British scientists create nerve stem cells

Aug 16, 2005

Scientists at the Universities of Edinburgh and Milan reportedly made the world's first pure nerve stem cells from human embryonic stem cells.

Researchers told the BBC they hope the newly-created cells will eventually assist scientists in finding new treatments for diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Stem cells are so-called "master" cells that can become many kinds of tissue. Nerve stem cells are those that help build the brain and central nervous system.

Steven Pollard of the University of Edinburgh told the BBC: "This is incredibly exciting in terms of curing disease. We may be able to create the disease in a dish. If we do that, we'll be able to better understand the disease and also to test drugs."

Although the long-term goal is to use the artificially created cells to treat such illnesses as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, the short-term use will be to test the effectiveness of newly created drugs.

University of Edinburgh Professor Austin Smith, who led the research, told the BBC, "We're already talking with the bio-technology and bio-pharmaceutical companies about taking these cells into screening systems for new drugs."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Analyzing living cells quickly and accurately

Apr 02, 2014

In order to investigate inflammation, tumors or stem cells, medical practitioners analyze living cells. Non-invasive optical procedures such as Raman spectroscopy accelerate this procedure. Researchers have ...

Japan lab says stem cell research falsified (Update 3)

Apr 01, 2014

The finding that a lead researcher falsified data in a widely heralded stem-cell research paper is a setback for Japan's efforts to promote its advanced research, but also a symptom of the pressure for breakthroughs ...

Recommended for you

Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

27 minutes ago

Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 ...

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Apr 19, 2014

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Apr 18, 2014

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.