Local News

Durham-Based Journal Reports Stem Cell Breakthrough

Posted January 17, 2008 9:07 a.m. EST
Updated January 17, 2008 11:54 p.m. EST

— 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.