New study: adult stem cells are almost identical to embryonic stem cells

From Life News.

Excerpt:

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have used detailed, high-tech analysis to examine the differences between human embryonic stem cells (ESC) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC).

Their findings, published online in the journal Nature Methods, for the first time measured the differences between ESC and iPSC in terms of their proteins (the workhorses of the cell that provide structure, function, and identity for a cell), phosphorylation of proteins (a common type of protein modification used to control protein activity), and RNA (an intermediate messenger from DNA that codes for specific proteins.)  The results indicate that there is significant similarity between ESC and iPSC, with less than 1 percent difference.

ESC research relies on the destruction of a young human embryo, while iPS cells are produced by adding a few genes to normal cells, such as skin, thereby reprogramming the cell to look and act like an ESC, yet without the use of embryos, eggs, or cloning techniques.  The iPS cells thus have a couple of advantages over ESC, including their ethical production as well as the ability to produce pluripotent stem cells directly from any person, to study disease or for potential transplant matching (though the latter has not been proven.)  The similarities indicate, however, that iPSC are more than adequate alternatives to ESC.

The study points out that some differences do still exist between ESC and iPSC, likely as a result of the different origins of the two stem cell types, and that further studies will examine those differences.  But the authors state in their paper that “These differences do not appear to appreciably alter cellular function in the pluripotent state,” as in not affecting the growth and function of iPSC as a stem cell, and the “remarkable similarity between ESCs and iPSCs.”

It’s time to stop the destruction of embryos for experiments, and focus on ethical science.

See below for some adult stem cell successes.

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7 thoughts on “New study: adult stem cells are almost identical to embryonic stem cells”

  1. depending on the study one references, there is only a 1-4% difference in protein structures between chimps and humans and what a difference that 1-4% makes!

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    1. Here’s a response to that:
      http://www.reasons.org/dna-comparisons-between-humans-and-chimps-response-venema-critique-rtb-human-origins-model-part-2

      And more:
      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/05/revisiting046721.html

      I don’t think that it’s necessary to deny common descent in order to be a Christian theist, but I deny it because I think that the case is not conclusive for common descent. There is some evidence, but the case against it is stronger.

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      1. I’m not making a comment on common descent – from what I’ve read, it’s been thought that “descent” has started 3 or 4 times…I was simply stating that a low percent of difference doesn’t mean that the differences are minor or insignificant – so to state that there is only 1% or less difference between fetal and adult stem cells can make as much difference as 1% difference between human and chimps – no common descent needed.

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        1. The article says that the differences don’t affect anything important:

          The study points out that some differences do still exist between ESC and iPSC, likely as a result of the different origins of the two stem cell types, and that further studies will examine those differences. But the authors state in their paper that “These differences do not appear to appreciably alter cellular function in the pluripotent state,” as in not affecting the growth and function of iPSC as a stem cell, and the “remarkable similarity between ESCs and iPSCs.”

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  2. I hope they do studies soon to find out whether or not the iPSC cells have the same advantage as unaltered adult stem cells (less likely to be rejected by the body they were taken from). That would be a big advantage, especially since iPSC cells have the ESC ability to become any cell.

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    1. I believe they should – I will have to find the article but there was a recent one about the use of adult stem cells to make an organ that was used for replacement – it went excellently. I just did a quick search and can’t find it – I will look a little more extensively here shortly

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