I don’t post many items about biology but this developments sounds quite significant if it holds up:
- Stem cell power unleashed after 30 minute dip in acid – New Scientist
- Stem cell breakthrough could reopen clone wars – opinion/New Scientist
The research will now be subject to yet more scrutiny as other teams try to replicate it. Cracks may yet appear. But right now it looks like that rarity: an actual breakthrough.
If so, the implications are huge. First and foremost, it promises an almost ridiculously simple route to regenerative medicine. There is a lot of work still to do, and many potential pitfalls before it could be applied to human patients, but in principle almost any illness caused by damaged or ageing tissue – heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and dozens of others – could be fixed this way.
That’s an exciting prospect, but as so often with stem cells, ethical concerns are lurking.