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World's First Human Embryonic Stem Cells from Egg Alone

Korean researchers had claimed that cells were derived by somatic cell nuclear transfer

FRIDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Human embryonic stem cells that Korean researchers had claimed were derived by somatic cell nuclear transfer were actually derived by parthenogenesis of the oocyte, according to a study published online Aug. 2 in Cell Stem Cell.

George Q. Daley, M.D., Ph.D., from Children's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues used genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism analysis to investigate the origin of the SCNT-hES-1 human embryonic stem cell line derived by Korean researchers in 2004. The report was later discredited, the authors note.

The researchers found that the cells displayed distinct genetic recombination patterns that showed that the stem cells were derived from parthenogenesis of the oocyte rather than from somatic cell nuclear transfer.

"The evidence indicates that SCNT-hES-1 represents the first isolation of a human parthenogenetic embryonic stem cell," Daley and colleagues conclude. "If careful genetic and functional analyses of tissues derived from human parthenogenetic embryonic stem cells show them to be safe and effective, then parthenogenetic embryonic stem cells might represent a favorable source for tissue replacement therapies."

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