Researchers close in on stem cell trial


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Now this is what I want to read about on the national page of Japantoday first thing in the morning. Not government controversy, public scandals or faulty tech pushed forward by corrupt businessmen and politicians but classically advance "Made In Japan" stuff breaking boundaries to forward mankind.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I'm with songwillem on this one -- good news should trump the bad every time, and this is great news. Better yet will be when it's successful, and as this is one field Japan leads in and seems to be improving on all the time, I have no doubt it will succeed.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Me too. I have also read recently about progress in using stem cells to cure deafness too. Amazing science and amazing scientists. They are the unsung heroes stuck in labs every day, but their work makes a difference to countless peoples lives.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Great news! Let`s hope they can do this quickly. This should improve the quality of life for a lot of elderly people.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Indeed it is wonderful news, and let's hope for success. I was (mis)diagnosed with AMD several years ago and it's terrifying to think you will lose your sight. I hope it is huge boost to the Japanese biotech industry too.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

they hold that the destruction of a fetus, necessary for the harvest, is wrong.

Just a quick correction, embryonic stem cells are not necessarily only from fetuses. They can also be harvested from the afterbirth (placental tissue). Leaping to the conclusion that any research using embryonic stem cells is automatically unethical is mistaken.

One must also bear in mind that even when fetal tissue is used the researchers had nothing to do with the death of the embryo. That decision was taken independently and the researchers could neither stop nor encourage it. All they did was use the dead body for research. Using dead bodies in research is a well established medical tradition, and while the death may be regrettable there is nothing unethical about it. The parents of children who die from cancer occassionally donate their bodies to research institutions looking to learn more and prevent others dyiing. No-one calls this unethical, nor is it. Fetuses are no different, the researchers do not support anything about the process, but they also don't let people die just because some people find the source distasteful. We all find death distasteful, but that doesn't stop us using dead bodies for medical research.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

High five for this new discovery and a positive read!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It will be nice if they can grow natural teeth.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Frungy, that's why Yamanaka got the Nobel. He demonstrated that one can harvest embryonic cells from skin tissue (for mice at least), and therefore the fetus argument became invalid. Of course, one can argue on ethical issues for any discovery in molecular biology, but that's another story.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Religious conservatives, amongst others, have objected to research on human embryonic stem cells" as Frungy, Feb. 17, 2013 - 08:22PM JST, points out, the religious complaint was based on superstition and a make weight argument that includes abortion objections. Religion in the States held back research on stem cells for nearly a decade under a Bush II executive order. What a shame when superstition chains science. Obviously, half truths and dog whistles are more important than science.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

hkitagawa : teeth regrowth via stem cells already exists. Plus, it's another made-in-Japan discovery. See for yourself here:

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan, medicine, new alternative energy and aerospace engineerings are the way to go for the next decades.

I would like to read successful story like this on JT.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@songwillem2011...... Absolutely I agree. I just hope it will not be under th control of Big Pharmaceutical Syndicates.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

110 bln yen, that's not peanuts. I think it might be a sound investment since stem cells seem to be able to create previously impossible regenerative capability in the human body in about any part. I'm not a scientist but i think, excluding the money wasted on patent wars whoever comes up with this might have a real moneymaker on their hands. Yea i know, it's about saving lives, but unfortunately everything revolves around money. so while the americans and europeans discuss the morals of it, asia might get first dibs then? again ... the wheel of fortune never stops i just wish they would stop bickering and wasting time on territorial pissings. As a layman outsider with the utmost respect for the differences in the past. I wonder how many folk out there actually wants to go along with that craze

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The question is when are we going to see these advances at our local hospitals????????

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's incredible how far stem cell research has come. Thought you might find Dr. Xu and his stem cell ointment interesting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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