Stem cell therapy

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Empty sample tubes wait to be filled in a blood and urine sample freezer. South Africa has no legislation governing biobanks that deal with human biological material. Reuters/Phil Noble

How to make sure South Africa’s biobanks balance scientific progress with the law

South Africa has no legislation setting out the rules for biobanks and the guidelines that do exist are not clear or detailed. This leaves the door wide open for unethical practises.
Demonstrators dressed as embryos gather outside the French parliament to protest laws authorising research on embryonic stem cells. Across the world, countries are implementing additional laws to use treatments that are still in trial phases. Reuters/Benoit Tessier

Why the world needs to keep pace with breakthroughs in stem cell research

Many countries are introducing legislation and allowing practitioners to use medication still undergoing trials but that show preliminary signs of being safe, including some stem cell treatments.
Legislation in South Africa needs to be updated to accommodate the development in stem cell research and therapies. Reuters

Why South Africa needs better laws for stem cell research and therapy

South Africa may have legislation broadly guiding stem cell research and treatment, but these laws must be updated and clarified for it to be effective.
In Australia, the manufacturing of cells for therapy is regulated but only for donated cells. koya979/Shutterstock

Cashing in on hope: stem cell tourism risks arrive in our own backyard

Once thought to be a problem only in poorly regulated jurisdictions overseas, unproven stem cell treatments are increasingly being offered in Australia. Now, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA…
Tourism isn’t just for sunshine and beaches. It can also be for unapproved medical interventions. IV via ARZTSAMUI/Shutterstock

Medical treatment not approved yet? No problem! Welcome to circumvention tourism

Medical tourism is the practice of seeking medical care across international borders. Countries with established medical sectors like the US, Europe, India and Thailand have been traditional destinations…
Hope, faith and miracle are the operative words when it comes to stem cell tourism. pol sifter/Flickr

Stem cell tourism exploits people by marketing hope

Stem cell tourism is when people travel to another country to receive treatments unavailable to them at home. It exists chiefly because most stem cell “treatments” are unproven and not readily available…
The new test can identify unsafe stem cells, reducing the risk of unwanted tumours forming. Stem cells may one day be used to regrow damaged body parts. http://www.flickr.com/photos/bwjones/

New stem cell test may reduce tumour risk

Australian researchers have developed a test to identify unsafe stem cells. Stem cells may one day be used to help regrow…
Part of a Greenpeace protest at the European Patents Office in Munich. Greenpeace brought the case that has resulted in the European ruling. AAP

European court bans stem cell patents – what about Australia?

The European Court of Justice has today banned patenting of stem cell inventions derived from human embryos which are capable of developing into a human being. The court held that this exclusion from patentability…
Stem cell experiments on mice have been shown to correct a liver disorder, but would it work on humans? Flickr/Rick Eh?

Mouse liver experiment heralds stem cell breakthrough

For the first time, scientists have been able to fix a genetic liver defect in tests on mice using stem cells created from…
We aren’t quite in the place to say stem cell therapy can treat osteoarthritis and related conditions, in dogs or humans. TheGiantVermin/Flickr

Pause… stem cell therapy dogged by insufficient research

A recent article published in the Herald Sun newspaper reported anecdotal evidence of animals almost crippled from arthritis or joint damage recovering their function after stem cell therapy. Although…

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