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The diaTribe blog is our occasional take on life, the universe and everything. Observations on current affairs, the environment, politics, humour and music/gig reviews. Travel diary and extreme sports stories, along with the usual rants/raves are also chucked in for good measure.

August 2005
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Technology at it's most pointless

Stem Cell Therapy Advances

Stem Cells

An interesting article on the BBC website describes how the world’s first pure nerve stem cells – made from human embryonic stem cells – have been created by scientists at the Universities of Edinburgh and Milan.

The more I learn about this technology, the more excited I become with it’s potential for the treatment of a myriad of diseases and (long term) even the cure for a range of cancers and HIV – provided that proper screening is undertaken to prevent the risk of infecting patients with viruses and prion diseases, such as vCJD.

Having lost a brother to Cystic Fibrosis, a close friend from Parkinson’s disease and a number of family friends to stomach, lung, breast and bowel cancer, I would very much like to see a more active research partnership between government and science (funded partially by lottery funds?)

The significance of this latest advance is in the fact that scientists have developed nerve cells. The human nervous system (including the brain) is of course the most complex of all human anatomical systems. Perfection of stem cell technology to develop nerve cells will (hopefully) make the development of stem cells for less complex systems a doddle!

We already have the technology to grow several hundred yards of artificial “skin” from a very small quantity of donor cells. This breakthrough represents the other end of the scale…

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