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HOME > Review > StemCellAction.org

StemCellAction.org is a grassroots, volunteer group of patients and their families and friends who believe that stem cell research has the potential to save the lives of those afflicted with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, juvenile diabetes, M.S., A.L.S. and spinal cord injury. The purpose of thier “Portraits of Hope” project is to show the faces and recount the stories of people who have such illnesses. These portraits will also be presented various representatives to advocate government support for this research. You can check out the portraits at: http://www.sabr.us/portraits.htm and can view the home page by clicking above.

Do you know someone?

If you know someone who has a condition that stem cell research might help cure? Here are their instructions for submission of a portriat: please compose a brief biography (100 to 750 words) add a photo and e-mail it us. In your text, please include the person's age and interests, the town or city where the person lives, how his or her life has been affected by the illness, and the ways in which family and friends are giving their support.

How close are we to cloned organs???

New Scientist (1/27/02): "Functional" kidneys grown from stem cells

US scientists claim to have grown functional kidneys using stem cells taken from cloned cow embryos. Robert Lanza of biotech company Advanced Cell Technology told New Scientist that his team, working in collaboration with a group at Harvard University, coaxed the stem cells into becoming kidney cells, and then "grew" them on a kidney-shaped scaffold.

The two-inch-long mini-kidneys were then transplanted back into genetically identical cows, where they started making urine, Lanza says.

However, Lanza will not discuss the details of the work, as it has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal. "I can't go into specifics," he says.

British kidney experts are sceptical about the possibility that ACT has re-created the kidney in its entirety. "I'd be very surprised if they could recreate an organ with a very complex vascular [blood] system," said one. It is possible that the company had made a simpler structure that could still produce urine, he said.

Lanza himself admits that the work is still in its earliest stages. "It's just a proof of principle that demonstrates that you can use therapeutic cloning to create a functional organ," he told New Scientist. "There is obviously a considerable amount of work to be done before that could be applicable clinically."

There are several other citations to this work in the popular media.

Note: Here is the medline link for the article.

Other relevant links:

The Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research: (www.camradvocacy.org)

“Seniors Allied for Biomedical Research” (www.sabr.us).

theLabRat articles: To err is human - but to clone one divine?, Pro-life goups protest stem cell research at Geron corporation


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