Stem cell breakthrough in UK and South Korea
"The results from Newcastle and South Korea are extremely exciting and take stem cell research a step closer to a possible treatment for people with diabetes," said Dr Angela Wilson, Director of Research at Diabetes UK.
"However, there are still obstacles to overcome. The transplanted cells will need to behave like our own body's cells by producing insulin in response to changes in blood glucose levels. This has yet to be shown."
"We also need to be sure that the transplanted stem cells will not grow uncontrollably in the body and lead to cancer. Finally, in diabetes the body destroys its own insulin-producing cells. There is no guarantee that the body will not attack the new cells in the same way."
Following wide-ranging consultation with our members about the ethical issues surrounding the use of stem cells, Diabetes UK supports stem cell research both publicly, and financially through our research grant programme. This includes cell nuclear replacement research.
Diabetes UK acknowledges that there are important ethical issues involved in the use of stem cells and therapeutic cloning. However, this area of research offers a real possibility of leading to a cure for diabetes. Reproductive cloning remains illegal in the UK.
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