Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Best. Analogy. Ever: Why we need all types of stem cells

Today CIRM began a three-day external review of its activities. It began with a public session which included what might be the best analogy ever for why we need to continue working with all types of stem cells: adult, cancer, iPS and embryonic.

Rodney Paul, who has type 1 diabetes, showed up to discuss his hopes for a future cure. He pointed out that on this day the world saw awe-inspiring images of the first of 33 miners rising out of the Chilean mine where they’d been trapped — and that those miners were rescued through one of three shafts that had been dug as part of the rescue mission.

The shaft in question was dubbed “Plan B”. Drilling on plans A and C didn’t go as smoothly as hoped. That’s why on an important mission where time is limited and lives are at stake it’s important not to pin all hopes on one strategy.

Will one stem cell type turn out to be most effective? Maybe. Do we know which one that is? Not yet.

That’s why CIRM funds all types of stem cell research in the hopes of reaching new cures as quickly as possible. You can find out more about the different stem cell types used in CIRM research projects in our searchable table.

A.A.

3 comments:

  1. That's a really cool analogy, Amy.

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  2. Thanks, I think it's a powerful example of why you don't bet everything on one approach.

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  3. Thanks, using this analogy for my presentation on the importance of stem cells, tomorrow in school.

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