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February 18, 2005

Stem cell researchers make gains in removing mouse molecules

Topics: Medicine

Good news for life enthusiasts - removing mouse "feeder" cells opens the door for possibly reversing the contamination of stem cell lines approved by President Bush.

- via Roth Report
San Diego researchers recently confirmed scientifically what biologists knew intuitively: The stem cell lines President Bush approved for federally funded research are contaminated by the mouse ``feeder cells'' used to make them grow in the lab.

The race is now on to create and keep human embryonic stem cells alive without help from mice. Scientists and federal regulators fear the mice cells will transmit animal viruses and lead to immune systems rejecting the drugs created to treat people, making the lines useless for patients.


The above image depicts a colony of human embryonic stem cells grown over a period of 10 months in the absence of mouse feeder cells. The cell nuclei are stained green; the cell surface appears in red.

On Thursday, researchers with the WiCell Research Institute lab at the University of Wisconsin published a paper detailing the latest breakthrough in eliminating mouse cells from the human embryonic stem cell equation.

... This is a major step,'' said Ren-He Xu, the lead author of the paper, which was published in Nature Methods, a scientific journal. ``This work completely gets rid of the need for feeder cells.''

Posted by Hyscience at February 18, 2005 4:45 PM

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