“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!” – Samuel Adams

Researchers Generate Neurons from Adult Stem Cells

neuronLifeNews and MSNBC, among others, are reporting yet another success for adult stem cell research.

A year or two ago it was reported that scientists had devised a way to reprogram adult stem cells to behave as if they were embryonic stem cells, producing what are known as induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells.

In the latest advance, researchers have been able to induce them to create nerve cells:

A team at the University of California Los Angeles was able to make motor neurons out of the induced pluripotent stem cells and the scientists hope to make cells tailored to specific diseases for therapy.

BY converting the iPS cells into motor neurone cells, scientists may be able to better treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

“IPS-derived cells appeared to follow a normal developmental progression associated with motor neuron formation,” they wrote in the journal Stem Cells.

The researchers added that the new cells they created look just like embryonic stem cells, yet they didn’t have to destroy days-old human embryos, or unique human beings, to get them.

The researchers at UCLA plan to attach the new cells to muscle cells to determine if they will contract and they hope to eventually be able to take a skin cell sample from a patient to generate a tissue transplant or build a stem cell bank for other patients.

We shouldn’t be destroying innocent human life in pursuit of medical therapies to begin with, as embryonic stem cell research requires.

When you consider that ESC research faces serious problems with tissue rejection and tumor growth, the case against embryonic stem cell research grows even beyond the moral into the practical realm.

And when you consider that adult stem cell research has already yielded dozens of successful therapies for illnesses such as brain injury, stroke, retina regeneration, heart tissue regenerationanginadiabetes, bone cancer, nerve regeneration, cerebral palsy, cartilage regeneration, Parkinsons, kidney damage, liver cancer, lupus, multiple sclerosis,  leukemia and more…one has to seriously wonder why some people are so eager to destroy innocent human life.

Is is the money?  Is it the research grants?  Is it a spiritual problem?


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12 Responses to “Researchers Generate Neurons from Adult Stem Cells”

  1. I think it's awesome that they figured out how to do this and I hope they keep pushing adult stem cells to see what else will come of it. But that doesn't change my opinion that scientists should also be working with embryonic stem cells to see what will come of them.

    I think your logic is faulty. You assume that because adult stem cells have already produced results, that it will give us all the same knowledge and results that embryonic stem cells would. But how would we ever know that unless we experiment on embryonic cells to see what they'll show us. You can't just assume we won't get any useful info from them simply because you have a moral objection to experimenting with those cells. That's not how science works.

  2. The whole point here is that adult stem cell therapy has alreadyproduced dozens of successful therapies…while embryonic stem cell research has yet to produce a single one…in this or any other country.

    When you combine the lack of progress, the problems faced by ESC research, and the needless destruction of innocent human life, it defies logic to throw all this energy and money at an unpromising line of research when there is one that is already fulfilling promises.

    No, there has to be one of two motivations going on here (possibly both): lust for research grant dollars, or a spiritual allegiance to the destruction of human life. Nothing else can explain the zeal (even that word isn't strong enough–lust?) by some for ESC research.

  3. Bob,
    For goodness sake Bob. Do you really think that the thousands of scientists involved in ESC research have an agenda involving a spiritual allegiance to the destruction of human life.Think about what you are really saying about people who you have never talked to or know anything about. I know a neurobiologist at UT Southwestern in Dallas who does ESC research usnig cells that havent harmed the fetus in any way and wouldn't consider using cells that caused fetal harm or death. These people arent the amoral killers you intimate them to be. I wish you would answer one question-Would you think it okay to pursue ESC research if the embryos were not harmed in any way ?Please answer.

  4. Brian, why would I possibly object if harvesting some embryonic stem cells didn't harm the human embryo in any way?

    However, the last time I checked, harvesting embryonic stem cells resulted in the destruction of the human fetus every single time.

    Given the fact that embryonic stem cell research causes the destruction of innocent human life, and given the tremendous practical hurdles it faces, and given the dozens of successful therapies already gleaned from adult stem cell research, I'm left with only two rational choices to explain the utter zeal some people have for embryonic stem cell research: they are as stupid as a box of rocks, or there is some dark spiritual force at work.

    Since most of these people don't seem to be completely stupid, I'm left with the latter explanation. No other one that I can possibly think of can explain their total insistence to pursue a destructive, unfruitful line of research when a benign and fantastically fruitful one is staring them in the face.

  5. Bob,
    You need to catch up on your reading if you feel that every single harvesting of embryonic stem cells results in the death of the embryo. Dr. Robert Lanza in Massachusetts as well as researchers in Japan and Wisconsin have safely extracted 1 or 2 cells from an embryo with out harming the embryo and created ESC. Doctors do this routinely to check for severe genetic diseaes as well without harming the fetus. The problem is that the research dollars arent there to develope these few cells into large enough numbers to inject into animals for study. Before you make such statements, you should do a more thorough research of the subject. ESC might be a huge flop, but since we CAN study them without harming the fetus, lets find out. I would also say that these particular scientists are very sensitive to the life issue and dont desire to kill embryos. These researchers do not have a dark spiritual force guiding them, because they are proponents of 'no harm to the embryo' . Lanza himself is a devout christian which is the reason he came up with this harvesting technique where the embryo isnt harmed

  6. I seem to recall this wonder being hailed a couple of years ago…and a few weeks later we learned that it was pretty much an exercise in semantics, and that the destruction of a human embryo was still involved…just not quite as directly as before.

    If researchers have overcome that setback and have developed a new one I haven't heard of, then perhaps…

    But I doubt that's the case. As closely as I've followed this issue for several years, I doubt a genuine or even hopeful method of harvesting ESC would escape me. The fanfare would be enormous, as it was for the one a few years ago that turned out not to be what it was originally purported to be.

    If such a method really existed, it would be very prominent. And I find it curious that after having discussed this issue with you for several weeks, only now do you raise this two-year old story.

    Dr. Lanza may be looking for a way around the destruction of human embryos in ESC research, and that's fine…as long as the “looking process” itself doesn't destroy more human life.

    But there are plenty of pro-ESC research folks out there who don't give the slightest rip whether it destroys a human embryo or not. And as I said before, they're not stupid, so there must be something moral/spiritual at work here.

  7. I agree with your last paragraph wholeheartedly. If you read the journal 'Stem Cell', it gives updates on all research. Dr. Lanza's and others research did make a big splash, but they are now back in the lab makng sure the stem cells are pluripotent as expected and MAKING SURE the embryos that had the cells harvested from them grow up with a normal compliment of DNA.So far they have. Its painstaking, but worth it if it proves helpful.All researchers agree that taking an adult stem and tryng to retroengineer it back to a pure,clean pluripotent embryonic stem cell will be impossible. They might get close but making a pure breed of pluripotent cells may not be feasible. Let the research takes us where it may and lets explore all avenues unless it means harm or death to a life at any stage.Lets also report accurately whats really happening in both lines of this research area.

  8. Bob,
    For goodness sake Bob. Do you really think that the thousands of scientists involved in ESC research have an agenda involving a spiritual allegiance to the destruction of human life.Think about what you are really saying about people who you have never talked to or know anything about. I know a neurobiologist at UT Southwestern in Dallas who does ESC research usnig cells that havent harmed the fetus in any way and wouldn't consider using cells that caused fetal harm or death. These people arent the amoral killers you intimate them to be. I wish you would answer one question-Would you think it okay to pursue ESC research if the embryos were not harmed in any way ?Please answer.

  9. Brian, why would I possibly object if harvesting some embryonic stem cells didn't harm the human embryo in any way?

    However, the last time I checked, harvesting embryonic stem cells resulted in the destruction of the human fetus every single time.

    Given the fact that embryonic stem cell research causes the destruction of innocent human life, and given the tremendous practical hurdles it faces, and given the dozens of successful therapies already gleaned from adult stem cell research, I'm left with only two rational choices to explain the utter zeal some people have for embryonic stem cell research: they are as stupid as a box of rocks, or there is some dark spiritual force at work.

    Since most of these people don't seem to be completely stupid, I'm left with the latter explanation. No other one that I can possibly think of can explain their total insistence to pursue a destructive, unfruitful line of research when a benign and fantastically fruitful one is staring them in the face.

  10. Bob,
    You need to catch up on your reading if you feel that every single harvesting of embryonic stem cells results in the death of the embryo. Dr. Robert Lanza in Massachusetts as well as researchers in Japan and Wisconsin have safely extracted 1 or 2 cells from an embryo with out harming the embryo and created ESC. Doctors do this routinely to check for severe genetic diseaes as well without harming the fetus. The problem is that the research dollars arent there to develope these few cells into large enough numbers to inject into animals for study. Before you make such statements, you should do a more thorough research of the subject. ESC might be a huge flop, but since we CAN study them without harming the fetus, lets find out. I would also say that these particular scientists are very sensitive to the life issue and dont desire to kill embryos. These researchers do not have a dark spiritual force guiding them, because they are proponents of 'no harm to the embryo' . Lanza himself is a devout christian which is the reason he came up with this harvesting technique where the embryo isnt harmed

  11. I seem to recall this wonder being hailed a couple of years ago…and a few weeks later we learned that it was pretty much an exercise in semantics, and that the destruction of a human embryo was still involved…just not quite as directly as before.

    If researchers have overcome that setback and have developed a new one I haven't heard of, then perhaps…

    But I doubt that's the case. As closely as I've followed this issue for several years, I doubt a genuine or even hopeful method of harvesting ESC would escape me. The fanfare would be enormous, as it was for the one a few years ago that turned out not to be what it was originally purported to be.

    If such a method really existed, it would be very prominent. And I find it curious that after having discussed this issue with you for several weeks, only now do you raise this two-year old story.

    Dr. Lanza may be looking for a way around the destruction of human embryos in ESC research, and that's fine…as long as the “looking process” itself doesn't destroy more human life.

    But there are plenty of pro-ESC research folks out there who don't give the slightest rip whether it destroys a human embryo or not. And as I said before, they're not stupid, so there must be something moral/spiritual at work here.

  12. I agree with your last paragraph wholeheartedly. If you read the journal 'Stem Cell', it gives updates on all research. Dr. Lanza's and others research did make a big splash, but they are now back in the lab makng sure the stem cells are pluripotent as expected and MAKING SURE the embryos that had the cells harvested from them grow up with a normal compliment of DNA.So far they have. Its painstaking, but worth it if it proves helpful.All researchers agree that taking an adult stem and tryng to retroengineer it back to a pure,clean pluripotent embryonic stem cell will be impossible. They might get close but making a pure breed of pluripotent cells may not be feasible. Let the research takes us where it may and lets explore all avenues unless it means harm or death to a life at any stage.Lets also report accurately whats really happening in both lines of this research area.