Adult stem cells have helped ease the symptoms of muscular dystrophy in golden retrievers, according to a report in the journal Nature. The study focused on Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the most severe and most common form. Lead researcher Giulio Cossu, of the Stem Cell Research Institute at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute of Milan, says that he hopes to launch a small clinical trial with children in the next year or two.
The researchers used stem cells from the affected dogs and from healthy dogs. The best results were obtained with cells from the healthy dogs. If the same method were used with humans, it would avoid the controversial method of destroying embryos to produce stem cells.
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