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.
Stephenson J. Custom Stem Cells. JAMA. 2005;293(23):2850. doi:10.1001/jama.293.23.2850-c