- health - science - Stem cells
Steps forward in stem cell research
This week, we investigate the latest advances in stem cell technology. We bring you a breakthrough by Dr. Peschanski in France, who’s shone more light on Steinert’s disease, a rare muscle-wasting condition.
In newly published research, Dr. Marc Peschanski unveils how he has used stem cell modelling to identify two genes responsible for Steinert’s syndrome. The discovery could one day lead to groundbreaking solutions for a disease for which there is currently no treatment.
Peschanski’s team believes research using embryonic stem cells is essential for continued progress on rare diseases. However, proposed changes in French bioethics laws could restrict working with cells taken from embryos. IPS cells, which are instead taken from adults and then modified in a laboratory, may be a way to circumvent these regulations. But scientists warn they could cause cancer and should be used with caution.
Finally, we bring you a report from the controversial NuTech Mediworld clinic in India, one of the few treatments centres in the world to inject its patients with stem cells. So-called ‘stem cell tourists’ travel to New Delhi from all around the world seeking cures for serious illnesses and disabilities. Health authorities in India advise caution, saying the therapy has not yet been sufficiently tested.