Stem Cell Research: Primer

Are human fetal tissues used in research to treat HIV and cure AIDS?  Yes.  And it’s legal.

Based on the U.S. Research Budget, is a Cure for AIDS the primary research initiative that cannibalizes fetal parts?  This is our hypothesis which is based on many years as Planned Parenthood watchers, AIDS watchers,  friends of victims, and taxpayers.

Remember this:  “embryonic” and “fetal” are one and the same in science.

Chart Embronic-Fetal Pluripotent

logo-cirm-2_0  The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

$3 Billion – from California’s taxpayers – for Stem Cell Research to treat and cure human diseases.   CIRM manages and distributes grant money to researchers of many diseases.

Quotes by CIRM’s HIV/AIDS Disease Team:

“The need for novel approaches to the treatment of HIV infection has never been greater, because new infections continue to occur at undiminished rates, in California and across the nation, despite decades of prevention efforts.”

“California has 14% of all cases of AIDS in the U.S., and this translates into a medical and fiscal burden larger than any other state except NY.”

Stem Cell Research Primer by CIRM

Creating New Types of Stem Cells

Generating new stem cell lines is a major focus of many CIRM-funded researchers. Learn why these new lines are considered so important as we accelerate discoveries from the lab bench to the patient’s bedside.

What is a stem cell line?

A stem cell line is a group of identical stem cells that can be grown and nurtured in a lab dish. A line originates with either a single induced pluripotent stem cell or from the cells of a five-day-old blastocyst—and all resulting cells in the line are replicates of the original cells. Researchers working with these lines can grow large volumes of cells. They can even freeze some in liquid nitrogen for future use or to share with colleagues.

We are still learning the best way to grow and maintain stem cells. The cells need nutrients and a recipe of biological factors in the lab dish in order to grow well. Figuring out the best combination of factors to maintain a stem cell line is the focus of several CIRM grants.

What are the different ways of creating pluripotent stem cell lines?

There are many different approaches to creating new cell lines. CIRM considers this to be such an important endeavor that it has funded $23 million in grants dedicated to the creation of new cell lines and to techniques that make the process more efficient:

Option 1:  In vitro fertilization

All human embryonic stem cell lines in use today were created from embryos generated by vitro fertilization (IVF) and donated by the couple for research purposes. In IVF, researchers mix a man’s sperm and a woman’s eggs together in a lab dish. Some of those eggs will become fertilized. After fertilization, the cells divide for about five days to form a ball of cells called a blastocyst.

The blastocyst is essentially a hollow ball of cells containing an inner clump that is known as the inner cell mass. This clump is what give rise to embryonic stem cells if grown in a dish. To generate an embryonic stem cell line, a researcher removes the outer layer of the five-day-old blastocyst then puts the remaining portion on a lab dish containing factors that allow cells of the inner cell mass to grow and thrive. These cells form the basis of a new embryonic stem cell line.

  • The stem cells are removed and the remains of the embryo are thrown away, discarded, never to be given a chance at life.

Option 2: Nuclear Transfer

Another method called stem cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) involves removing the genetic material from an egg, then injecting a different set of genetic material from an adult person’s cell into that egg. Researchers then stimulate the egg to begin maturing. About five days later the egg develops into a blastocyst—the same type of blastocyst that would be used to create cell lines from donated IVF embryos. Researchers remove the inner cell mass from the blastocyst and grow those cells in a lab dish to create a new stem cell line.

Researchers have used SCNT to create stem cell lines from a wide range of animals including non-human primates. In 2013, scientists for the first time created human stem cell lines through nuclear transfer.

Embryonic stem cells created through SCNT have the advantage of being genetically identical to a person’s own cells, reducing the risk of immune rejection.

The process of using nuclear transfer to create cell lines identical to a person’s own cells is sometimes referred to as therapeutic cloning. That’s because those identical stem cells would be created with the intent to derive therapies.

Therapeutic cloning should not be confused with reproductive cloning, in which the intent is to create an identical human being. The California constitution, CIRM regulations and all other states that are actively supporting stem cell research expressly prohibit human reproductive cloning.

Find out more.