NEW YORK (AP) Harvard scientists say they have created stem cells for 10 genetic disorders, which will allow researchers to watch the diseases develop in a lab dish.
This early step, using a new technique, could help speed up efforts to find treatments for some of the most confounding ailments, the scientists said.
The new work was reported online last week in the journal Cell, and the researchers said they plan to make the cell lines readily available to other scientists.
Dr. George Daley and his colleagues at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute used ordinary skin cells and bone marrow from people with a variety of diseases, including Parkinson's, Huntington's and Down syndrome to produce the stem cells.
The new cells will allow researchers to "watch the disease progress in a dish, that is, to watch what goes right or wrong," Doug Melton, co-director of the institute, said during a teleconference.
"I think we'll see in years ahead that this opens the door to a new way to treating degenerative diseases," he said.