Conflict of Interest One correction
posted by June 21 at 14:51 PMon
In my column this week, I claimed:
It is not clear that adult human cells can be reprogrammed; there is only one hint in all the scientific literature.
Uh, better make that two hints:
Previous efforts to obtain embryonic stem cells from cloned primate embryos have failed. Korean cloning scientist Woo Sook Hwang lost his job over fabricated successes using human eggs.
But Shoukhrat Mitalipov of the Oregon National Primate Research Centre in the United States said he had succeeded using modified Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer, or SCNT, in which an egg cell nucleus is removed and replaced with a donor nucleus.
The cell eventually forms an early embryo, or blastocyst, with DNA almost identical to the donor organism.
Mitalipov said he used skin cells from a 10-year-old male rhesus monkey and presented the conference with proof of his success using DNA evidence. He also showed slides of the embryonic cells changing into heart cells and neurons.
While it’s wise to wait for a peer reviewed scientific paper, if this holds up it is an exciting development indeed. Congratulations (in advance) to Dr. Mitalipov.