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New source of stem cells?

A potential new source of stem cells has been discovered by American researchers.

Scientists from Wake Forest University School of Medicine, USA, have successfully extracted the cells from amniotic fluid (the fluid that fills the womb in pregnancy). The team found that these cells had the potential to develop into a wide variety of different cells such as muscle, fat, blood vessels, nerves and liver cells.

“The results of this research are very interesting and another step forward in stem cell research," said Jo Brodie, Science Information Officer at Diabetes UK.

"Although stem cell research is very much in its infancy, it offers a real possibility of leading to a cure for diabetes. We look forward to seeing how this research progresses.

“Diabetes UK acknowledges that there are important ethical issues involved in the use of stem cells. Following wide-ranging consultation with our members about the ethical issues surrounding the use of stem cells, Diabetes UK supports stem cell research both publicly, and financially through our research grant programme.”

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