Friday, July 10, 2009

Industry loves it: iPS from a simple blood sample

Look at this new bit of good news where James Thomson’s company makes iPS from human blood – so any old blood sample can now become that ‘liquid gold’ that the cloning fantasists once claimed was to be found on their dig alone. Look at this summary comment about these iPS cells being just exactly the same as ESC, thank you vey much…

“Analysis revealed that the iPS cells are functionally identical to embryonic stem cells and iPS cells generated from other human tissue sources, that they carry the same genetic background as the source blood sample, and that they have the pluripotent ability to differentiate into any cell type.”

Cloning embryos has never achieved even a single patient-specific pluripotent stem cell, while iPS is achieving that goal with embarrassing ease.

What justification is left, then, for even attempting to clone human embryos – when the longed-for genetically-matched stem cells can be obtained so simply and ethically?

iPS is meeting all the goals of science and industry:

"Industry's challenge was to reliably create iPS cells from a commonly available and easily accessible tissue source and we focused on stored human peripheral blood samples," said Chris Kendrick-Parker, chief commercial officer of CDI. "Generating pluripotent stem cells from small volumes of blood, either freshly collected from a patient or accessed from blood storage repositories, provides a convenient source for generating patient-specific stem cells that are valuable research tools and may one day be used as a cellular therapy to treat disease."

Have no doubt: industry is going to drive the ethical alternative of iPS because it is a winner. SCNT cloning is a failed fantasy, a diseased fruit blighting the vine of stem cell science.