Stem cells ain't what they used to be. Not the Federally-approved ones, that is:
A new study released by scientists at the University of California - San Diego says all of the existing federally funded stem cell lines are contaminated, but UW researchers say this is no surprise. According to Terry Devitt, UW director of research and communications, the human embryonic stem cells are grown in a culture that includes animal cells. He says the presence of animal cells compromises the use of these stem cell lines in treating humans, but these cell lines were developed for research, never intended for use in humans.
''It's always been known that new lines would need to be derived and grown in the absence of animal cells for those to be useful in the clinic.'' Devitt says.