The Future of Regenerative Medicine

The promising future of regenerative medicine is evident in the work taking place now - both so obviously crude and so obviously far ahead of what has been possible in the past. Genetic Engineering News illustrates: "The idea of growing an organ from one's own cells or healing spinal cord injuries with cells transformed from embryonic stem cells used to be considered fodder for science fiction movies, but no more. Companies are not only developing technologies that can do exactly that, but these methods provide real potential to cure certain conditions and diseases. ... We have published a paper showing, for the first time, that we can create RPE (retinal pigment epithelium) from human embryonic stem cells ... RPE is the layer of cells that maintains the photoreceptors, cones, and rods and enables vision. ... We're hoping to transplant these cells to attenuate vision loss or prevent further progress of macular degeneration ... the same RPE can significantly attenuate visual loss in animal models due to RPE loss. We were able to significantly rescue the photo receptors and saw about 100% improvement in visual acuity in the animals transplanted with these cells."


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