On the agenda: Embryonic stem cell breakthrough

Scientists have made a breakthrough in human cloning by producing embryonic stem cells, which can be used to make any type of tissue cell in the body and potentially change the future of transplant operations.

Stem cell: Research breakthrough (thinkstock)
Stem cell: Research breakthrough (thinkstock)

In more detail

Scientists at Oregon Health & Science University have turned skin cells into embryonic stem cells using the same methods that created Dolly, the cloned sheep.

The stem cells created can make new tissue cells for the body, such as heart muscle, bone or brain tissue, which could be used in transplant operations. Stem cell therapies are believed to hold the possibility of replacing cells damaged through injury or illness for conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cardiac disease and spinal cord injuries. 

PR strategy

The research was published in Cell magazine, an American science journal, which-released the information. In the UK, the Science Media Centre, an independent press office, offered UK journalists responses from individual scientists who work in this field, but who were not involved in the research. In addition, the centre made experts available for interview to the UK national press. 

Media coverage

The research was covered across the globe. In the UK, the spokespeople offered by the Science Media Centre were featured by every national broadsheet, The Huffington Post, New Scientist, BBC Radio 4’s Today programme and Material World, and Radio 5Live. 

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