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Hemangioblasts Aiding Eye Damage Repair

human embryonic stem cells without using culture. They directed the stem cells into becoming what they believe are hemangioblasts, the blood vessel precursor cells, although other teams will have to replicate this for it to be accepted.

Says Lanza: "When injected into the bloodstream, they homed to the other side of the body and repaired damaged vasculature within 24 to 48 hours. "For example, we injected the cells into mice with damaged retinas due to diabetes or other eye injury. The cells migrated to the injured eye, and incorporated and lit-up the entire damaged vasculature. The cells are really smart, and amazingly, knew not to do anything in uninjured eyes. "The cells also showed remarkable reparative capacity in animals with heart attacks and ischemic (blocked by a blood clot) limbs. The cells reduce the mortality rate by 50 percent after a massive heart attack. "If the same thing works in humans (these would be the same human cells we would probably use), you might be able to prevent patients from having legs and other limbs amputated by simply injecting some cells, Lanza stresses.

William Caldwell, chairman and chief executive officer of Advanced Cell Technology, announcing that the company wants to test the cells in people has asked the Food and Drug Administration for permission to do so by the end of next year.

"We also have studies underway indicating that the cells can also considerably accelerate wound healing, repair lung damage, and can even generate unlimited amounts of red blood cells for transfusion," Lanza states.


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