Research breakthrough: Stem cells from human skin cells | Bangkok Post: learning

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Research breakthrough: Stem cells from human skin cells

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No embryos destroyed so no ethical problems, from same person so no transplant rejection. Cure for spinal injuries, blindness & other diseases draw nearer. 

Early on in development stem cells in embryo can be used for any cell, later they become specialized cells for the heart, brain, etc (Source: Wikipedia)

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MEDICAL RESEARCH

Researchers make embryonic stem cells from skin

AFP

Stem cells viewed on a screen at the University of Connecticut's Stem Cell Institute in Farmington on August 27, 2010 (Getty Images/AFP/File, Spencer Platt)

WASHINGTON - US researchers have reported a breakthrough in stem cell research, describing how they have turned human skin cells into embryonic stem cells for the first time.

The method described Wednesday by Oregon Health and Science University scientists in the journal Cell, would not likely be able to create human clones, said Shoukhrat Mitalipov, senior scientist at the Oregon National Primate Research Center.

But it is an important step in research because it does not require the use of embryos in creating the type of stem cell capable of transforming into any other type of cell in the body.

The technique involves transplanting an individual's DNA into an egg cell that has been stripped of genetic material, a variation of a method called somatic cell nuclear transfer.

"A thorough examination of the stem cells derived through this technique demonstrated their ability to convert, just like normal embryonic stem cells, into several different cell types, including nerve cells, liver cells and heart cells," said Mitalipov.

He added that since the reprogrammed cells use genetic material from the patient, there is no concern about transplant rejection.

"While there is much work to be done in developing safe and effective stem cell treatments, we believe this is a significant step forward in developing the cells that could be used in regenerative medicine," Mitalipov said.

Another advantage of this approach is that it does not use fertilized embryos to obtain stem cells, a technique that raises major ethical issues because the embryo is destroyed.

Since the birth of the sheep Dolly in 1996 in the United Kingdom, the first cloned animal, researchers have cloned some 20 species including goats and rabbits, but never monkeys or primates whose biologies and reproduction is more complex.

Years of research on monkey cells using the same technique have not successfully produced any monkey clones.

Since the human cells used in the study appeared even more fragile, researchers said it was unlikely that clones could be made.

"While nuclear transfer breakthroughs often lead to a public discussion about the ethics of human cloning, this is not our focus, nor do we believe our findings might be used by others to advance the possibility of human reproductive cloning," they said

Scientists hope that stem cell research will offer new pathways in the fight against Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and blindness.

Nonetheless, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops warned that other researchers will use the new technique to try to clone people.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston said this way of making embryos will be taken up by people who want to produce cloned children as "copies" of other people.

"Whether used for one purpose or the other, human cloning treats human beings as products, manufactured to order to suit other people's wishes." He added, "A technical advance in human cloning is not progress for humanity but its opposite," he said in a statement.

Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved

(Source: Bangkok Post, Researchers make embryonic stem cells from skin, AFP, link


Stem Cell Research Vocbulary

stem cell -  cells in living things that can divide (through mitosis) and make different cell types and can also produce more stem cells from itself (See Wikipedia)
stem cell research

treatment - medical treatment  การรักษา, การรักษาพยาบาล, การรักษาขจัดโรค
stem cell treatments

re -
again
generate
(verb) - to make or create something  สร้างขึ้น, ผลิต, ทำให้เกิด, ให้กำเนิด

regenerate (verb) - to make something again
regenerative
(adjective)  

regenerative medicine
- the branch of medicine that replaces or regenerates human cells, tissues or organs to restore or establish normal function (See Wikipedia)

transplant
(verb) - organ transplant
organ transplantation
(noun) - (See Wikipedia)

embryo (noun) - an animal or human when it is still growing inside its mother, before it is born ตัวอ่อนของคน (See Wikipedia & pronunciation)
embryonic (adjective)

embryonic stem cells - (See Wikipedia)
Researchers make embryonic stem cells from skin

breakthrough -
a big discovery or achievement that comes after a lot of hard work การพัฒนาหรือการค้นพบที่ยิ่งใหญ่
a breakthrough in stem cell research

researchers have turned human skin cells into embryonic stem cells for the first time

clone -
an exact copy of a human, animal or plant made in a laboratory from its DNA  สิ่งมีชีวิตที่เกิดมาจากเซลล์เดียวกัน (See Wikipedia)
human clones - (See Wikipedia)
animal clones
the method would not likely be able to create human clones

the sheep Dolly  - the first cloned animal, (5 July 1996 – 14 February 2003) was a female domestic sheep, and the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell, using the process of nuclear transfer (See Wikipedia)
the first cloned animal

stem cell controversy & ethics -
(See Wikipedia)

ethics (noun) - beliefs about what behaviour is right or wrong; a set of principles people use to decide what is right and what is wrong จริยธรรม จรรยาบรรณ
the ethics of human cloning

ethical (adjective) - morally acceptable, right action

capable - able to do something มีความสามารถ
transforming - changing; making someone or something completely different เปลี่ยนแปลง ปรับปรุงใหม่
stem cell capable of transforming into any type of cell 

the method does not require the use of embryos in creating the type of stem cell capable of transforming into any other type of cell in the body.

technique -
one way to do something, method
the technique involves transplanting an individual's DNA into an egg cell

genetic - dealing with the genes and common characteristics that are passed from parent to child ทางพันธุกรรม
genetic material

strip -
to take something away from; remove, take off, take out เปลื้อง, แก้, ถอด, ปลด,
stripped of genetic material
an egg cell that has been stripped of genetic material

nucleus
(noun) - the inside of a cell where the DNA is located
nuclear (adjective)

transfer
- to move someone or something from one place, vehicle, person or group to another ย้าย
nuclear transfer - moving the nucleus of a cell to somewhere
somatic cell nuclear transfer

variation - a difference from the usual, a change, การเปลี่ยนแปลง, ความเปลี่ยนแปลง, ความแตกต่าง
a variation of a method called somatic cell nuclear transfer

a thorough examination of the stem cells
stem cells derived through this technique
demonstrated
convert


a thorough examination of the stem cells derived through this technique demonstrated their ability to convert just like normal embryonic stem cells, into several different cell types, including nerve cells, liver cells and heart cells

reprogrammed cells

patient - someone who is receiving medical treatment คนป่วย, คนไข้
the reprogrammed cells use genetic material from the patient

rejection - refusing to accept something การปฏิเสธ
transplant rejection

concern - a worry ความกังวล
there is no concern about transplant rejection.

effective - works well, gets the job done; producing the result that was intended ได้ผลดี
effective stem cell treatments

much work remains to be done in developing safe and effective stem cell treatments

significant - important สำคัญ
a significant step forward

this is a significant step forward in developing the cells that could be used in regenerative medicine

advantage - a condition giving a greater chance of success ความได้เปรียบ
approach - a way of doing or dealing with something   วิธีการทำให้ถึงจุดหมาย การจัดการกับปัญหา
Another advantage of this approach is ...

fertilized -
when the sperm enters the egg creating a living thing
fertilized embryos
use fertilized embryos to obtain stem cells

issues - an important subect that people are discussing and debating about ประเด็น
ethical issues
major ethical issues

Another advantage of this approach is that it does not use fertilized embryos to obtain stem cells, a technique that raises major ethical issues because the embryo is destroyed.

species - a set of animals or plants in which the members have similar characteristics to each other and can breed with each other พันธ์,จำพวก

researchers have cloned some 20 species including goats and rabbits

complex
- an area that has several parts
reproduction is more complex.

primates - members of the most developed and intelligent group of mammals, including humans, monkeys and apes สัตว์เลี้ยงลูกด้วยนม
researchers have never cloned monkeys or primates whose biologies and reproduction is more complex.

Since the birth of the sheep Dolly in 1996 in the United Kingdom, the first cloned animal, researchers have cloned some 20 species including goats and rabbits, but never monkeys or primates whose biologies and reproduction is more complex.

Years of research on monkey cells using the same technique have not successfully produced any monkey clones.

fragile - easy to break or damage ที่เปราะบาง ที่หักง่าย

Since the human cells used in the study appeared even more fragile, researchers said it was unlikely that clones could be made.

focus - the main thing it is concerned with ให้ความสำคัญ
findings - the results or conclusions of an investigation or research

"While nuclear transfer breakthroughs often lead to a public discussion about the ethics of human cloning, this is not our focus, nor do we believe our findings might be used by others to advance the possibility of human reproductive cloning," they said

pathways

blindness - the condition of being unable to see การสูญเสียสายตา

Scientists hope that stem cell research will offer new pathways in the fight against Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and blindness.

technical - requiring special detailed knowledge (example: computers, electronics, manufacturing); involving materials, processes, and machines to do specialised work เฉพาะทาง
technical advance
technical advance in human cloning

progress - the process of developing and improving; advancing, going forward ความก้าวหน้า
progress for humanity - the improvement of people and their lives and living conditions

"A technical advance in human cloning is not progress for humanity but its opposite," he said in a statement.

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