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Embryonic Stem Cells

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Embryonic Stem Cells & Cloning Fiona Cunningham – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Embryonic Stem Cells


1
Embryonic Stem Cells Cloning
  • Fiona Cunningham

2
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3
Embryonic stem cells
  • New hope for patients with Parkinson or Alzheimer
    disease?
  • Potentially - an unlimited source of cells,
    tissues and organs for transplants and cell
    therapy

4
What are embryonic stem cells?
  • Derived from the inner cell mass of a 1-week-old
    embryo (blastocyst)
  • Unlimited, prolonged self-renewal
  • Can divide and differentiate into any type of
    body cell

5
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6
Embryonic stem cells
  • Can be driven down different differentiation
    pathways in a controlled way in culture
  • We dont yet know the different signals that
    control this
  • Most research done to date has been on mouse ES
    cells
  • But mouse human ES cells do not respond in the
    same way

7
Uses of ES cell line
  • Screening of drugs that may cause birth defects
  • Discovery study of rare human proteins
  • Study of early human development
  • Gene therapy vector
  • For transplantation of tissues
  • still problem with rejection from patient

8
Overcoming rejection
  • Banking of many ES cell lines representing MHC
    alleles -
  • will increase probability of finding a tissue
    match
  • Genetic modification of ES cell line so
    immunologically naked
  • Combining cloning ES cell technologies

9
Cloning
  • Cloning producing a genetically identical copy
  • gene, cell, tissue, organism
  • Reproductive cloning vs therapeutic cloning
  • Nuclear transfer technology
  • Dolly

10
Nuclear transfer
11
Human application
12
Why the controversy?
  • Deriving stem cells from embryos destroys them!

13
In Australia
  • Destructive embryo research is prohibited in Vic
    and WA
  • Human cloning is prohibited in Vic, WA, SA (
    possibly NSW)

14
In US
  • Reproductive cloning has only recently been
    prohibited (August 2001)
  • Research using stem cells is permitted and will
    now be govt as well as privately funded
  • Private companies hope to cash in
  • Geron Corporation Roslin Bio-Med
  • American Cell Technology (ACT)

15
Are there alternatives?
  • Adult stem cells
  • Human-animal chimera
  • fusion of human DNA from a somatic cell with
    enucleated animal eggs
  • Change legislation
  • exempt research on ES cell lines from bans on
    embryo research (ES cells ? embryos)
  • De-differentiation of somatic cells to transform
    into ES cells??

16
In the future .
  • Jenny (2 years old) has leukaemia.
  • She needs a bone marrow transplant within 2
    years.
  • No donor found.
  • We could clone Jenny - create an embryo
  • then remove ES cells from the embryo
  • to generate compatible bone marrow.

17
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18
Should Jenny be cloned?
  • Consider this from the points of view of
  • a) Jennys parents
  • b) Jennys doctor
  • c) Jenny herself
  • d) the cloned embryo
  • e) Jennys family minister
  • f) the Minister for Health (federal)
  • g) a right-to-life activist
  • h) Jennys brother (5 years older)
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