal stem cells from amniotic fluid could be used to repair defective windpipes in unborn children, according to research at Children's Hospital Boston. Using lambs, a team headed by Dr Dario Fauza successfully multiplied adult stem cells in a culture, differentiated them into cartilage cells, and repaired birth defects in utero. click here to read whole article and make comments



  •  
    October
    11
     

    Chinese doctor thumbs nose at Western sceptics

    The reputation of a Beijing doctor who uses cells from aborted foetuses to treat patients with spinal cord injuries and ALS is growing -- enough for him to be profiled in the leading journal Nature. Dr Hongyun Huang, of Chaoyang Hospital, has used olfactory ensheathing cells to treat about 600 patients with neurological difficulties since 2001 -- even though Western journals have refused to publish his findings.

    Dr Huang's patients have not been deterred by his impatience with conventional trials, controls and data analysis. Although the patients seldom make dramatic recoveries, he claims that many of them have reported improved quality of life. "There are more animal and mouse studies than the world can take," says one of his Western patients. "We're ready for the real thing."

    However, most of Dr Huang's results are anecdotal -- videotapes and patient testimonials -- and Western journals want careful quantification of the results. They also have reservations about the safety of the procedures.… click here to read whole article and make comments




     
    October
    11
     

    Italy supports feeding coma patients

    Terri Schiavo would not have died in Italy, at least after a recent decision by its National Bioethics Committee. The committee decided that artificial nutrition and hydration must not be suspended if patients have normal vital signs and breathe independently, even if they are not conscious. Bioethicist Claudia Navarini explained that food and water are not special medical treatment but normal care.

    The relevance of the decision was dramatically highlighted by a 38- year-old Italian's return to consciousness after two years in a coma. In comments relayed by his brother, Salvatore Crisafulli claims that he "understood everything and cried in desperation" while trapped inside his body. A neurologist at the Royal Infirmary at Newcastle, in the UK, told the Guardian that the man may have been suffering from locked-in syndrome and might not have been in a coma. click here to read whole article and make comments




     
    September
    27
     

    Euthanasia back on boil in UK

    Dutch doctors have found that few patients who ask for euthanasia are making a rational request for a good death. Writing in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers say that contrary to their own clinical experience and their initial hypothesis, depressed patients were four times more likely to request euthanasia and half of all requests were made by depressed patients.

    In an accompanying editorial, Dr Ezekiel J. Emanuel, a bioethicist at the US National Institutes of Health, says that most, if not all, studies have shown that psychological distress, including depression and hopelessness, is a major factor in euthanasia requests.

    He says that there is "woefully little evidence" to suggest that excruciating, unremitting pain normally prompts such requests. Of the first 15 patients who requested legal physician-assisted suicide in Oregon, only 1 (7%) had severe pain. When euthanasia was legal in Australia's Northern Territory, seven patients were helped to die -- three had… click here to read whole article and make comments




     
    September
    27
     

    Dignity therapy” helps dying patients

    Researchers in Canada and Australia have found that helping dying patients relive and record important memories can ease end-of-life distress. So-called "dignity therapy" helps to increase patients sense of purpose and meaning in life and ease their suffering and depression. The lead author in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Dr Harvey Max Chochinov, of the University of Manitoba, says that while medicine has made much progress in treating physical symptoms, little is known about how to relieve "spiritual or existential anguish". In an editorial comment, Betty Ferrell, of the City of Hope National Medical Center in California, called dignity therapy a major contribution to advancing care for the terminally ill". click here to read whole article and make comments



     
    September
    27
     

    Stem cell research not currently profitable

    The commercial potential for stem cells is far more modest than its more enthusiastic boosters proclaim, according to a survey of the industry by consultants from Bain & Company. Some analysts have forecast a US$10 billion market by 2010, but Michael Steiner and Nils Behnke believe that this figure will be only $100 million. They believe that it might rise to $2 billion by 2015.

    Bain's consultants say that there are about 140 stem-cell related products in development, but nearly all of them are far from clinical trials. And, like other products with great potential, many of these will fail. Furthermore, because of the ethical complications arising from research on human embryos, the US Federal Government has imposed restrictions which hamper the pace of development.

    A measly $1 billion was spent on stem-cell research last year, just 1% of global spending on health-care research and development. The engine of biotech, venture capital, is… click here to read whole article and make comments




     
    September
    27
     

    Is foetus farming the next big thing for stem cell scientists?

    A member of the President's Council on Bioethics claims that some stem cell scientists believe that "foetus farming" will be needed to overcome the drawbacks of embryonic stem cells. Professor Robert P. George, of Princeton University, says that ESCs from cloned embryos cannot be used in therapies because they are likely to cause tumours. However, tissue taken from human foetuses at around 16 or 18 weeks will not cause tumours and can be used to treat diseases.

    Recent research by the Massachusetts firm Advanced Cell Technology discusses the use of stem cells from cloned cattle foetuses. Although the article did not mention human beings, it was plain that the purpose of the research was not to cure diseased cows, but rather to establish the potential therapeutic value of doing precisely the same thing with human beings," writes Professor George in the Weekly Standard. "For those who have ears to hear, the message is clear."

    Professor George also points to legislation… click here to read whole article and make comments




     
    September
    27
     

    California bioethicists forging stem cell standards

    Bioethicists at the University of California San Francisco want scientists to adopt ethical guidelines for embryonic stem cell research now, even though treatment for diseases may be "many years" away. Their article in the journal Stem Cells focuses on obtaining true informed consent from patients who participate in clinical trials.

    One important ethical issue revolves around informed consent. Patients need to know that their treatment has been derived from human embryos and that they are unlikely to receive "clinical benefit" from a phase I clinical trial. Another concern is privacy. It will be essential for researchers to keep in touch with patients for many years, in case diseases dormant at the time of donation emerge later on. Since a single embryonic stem cell line could treat hundreds or even thousands of patients, an infected cell could spread a pathogen or disease-causing genetic mutation to many patients. click here to read whole article and make comments




     
    September
    20
     

    Danish sperm merchant to sail past UK fertility laws

    A Danish entrepreneur is studying the possibility of anchoring fertility ships" in international waters to help people evade restrictive laws. Ole Schou, the founder of Cryos, the biggest sperm bank in Europe, wants to supply anonymous sperm to Britons unable to have IVF or artificial insemination because there are not enough sperm donors in the UK. He plans to employ professionals from the local country to provide medical services. His brainstorm is modelled upon the Dutch ship which tried to anchor off Ireland and Portugal to provide abortions.

    Since the floating fertility clinic would be governed by the law of the country whose flag it is flying, there would effectively be no restrictions on almost any of its practices. Clients from Denmark, where embryos must be destroyed after two years, could use it to store embryos indefinitely. Clients from Italy could use it to conceive even if they were unmarried. Fertility legislation varies… click here to read whole article and make comments




     
    September
    20
     

    Adult stem cells a good alternative, says Australian scientist

    An Australian stem cell researcher has told a government inquiry into therapeutic cloning that his field has advanced so much in the past three years that adult stem cells are now "serious alternatives" to embryonic stem cells for cell transplantation, for research into diseases and for drug discovery. "The ethical issues raised by the embryonic stem cell debate should be informed by knowledge of alternative technologies," says Professor Alan Mackay-Sim, of Griffith University.

    In a written submission to a committee studying whether or not Australian legislation should be amended to allow therapeutic cloning, Professor Mackay-Sim says that scepticism about the developmental potential of adult stem cells "can no longer be sustained in the face of considerable scientific evidence to the contrary". His own research team discovered that adult stem cells from the organ of the sense of smell in the nose can be induced to become liver, heart, muscle, kidney, blood, fat, and nerve cells, amongst others. He is exploring… click here to read whole article and make comments




     

    Page 348 of 408 : ‹ First  < 346 347 348 349 350 >  Last ›


     Search BioEdge

     Subscribe to BioEdge newsletter
    rss Subscribe to BioEdge RSS feed

     from the editor: Pointed Remarks
    Yes, Minister
    19 Jul 2014
    California Institute for Regenerative Medicine rattles the tin again
    12 Jul 2014
    A bioethical dilemma for sharia law
    5 Jul 2014

     Be a fan of BioEdge on Facebook

     Best of the web

     Recent Posts
    Veterans Affairs scandal stems from a crisis of ethics: bioethicist
    19 Jul 2014
    ‘Informed consent has become a fetish’ – American bioethicist
    18 Jul 2014
    Nasal growth found on woman’s back after stem-cell treatment
    18 Jul 2014
    Top scientists call for restrictions on pathogen creation
    18 Jul 2014
    Couples flock to Thailand for sex selective IVF
    18 Jul 2014