As a University of Calgary alumnus, it is exciting to see ground breaking research coming out of my alma mater. Quoting CBC News, “‘Safe’ stem cell discovery unveiled in Calgary – U of C researchers say they can create cancer-free cells quickly by the millions” (links and emphasis added)
Rancourt said the discovery of a plentiful and reliable source of stem cells represents a great alternative to embryonic cells, the use of which is hotly debated.
With current methods, it takes one million adult cells to create one stem cell.
“In this new, finely tuned bioreactor, we are able to make 10 million ‘safe’ stem cells from 800,000 adult cells in 12 days,” said professor Rancourt, who is also deputy director of the McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health.
The researchers create the low risk stem cells by cultivating adult cells without the cancer gene ‘cMyc’, they said in a release.
“We are the first team to prove that we can use the bioreactor to efficiently make stem cells that then become mice without cancer,” said Krawetz.
The next stage will be to use the discovery to put human cells into the new bioreactors to design treatments for arthritis, Rancourt said.“
Also have a watch of CTV News report, “Researchers mass produce super cells”
Interested readers can find a good literature review from Dr. Mehdi Shafa’s (one of the paper’s contributors) April 2012 PhD thesis “Reprogramming of Mouse Fibroblasts to iPS Cells in Stirred Suspension Bioreactors using Physical and Genetic Methods” (PDF file).