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A leading scientist has predicted that stem cell pharmacies stocking tissue therapies could become a common sight in the next 20 years.
Professor David Warburton, a world-renowned expert on stem cells and regenerative medicine, said the stem cell technology was taking baby steps now and will soon gain its ground.
He said he expected the procedure to become a major form of personalised treatment for damaged body parts and organs in two decades.
Ahead of the UK National Stem Cell Network annual meeting in Nottingham, Prof Warburton said: “In about 20 years’ time we will have stem cell banks just like we now have pharmacies.
“You’ll get a diagnosis for a specific problem and be given stem cells to treat that problem.”
Stem cells are “mother” cells that can be used to make replacement tissue for the body.
Though the use of embryonic stem cells (ESC) – that can become any kind of human tissue in the human body – for research is controversial, recent developments have created methods of “tweaking” the genes of ordinary cells to turn them into stem cells that have properties similar to ESC.
Prof Warburton believes that a combination of genetics with regenerative medicine has enormous potential.
Copyright Press Association 2010