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: Ancient clay seals may shed light on biblical era

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers discover new class of stem cells

Dec 11, 2014

Researchers have identified a new class of lab-engineered stem cells-cells capable of transforming into nearly all forms of tissue-and have dubbed them F-class cells because they cluster together in "fuzzy-looking" ...

Recommended for you

Ancient clay seals may shed light on biblical era

5 hours ago

Impressions from ancient clay seals found at a small site in Israel east of Gaza are signs of government in an area thought to be entirely rural during the 10th century B.C., says Mississippi State University archaeologist ...

Digging up the 'Spanish Vikings'

Dec 19, 2014

The fearsome reputation of the Vikings has made them the subject of countless exhibitions, books and films - however, surprisingly little is known about their more southerly exploits in Spain.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.