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World’s First Nerve Stem Cells Produced

by Medindia Content Team on  August 17, 2005 at 11:22 AM General Health News   - G J E 4
World’s First Nerve Stem Cells Produced
The World's First pure nerve stem cells were produced from Human embryonic stem cells by Researchers from University of Edinburgh and Milan. These Stem cells can be used to produce the required cell type. The nerve stem cells help to build the brain and the Central nervous system. The new nerve stem cells can be used for the treatment of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.
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The university's Dr Steven Pollard said: "This is incredibly exciting in terms of curing disease."We may be able to create the disease in a dish. If we do that, we'll be able to better understand the disease and also to test drugs." But he said the more immediate use for the artificially-created cells is to test out the effectiveness of new drugs.

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Professor Austin Smith, who led the research at the University of Edinburgh, said that, "We're already talking with the bio-technology and bio-pharmaceutical companies about taking these cells into screening systems for new drugs. Hopefully that will come to pass within two to three years. "In terms of the possibility of using the cells for transplantation, that's a much more difficult and longer term thing and I think there we're talking more of the five to ten year range."

However, critics say it is unethical to use human embryos in scientific research. Previous attempts at creating the nerve cells have produced contaminated samples that have not been scientifically useful.

Robert Meadowcroft, of the Parkinson's disease Society, welcomed the news: "The purity of these cells should prove particularly valuable in studying the possibilities for transplantation and replacement of damaged tissue."

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