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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Breakthrough renders stem cell debate over?

By Eryn Brown



New turn in science v. religion controversy


JewishWorldReview.com |

LOS ANGELES — (MCT) Researchers have reprogrammed cells inside living mice — and have discovered that the stem cells created in the process are even more flexible than those derived from embryos or grown in laboratory dishes.

Someday the achievement might help scientists devise ways to treat human disease by directly regenerating tissues within patients, said Manuel Serrano, senior author of a study detailing the research that was published online Wednesday by the journal Nature.

But that won't happen immediately, he added.

The pluripotent stem cells Serrano and his colleagues created are highly flexible and have the potential to develop into nearly any cell type in the body. Researchers hope to take advantage of them to rebuild tissues that don't regenerate on their own, such as neurons, the insulin-producing islet cells that are destroyed in patients with type I diabetes, or heart muscle killed during a heart attack.

Interest in stem cells pushed scientists first to figure out ways to isolate them from embryos and to rewind mature cells to a more flexible state. The team from the Spanish National Cancer Research Center in Madrid set out to see if it was also possible to create pluripotent stem cells inside a living organism.

They created genetically altered mice whose bodies could produce the same four ingredients researchers use to rewind cells in a lab dish. When the scientists activated genes that produced the factors, the mice grew a type of tumor known as a teratoma — a sign that there were pluripotent cells in their bodies. The mice also produced actual stem cells the team could isolate.

That, in itself, was new. But when the scientists examined the stem cells more closely, they found that they could pull off a trick that no other stem cells could: They produced placental tissues.

The researchers also found that some mice grew cysts that had embryo-like qualities — another novel development, and a sign that the stem cells in the mice were more flexible than other types of pluripotent stem cells.



"The pluripotent cells obtained were of better quality than the ones developed in the lab," said Maria Abad, who worked on the study. Abad said the team did not know why the cells grown in the mice behaved as they did, but that they would try to understand the cause.

Serrano said it wouldn't make sense to use this exact technique to treat human disease: Rewinding cells to such an early state of development isn't considered safe because it can cause cancer. But it may make sense to partially rewind cells in particular parts of the body before redirecting them to regenerate desired tissues, he said.

Researchers who were not involved in the study had mixed reactions.

Dr. Deepak Srivastava, director for cardiovascular disease at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco, said that the work was fascinating "from a biological standpoint" because it showed it was possible to take a mature cell all the way back to its primitive state immediately after conception — a "baseline state," he called it. (Human embryonic stem cells are like cells in a 5-day-old embryo.) He said he expected researchers to try to figure out why these cells rewound more fully in vivo than they did in vitro, and to figure out how to reproduce those conditions in a lab dish.


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But Andrew McMahon, director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at the University of Southern California, said he was somewhat puzzled by the work and unsure what question the scientists hoped to answer. "It was a way to survey and see if anything interesting would crop up," he said.

McMahon also mentioned a controversial possibility posed by the experiment: If you have stem cells that could produce the cells that make up an embryo, as well as the tissues that support that embryo, you could "make a new individual."

Asked about the possibility of such an outcome, Serrano and Abad emphasized that the cysts they saw in their mice were not, in fact, embryos.

"That would be a major surprise," they said.

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© 2013, Los Angeles Times Distributed by MCT Information Services



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