View Full Version : Skin Cells Reprogrammed Into Brain Cells

06-08-2012, 08:29 AM

ScienceDaily (June 7, 2012)
...In findings appearing online June 7 in Cell Stem Cell, researchers in the laboratory of Gladstone Investigator Yadong Huang, MD, PhD, describe how they transferred a single gene called Sox2 into both mouse and human skin cells. Within days the skin cells transformed into early-stage brain stem cells, also called induced neural stem cells (iNSCs). These iNSCs began to self-renew, soon maturing into neurons capable of transmitting electrical signals. Within a month, the neurons had developed into neural networks... "Many drug candidates -- especially those developed for neurodegenerative diseases -- fail in clinical trials because current models don't accurately predict the drug's effects on the human brain," said Dr. Huang, who is also an associate professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), with which Gladstone is affiliated. "Human neurons -- derived from reengineered skin cells -- could help assess the efficacy and safety of these drugs, thereby reducing risks and resources associated with human trials."

Reading the article carefully, and looking at it with our knowledge of how pharmaceutical companies continue to focus on drug therapy instead of stem cell therapy, there is really no interest in finding a cure. Okay read this section of the article, "If we can pinpoint which genes control the development of each neuron type, we can generate them in the petri dish from a single sample of human skin cells," said Dr. Huang. "We could then test drugs that affect different neuron types -- such as those involved in Parkinson's disease -- helping us to put drug development for neurodegenerative diseases on the fast track."
In conclusion, instead of pursuing treatments with their new method of generating skin cells into neural stem cells and proven to be safe in animal studies which is a miraculous finding in itself, they will test the drugs affect on the neurons generated in petri dishes with their new method. It just amazes me - how pharmaceutical companies like Gladstone have no interest pursuing nothing less than prescription drugs and dismiss any other viable option to cure. I hope some doctor any where can duplicate this research and follow through with stem cell therapy instead of testing different drugs to see if they are safe or working. What a waste of a break-through finding! This is why medical practice needs to be separated from drug trials. This kind of nonsense of stem cells being categorized as a drug is not being pursued as a drug. The FDA wants to see it as drug, but the pharmaceutical companies see it as a method or tool to experiment for new potential drugs and ignore its capability.

06-11-2012, 06:50 AM
If big pharma can't bottle it or shelf it like a drug, then autologous stem cells will continue to be ignored. Like Barb said, it is a hurdle purposely placed to prevent cures that will inevitably replace billions and billions in drug sales. They are too scared, and pharma will do everything in their power to prevent this from happening. Blast saving millions with potential cures, securing their golden goose which happens to their drug sales is more important. It is despicable.

06-11-2012, 04:55 PM
It's beyond despicable. In many instances, patients will die who might otherwise have been saved if they could have had treatment with their own stem cells.