Wisconsin scientists make a monumental discovery in stem cell research. Researchers at UW-Madison announced Tuesday that this finding could change everything. Researchers say this discovery may be able to take the controversy out of their work. UW-Madison researchers teamed up with Japanese scientists and say they've found a way to create stem cells without destroying human embryonic cells.
Doctors diagnosed Sally Pathos with Multiple Sclerosis 13 years ago. She used to compete in triathlons, but now even a trip down the stairs in her Eau Claire home can be trying.
"It’s difficult, ill be honest" says Pathos.
M.S. is a disease of the brain and spinal cord. Pathos’ brain may tell her to lift her leg but it cant send the message.
"I just slowly, slowly am losing my strength, and my coordination and my balance" says Pathos.
She says stem cell research could help find the answer to her disease but the threat to human embryos makes her hesitate.
"I certainly value human life" says Pathos.
Scientists were able to create a beating human heart cell, but it was created from a cheek cell.
Now professors from all over the world are marveling at the possibilities.
Professor Azin Surani at Cambridge University says "we can take adult cells and convert them into stem cells without using eggs or embryos."
Pathos says "to think that they could develop stem cells just from our skin. Oh my gosh this is just such a dream come true."
But researchers say it could be years before they could create cures to fight diseases like M.S.
"At least we can see the light at the end of the tunnel" says Pathos.
And the discovery has filled Sally with hope.
"Maybe there will be something that will help me. I sure hope so. Time will tell" Pathos says with a smile.
A scientist with the University of Pennsylvania says researchers may be reluctant to stop doing embryonic stem cell research but he is confident this discovery will pave the future.