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New Method For The Cultivation Of Stem Cells

New Method For The Cultivation Of Stem Cells

By Marietta Gross - Scoop Media Auckland

Scoop Report: Scientists from the US company Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) have cultivated human embryonic stem cells without any animal host cells. And while it is questionable if embryonic stem cells can be used for therapies scientists say one of the security risks can now be avoided.

Embryonic stem cells are normally cultivated with animal host cells, so called feeder layers. If these stem cells are transplanted to a patient it would elevate the risk that viruses or parthogenic proteins be transmitted onto the patient.

“Our results contribute to solve this problem to enable the medical use of stem cells”, says Robert Lanza, executive researcher of the ACT-team.

In the online version of the magazine “The Lancet” the scientists report how they have now created a new stem cell. The cells were cultivated over a period of six months and then permitted to develop into various tissue types. Instead of layers of animal cells the scientists used a sterile protein matrix. The scientists claim these proteins wouldn’t pose any risk of infection for humans.

However, other difficulties at the application of stem cells within human medicine would persist, says Outi Hovatta from the Swedish university hospital Huddinge.

It is unclear, how rejections at the implanting of external cells could be avoided and how genetic changes of the cells in long term culture could be prohibited. Moreover Hovatta says the regulation of cell development requires yet further research.

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