Challenges to Stem Cell/Cloning Research

      • Contamination by viruses, bacteria, fungi, and Mycoplasma possible.
      • The use of mouse “feeder” cells to grow ESC could result in problems due to a surgical procedure in which tissue or whole organs are transfered from one species to another species.xenotransplantation (complicating FDA requirements for clinical use).
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Like all immortal cell lines, embryonic stem cell lines must be protected and checked for contamination with viruses, bacteria, fungi, and Mycoplasma. The use of infected lines in patient treatment could have devastating effects. Many embryonic stem cell lines are grown using mouse feeder cells. The mouse cells help the embryonic lines to grow, but pose risks for transplantation due to compatibility problems in human bodies.1

References Top of page

  1. Kennedy, Donald. 2003. Stem Cells: Still Here, Still Waiting. Science 300: 865.
Last Modified August 2, 2004


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