Monday, June 22, 2015

Therapeutic Cloning

I decided to post something related to cloning, as I find it interesting part of medicine even though it comes with a lot of question, morals and ethics.
Therapeutic cloning is the transfer of nuclear material sequestered from a somatic cell into an enucleated oocyte in the pursuit of getting embryonic cell lines with the identical genome as the nuclear donor. Therapeutic cloning is a progression in medicine and biotechnology which offers an understanding of scientific principles and ethical consequences to be clinically appropriate in medicine. The basis of therapeutic cloning is in the hope of curing genetic diseases when used in union with gene therapy. The success of therapeutic cloning will give hope to people with Parkinson disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and diabetes mellitus.
Therapeutic cloning is faced with ethical issues as to the source, annihilation and moral status but I think it is confused with reproductive cloning. Therapeutic cloning is for developing embryonic cell lines with the identical genome as the donor while reproductive cloning is the conception of a person.
Recently, two teams were able to create human embryonic stem cells from adult patients by means of cloning, with this success, researchers are getting nearer to supplying patient-specific cures in the clinic. A paper was published in cell stem cell, a team of researchers developed a procedure for the generation of human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) via Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) using dermal fibroblasts from 35 and 75 year old males. The result shows that soon doctors will be able to provide patient-specific treatments for use in regenerative medicine.
Following their success, another group of scientist made a huge success as well in developing therapeutic approaches by producing a patient specific line of stem cells from a woman with type 1 diabetes. The success of producing cells that produce and secrete insulin demonstrates that it can be used to develop replacement stem cell therapies for type 1 diabetes. The success by these researchers was reached by improving the procedures established by Shoukhrat Mitalipov for somatic cell nuclear transfer. The researchers used oocytes from health donors, detached the eggs nuclei and nucleus was replaced from the somatic cell of the matured patients. The result of this procedure was an embryo, during the blastocyst phase, the researchers were able to develop unwavering embryonic stem cell lines that are practicable for therapeutic use.

Before now, the development of stem cells for therapeutic use was deemed challenging and impracticable, but these researchers has proved it is possible which a miracle is. This is a promising discovery but the question now, there will be a need for continuous source of donors for this to be practicable, will creating an egg donor center be considered illogical, unethical or both?

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