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Israelis Find Cure for Stem Cell Debate

Health & Wellness  (tags: GOOD NEWS: Israel, stem cells, breakthrough )

- 1675 days ago -
Weizmann discovery makes moral and legal questions surrounding embryonic stem cells moot, because they won't be needed anymore.

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Lee Hampton (15)
Thursday October 24, 2013, 4:06 pm

By now, the fact that Israel is the world’s innovation hub is no longer a hot news flash. But a recent medical/scientific breakthrough emanating from the Weizmann Institute illustrates the significance of Israeli ingenuity beyond the obvious concrete and financial benefits.

The important and widely publicized revelation, conducted by a research team headed by Dr. Yaqub Hanna, involves the production of stem cells.

More specifically, it is the key to releasing the “brake” that holds back the reprogramming of mature stem cells to make them immature and pluripotent – capable of developing into all tissues of the body — a process whose discovery by scientists John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka led to their joint 2012 Nobel Prize.

The trouble with the reprogramming procedure, however, was that it was neither quick nor efficient, which has made it thus far unusable for actual medical purposes.

And herein lies the reason that the current Israeli team’s findings are being treated with such fanfare: They have solved the problem of speed in the process of inducing the kind of stem cells needed to treat and cure a variety of diseases — without the need to destroy human embryos.

It was Gurden and Yamanaka who discovered that embryonic-like stem cells can be created from adult skin cells. This was a great discovery, prior to which the only way to harvest stem cells was to remove the inner mass of an embryo. This practice raised moral and legal questions that are still being argued across the world, among them whether a human embryo is actually a child, and whether destroying an embryo is justifiable in order to save lives.

The Israeli team has figured out how to avoid using embryos altogether. It is a huge accomplishment, as it not only takes a scientific breakthrough to the next level, but is likely to eliminate a whole series of ethical dilemmas hindering medical progress.

It is truly the start of something big, and gives new meaning to the phrase “a light unto the nations.”

(posting for Beth S.)

P. L. Neola (21)
Thursday October 24, 2013, 6:25 pm
Nice article! Thank you!

Alan Lambert (91)
Thursday October 24, 2013, 6:29 pm
Excellent news about a very promising technology...

Birgit W (160)
Thursday October 24, 2013, 6:57 pm
Interesting article. Thank you.

Past Member (0)
Thursday October 24, 2013, 8:43 pm
Wonderful news! Thanks Beth

Tom Y (33)
Thursday October 24, 2013, 11:14 pm
Especially gratifying is, it removes this conceit that degrading an embryonic human being to the level of a raw resource is somehow an enlightened approach to medical breakthroughs. This discovery shows up the conceit as pragmatism at its most slimy and counter-visionary. It definitely establishes that Israel, again, bears an unappreciated standard of leadership in breakthroughs that benefit the whole world. God bless 'em, again!

Past Member (0)
Friday October 25, 2013, 1:06 am
Thank goodness the dilemma of curing disease through stem cells [thought only through using human embryos] has been resolved. May many, many people benefit from this breakthrough.

Stan B (123)
Friday October 25, 2013, 1:39 am
Another day, another breakthrough from Israel.
Thanks Beth.

Frans Badenhorst (582)
Friday October 25, 2013, 1:53 am
very interesting (and in some ways, alarming...) post - thanks Beth

Nimue Michelle Pendragon Gaze (339)
Friday October 25, 2013, 2:35 am
Wow, this is quite a coup :)

Danuta Watola (1249)
Friday October 25, 2013, 3:02 am

Ben B (20)
Friday October 25, 2013, 3:10 am
Brilliant! Thanks for posting Beth. :-)
Noted, of course.

Past Member (0)
Friday October 25, 2013, 5:13 am
Brilliant, and not at all surprising! Once again this tiny, so persecuted, country has found another gift to give the world.
Thank you, Beth.

. (0)
Friday October 25, 2013, 6:22 am
Good for them! Thanks for sharing, Beth.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Friday October 25, 2013, 9:52 am
Noted & posted

. (0)
Friday October 25, 2013, 3:03 pm
This really is remarkable.

. (0)
Friday October 25, 2013, 3:04 pm
Have a stem cell! Well done.

Helen Porter (39)
Friday October 25, 2013, 11:17 pm
The body can heal itself.

Sometimes it needs guidance.

Ganaisha Calvin (7)
Sunday October 27, 2013, 12:04 am
thanks for sharing

Past Member (0)
Sunday October 27, 2013, 4:58 am
I agree with Frans. Wonder if the gave it some coffee to speed up the process?
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