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Research & stem cells

Stem cells are crucial for a healthy organism

Stem cells play a central role in the normal growth and development of animals and humans.

They have three properties that distinguish them from other cell types and make them interesting to scientists:

  • they are unspecialised
  • they are able to divide and produce copies of themselves
  • they have the potential to produce other cell types

Stem cells are central to many research areas

Stem cells provide an ideal model to understand the development of organisms under healthy and disease condition. It should help decrease animal use.

The EU project FUNGENES is exploring functional genomics in mouse embryonic stem cells, to understand how information from the genome is used in subsets during development. Subsets are cell self-renewal, and the three layers of embryonic tissues from which all adult tissues and organs come from. web: www.fungenes.org

Stem cells are expected to offer means to develop new families of drugs and new therapies: harnessing cell specialisation will lead to regenerative medicine.

The goal of the EU project EUROSTEMCELL is to develop a technical platform for new cell based therapies and drugs, in the fields of neurological diseases, muscle repair and neuromuscular diseases, and in epidermal repair. Stem cell lines of embryonic, foetal and adult origin will be compared for possible therapeutic potential. web: www.eurostemcell.org

Stem cells are daily used to treat cancer: bone marrow grafts have been used against leukemias for 30 years. Research is done to extent this approach.

Among the 30,000 persons per year who would need treatment, 16,000 patients will receive transplants from donors. The graft is aimed at replenishing blood cells after anti-cancer treatment, or a serious blood disorder. The EU project ALLOSTEM aims to enable more patients to be treated by making transplants safer and more effective. web: www.allostem.org

Stem cells are experimentally used to repair injured organs or to fix degenerative diseases. They are injected into the body, often after being modified.

Adult stem cells are in charge of replacing damaged cells in the body. However, self-renewal of cardial cells is limited, and injuries such as myocardial infarction are irreversible. The EU project SC-CR is proposing to reprogramme adult stem cells, especially from bone marrow, to transform them into cardiac cells. web: www.sc-cr.org

Stem cells are used to build new tissues outside the body, to be grafted, or used for toxicology testing. Applications are now scarce but are expected to grow.

The ultimate aim of the EU project CORNEA ENGINEERING is to reconstruct a human corneas in the laboratory, for use both in corneal grafting, and as an alternative to animals for cosmeto-pharmacology testing. Adult stem cells from the cornea will be grown on a nano-engineered scaffold of proteins. web: www.cornea-engineering.org

Research needs to study stem cells of all origins

Each type of stem cell (adult, foetal and embryonic), in humans and animals, is a glance at a different moment of a global dynamic process. Only a partial knowledge can be expected from research done on one type of stem cells.

The use of some stem cells is a matter of debate

Research on human embryonic stem cells, a tiny part of the overall research on stem cells, raises several ethical issues. They are addressed by national legislation worldwide. The 25 Member States have such regulations.

More information

Current figures for EU-funded research:

  • About 50 projects involving stem cells have been funded, for about 300 million Euro.
  • In addition to the few exemples above, you can consult the catalogue of EU-funded research projects involving stem cells, for the whole range of projects.

Research on human stem cells fall in the field of ethics. For more information, see:

Untitled Document

Research & stem cells

Stem cells are crucial for a healthy organism

Stem cells play a central role in the normal growth and development of animals and humans.

They have three properties that distinguish them from other cell types and make them interesting to scientists:

  • they are unspecialised
  • they are able to divide and produce copies of themselves
  • they have the potential to produce other cell types

Stem cells are central to many research areas

Stem cells provide an ideal model to understand the development of organisms under healthy and disease condition. It should help decrease animal use.

The EU project FUNGENES is exploring functional genomics in mouse embryonic stem cells, to understand how information from the genome is used in subsets during development. Subsets are cell self-renewal, and the three layers of embryonic tissues from which all adult tissues and organs come from. web: www.fungenes.org

Stem cells are expected to offer means to develop new families of drugs and new therapies: harnessing cell specialisation will lead to regenerative medicine.

The goal of the EU project EUROSTEMCELL is to develop a technical platform for new cell based therapies and drugs, in the fields of neurological diseases, muscle repair and neuromuscular diseases, and in epidermal repair. Stem cell lines of embryonic, foetal and adult origin will be compared for possible therapeutic potential. web: www.eurostemcell.org

Stem cells are daily used to treat cancer: bone marrow grafts have been used against leukemias for 30 years. Research is done to extent this approach.

Among the 30,000 persons per year who would need treatment, 16,000 patients will receive transplants from donors. The graft is aimed at replenishing blood cells after anti-cancer treatment, or a serious blood disorder. The EU project ALLOSTEM aims to enable more patients to be treated by making transplants safer and more effective. web: www.allostem.org

Stem cells are experimentally used to repair injured organs or to fix degenerative diseases. They are injected into the body, often after being modified.

Adult stem cells are in charge of replacing damaged cells in the body. However, self-renewal of cardial cells is limited, and injuries such as myocardial infarction are irreversible. The EU project SC-CR is proposing to reprogramme adult stem cells, especially from bone marrow, to transform them into cardiac cells. web: www.sc-cr.org

Stem cells are used to build new tissues outside the body, to be grafted, or used for toxicology testing. Applications are now scarce but are expected to grow.

The ultimate aim of the EU project CORNEA ENGINEERING is to reconstruct a human corneas in the laboratory, for use both in corneal grafting, and as an alternative to animals for cosmeto-pharmacology testing. Adult stem cells from the cornea will be grown on a nano-engineered scaffold of proteins. web: www.cornea-engineering.org

Research needs to study stem cells of all origins

Each type of stem cell (adult, foetal and embryonic), in humans and animals, is a glance at a different moment of a global dynamic process. Only a partial knowledge can be expected from research done on one type of stem cells.

The use of some stem cells is a matter of debate

Research on human embryonic stem cells, a tiny part of the overall research on stem cells, raises several ethical issues. They are addressed by national legislation worldwide. The 25 Member States have such regulations.

More information

Current figures for EU-funded research:

  • About 50 projects involving stem cells have been funded, for about 300 million Euro.
  • In addition to the few exemples above, you can consult the catalogue of EU-funded research projects involving stem cells, for the whole range of projects.

Research on human stem cells fall in the field of ethics. For more information, see:

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