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Friday, February 18, 2005

The sad advance of science

Posted by: Hammer / 12:21 PM

Sadly, the same folks who make Viagra more available than oral contraceptives are more likely to be swayed by 'Natural' breast implant advance:
US scientists say they have made a breakthrough to produce natural breast implants using human stem cells.

The University of Illinois team took stem cells destined to become fat cells and grew them on a special gel-like scaffold, they told a US conference.

The scaffold can be moulded into any shape, which means the implants keep their size and shape better than artificial ones.

Than by Researchers Make Gains on Stem Cell Lines:
San Diego researchers recently confirmed scientifically what biologists knew intuitively: The stem cell lines President Bush (news - web sites) approved for federally funded research are contaminated by the mouse "feeder cells" used to make them grow in the lab.

The race is now on to create and keep human embryonic stem cells alive without help from mice. Scientists and federal regulators fear the mice cells will transmit animal viruses and lead to immune systems rejecting the drugs created to treat people, making the lines useless for patients.

On Thursday, researchers with the WiCell Research Institute lab at the University of Wisconsin published a paper detailing the latest breakthrough in eliminating mouse cells from the human embryonic stem cell equation.

"This is a major step," said Ren-He Xu, the lead author of the paper, which was published in Nature Methods, a scientific journal. "This work completely gets rid of the need for feeder cells."

I know not everyone can be working on a cure for Parkinson's or Alzheimer's, but it seems to me that building a better breast implant shouldn't be a scientific priority. It's like playing for a cat charity on Celebrity Poker.


Just following the market, there's no doubt some real money to be made there. I read in the Economist a few years ago that it was estimated we could likely wipe out malaria worldwide if we were willing to devote about 50% of the funding we devote to research on hair loss. The only problem is that the people dying of malaria don't have the money to buy the drugs that would be invented so any profit maximizing business doesn't bother making the investment.

By Anonymous Jambo, at 1:09 AM  

If only Sean Connery and Patrick Stewart didn't make baldness acceptable, we could finally see some real money devoted to couring the scourge of male pattern baldness.

By Blogger Hammer, at 12:50 PM  

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