February 11, 2008
UCLA Group Turns Skin Cells Into Embryonic Cells

Confirming work reported a few months ago by other researchers, a group at UCLA have demonstrated that adult human skin cells can be reprogrammed to act like embryonic stem cells.

UCLA stem cell scientists have reprogrammed human skin cells into cells with the same unlimited properties as embryonic stem cells without using embryos or eggs.

Led by scientists Kathrin Plath and William Lowry, UCLA researchers used genetic alteration to turn back the clock on human skin cells and create cells that are nearly identical to human embryonic stem cells, which have the ability to become every cell type found in the human body. Four regulator genes were used to create the cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells.

The UCLA study confirms the work first reported in late November of researcher Shinya Yamanaka at Kyoto University and James Thompson at the University of Wisconsin. The UCLA research appears Feb. 11, 2008, in an early online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences.

The implications for disease treatment could be significant. Reprogramming adult stem cells into embryonic stem cells could generate a potentially limitless source of immune-compatible cells for tissue engineering and transplantation medicine. A patient’s skin cells, for example, could be reprogrammed into embryonic stem cells. Those embryonic stem cells could then be prodded into becoming various cells types – beta islet cells to treat diabetes, hematopoetic cells to create a new blood supply for a leukemia patient, motor neuron cells to treat Parkinson’s disease.

“Our reprogrammed human skin cells were virtually indistinguishable from human embryonic stem cells,” said Plath, an assistant professor of biological chemistry, a researcher with the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research and lead author of the study. “Our findings are an important step towards manipulating differentiated human cells to generate an unlimited supply of patient specific pluripotent stem cells. We are very excited about the potential implications.”

This research helps to get around the opposition to embryonic stem cell research. But these results also demonstrate progress in understanding cellular differentiation. Scientists first had to discover genes that play a role keeping cells in the embryonic state before they could know how to turn very differentiated (specialized) cells into much more flexible wider purpose cells

Our biggest obstacle for turning stem cells into useful therapies probably is our limited understanding of how cells regulate their conversion into a large assortment of specialized cell types. If we knew much more about how cells regulate themselves we'd have a much better idea of how to intervene to control them for therapeutic purposes.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2008 February 11 10:13 PM  Biotech Stem Cells


Comments
Robert Smith said at February 16, 2008 12:39 AM:

"Induced" Stemness In Stem Cells

Its helpful work, but recently I heard Dr. Okarma, CEO of Geron Corp, state that these skin derived cells had over 1000 genes that were differentially switched when compared to an embyonic stem cell. He was certain the FDA would never be albe to approve a therapy baseed on these cells. And making cusome cells for each patient, if involved in this advance, would be cost-prohibitive. On the other hand, Geron is claiming that their cells are immune priveleged,, not attacked by the immune system, so they have already scaled up production of their spinal cord repair cells. A desk sized lab can supply all the cells needed for all the spinal cord injuries in the U.S., and no need to extract the patients own cells, grow them, etc. They will be off the shelf cell products and not be rejected by the immune system. We allow millions of Americans to die by not having governement funding of stem cells. Bush cells are mostly junk, and probably will never be used in a therapy because of concerns about mouse virus or mouse DNA contamination. They are starting to age I would imagine too. Here are some reasons to work hard on embryonic stem cell research:

The embronic cells of today are those that would otherwise be thrown in the garbage can at fertility clinics. They have a limited shelf life even though they are frozen. After a date-certain, they are thrown away. Shouldn't we use them to help humans live?

As the president and pope announce their next meeting to protect the excess fertility clinic embroys that will be thrown in the garbage can, more people die. It costs them nothing to claim the moral high ground while protecting a fertilized egg from helping humans. It costs much much more to save a life via science and medicine. So they take the cheap route. It keeps us in fear of an early death followed by a fiery hell for eternity.

But cancer is embryonic::::::::

Dr. Laird at USC, Nature Geneitics, claims that cancer is a disease of an embryonic stem cell that is silenced in the womb, then reawakened later in life, and goes back to work making the same tissue it was making in the fets. E.V. Gostjeva in her Jan 2006 paper on bell shaped nuclei, compared and contrasted colon cancer stem cells vs. fetal colon stem cells that were making a new colon. They were identical, each making the same several cells types. She discusses that cancer is a disease of a stem cell, embryonic or an adult stem cell that has been "reverted" to an embryonic state.

Robert A Weinberg switches only 3 genes and causes cancer in "many human cell types". He turns on telomerase, and an oncogene, and turns off a tumor suppressor gene. None of this knowledge is being used by govenrment to determine toxicity of chemicals etc, that are put into our food, air, water, and so our bodies.

I hope folks will understand that this induced skin cell is so far away in time from treatment that it is completely irrational to even consider it as an option.

Neither the president nor any pope or religious leader, ever spoke out against throwing excess fertility clinic blastocysts away, until scientists screamed , Eureka!!! we can use these to save human life. God save Amerioa from the war on science.

Don Margolis said at March 22, 2008 8:11 AM:

To Robert Smith:

First, a minor issue:
GERON: From 2004 through 2007 they have announced upcoming clinical trials NINE TIMES. In February their 10th came along. I am still waiting. Why would you consider Geron a source for any credible information?

The major issue:
"We allow millions of Americans to die by not having governement funding of stem cells."

This is an absolutely false statement, predicated on two lies that have been shoved down your throat for the past four years. These two lies are:
Adult stem cells ASC) cannot do anything much.
Embryonic stem cells (ESC) can do everything.

The truth is that ASC have completely dominated the stem cell world for the past seven years, now having proven successful in treating 100+ diseases on five continents.

Meanwhile, fraudulent claims by money-hungry embryonic hoaxers have conned people such as yourself to believe that the minute Bush leaves the White House, embryonic cures will come roaring down the pipeline. All lies.

Blaming Bush is easy, but their REAL problem never has been Bush. There are two.
FIRST
is the tsunami of adult stem cell therapies for over 100 different diseases, virtually ALL of which improve the quality of life of the majority of the treated patients, and with no safety issues. That onslaught is ignored by the medical press in the USA for one reason--- to protect the embryonic hoax.

After all, who would stand up and scream for Bush’s head every time the embryonic frauds roll another wheelchair onto the stage, if they knew the truth: "Adult stem cells implanted into human beings can do more for these patients in 2008 than embryonic science fiction will do in 2018." So who needs it?

Take this from the original article above--:
"Our biggest obstacle for turning stem cells into useful therapies probably is our limited understanding of how cells regulate their conversion into a large assortment of specialized cell types. If we knew much more about how cells regulate themselves we'd have a much better idea of how to intervene to control them for therapeutic purposes."---Kathrin Plath, UCLA

She's right, but the same problems do not exist for those aboard the low-cost adult stem cell express. There isn't anyone in the world who can keep up with the incredible number of new adult successes. Lord knows, I have tried, but have never lasted ten days before another comes along, so I quit six months ago when my inept count hit 100 and heard from friends about other new therapies I had no clue about.

SECOND:
In ten years since Thomson's discovery of 1998, not one embryonic researcher in hundreds of labs in dozens of countries with NO restrictions has been able to defeat the ESC tendency to form tumors in thousands of doomed laboratory animals. "Immune privileged" is a step forward, if one chooses to believe Geron; but in ten years not one animal has been cured of anything except those that quickly died because of tumors. Meanwhile, adult stem cells roar further and further ahead, safely treating thousands around the world each year while the "embryonically-brainwashed" of America are kept ignorant and have no clue.

So half your sentence is true: "We allow millions of Americans to die.” But it has nothing to do with government funding. It is because the embryonic hoax demands that Americans cannot know about the overwhelming number of ASC successes. So they die instead.

DM

Don Margolis said at March 25, 2008 11:23 PM:

The word for stem cells taken from the patient's own body, and then reimplanted into that body to do the most good, is AUTOLOGOUS,
THAT is why our creator made autologous stem cells in the first place, to help keep THAT ONE PERSON alive and healthy!

He has handed to us the most powerful medicine the world has ever seen, capable TODAY of defeating 20+ "incurable" diseases,
and certainly another 20 in the next few years.

Yet money-grubbing researchers have most of the developed world believing mankind must wait years and decades
for a science fiction known as "embryonic stem cells" to produce one cure. Therefore they lie and tell a gullible
mob of their pseudo-religious fanatics that this ultimate protection of life and doesn't work, despite weekly proof that it
is already clearly defeating EVERY DISEASE which honest researchers choose to attack.

But YOU can read these two short articles and understand everything.

First, the embryonic hustlers' press-release miracle of the day, promising a cure that will never come. For that is all
they have, press-release "promises" for their true-believers and a kept-ignorant public:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article3607659.ece

Secondly, how autologous adult stem cells have already proven, SCIENTIFICALLY, that the same disease
is already doomed to be conquered by the truth, not by press-releases.
http://www.docguide.com/news/content.nsf/news/852571020057CCF68525741600511A24

I send you this so that you can understand my only mission---to bring the ultimate weapon against disease to those that
are now suffering endlessly without it, suffering and dying merely to enrich a group of fraud-promoting pseudo-scientists.

In order to succeed, we must understand that major truths attacking what "everybody knows" is now approaching phase 2:
1. First, it is ridiculed
2. Second, it is violently opposed
3. Finally, it is accepted as self-evident
You will know that we have succeeded only when we reach phase 3.

Don Margolis
Autologous Stem Cell Advocate
www.donmargolis.com

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