Local News

Durham-Based Journal Reports Stem Cell Breakthrough

Posted January 17, 2008

— Scientists in California say they have produced embryos that are clones of two men, a potential step toward developing scientifically valuable stem cells.

The work was published online Thursday by the journal Stem Cells, which is based in Durham.

"We are the first journal devoted to stem cells – devoted exclusively to stem cells," the journal's publisher, Ann Murphy, said.

Murphy said the experiment could lead to the creation of a "stem cell line," which could be used to study diseases, screen drugs and possibly for transplants.

"Our editors did realize from the beginning that this could be a very important article," Murphy said.

The article is a big coup for the relatively small publication. It's been around 26 years, which places it in its infancy, compared with the powerhouse New England Journal of Medicine, which has been around for a century.

"It's huge, and we're all very excited to be a part of it," said George Kendall, director of operations for AlphaMed Press, which publishes Stem Cells.

Kendall said that since the article was released, he's been fielding dozens of e-mails and phone calls from across the world.

"The response has been overwhelming. We've received a lot of phone calls from big organizations, such as NBC Nightly News, the San Diego Tribune, Wall Street Journal Health," he said.

Murphy said the research is far from over, but this article marks a first step.

"The potential is really exciting, but again, it is potential," she said.


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  • davidkresge1 Jan 17, 2008

    I thought that was illegal. If it's not, it should be.

  • mvnull Jan 17, 2008

    A couple of corrections.

    We already have clones -- that is exactly (*snicker*) what identical twins are.

    Identical twins can't marry -- at least with the current laws -- as they would be the same sex.

    There is no question that we, as a society, must consider the long-term effects of human cloning. Ironically, the thing holding this up is the 'scorched earth' attitude of religious conservatives.

  • simplelogic Jan 17, 2008

    I can't imagine a clone army being feasible - it would take 18-20 years for the babies to be created and grow big enough to fight, and what tyrant wants to wait that long?

  • EasilyAmused Jan 17, 2008

    soulcandy - It is already happening. I have seen many controversial articles on "designer" babies discussing how parents now have the ability to choose the eye color, hair color, sex, etc of their babies.

  • skidkid269 Jan 17, 2008

    I think there is a misconception of a clone and what this research is for. Even if you were cloned when turning 30, your clone will be 30 years younger than you! Also, there will be some deviation in the genetic code. There is between identical twins. (It's not a lot, but it's there.) Stem cell research is not taking a fetus and killing it. All cells have the same genetic make-up, but something changes the way the genes are expressed so it can become a skin cell, a heart cell, a brain cell. Stem cells are those cells that are still the generic cell. By changing an enzyme or hormone, it becomes a heart cell for example. By making multiple heart cells, you could repair your heart with cells from you own body. This reduces the risk of the body rejecting the new tissue. Yes, this technology can be abused, just like all technology. I think robots will take over the world before the army of evil clones.

  • Bubba-Louie Jan 17, 2008

    Those scientist should watch that movie "Multiplicity." I know it sounds great, but it didn't turn out so good for that guy. If they cloned me, they could have an army of men that are tougher than a two dollar steak!!!

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jan 17, 2008

    That's sick! Lets not go above God who after all created this earth. Man is always trying to go above God but somewhere God will stop them. Remember the people that was trying to build a tower to get to heaven quickly. It never happen.

  • soulcandy Jan 17, 2008

    Pretty sad that the value people place on human life these days. No wonder a kid can walk in a mall and gun down innocent people with no remorse. Wonder how long it will take before "scientists" are selling "perfect" clones to people who want to have "perfect" children.

  • hx2dc Jan 17, 2008

    Ya'll remember that magarine commercial years ago? It really isn't nice to fool Mother Nature. Just because it's possible to do something doesn't mean that it should be done.

    It's my understanding that the DNA is exactly the same between clone and original. Think of the can of proverbial worms this opens up. "Gee, your honor, even though the DNA is the same as mine, you got the wrong person. I got 3 clones." And let's remember the identical twins that just got married.

    When they can cure stupidity with cloning, then I might agree that its a good thing to do.

  • christinathefern Jan 17, 2008

    Well, the debate on creationalism vs. evolutionalism will end soon. If they are able to clone a human, and have it develop into a viable walking being, then man has begun to act like God-creating life..and God won't be too happy about that.