In ALL ARTICLES on November 15, 2011 at 6:42 pm

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I just received a comment from MB and despite Geron and the rest of the world abandoning embryonic stem cells for adult, he is still optimistic about the future of embryonic stem cells (with a little plug snuck in for a company he probably owns stock in).

My original comment:

embryonic research has been 100% fruitless (in regard to generating
treatments) for well-funded and government supported scientists around the world for the last 13 years.  Embryonic stem cells are the only significant obstacles to embryonic stem cell treatments.  Adult stem cells on the other hand have successfully treated 10s of thousands over the past decade.

MB’s response:

hESCs (human embryonic stem cells) have only been around for 13 years compared to adult stem cells 30+ years…. give it some time… human embryonic stem cells (especially ACT’s embryo SAFE blastomere-derived) will be THE GOLD standard 🙂  watch and SEEE the difference…soon..

My response:

MB – Not even close.   Embryonic stem cells have been around for way longer than since James Thompson and friends derived the first human embryonic stem cell line at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998.

To clarify:

“Research in the human stem cell field grew out of findings by Canadian scientists Ernest A. McCulloch and James E. Till in the 1960s.”

1963: Becker AJ, McCulloch EA, Till JE (1963). “Cytological demonstration of the clonal nature of spleen colonies derived from transplanted mouse marrow cells”. Nature 197: 452-4. PMID 13970094.

1963: Siminovitch L, McCulloch EA, Till JE (1963). “The distribution of colony-forming cells among spleen colonies”. Journal of Cellular and Comparative Physiology 62: 327-36. PMID 14086156.

1978: Stem cells were discovered in human cord blood

1981: First in vitro stem cell line developed from mice

1981 – Mouse embryonic stem cells are derived from the inner cell mass

That’s 30 years ago!

Evans, M.J. & Kaufman, M. Establishment in culture of pluripotential stem cells from mouse embryos. Nature 292, 151–156 (1981).

1981 – Martin, G.R. Isolation of a pluripotent cell line from early mouse embryos cultured in medium conditioned by teratocarcinoma stem cells. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci USA 78, 7634–7638 (1981).

1984 – Andrews, P.W. et al. Pluripotent embryonal carcinoma clones derived from the human teratocarcinoma cell line Tera-2. Lab. Invest. 50, 147–162 (1984).

Blastomeres isolated from the ICM of mammalian embryos and grown in culture are known as embryonic stem (ES) cells. These pluripotent cells, when grown in a carefully coordinated media, can give rise to all three germ layers (ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm) of the adult body.

1986: Robertson, Elizabeth , et al. Germ-line transmission of genes introduced into cultured pluripotential cells by retroviral vector. Nature 323, 445 – 448 (02 October 1986)

1988: Embryonic stem cell lines created from a hamster

1995: First embryonic stem cell line derived from a primate

1995: Thomson, J.A. et al. Isolation of a primate embryonic stem cell line. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 92, 7844–7844 (1995).

And then we get to what MB considers the “discovery of embryonic stem cells”:

1998 – James Thomson and coworkers derive the first human embryonic stem cell line at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Not to worry, though MB.  Adult stem cells HAVE been used in bone marrow transplants for over 40 years so they still have the upper hand in “time we’ve worked with them.”  Then again, it was only in 1998 that adult stem cells were considered for treating other illnesses.

Just out of curiosity, besides

“embryonic stem cells have proven 100% fruitless (in regard to generating treatments) for well-funded and government supported scientists around the world for the last 13 years,”

how do you plan on addressing these other embryonic stem cell issues to name a few?

  1. they create cysts and tumors that can develop into cancer at the site of the injection and injury
  2. rejection issues require immunosuppressive drugs for the ill patient
  3. embryonic stem cells (and induced pluripotent stem cells) carry the genetic anomalies of the donor
  4. they have to date treated zero diseases successfully
  5. scientists probably need to cure cancer first to use them


But if MB can mirror the results of  the success rate of adult stem cell treatments (~65% of patients have significant improvement in their incurable, chronic or terminal illnesses) and do so without the side effects alluded to above (adult stem cells have virtually zero side effects except for sometimes additionally fixing more than the intended organ/illness) then I would love to hear about it!


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