There is an ongoing national debate over the best way to approach scientific research using stem cells. The debate has centered around those who want to destroy human embryos for the purpose of obtaining stem cells for experiments verses those who want to pursue the more promising and ethical adult stem cell research.
Now, new research is revealing that there may be another option. A study just released finds that stem cells can be obtains from amniotic fluid.
The LA Times reported today:
Researchers have found that some stem cells in human amniotic fluid appear
to have many of the key therapeutic benefits of embryonic stem cells while
avoiding their knottiest ethical, medical and logistical drawbacks, according to
a study published Sunday.
The stem cells — easy to harvest from the fluid left over from amniocentesis tests given to many pregnant women — were used to create bone, heart muscle, blood vessels, fat, and nerve and liver tissues, the study said.
“So far, we’ve been successful with every cell type we’ve attempted to produce from these stem cells,” said study senior author Anthony Atala, director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. The report was published online by the journal Nature Biotechnology.