November 20th, 2007

Superior Stem Cells

According to this article, two different groups of researchers have cracked the problem of creating embryonic stem cells from human skin cells. Obviously, that's a solution that's looking for applications still, but -- if you believe that embryonic stem cells are likely to be useful in treating human diseases -- this is wonderful news.

Whatever your beliefs about the morality of harvesting embryonic stem cells from embryos, the stem cells that we'll get from this process (if it all works out) have the distinct advantage of being able to carry the same set of genes as the target recipient. This eliminates nasty problems with rejection and immunosuppressant anti-rejection drugs.

And it looks like a process that works around moral objections for almost everyone. (I say almost, because there are people who have moral objections to any form of medical treatment. But for the vast majority of Americans, this method of generating stem cells should be just fine.)

Better living through biology. :)

No Further Kneed to Be Seen

The surgeon looked at the healing hole in my knee today and pronounced it good. Although it's not quite sealed up yet, it continues to heal nicely, so unless something bad happens, we're done seeing each other.

This is a good thing.