Stem cell research has been in the forefront of mainstream news ever since the first embryonic stem cell human trial happened way back 2009. It created a lot of noise, especially when some groups and individuals protested against it. However, researchers have carried on with their studies over the years and soon enough, people started taking advantage of its benefits.
Today, stem cell research continues, but there have also been successful procedures in some parts of the world. Although stem cell procedures are not a regular fare in hospitals and clinics, they are already accepted in some medical institutions. New studies, however, continue to pop up regularly. Stem cell manipulation, for example, has become an important issue over the years. Stem cell manipulation refers to the practice of modifying (genetically) a cell. The process is intended to help address certain medical problems.
To help you understand more, here are four recent advancements in stem cell manipulation and research.
1. Stem Cell Manipulation Can Be Used for Correcting Jaw Joint Disorder
According to a study conducted in New York, manipulating stem cells in the jaw joint is now a possible solution for those suffering from loss of cartilage. Although the study was done on mice, there is great hope that it will also work for humans. As per the researchers, the manipulated cells in the mice’s temporomandibular joint (TMJ) are what helped repair the damaged cartilage. When a single TMJ stem cell was transplanted into a mouse, it automatically generated bone and cartilage. This is sure to provide relief to anyone suffering from TMJ and jaw problems, especially since there are no surefire treatments available at the moment.
2. The International Society for Stem Cell Research or ISSCR Sets New Global Guidelines
ISSCR President Sean J. Morrison said that because stem cell research is gaining momentum, a new set of guidelines is essential to maintain the integrity of all researches. As such, the new set of guidelines touches on several issues that were not included in the earlier versions. Some of these include better standards for the preclinical and clinical research evidence, a clearer description of the responsibilities of the parties involved in communicating stem cell science and medicine, and a detailed definition of an EMRO or Embryo Research Oversight. A task force of 25 stem cell science, bioethics, and clinical research experts sat down to develop, formulate, and review the new set of guidelines.
3. Developments in Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Using Blood Stem Cells
Multiple Sclerosis is one of the most difficult diseases to happen to anyone. Today, however, several advancements in medication and therapy have made things a little easier. So when Sheffield Teaching Hospital researchers announced that they found a way to reboot MS patients’ immune system, it was the best news ever. During a clinical trial, the researchers used blood stem cells from the MS patients to reboot their immune systems and bring it back to the time when it was still functioning well. The procedure is called autologous hematopoietic stem cell therapy or AHSCT. The blood stem cells are capable of building the immune system’s cells, which is what can help restore the immune system and possibly halt MS development.
4. Scientists for the Day: Children Learn More About Stem Cell Research
While stem cell research is still quite controversial nowadays, The Centre for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine at Kings College in London did not think twice about inviting a group of children (around 10 of them) to visit the center and become scientists for a day. This allowed the children to explore and understand stem cell research more.