Sunday, April 27, 2014

Scientists grow stem cells from adults using cloning techniques for the first time.

In a front-page story, the Washington Post (4/18, Cha) reports that “scientists have grown stem cells from adults using cloning techniques for the first time — bringing them closer to developing patient-specific lines of cells that can be used to treat a whole host of ailments.” The scientists “‘reprogrammed’ an egg cell by removing its DNA and replaced it with that of an adult donor.” They then “zapped the cell with electricity, which made it divide and multiply,” resulting in cells that “were identical in DNA to the donor.”
        The Wall Street Journal (4/18, Naik, Subscription Publication) reports that the findings were published yesterday in Cell Stem Cell.
        The Los Angeles Times (4/18, Morin) points out that “experts who were not involved in the” research “said the achievement was significant because it offered clear confirmation that so-called therapeutic cloning is possible with human cells.”
        However, in a piece titled “Let’s All Chill Out About Clones,” Forbes (4/18) contributor Elizabeth Lopatto writes that “it’s an advance, but an incremental one.”
        TIME (4/18, Park) reports on its website that the researchers used “the same cloning technique that produced Dolly the sheep in 1996.” The article points out that “last year, a group at Oregon Health & Science University generated stem cells using the Dolly technique, but with cells from fetuses and infants.”
        On its website, NBC News (4/18, Fox) reports, “If verified, it would be only the second confirmed time someone’s been able to use cloning methods to make human embryonic stem cells.”
        Also covering the story are Reuters (4/18) and the NPR (4/18, Harris) “Shots” blog.

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