Feeds

Stem cell hype could trigger backlash

A warning from Professor Winston

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A leading fertility expert in the UK believes that the benefits of stem cells have been overhyped by some scientists, and will warn of a backlash from the 'right-to-life' movement when reality does not measure up to expectations.

Professor Robert Winston, professor of fertility at Imperial College, is set to call for researchers to be realistic about the challenges they face in developing useful clinical applications from stem cells.

He will tell delegates at a British Association for the Advancement of Science event in Dublin:

"I view the current wave of optimism about embryonic stem cells with growing suspicion. Embryonic stem cells replicate very slowly in culture, and it may well be that in the culture systems where you want to grow them the selective pressure is in favour of the faster growing cells, the ones of course which are most likely to be genetically abnormal," he said.

He is also expected to say that while stem cell research is one of the most exciting areas in biology right now, it is unlikely to benefit patients for many years to come.

He says that despite this, in 2001 when legislation was being passed that would allow stem cell research in the UK, lobby groups had led some parliamentarians to believe that a major clinical application was just around the corner.

"When disappointment sets in, as may be possible, we can expect a massive backlash by the 'right to life' groups who are always so ready to pounce when they perceive a chink in our arguments," his speech goes on.

Meanwhile, in the current online edition of Nature: Genetics, US researchers warn that stem cells accumulate changes in their genetic make-up, over time. Some of the changes resemble those see in cancerous cells, and the researchers are not sure what the effect of these changes will be. Read more on this in the John Hopkins Medical Institutions press release here. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.