Have a peak at this article in the telegraph:
It sounds almost too good to be true! The team at
the trial have hailed the breakthrough as the easiest and safest source of
producing stem cells; however the safety of using
such stem cells still remains unknown. Cambridge
This could prove to be an excellent and efficient method to slowly introduce the use of stem cell technology in the clinic in a more widespread manner. One of the many benefits is that these new stem cells can be stored for a significant period of time and grow fairly easily. The “late outgrowth endothelial progenitor cells” – as they’re known, are then subsequently turned into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which can be turned into other body cells.
Up until now scientists hadn’t found an appropriate type of cell in the blood that could be turned into a stem cell so this is quite an advance!
One of the other considerations is that it is much more practical and easy to put into practice in the clinic. Often iPS cells are taken from the skin or other tissues, which can require surgery such as a biopsy. These tissue biopsies are undesirable particularly for children and the elderly whereas taking blood samples is routine for all patients.
Dr Rana, a lecturer in Regenerative Medicine, put great emphasis on the need for a cautious approach at this early stage as there as still many safety issues that need to be overcome.
“The ultimate aim is to grow tissue … which we can use in replacement therapies, that would be ideal.”
“But a really important step is, rather than simple think about the technology in a laboratory, transfer it into a clinic and make it useful for everybody.”