Embryonic Stem Cell Bank closes down

blood cellsAt Stem Cell MX we only use adult stem cells.  Now it looks like others are following the trend for adult stem cells over embryonic stem cells. Throughout the industry, use of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) is going out of fashion, because of the moral issues surrounding them but also because adult stem cells have been found more effective in stem cell application programs.

As if to emphasize the fact that other institutes are moving away from ESC research and towards the use of adult stem cells, another ESC branch is set to close due to lack of funding, which has arisen from a lack of support of the use of ESCs.

Embryonic Stem Cells are obtained from a fertilized human egg, about 10 days after fertilization. Because the egg could be a potential human life, the use of these stem cells has been controversial in the past, although researchers claim to only use embryos that would be destroyed anyway, such as surplus from fertility clinics.

The University of Massachusetts stem cell bank was opened four years ago as a reaction to Bush’s restriction on federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research. The idea behind the opening was to ensure that stores of embryonic stem cells would be kept for on-going research. The stem cells were shared globally with scientists taking part in ESC research

But changes in the restrictions on funding under Obama’s presidency came at a time when ESCs were already being side-lined for adult stem cells.  Further evidence of this is the increased funding being given to adult stem cell research facilities as the embryonic research funding dwindles. And it’s not just the people with the money; as the bank is being used less and less it would appear that scientists, too, are losing interest in embryonic stem cells and turning towards the properties of adult stem cells.

The University of Massachusetts stem cell bank is expected to run out of money by the end of 2012 and authorities have decided to let it simply close. Equipment will be donated to other institutes and any existing stem cells will be returned to the original institutes that they came from.

The agency that initially backed this state of the art facility has admitted that the bank has become obsolete in the changing world of stem cell research. Many people believe that this is another sign that the whole area of human embryonic stem cell research may too become obsolete.

The question everyone is asking now is: will the miracles promised by embryonic stem cells potentially being fulfilled by their counterparts, the adult stem cells? We believe so and that is why we are passionate about stem cell application, about changing lives for the better, for good.

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