Artificial embryonic stem cells tested in people for first time
By the first time, a new type of stem cell, derived from “virgin births”, has been tested in people. The cells have been injected into the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease, and will soon be tried out as a way of fixing physical brain injuries.
Like embryonic stem cells, these cells could be a powerful treatment for a range of diseases, but importantly, their origins mean they are free of many of the ethical concerns relating to the use of cells from embryos.
Embryonic stem cells can theoretically be used to make or heal any part of the body, but they come from fertilised and discarded human embryos, which some people believe is unethical. But the “virgin birth” stem cells come from unfertilised eggs, so no life is created or ended.