Scientists from Britain and Japan shared a Nobel Prize today for the discovery that adult cells can be transformed back into embryo-like stem cells that may one day regrow tissue in damaged brains, hearts or other organs.

John Gurdon, 79, of the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge, Britain and Shinya Yamanaka, 50, of Kyoto University in Japan, discovered ways to create tissue that would act like embryonic cells, without the need to harvest embryos.

They share the $1.2 million Nobel Prize for Medicine, for work Gurdon began 50 years ago and Yamanaka capped with a 2006 experiment that transformed the field of “regenerative medicine” – the field of curing disease by regrowing healthy tissue…

All of the body’s tissue starts as stem cells, before developing into skin, blood, nerves, muscle and bone. The big hope for stem cells is that they can be used to replace damaged tissue in everything from spinal cord injuries to Parkinson’s disease.

Scientists once thought it was impossible to turn adult tissue back into stem cells, which meant that new stem cells could only be created by harvesting embryos – a practice that raised ethical qualms in some countries and also means that implanted cells might be rejected by the body.

“We would like to be able to find a way of obtaining spare heart or brain cells from skin or blood cells. The important point is that the replacement cells need to be from the same individual, to avoid problems of rejection and hence of the need for immunosuppression…”

The chairman of the awards committee, Urban Lendahl, told Reuters…“You can’t take out a large part of the heart or the brain or so to study this, but now you can take a cell from for example the skin of the patient, reprogram it, return it to a pluripotent state, and then grow it in a laboratory,” he said.

“The second thing is for further ahead. If you can grow different cell types from a cell from a human, you might – in theory for now but in future hopefully – be able to return cells where cells have been lost…”

A significant reason why the United States wasn’t competitive in this research for years was the anti-science interference, handicaps introduced by the Bush Administration and the nutballs brought into political power by the Party-formerly-known-as-Republican.

Contempt never recedes for ideologues, pundits and prophets who assign values of good or bad to knowledge.



  1. msbpodcast says:

    Lets hope our nuttier repube congress and/or senate critters don’t find out about this. (At least the dumb-o-craps shut up or switch the subject to something safe, like how they like food, when they don’t know what the hell the adults are talking about.)

    I can just hear the whining rolling up from Georgia: No-bells hunh? Sounds like some damn schooled furner Satan Spawn.

    • dusanmal says:

      Read your representatives opinions first. One of the crucial claims for years BEFORE this Nobel Prize was that the research points to ability to get stem cells from adult cells and that those may even work better for medicinal applications. Hence making usage of embryo cells just a needless barbarism in need to be banned. Years before this Nobel Prize (research have been going on for long and informed Congress critters knew about it. Informed, not ideological ones).

      • msbpodcast says:

        The researchers are British and Japanese.

        I seriously doubt that any US *cough* representatives *cough* ever heard any word of this.

        It wasn’t having any impact on any budget they could cut, so what the fuck did they care?

    • Egon Ruuda says:

      Do not forget that this research is not applicable to live subjects as of now as it is a method achieved using retroviruses. Do not hype this further than necessary before reading what the actual discovery is.

      • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

        This “sounds like” completely retarded BS: nothing to do with retroviruses. Please provide a link to support your cautionary post…otherwise it must be considered the ravings of a mad man.

        This Noble IN SCIENCE was given to people figuring out how to get stem cells from adult cells. Everything else is secondary. Only a fool would think regrowing specific organ in a petri dish is far behind. What this has to do with retro-viruses is beyond me and not apparent from your post.

        No offense otherwise.

  2. msbpodcast says:

    The US is turning into a confederacy of dunces one elected officious at a time…

    No wonder the Nobel prize medicine committee doesn’t bother looking for applicants here nowadays.

    New and improved” hemorrhoid creams and sixteen brands of Viagra™®© is about all this country is good for anymore.

    • noname says:

      USA has had a good share of NOBEL Science prizes:
      PHYSICS (87 awards)
      MEDICINE (95 awards)
      CHEMISTRY (62 awards)
      ECONOMIC SCIENCES (49 awards)

      It’s not like USA isn’t involved in stem cell research. Back in 2007 California funded its Stem Cell Research to the tune of $3 billion.

      Because most Science (that is not done in national laboratories) is “a publicly open discipline” and peer reviewed, much science is practiced across boarders and nationalities. It’s hard to say how much of this science can be attributable to good ole USA, but I am sure some is.

      Don’t forget that Shinya Yamanaka’s nomination was put forward by Robert W. Mahley, President Emeritus of The J. David Gladstone Institutes at the University of California, San Francisco (United States) and Inder Verma, Director of the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute.

      Even though Yamanaka studied medicine at Kobe University and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Osaka National Hospital in 1993. Later that year he took up a postdoctoral fellowship at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease in San Francisco, where he became a staff research investigator in 1995. The following year he returned to Japan where he has been associated since 2004 with the Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences at Kyoto University.

  3. NobodySpecial says:

    Drone strikes – the obvious solution
    These satanic scientists think they can escape the law by doing their satanic experiments in other countries – well fortunately God invented the predator drone to deal with such things….

    • HaHa-Can't-Catchme says:

      Here is my coordinates, 43.570069,-71.208855. Send your predator drone(s) to deal with such things….

      I dare you! I double dare you! I triple dare you!

  4. bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

    There is a nice bifurcation that this exemplifies. Those that can afford it will have replacement organs grown on demand while even currently 2 Billion people do not have access to clean water for drinking.

    Ain’t Science Great?

    • ± says:

      These two winners probably would only accept the prize for the money aspect, not because they want to share the company of these other winners (in no particular order):

      Yassir Arafat
      Jimmy Carter
      Obama
      Martin Luther King
      UN Peace Keeping Forces
      Elie Wiesel
      Mikhail Gorbachev
      Le Duc Tho
      Henry Kissinger
      Al Gore
      Kofi Annan (the absolutely most debasing choice of all wrong choices ever)

      • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

        I’m pretty sure the Nobel in Science puts him with a different group than the Nobel for Peace. If you want to counter that a Nobel is a Nobel then we are all humans. In that regard, you are quite correct.

      • NobodySpecial says:

        The Nobel peace prize has nothing to do with the Nobel prize or Mr Nobel

        • Tippis says:

          …aside from being paid form the Nobel foundation’s coffers and being the one Nobel himself really wanted to contribute to (to redeem his personal unintended efforts in the war business).

          • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

            FTW.

          • Egon Ruuda says:

            Might be so, but the peace price is given out by Norwegians… They have gotten silly from all their oil money.

            But remember that TiME magazine also put both Stalin and Hitler as man of the year at one point or another.

          • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

            FTL. (For the Lose.”

            completely irrelevant. connect your dots if you can.

            dolt.

          • MikeN says:

            Actually that is a myth. Nobel was quite proud of his invention of dynamite.

          • MikeN says:

            A myth. Nobel was quite happy with his invention of dynamite.

          • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

            Mikey—just how dull witted are you?

            I won’t look it up, just going on memory that Nobel was unhappy at the destruction that nitroglycerine brought to the world. He was proud of his invention of the material for construction purposes.

            Can you spot the difference?

            Want to link to the Nobel website and show their statement regarding the History and rationale of the Nobel Prize or just continue to blow your opinion out your ass?

          • Tippis says:

            He was very proud of his scientific achievements, but equally dismayed how some of them had come to mainly be used for warfare purposes.

            Oh, and the reason the peace prize is handled by the Norwegians is because of Sweden’s long history (at the time) of aggression, oppression and war against its neighbours.

            The only not-Nobel-prize in the bunch is the economy prize, which was instituted by the Swedish National Bank in the memory of Nobel.

          • tcc3 says:

            Egon Ruuda:

            What does Time Magazine have to do with the Peace Prize?

            Secondly – Person of the year is not necessarily a positive title. It does not indicate any sort of endorsement from Time.

  5. kjb434 says:

    I hope you guys know that NONE of Bush’s policies would prevented any of these two guy’s research. These two focused on non-embryonic stem cells.

    If you would read about their research and look beyond the talking points, you would see the science has shown the uselessness of embryonic stems cell research now.

    Must be signs of crazy to take a great moment of science and reduce it to a hollow political attack that doesn’t even have a foundation to stand on.

    • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

      Embryonic had and still has certain attributes that makes working with them easier than with adult cells making discoveries easier and faster. Maybe only by a factor of 10 years but Religion interfering with Science is a telling description of any society. How much interference and for how long and over how many fields of basic inquiry will all add up.

      The Dark Ages may result from societal choice of our own local Taliban. doesn’t have to be cataclysmic nuclear exchange or a new virus. Imagine both?

      Religion. What ya gonna do?

  6. kjb434 says:

    I think you are confusing religion with ethics and philosphy.

    In the childish debates on TV and much of the internet, religion was the focus of the embryonic stem cell discussion. In the real debate (the one that mattered), the discussion centered around ethics and philosophy (and makes for intense reading) with religion being relegated to the sidelines.

    • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

      I can’t imagine an “ethics” discussion on these related issues without the ethics being grounded in religion. The Roe v Wade provides a complete LEGAL framework for the creation and use of embryonic stem cells: whatever the parents agree to. Ethics has no role when the LAW has spoken.

      What intense issue do you think is raised that is not answered by letting the parents decide? This maximizes FREEEEEDOM and choice.

      What could be more sweet than the pure nectar of common sense and constitutional law?

      Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Benjamin says:

        Interesting that adult stem cells are actually better than embryonic stem cells. They can be customized to the patients DNA among other things whereas embryonic stem cells have the DNA of some random embryo somewhere.

        Democrats now won’t care about this since curing diseases no longer requires increasing the number of abortions to come up with the needed stem cells.

        bobbo said, “Ethics has no role when the LAW has spoken.”

        At the risk of invoking Godwin’s Law, there were ethical considerations against the human experiments the Nazi engaged in during the Holocaust, despite the fact that German LAW at the time authorized such atrocities.

        Ethics should always be considered regardless of what religion one follows.

  7. MikeN says:

    If anything it is the Democratic insistence on killing embryos that prevents such work here. Adult stem cell therapies ended up being the better policy, but the addiction of linking every issue to abortion trumps all.

  8. MikeN says:

    So these scientists did what Democratic politicians said was impossible. Perhaps you should have John Edwards sue him. Stem cell treatment will now be an issue that Democrats do not care about, as it doesn’t promote abortion.

  9. bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

    Poor Mickey. Wants to save embryo’s.

    You know–embryo’s are more worthless than kiddies.

    Kiddies==they don’t know anything, can’t carry a rifle or work on a factory line or farm, don’t have any money, and you can’t f*ck them. But at least they can pull a beer from the fridge for you.

    Kiddies = + one.
    Embryos = zero.

  10. Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

    That research never would be necessary if Bush (& Christians) didn’t object to destroying embryos…

    If someone didn’t object to killing babies to keep boomers viable.

    If Obama wins, successfully destroys the country, what happened in Rwanda could be (likely not) replicated here, with Generation XXers hunting boomer geezers down as they flee the wrath of the coming generations…for having destroyed the country, and left behind a ruined husk.

    The narcissistic me generation well represented by the freeloaders posting here…the rising tide of the hungry, the poor, the huddled masses…will be coming for you.

    • Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

      In other words, your devouring the new born to enrich yourselves is without excuse, a crime of epic proportions which I do hope and pray, you all pay for. If not in this life, then in the next.

      Killing babies to keep yourselves youthful:

      For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: (Hos 8:7 KJV)

      For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains. (Deu 32:22 KJV)

      • jpfitz says:

        Acts 26:18
        New International Version (NIV)
        18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

        • Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

          There is a difference between ignorance, and willful refusal to believe and obey.

          As we see in Christ’s teaching:

          21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
          22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
          23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
          24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. (Mat 11:21-24 KJV)

  11. bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

    I know it doesn’t matter to those obsessed with the issue “but” stem cells in the main are not people, they are not children, they are not babies, AND:

    they aren’t even embryos.

    They are almost always only the the just fertilized egg BEFORE implantation.

    Not that facts/words/distinctions have any impact on the fully committed.

    • kjb434 says:

      The words “just fertilized egg” is major discussion point in the world of science and ethics. Once the egg is fertilized, it has a full chromosome set and could be considered a human in the world of science.

      The religious discussion was not part of the REAL debate. Many religious groups protested because they were excluded from the talks.

      Also, by your definition, a person is someone who has reached adulthood. Prior to adulthood, a teenager, child, toddler could be killed because they are not a person yet.

      Maybe you should read through the transcripts of the discussion that made the decision in the U.S. If you’re a man of science and all.

    • Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

      Hardly a greater waste couldn’t be fathomed than destroying the potential of an embryo…to keep bobbo viable…

      Like a vampire you lust for the life force of the unborn, to do what?

      Accomplish what?

    • Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

      Well Bobbo, nothing to say in your defense for sucking life out of the unborn to enhance your own well being.

      It was good to resist killing the unborn, regardless their state….so that this research could progress without heaping upon oneself burning coals of Judgment.

  12. bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

    kjb434 not identifying any intense issue at all continues by throwing issues on the wall hoping something will stick says:
    10/8/2012 at 1:22 pm

    The words “just fertilized egg” is major discussion point in the world of science and ethics. /// No its not. It is what it is. What discussion at all results from this simple objective fact?

    Once the egg is fertilized, it has a full chromosome set and could be considered a human in the world of science. /// Not really. See the definitions above. It is what it is. This comment has more rigor in ethics and religious circles.

    The religious discussion was not part of the REAL debate. Many religious groups protested because they were excluded from the talks. // Just as it should be. There is no discussion with religious types as their immortal souls are conditioned upon holding to one point of view==whatever it variously is.

    Also, by your definition, a person is someone who has reached adulthood. // I didn’t define person.

    Prior to adulthood, a teenager, child, toddler could be killed because they are not a person yet. /// You anticipate me without doing the basic prep work. Enjoy skipping around this erratically do you? but your question would be a more interesting/balanced question.

    Maybe you should read through the transcripts of the discussion that made the decision in the U.S. If you’re a man of science and all. /// What discussion about what decision? I have read Roe v Wade. Its a bit dense but worth the read for anyone interested in law, ethics, religion, history of this embroiled issue. It has the added bonus of being the law as well.

    So—what was intensely discussed? ((Its a trick question==because without knowing what source material you are thinking of, I will still bet that Roe v Wade provides a superceding analysis and argument. but –why read an answer if it disagrees with your position. BTW==do you have a position on any of the intense issues?))

    • Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

      There is no discussion with religious types as their immortal souls are conditioned upon holding to one point of view==whatever it variously is.

      Its clearly stated the soul or man entire came to living when God breathed into his frame, the breath of life.

      KJV Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Gen 2:7 KJV)

      Hence formed man entire, and by His Spirit breathed into us we became living. Now that God has formed the man, its alive at conception and as man is soul clothed in physical form and animated by spirit, there is no pre-existence of the soul prior to conception..

  13. bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

    mpod==quoting MC Frontalot? What an eclectic literary armament you draw from. Why so dour all the time. Your evident knowledge should free you from mundane concerns. Glad I’m free from whatever causes your constant pain.

  14. jpfitz says:

    “Reconstructive surgeons at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md., said they successfully reconstructed an ear and part of the skull of a 42-year-old woman.”

    I don’t know how this was done but I find amazing and maybe a bit creepy. I want my eyes back to when I didn’t need glasses to read.
    One day we’ll be able to grow new corneas, and ….

    http://cbc.ca/news/health/story/2012/10/01/ear-arm-grow-reconstructive-surgery.html

  15. Captain Obvious says:

    Obviously this means really good cloning. Now I can fire those employees I’ve been keeping around for body parts.

  16. MikeN says:

    Do you support a corporation that takes embryos, clones them, then grows the embryos into fetuses and then babies, and holds them for many years?

    • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

      Simple answer is no but your science imagine is woefully stillborn.

      You take the embryo, grow it to early fetus stage THEN separately grow the organs that is needed. Stupid to grow eyeballs when all you need is the liver.

      Easy Peasy. You’ll do it, or wish you could, when your health is all you have left to think about.

  17. bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

    Alfie providing much humor by not understanding the very basics of his own belief system says:
    10/8/2012 at 9:44 pm

    bobbo insightfully said: “There is no discussion with religious types as their immortal souls are conditioned upon holding to one point of view==whatever it variously is.”

    Alfie responds: Its clearly stated the soul or man entire came to living when God breathed into his frame, the breath of life. /// Exactly right which for centuries was variously taken to mean “on live birth” which later got institutionally corrupted to when being baptized. Its only a recent evolution that every sperm has become sacred. Abortion was an accepted fact of life in medevil catholic/protestant Europe and USA.

    Basic stuff. Back to grazing Alfie.

    • Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

      Document that was “on live birth”, who believed that?

      • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

        Well, thanks for engaging on point Alfie. Are you implying that you agree about baptism?

        but, I decline to look it up. Not important, interesting, or relevant to my life. If you think your particular sect/cult never thought that, I am more than confident some other nut bunch did and still does.

        Non-scientists can be trusted to believe anything.

        • Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

          I agree the controversy about soul, whether it pre-exists, or arises at conception…did arise…

          But at no point did any cite this text as proving the soul came into existence, at birth…when exiting the womb.

          You made that up.

          • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

            Alfie–I do misremember and get things wrong, but unless I’m joking, I don’t make things up.

            but since you are making a point out of it, I’ll be square.

            I recall what I posted when reading about when does the soul enter the body… and I do believe there were (are?) those two schools of thought. The third school that the soul is assigned at conception is of very recent origin and I did not read that anywhere as that idea was the basis for the discussion.

            Now, when the soul enters the body is a different discussion from when something is human or when is the product of conception independent enough to warrant protection by society against the adverse interests of its mother.

            Alfie–I believe you are right concerning your own religion==but are you informed enough to speak for all the various beliefs?

            xxxxx It just hit me that the idea of breathing a first breath was an early definition of when one could be charged with the murder of a human being as opposed to the murder of a fetus. So, indeed, I may have a few issues jumbled up. Not so with Baptism. I think the import of that ceremony has changed over the centuries as well. Somthing niggles at me about when babies were “named” as you don’t want to waste names on those that die too soon but I don’t think that was delayed until baptism… but maybe so. Its all an interesting subject—-how primitive people can be.

            Its a fine point.

  18. sargasso_c says:

    Their work is the foundation of new things. A very well deserved prize.

  19. Glenn E. says:

    And you can bet the very same US Congressmen and Senators that voted down allowing any such research in the US. Will be running off to these foreign lands to get whatever is wrong with them, cured by Stem Cell medicine. Those hypocrites!! They only opposed it, to make political book from the issue. The same way they did with the whole AIDs thing, back in the 1980s. And Prohibition, before that. Bet every politician there was, drank themselves stupid, during the 1920s. But they pretended that they were on the side of righteousness, for a stupid voters. And it’s that way with Stem Cell research. Turning it into a “slave the fetuses” political issue. While they’re hopping around the globe, on their “good will” missions. Getting the cures, denied the voters.