Embryo clones produced from cells of human adults

Scientists for the first time have cloned cells from two adults to create early-stage embryos, and then derived tissue from those embryos that perfectly matched the DNA of the donors.

The experiment represents another advance in the quest to make tissue in the laboratory that could treat a range of maladies, from heart attacks to Alzheimer’s. The study, involving a 35-year-old man and one age 75, was published Thursday in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

Cell Stem Cell – Human Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Using Adult Cells

•Adult cell reprogramming via SCNT is not successful via the conventional protocol
•Improved success was achieved with a recently developed approach
•hESCs were derived via SCNT from 35- and 75-year-old males


Derivation of patient-specific human pluripotent stem cells via somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) has the potential for applications in a range of therapeutic contexts. However, successful SCNT with human cells has proved challenging to achieve, and thus far has only been reported with fetal or infant somatic cells. In this study, we describe the application of a recently developed methodology for the generation of human ESCs via SCNT using dermal fibroblasts from 35- and 75-year-old males. Our study therefore demonstrates the applicability of SCNT for adult human cells and supports further investigation of SCNT as a strategy for regenerative medicine.

And while the embryos created in these recent experiments may have certain limitations that would prevent them from giving rise to a human clone even if implanted in a womb, that prospect is now scientifically closer.

As with the 2013 experiment, done by researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University, Dr. Lanza and his colleagues first extracted the DNA from an unfertilized human egg and replaced it with the DNA from one of the older donors. The egg automatically “reprogrammed” its DNA until it reached a stage of the embryo known as a blastocyst—a hollow ball of 50 to 100 cells.

Cells from the blastocyst then were cultured in a lab dish and yielded stem cells that were an exact match to the donor’s DNA. Those stem cells subsequently were turned into other tissue types, such as heart cells, which potentially could be transplanted into the patient without triggering an immune rejection.

“I’m happy to hear that our experiment was verified and shown to be genuine,” said Shoukhrat Mitalipov, a development biologist at Oregon Health and Science University, in Portland, Ore., who led the 2013 study that Dr. Lanza and his colleagues have now replicated.

Despite this advance, experts say it wouldn’t be easy to create a full-fledged human clone. Scientists have been trying for years to clone monkeys and have yet to succeed. Even the cloning of less-complicated creatures—from sheep to rabbits and dogs—required years of tweaking, and lots of wasted eggs and deformed fetuses, before it worked.

Other Advanced Cell Technology Work

Advanced Cell Technology, a leader in the field of regenerative medicine, and its collaborators reported that it has discovered a new method to generate a potent and replenishable population of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from pluripotent stem cells. The research appears online ahead of print in Stem Cell and Development, one of the top stem cells journals, published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. This new and proprietary population of pluripotent stem cell-derived MSCs displays potent immunomodulatory and therapeutic properties and has a greater than 30,000 fold proliferative capacity, relative to ordinary bone marrow-derived MSCs, the most commonly used source for MSCs in clinical trial

SOURCE- Wall Street Journal, Cell Stem Cell Journal

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