Stem Cell Breakthrough

A major breakthrough in stem cell research stretches from South Korea to the UW Madison, the center of the stem cell research universe. The findings could eventually provide new hope for millions.

Scientists in South Korea report to a major scientific journal that they have come up with an easier, faster way of producing cloned human stem cells.

The UW Madison is a major source of stem cell research. Actor and research activist Michael J Fox toured the University's Waisman center earlier this year.

Fox suffers from Parkinson's disease, a disease that could benefit from stem cell research.

The associate dean at the UW's law school says the ability to generate embryonic stem cells genetically matched to an individual could mean new ways to prevent or treat various diseases, like cancer.

We can now grow tissue in lab that has this gene and watch how it forces tissue to become cancerous," says Alta Charo, Profesor of Law and Bioethics at UW Madison. "Maybe we'll understand how this gene defect causes cancer. That means we may figure out how to prevent it".

The research combines embryonic stem cells and cloning. But one of the South Korean researchers is quoted as saying his research is designed to find ways for curing disease, not cloning human beings.

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