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Stem cell research in chaos as scientist loses patent battle over extracting cells fr

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    Stem cell research in chaos as scientist loses patent battle over extracting cells fr

    Stem cell research in chaos as scientist loses patent battle over extracting cells from human embryos

    European court says commercial use of cells endangers 'respect for human dignity'
    Ruling critical for development of treatments for Parkinsons, diabetes and heart disease

    Scientist warns that European research will no longer be financially viable

    be financially viable

    By Hugo Gye

    Last updated at 2:46 PM on 18th October 2011

    Medical research has been thrown into turmoil after a court ruled that a procedure for extracting stem cells from human embryos cannot be patented.

    The European Court of Justice said the commercial use of stem cells endangered 'respect for human dignity'.

    But the scientist who pioneered a method of growing new nerve cells said the ruling was 'an unbelievable setback' for stem cell research.


    Frightening article. Wise.


      This is very depressing news, for the stem cell scientists, but mostly for any european, with or without an incurable condition, who cares about this vital research for future therapies.
      Who knew that Greenpeace was lobbying against this research? I had no idea.


        Stem cell scientists will simply switch to U.S. if investment cannot be protected

        By Professor Robin Lovell-badge

        Last updated at 9:18 AM on 19th October 2011

        It is hard to see what good can come out of this bizarre and contradictory ruling.

        Cell-based therapies are incredibly expensive because they have to be rigorously tested to make sure they are uniform, safe to use and free of genetic mutations so they won’t cause cancer.

        More than £50million has been invested by big pharmaceutical companies in doing embryonic stem cell research in the UK.

        If they cannot protect their investment by being allowed to patent the results of their research, it will be increasingly difficult to persuade them to finance cutting edge trials in Britain.

        Embryonic stem cells could potentially treat patients with a whole spectrum of horrible conditions.

        The UK is at the forefront of this technology. I have been working in the field for years 30 years, since I was a post-doctoral student on the Cambridge University team which isolated the first stem cell from the embryo of a mouse in 1981 and won Martin Evans the Nobel Prize.

        It filled us with excitement about what could be achieved in humans with blindness, paralysis and serious degenerative diseases.