Tuesday, November 8, 2011

California Stem Cell Report Article: “Trounson, Parthenotes and International Stem Cell”

The president of the California stem cell agency, Alan Trounson, popped up in a recent article in Scientific American dealing with a method for creating pluripotent stem cells from unfertilized human eggs. 

The piece by Julia Galef said that "many investigators remain frustrated" that the method "remains offlimits" for federal funding, a barrier that does not apply to financing from the $3 billion California stem cell agency. 

Galef wrote that one California firm, 
International Stem Cell Corp., of Carlsbad, is using the method to develop products. She said the firm's work involves "a process called parthenogenesis, in which researchers use chemicals to induce the egg to begin developing as if it had been fertilized. The egg—called a parthenote—behaves just like an embryo in the early stages of division. Because it contains no genetic material from a father, however, it cannot develop into a viable fetus." 

Trounson was quoted as saying, nonetheless, that "proving that unfertilized eggs will produce stable tissues in humans remains an obstacle." He said other labs need to replicate the work.

To read the complete article on "California Stem Cell Report", please click here  

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