Stem cells grown without animal cells

Updated on Mar 19, 2005 08:46 PM IST

Earlier, it was not possible to grow them sans animal serum.

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, London

Three teams in Scotland have managed to derive and grow stem cells without using any animal cells that might contaminate them, overcoming one of the obstacles of using human embryonic stem cells to treat diseases, a media report has said.

The approach has led to the hope that embryonic stem cells (ESCs), the primitive cells in embryos from which all our tissues originate, can be grown into transplantable tissues for treating many disorders, from diabetes to osteoporosis, the New Scientist Magazine said on Thursday.

Until now it had been impossible to grow them without mouse "feeder cells" and animal-derived serum.

The magazine said that Paul De Sousa and his team at the Roslin Institute in Scotland, where Dolly the sheep was cloned, have produced what they say are the first animal-free ESCs. "We have cells that have never directly been exposed to animal products," De Sousa said.

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