Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Life Facts - Insulin-secreting cells produced from ethically extracted stem cells found in umbilical cord blood

No need to look any further than umbilical cord blood from living babies to ethically obtain stem cells to produce insulin needed by diabetic patients. Colin McGuckin, professor of regenerative medicine at the University of Newcastle, Ireland, made a major breakthrough by producing insulin-secreting cells from cord blood for the first time. Although insulin has also been derived from embryonic stem cells (ESC), it is not transplantable because the tissues do not match, and ESCs tend to have a problem of growing into cancerous tumors.

McGuckin explains that this "process [using cord blood stem cells] is so effective that embryonic stem cells are not needed altogether." There is no controversy extracting cord blood for experimentation or transplantation since obtaining it is not harmful to the donor, it is in ready supply, and with proper banking, tissue matches will be plentiful. Investing in this vital life science will in turn, save massive amounts of health care dollars.

For more information, click here.