Thursday, March 24, 2005

Nose Stem Cells

Great news -- stem cell research from Down Under.

Professor Alan Mackay-Sims, deputy director of the Institute for Cell and Molecular Therapy at Griffith University, says he has been studying smell and the unique properties of the cells he found in the nose.

"Essentially cells in the nose are replaced throughout adult life - that lead us to think there would probably be a stem cell up there, and the base of this regenerative process," he said.

He says unlike embryonic stem cells, nose cells could theoretically be harvested throughout someone's life.

"We found cells that could turn into lots of cells that you wouldn't normally find in the nose, like liver or heart or muscle, so these cells apparently have the ability similar to embryonic stem cells to generate other kinds of cells if they're given the right opportunity," he said. . . .

"It's great to think that one could have one's own cells for any kind of cell transplantation therapy.

And here's the really good news -- Australia may be taking the lead in replacing the need for embryonic stem cell research.

Prime Minister John Howard may also take up the study as he prepares to argue the case against embryonic stem cell research when he meets state premiers next week. . . .

The research was partially funded by a $50,000 grant from the Catholic Church's Archdiocese of Sydney.

Sydney Archbishop George Pell has welcomed the findings, saying he will refer the work to the Vatican, as it would appear to provide an alternative to embryonic stem cell research.

Oh yeah, Christians are afraid of science. . . .