globeinteractive.com: Making the Business of Life Easier

   Finance globeinvestor   Careers globecareers.workopolis Subscribe to The Globe
The Globe and Mail/globeandmail.com
Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

  This site      Tips

  

  The Web Google

  





  Where to Find It


Breaking News
  Home Page

  Report on Business

  Sports

  Technology


Read and Win Contest


Print Edition
  Front Page

  Report on Business

  National

  International

  Sports

  Arts & Entertainment

  Editorials

  Columnists

  Headline Index

 Other Sections
  Appointments

  Births & Deaths

  Books

  Classifieds

  Comment

  Education

  Environment

  Facts & Arguments

  Focus

  Health

  Obituaries

  Real Estate

  Review

  Science

  Style

  Technology

  Travel

  Wheels

 Leisure
  Cartoon

  Crosswords

  Food & Dining

  Golf

  Horoscopes

  Movies

  Online Personals

  TV Listings/News

 Specials & Series
  All Reports...



Services
  Where to Find It
 A quick guide to what's available on the site

 Newspaper
  Advertise

  Corrections

  Customer Service

  Help & Contact Us

  Reprints

  Subscriptions

 Web Site
  Advertise

  E-Mail Newsletters

  Free Headlines

  Help & Contact Us

  Make Us Home

  Mobile New

  Press Room

  Privacy Policy

  Terms & Conditions


GiveLife.ca

    
Medicine's Holy Grail
space
Page 4: The Potential
space
Saturday, August 18, 2001

Interactive
Have your say
  • Read reactions to Carolyn Abraham's piece.
    Related Reading
  • Benefits for the body
  • Reactions to the research
  • Glossary
  • Two Methods of cloning
  • Extended Chronology
    From The Globe and Mail's archives
  • McGill team harvests stem cells from skin (August 13, 2001)
  • Science stirs fury and hopes of cures (August 10, 2001)
  • Pandemonium erupts over cloning (August 8, 2001)
  • Cloned animals are genetic misfits, MIT scientists find (July 6, 2001)
  • Scientists to regrow muscle by using stem cells (June 6, 2001)
  • The Big Chill (July 8, 2000)
  • Besides their chameleon capabilities, stem cells entice scientists with their ability to regenerate. Most other cells divide roughly 50 times before they die, but a stem cell can proliferate indefinitely. Although they are not immortal, they are plentiful.

    If scientists can manipulate stem cells to grow into whatever anatomical part a patient requires, they would no longer need donated organs and tissues - which are scarce.

    Harnessing the power of stem cells would also mean that doctors could move far beyond patching up old or damaged body parts with used ones. They could theoretically generate tissues that would be as good as new.

    University of Pittsburgh urologist Michael Chancellor, who reported in June that his research team had grown a urethral sphincter muscle from stem cells extracted from the muscles of adult mice, said scientists will some day be able to produce new body parts "like a starfish regenerates a limb."

    Scientists have also found that stem cells, once transplanted, merge easily with the biology of their new home.

    In the case of the urethral sphincter, skeletal muscle began to form over the regenerated valve within weeks of the stem-cell concoction being injected.

    The applications to treat and perhaps cure currently incurable diseases have some scientists discussing the regenerative powers of stem cells as though they could be the source of the fountain of youth.

    As Michael West, founder of the California-based Geron Corp. that financed Thompson's research, once said: "When I hear critics saying that they don't want to see life span extended, they are thinking about the old myth of Tithonus, where people live longer in a decrepit state.

    "That's not what we are talking about doing."

    Next page: The Problems


    7-Day Site Search
        

    Breaking News



    Today's Weather


    Inside

    Michael Posner
    Ethnic laugh lines
    Jeffrey Simpson
    Health care: Do we know better than everyone else?

    Paul Knox
    The rise of anti-anti-Americanism




    space

    Editorial Cartoon




    Click here for the Editorial Cartoon






    Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
    space

    © 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
    Help & Contact Us | Back to the top of this page
    [an error occurred while processing this directive]