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"The hope is that this will accelerate research and it will create a climate of openness," said Daley.
He expects stem cell lines to be developed for many more diseases, noting, "this is just the first wave of diseases." Other diseases for which they created stem cells are Type 1, or juvenile, diabetes; two types of muscular dystrophy, Gaucher disease and a rare genetic disorder known as the "bubble boy disease."
Daley stressed that the reprogrammed cells won't eliminate the need or value of studying embryonic stem cells.
"At least for the foreseeable future, and I would argue forever, they are going to be extremely valuable tools," he said.
The reprogramming work was funded by the National Institutes of Health and private contributions to the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.
On the Net:
Harvard Stem Cell Institute: http://www.hsci.harvard.edu/
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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