A group of researchers in Taiwan announced yesterday that they have successfully isolated a population of multipotent cells from a human placenta, which could be a new source of stem cells and could provide an alternative to embryonic stem cells or stem cells taken from adults. \nBone marrow and other cells were differentiated from the placenta-derived multipotent cells after culture, the researchers said. \nThe achievement was made by a team of researchers from the National Health Research Institute (NHRI), National Taiwan University Hospital and Cathay General Hospital. \nA report on the achievement has been published in the latest issue of the journal Stem Cells and the team is applying for a patent for the technology. \nAccording to Chen Yao-chang (陳耀昌) from the NHRI's Stem Cell Research Center, although the differentiation potential of placenta-derived multipotent cells is slightly lower than that of embryonic stem cells, it does not involve the ethical concerns surrounding embryonic stem cell research. \nIn addition, the placenta, which weighs 700 grams to 800 grams, is a high-yield source of stem cells compared with cord blood, which is only 80 grams to 90 grams in a newborn, Chen said. Compared to stem cells extracted from bone marrow, placenta-derived cells carry a higher differentiation potential, and it does not involve an invasive procedure such as extracting bone marrow, Chen said. \nTheoretically, the placenta-derived cells could be applied in the treatment of patients with brain damage or bone fractures, he said. \nHowever, the research is still premature and it is estimated that it will take 10 years before the technology can be used commercially.
LIABILITIES MULLED: New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi said Taipei would find out if the firm was legally registered, the guide was licensed and the weather was assessed The assets of Tian Da Local Nature Co are to be frozen after at least four people died after falling into the Beishi River (北勢溪) on an outing the company had organized on Saturday, the Taipei City Government said yesterday. Six people — two adults and four children — were washed away by a flash flood on the river in New Taipei City’s Hubaotan (虎豹潭) area. They were participating in a Nature Joy Camp outdoor activity with a group of 16 adults and 15 children led by a guide surnamed Su (蘇). As of 4:30pm yesterday, four of the missing had been
The US 7th Fleet yesterday confirmed that a US Navy ship transited the Taiwan Strait on Thursday and Friday. “The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Dewey [DDG 105] conducted a Taiwan Strait transit in cooperation with Royal Canadian Navy [RCN] Halifax-class frigate, HMCS Winnipeg, October 14-15, 2021,” the US 7th Fleet said in a statement. “Dewey’s and Winnipeg’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific. Cooperation like this represents the centerpiece of our approach to a secure and prosperous region,” it added. The transit marked the
‘COUNTERPRODUCTIVE’: The German, French and Singaporean missions said that Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions are hindering local projects and business operations Several foreign missions in Taiwan have urged the government to ease its strict COVID-19 border controls, which they say are hurting in-person exchanges and business operations. The missions made the appeal in response to media inquiries on how the border controls have affected their respective countries’ exchanges with Taiwan, amid growing concerns voiced privately by Taiwan-based foreign offices and businesses regarding the restrictions. Taiwan has maintained strict entry requirements since March last year, generally prohibiting most arrivals except for citizens and foreign residents, while it has required those who enter the country to undergo a stringent 14-day quarantine. Although the rules have been
PROTECTION: The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a full vaccination rate of 30 percent, and allowing mixed first and second doses to boost coverage rates Whether Taiwan reopens its borders would depend on the nation’s vaccination coverage rate and the COVID-19 situation in other countries, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said yesterday. The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a 70 percent first-dose vaccination coverage and 30 percent two-dose coverage as part of its consideration, Shih told a media briefing following the weekly Cabinet meeting. In spite of a relatively stable COVID-19 situation in Taiwan, and calls from foreign missions and businesses in the country to allow more international travelers, the government is maintaining strict border control measures. Since March last year,