Therapeutic Cloning Versus Parkinson's

The New Scientist reports on the use of therapeutic cloning in development of a cell therapy for Parkinson's disease: "An international team has restored mice with a condition similar to Parkinson's disease back to health, using neurons grown in the lab that were made from their own cloned skin cells. ... All six mice that had been given grafts of neurons derived from their own skin cells got significantly better, scoring well on tests of movement. ... It was a very challenging project. You need a special set of expertise that is typically not available in an individual lab. ... If the process cannot be made less technically demanding, any treatment for human patients is likely to be extremely costly. This is why many researchers are excited about the possibility of using a simpler genetic reprogramming technique [that can] can turn skin cells into cells that have similar properties to [embryonic stem] cells."


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