A new technology is getting people excited about the future of medicine and health.CBS News has the scoop.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced a milestone milestone: The world’s first drug-free generation of human cells, made from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) that can develop into any cell type.
This is a major step forward in the development of stem cell therapies, which are often used to regenerate and repair damaged organs and tissues.
With that milestone in hand, scientists are beginning to explore how PSCs might be used to treat disease.
The new technology, called Crispr, promises to revolutionize how we treat diseases with a revolutionary new way to edit DNA.
To learn more, we spoke with senior research scientist and professor of cell biology and molecular biology at Harvard Medical School Dr. Mark L. Schoeller.
“We are really excited by the potential for Crispr to help us tackle a host of problems,” Dr. Schooeller said.
“We have an amazing amount of potential for the technology and it is exciting to see how we can use it to treat a variety of conditions.”
The goal of our research is to be able to use PSCs to generate the cells needed to repair damaged tissues and organs, and then we want to see what kind of health effects we can expect.
We will be able start to see if these new cells are going to help people, whether it’s a cure for cancer, or a way to regenerate organs in people who have died.
“Crispr has been shown to have great potential for both treating cancer and for regenerating damaged organs,” he continued.
“With the technology, we have a great foundation to develop new approaches to treating disease.”
While PSCs are already used in a variety (and some are already on the market), Dr. Lattner said there are some major challenges.
“It’s been quite a while since we have seen a new cell-based technology that was able to regenerate tissue,” he said.
“As I’ve talked to people, it’s just hard to describe how the cells look and feel.
We have a really high expectation of these cells, but we really don’t have the experience to test it.
We need to be very careful about what we are trying to do.”
So how do you use PSC cells to regenerate damaged tissue?
Dr. David C. Tuchman, director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said that the cells are already in the hands of scientists who are looking at using them to generate blood vessels.
“This is a big, exciting area,” he told CBS News.
“There are a number of ways that we could be developing them and the possibilities are very exciting.”
Our cells could be used as a scaffold to build new tissue for regenerative medicine,” Dr, Tuchmans said.
If the cells work well, then the scientists would be able regenerate new tissues by using them as scaffolds.”
There is a lot of excitement around these new cell technologies, and it’s exciting to be in the forefront of them,” Dr Schooellers said.
But Dr. Turchin, a pioneer in regenerative biology, said there is a downside to the cells that is not yet fully understood.”
You can’t take it as a good thing, but it could be that these cells are not going to be useful to repair and reconstruct damaged tissues,” he added.”
But they’re not the only cell type out there,” Dr Turchlin added. “
They’re not going a step further, and we need to develop a different cell-type to do the right thing.”
“But they’re not the only cell type out there,” Dr Turchlin added.
“What we’re seeing now is that the different cell types have been converging on the same goal.”
He said that scientists are exploring different cell lineages that could be useful for regeneration of damaged tissues.
“I think we have to be cautious about this, because it’s all in the lab,” he cautioned.
“I think this is just the beginning of this whole new field of regenerative biomedicine.”
But if it’s successful, and you can get enough of these different cell lines to make tissue in a certain way, I think this could be a great tool for regeneratively treating a wide range of diseases.”CBS News will continue to cover technology developments that could impact the way you live and work in 2018.
Stay tuned for more coverage.