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?

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

          • 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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?))

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Captain Obvious says:

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. sargasso_c says:

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

  17. 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.


0

Bad Behavior has blocked 19346 access attempts in the last 7 days.