Cells for New life

Types of Stem Cells

Other Stem Cells

The Oregon researchers, led by Prof. Shoukhrat Mitalipov, did not implant their human embryos and said they had no intention of doing so. They say their technique, in any case, would not lead to the birth of a viable baby. The same technique, tried in monkeys for years, never resulted in the birth of a cloned monkey, they said. Nonetheless, the fact that the scientists were able to get cloned human embryos to survive long enough for stem cell extraction is likely to be seen as a step on the way to human reproductive cloning.

The Conference of Catholic Bishops, for instance, said Wednesday that the research «will be taken up by those who want to produce cloned children as ‘copies’ of other people».

Embryonic stem cells can turn into any type of cell in the body, like heart cells, muscles or neurons. That raises the hope that one day the cells will be turned into replacement tissue or even replacement organs to treat a host of diseases.

Human embrionic cells

Human embryonic cells are now mainly derived from embryos created by fertilization in fertility clinics. But tissues created from those stem cells would not genetically match a patient, meaning steps might be needed to prevent rejection.