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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Friday, July 21, 2006

Unlike stem cells, placental cells show promise without the ethics dilemma

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

"As the stem cell debate has escalated in recent years, scientists have discovered certain cells from the placenta may be as versatile as human embryonic stem cells, and may provide a noncontroversial source of potentially life-saving therapies."


"Researchers say they have been able to coax the placental stem cells to become bone, nerve, muscle, fat, pancreatic, or liver cells, which could make them useful in treatment of such ailments as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's."

'I know that with the cord blood, they have been able to treat leukemias, lymphomas and anemias," said Rosa Simmons, "but with the placenta cells, they'll be able to treat heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, neurological disorders and do bone regeneration, and probably things we don't even know about yet.'


"Cryo-Cell (a Tampa Bay, Fla. company) has signed an agreement with Plureon Corp., of Winston-Salem, N.C., one of several companies working to develop new therapies using the cells, to collect and store the placental cells.

'The Plureon placenta cells have been coaxed into becoming pancreatic cells, injected into a diabetic mouse, and rendered the animal insulin independent,' Maass said. Plureon has research agreements with at least one other company that is working on a cure for diabetes, Maass said."


" 'These cells are non-controversial, and have been (approved) by the Catholic Church,' said Dr. Robert Hariri, president and chief executive officer.

Hariri said placental cells have some advantages over embryonic cells.

'If the headline tomorrow says X disease has been cured by embryonic stem cells, there would never be enough supply to meet demand. But the beauty of this (placental cell) methodology is we have nearly 4 million births every year, so we will have a vast supply of these stem cells which will supply the need,' Hariri said."


"Stephen Strom, a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, has been working with placental cells extracted from the amnion, the thin layer of tissue that separates the baby from the mother, and he and his colleagues are attempting to turn them into liver cells, heart muscle cells and nerve cells that could be used to repair brain damage.

Some of the work is exploring whether the cells could be used to repair hearing loss, especially in soldiers whose hearing has been damaged by roadside bombs in Iraq, he said." Full story.


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