US scientists cloned human stem cells for the first time

A group of scientists from the University of science and health in Oregon, USA and Primate Research Center managed for the first time the cellular reprogramming in people.

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A group of U.S. researchers, led by the scientist Shoukhrat Mitalipov, managed for the first time to clone human stem cells, being the largest so far in the matter advance from the cloned sheep Dolly.

Though the authors have said that the new development is not copy people,  the new achievement of science has as one of the purposes restore damage from diseases such as Parkinson’s, multiple escleorosis, heart disease or spinal cord injury.

“It is believed that stem cell therapies hold the promise to replace cells damaged by injury or disease”, reported the University of Oregon.

“A careful examination of stem cells taken by this technique demonstrated the ability of becoming just like normal embryonic stem cells, several different cell types, including neurons and heart cells, liver cells. In addition, because these cells are programmed again they can generate nuclear genetic material from a patient, so there is no concern of transplant rejection”, explained Dr. Mitalipov.

THE METHOD USED

The technique used is that of nuclear transfer, which involves taking an egg from a donor, removed the nucleus, and fit an adult cell. Then the egg is activated, and begins to divide into the early stages of embryonic development. When you reach the stage of blastocyst (a kind of ball of cells), it is destroyed and stem cells, obtained.

The technique is the same one used on Dolly the sheep in 1996. The nucleus of a cell, DNA container is inserted into an egg that has had its genetic material removed. The fertilized egg develops and creates stem cells, reports ABC.

The method had been already used in different animals: sheep, goats, cows, dogs, cats, mice, pigs and macaques, but had never worked in people.

“This is a remarkable achievement that will supply fuel for the development of therapies from stem cells to combat various diseases and conditions for which there are no current treatments or cures,” said Dr. Dan Dorsa, part of the team.

The study was published in the journal of science Cell.

According to www.cell.com :

“Reprogramming somatic cells into pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs) by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) has been envisioned as an approach for generating patient-matched nuclear transfer (NT)-ESCs for studies of disease mechanisms and for developing specific therapies. Past attempts to produce human NT-ESCs have failed secondary to early embryonic arrest of SCNT embryos. Here, we identified premature exit from meiosis in human oocytes and suboptimal activation as key factors that are responsible for these outcomes. Optimized SCNT approaches designed to circumvent these limitations allowed derivation of human NT-ESCs. When applied to premium quality human oocytes, NT-ESC lines were derived from as few as two oocytes. NT-ESCs displayed normal diploid karyotypes and inherited their nuclear genome exclusively from parental somatic cells. Gene expression and differentiation profiles in human NT-ESCs were similar to embryo-derived ESCs, suggesting efficient reprogramming of somatic cells to a pluripotent state.”