After three days of discussions about stem cell machinery, the organizers concluded the linkurl:Keystone meeting;http://www.keystonesymposia.org/Meetings/ViewMeetings.cfm?MeetingID=786 on stem cell biology today by treating participants to data showing what these cells can already do in humans. These efforts appear not quite as differentiated as stem cells themselves, but are hopefully on their way to becoming so. Tonight, Michele De Luca from the Veneto Eye Bank Foundation and the University of Modena in Italy presented a series of stomach-churning videos and images illustrating how he and his colleagues used autologous stem cells to correct both blindness and a rare, blistering skin disease. In a study involving nearly 200 people blinded after burns depleted their stores of limbal stem cells, stem cell transplants corrected the vision of the majority of patients, even several years after the operation. Another man with epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a disease in which the slightest trauma causes major damage to...
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