Human embryonic stem cells have the potential to yield treatments for several human diseases and to enhance understanding of human development. Harvard University researchers announced they have created 17 new human embryonic stem cell lines.
The lab of Harvard researchers , which is offering the cells, will use the stem cell lines to study type 1 diabetes. Their team has been investigating the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells that are missing in patients with type 1 diabetes.Their long-term goal is to learn how to generate pancreatic beta cells that can be used as a therapy for type 1 diabetes.
Specialists say, "Studies of embryonic stem cells in several different organisms indicate that these cells have the capacity to give rise to nearly all of the cell types present in an adult organism. The cell lines that we are making available are robust, they grow well, and are easy to handle." Researchers hope that sharing the cells will speed up the pace of scientific discoveries.