CNN Buries Stem Cell Breakthrough that Doesn't Destroy Embryos

Timothy Hill
By Timothy Hill | January 30, 2014 | 5:54 PM EST

I had to read ten paragraphs into a CNN story on adult stem research to discover that a new cheaper and faster method of the research doesn't involve the destruction of any embryos:

"The new method does not involve the destruction of embryos or inserting new genetic material into cells, [Dr. Charles] Vacanti said. It also avoids the problem of rejection: The body may reject stem cells that came from other people, but this method uses an individual's own mature cells."

This particular discovery, which was first reported by the science journal Nature , has been described as a breakthrough because most stem cell research is costly and time-consuming. The Nature article says that, previously, stem cells had to go through weeks of processing before any results were evident.

This news is important because some Americans may be unaware of discoveries such as these. In Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' backyard, efforts are being made to turn on the lights and bring people out of the dark on this issue.

This new story involves adult stem cells in mice being "stressed" in one of three ways: (1) using a bacteria that pokes a hole into the cell membrane; (2) having the cell exposed to low pH levels; or (3) physically squeezing the cells.

In laymen's terms, these are techniques that have now been proven to save time and money in the laboratory because the results occur more quickly. These cells, once stressed, turned into adult stem cells, in the mice that the team used.

After those adult stem cells then were given a green color  and were injected back into the same mice, the scientists discovered that the cells turned into the kinds of tissue cells they were surrounded by - within thirty minutes, not weeks.

The types of tissue include tissues in the lung, liver, brain, and skin of the mice the cells came from originally.