Furthering Stem Cell Research

Furthering Stem Cell Research Research underway at Rutgers University-Camden may provide an opportunity for medical and scientific advancements of stem cell knowledge without the current controversy.

Stem cell research in human embryos is highly controversial and isolating a human stem cell from hundreds of microscopically developing cells is extremely difficult. The aquatic leech offers an effective alternative to human stem cells, suggests Daniel Shain, an associate professor of biology at Rutgers-Camden.

A newly awarded $149,265 grant from the National Institutes of Health is allowing Shain and a team of Rutgers-Camden student researchers to map previously unknown genes involved in creating quite possibly the largest stem cells in the animal kingdom.

"We can approach in leeches what we can't in humans. The leech embryo is hundreds of times bigger, almost like comparing a beach ball to a marble. And more than that, the leech presents its stem cell on the surface," says the Rutgers-Camden researcher.

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Author: Press Release-Rutgers-Camden

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