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Daily Archives: July 12, 2008

Stem-cell tourism troubles experts

Published: July 12, 2008

In February, Marcela DeVivo took her baby son to the Dominican Republic and paid $30,000 to have him injected with blood stem cells from aborted fetuses.

Nathan, who turns 2 next month, was born with the hemispheres of his brain fused. He is physically and mentally handicapped.

DeVivo is among a growing number of Americans spending up to $75,000 in the hope that clinics in developing countries have realized the dream of regenerative medicine: using stem cells to fix the so-far unfixable.

‘We plan to bring out innovative tailor-made cells for diseases’

Published: July 12, 2008

Chennai: Can you gain anything from someone whose job has not been determined? In sports, the guy who sits on the bench can only sit and watch the game, till he is called for. But, we are in the 21st century and medical science can do wonders, breaking barriers and age-old thinking. So even though a stem cell is a cell whose job is yet not determined, new-age companies are opening new vistas of treatment with them. Here’s the catch: every single cell in our bodies ‘stems’ from a stem cell. Like the Queen in chess, a stem cell can become a lot of things, when it gets the signal. So, here you have a part of your body which can become a skin cell, bone cell, red blood cell, nerve cell, skeletal muscle cell…thought not at the same time.

Stem cell company Stempeutics Research (backed by Manipal Education & Medical Group) is in the forefront of such innovation. Its sprightly President, Mr B. N. Manohar recently came down to Kasturi Buildings for a lunch-hour interaction and opened up a new world of therapy and possible cure for diseases, which conventional medicine cannot cure.