A big breakthrough in treatment with the use of stem cells

Scientists from Great Britain have discovered a breakthrough formula of a chemical cocktail which stops stem cells collected from a body from converting into a specific organ. Thanks to this method, the cells can be examined and stored until they are needed. At the same time, a way of multiplying stem cells in laboratories for tests and therapy was discovered. The discovery from the British scientists is a basis of a completely new type of medicine – a treatment of serious diseases with miraculous cells. Stem cells can develop into more than 200 healthy human organs. Doctors hope that injecting them will cure the paralysed, those who suffer from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson disease as well as diabetes. A kidney or a liver – reconstructed in a laboratory one day – will be transplanted to the ill person without any risk of rejection.

The team of Professor Melanie Welham from the University of Bath, supported by Professor Adam Nelson from the University of Leeds, determined the composition of a chemical stimulant which, when added to stem cells in the laboratory, makes them divide repeatedly. After stopping the addition of the chemical substance, new cells preserve their properties.
"Stem cells have a big potential to treat damages to the spinal cord and diseases such as type I diabetes because they can change into specialised cells, for example nervous fibres or pancreatic cells. And these can be used to repair damaged organs” wrote Professor Welham in an announcement about her discovery published on the University of Bath website.
Welham adds that the medicine stops the development of stem cells for weeks, which makes it possible to multiply any number of new cells to use in research or treatment.
During experiments, cocktails composed of more than 50 different elements were tested on stem cells. The final version influences the cells by blocking the enzyme called GSK3, responsible for changing a cell into its final specialised form.

“Our research is a great example to show how small particles can be used as a tool to understand the mechanisms of biology” – says Professor Adam Nelson. The University of Bath scientists’ discovery, announced the day before yesterday, coincided with the publishing of the news about the failure of very controversial experiments to create animal-human hybrids, which were also made on the British Islands. The embryos of humans as well as mice, cows or rabbits were going to be used to obtain stem cells and to examine and treat people.

It turned out that the embryos of hybrids look normal under the microscope but they have a genetic defect. Professor Ian Wilmut, the creator of the cloned sheep Dolly, claimed that the research results of hybrids are “very unsatisfactory”.
The scientists add that if other researchers confirm the uselessness of hybrids, the discussion about the ethics of such experiments will be a waste of time.