As the debate over federal funding for embryonic stem cell research continues in the United States, scientists have found a new source of pluripotent stem cells—amniotic fluid—that steers clear of the ethics of embryo destruction.
Amniotic fluid-derived stem (AFS) cells can be coaxed to become muscle, bone, fat, blood vessel, nerve, and liver cells and might therefore be valuable for therapy, according to recent research (De Coppi P et al. Nat Biotechnol. 2007;25:100-106).
Hampton T. Stem Cells Obtained From Amniotic Fluid. JAMA. 2007;297(8):795. doi:10.1001/jama.297.8.795