Abstract illustration cells

With plenty of controversy over the years on whether or not stem cell research would continue, a cutting-edge method was developed recently which allows normal adult cells to be transformed into stem cells.  With the requirement of human embryos removed, this breakthrough in technique won a Nobel prize and a Japanese patient will be the first person to test the new treatment.

 

Referred to as pluripotent stem cells, each patient's own cells are used in a serious of lab procedures which eventually reprograms them into perfect genetically matching stem cells.  Without the risk of the body rejecting these iPSCs or stem cells, this method of production already has advantages over embryonic development with little risk of complications.  With six patients enrolled, health conditions such as macular degeneration can be reversed by adding the missing layer of cells back onto the retina.

Since the experiments have already succeeded in laboratory mice and monkeys, humans could be next in line to get this life-changing treatment.  Since nerves in the human body do not regenerate like regular cells, damage to these neural networks can often be permanent.  With the use of this cutting-edge technique, scientists will finally be able to restore areas of the body which were once considered to be irreplaceable.

Source: "Next-generation stem cells cleared for human trial" by David Cyranoski