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Jack Sisson's Life Ethics Blog

We must find new ways through many ethical issues, especially regarding bioethics, medical ethics, and criminal justice. Jack Sisson's 'Life Ethics' blog focuses on numerous areas of concern, including the philosophical and ethical dilemmas surrounding stem-cell research, abortion, medical research, and health care.

 
ScienceDaily (Feb. 20, 2008:
Neural cells derived from human embryonic stem cells helped repair stroke-related damage in the brains of rats and led to improvements in their physical abilities after a stroke, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

This study marks the first time researchers have used human embryonic stem cells to generate neural cells that grow well in the lab, improve a rat’s physical abilities and consistently don’t form tumors when transplanted.

Though the authors caution that the study is small and that more work is needed to determine whether a similar approach would work in humans, they said they believe it shows the potential for using stem cell therapies in treating strokes.

Senior author Gary Steinberg, MD, PhD, the Bernard and Ronni Lacroute-William Randolph Hearst Professor of Neurosurgery and the Neurosciences, said that with 750,000 people having strokes in the United States each year, the disease creates a massive burden for stroke victims, their families and the medical system.

“Human embryonic stem cell-based therapies have the potential to help treat this complex disease,” Steinberg said, adding that he hopes the cells from this study can be used in human stroke trials within five years.
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