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China a rising star in regenerative medicine despite world skepticism of stem cell therapies
Date:1/7/2010

s created at least 25 human embryonic stem cell lines (some estimate over 70 stem cell lines), four of which are of a specialized type that at that time only two other groups worldwide had managed to create.

  • A Shanghai hospital cultivated and reintroduced human brain tissue in 2002 after taking a sample from the end of a chopstick implanted in a patient's frontal lobe following a disagreement at a restaurant.

  • Several human tissue types created artificially include blood vessel, tendon, bone, cartilage, skin, cornea and muscle fiber.

    Notable research underway

    Current research of note includes the efforts of ChinaSCINet, a consortium of 27 medical facilities, starting phase 2 clinical trials to test the efficacy and safety of using cord blood stem cells and oral lithium to treat about 40 patients with spinal cord injuries.

    Other clinical trials are underway on the use of stem cell therapies to treat patients of heart attacks, artery obstruction, and liver and neural diseases.

    Elsewhere in China, studies are underway on the potential use of stem cells to treat Type 1 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, heart, liver and blood diseases, eye cataracts, and to combat aging.

    Liberal research rules

    Guidelines governing Chinese research are liberal but common to other countries as well.

    Chinese regulations prohibit reproductive cloning, the use of human embryos past 14 days post-fertilization, the fusion of human and non-human gametes (cells that fuse during fertilization), or the implantation of research embryos into human or animal uterus.

    Researchers are required to obtain informed consent from subjects and institutes must have an ethics review board to approve research involving human embryonic stem cells.

    Chinese fertility clinics serve as a source of discarded embryonic stem cells for some research, and cord blood banks may serve as a source of s
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  • Contact: Terry Collins
    terrycollins@rogers.com
    416-538-8712
    Program on Life Sciences, Ethics and Policy,McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health
    Source:Eurekalert

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