Gov't-approved neural stem cells carry abnormal gene expression
Neural stem cells grown from one of the federally approved human embryonic stem cell lines proved to be inferior to neural stem cells derived from fetal tissue donated for research, a UCLA study has found.
Researchers from the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Medicine at UCLA coaxed cells from the federally approved line to differentiate into neural stem cells, a process that might one day be used to grow replacement cells to treat such debilitating diseases as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. However, the neural stem cells expressed a lower level of a metabolic gene called CPT 1A, a condition that causes hypoglycemia in humans.
Stem cells derived from donated embryos had normal gene expression, so the problem is not methodological. There's a decent chance that every one of the federally approved stem cell lines has some genetic disorder, and arbitrarily restricting research to those lines, given their many problems, is simply cruel.