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The World in Medicine
June 15, 2005

Custom Stem Cells

JAMA. 2005;293(23):2850. doi:10.1001/jama.293.23.2850-c

Scientists from Seoul National University in Korea have generated human embryonic stem cell lines tailored to individual patients, bringing researchers a step closer to the goal of transplanting healthy cells and tissues into patients to replace those damaged by disease or injury. Their report was published on May 19 in an online edition of Science (http://www.sciencemag.org).

The cell lines were derived from patients with diseases such as diabetes or a spinal cord injury. In each case, the researchers transferred the nucleus from a skin cell into a donated egg that had been stripped of its own nucleus, allowed the reconstituted oocyte to grow for a few days to the blastocyst stage, and removed stem cells from the blastocyst’s inner cell mass. Previous work by the Korean researchers required an average of nearly 250 human eggs to develop one cloned embryo; the new work required only 17 eggs on average to develop a stem cell line.

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