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Iran at Forefront of Stem Cell Research PDF Print E-mail
Aug 13, 2013 at 04:30 AM
Though the world’s attention has focused on Iran‘s advancing nuclear program, Iranian scientists have moved to the forefront in embryonic stem cell research, according to a recent joint study by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Controversial in the United States, embryonic stem cell research was embraced in 2002 by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s conservative religious leader. President Obama has recently adopted a similar policy, reversing restrictions that George W. Bush’s administration imposed because of the implications for destroying potential human lives.
Stem Cells Reprogrammed Using Chemicals Alone PDF Print E-mail
Jul 21, 2013 at 04:40 AM

Patient-specific cells could be made without genetic manipulation.

Scientists have demonstrated a new way to reprogram adult tissue to become cells as versatile as embryonic stem cells — without the addition of extra genes that could increase the risk of dangerous mutations or cancer.
Researchers have been striving to achieve this since 2006, when the creation of so-called induced pluripotent (iPS) cells was first reported. Previously, they had managed to reduce the number of genes needed using small-molecule chemical compounds, but those attempts always required at least one gene, Oct4.
Now, writing in Science, researchers report success in creating iPS cells using chemical compounds only — what they call CiPS cells.

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Turning human cells into stem cells without changing their genes could lead to therapies that do not carry a risk of generating mutations.

Next-Gen Test Tube Baby Born PDF Print E-mail
Jul 13, 2013 at 09:34 AM

A baby has been born using in vitro fertilization aided by next-generation sequencing of embryos for genetic abnormalities.

Abnormalities in the DNA of embryos account for the two-thirds failure rate of in vitro fertilization (IVF)—a procedure where eggs are fertilized by sperm in a dish, then later implanted in the uterus. Genetic tests exist to screen for embryos with chromosomal or genetic defects prior to implantation, but the tests are expensive and have drawbacks. Researchers at the University of Oxford have developed a relatively inexpensive next-generation sequencing technique that overcomes the limitations of previous tests, and has already been used in the IVF procedure that resulted in the birth of a baby boy in May. The research was reported Monday (July 8) at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in London.

First Baby Born from 'Safer' IVF Method PDF Print E-mail
Jul 08, 2013 at 04:09 AM
A new IVF hormone treatment that has resulted in the birth of a baby boy could make IVF less risky, scientists report.
Suzannah Kidd was given the hormone kisspeptin to stimulate her ovaries to produce eggs for IVF treatment, and gave birth to her son Heath in April. She was treated as part of a study to test if this treatment could stimulate egg production as effectively as traditional IVF drugs, which carry a small but real risk of severe complications.

Three-person IVF Moves Closer in UK PDF Print E-mail
Jul 02, 2013 at 04:24 AM
The UK has moved closer to becoming the first country to allow the creation of babies from three people.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised the government that there is no evidence the advanced forms of IVF were unsafe.
The fertility regulator's public consultation also showed "general support" for the idea as the benefits outweighed the risks.
A final decision on whether to press ahead rests with ministers.
If the techniques were approved it could help a handful of families each year. Around one in 6,500 children develop serious "mitochondrial disorders" which are debilitating and fatal.
Research suggests that using mitochondria from a donor egg can prevent the diseases.
However, it would result in babies having DNA from two parents and a tiny amount from a third donor.


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