The Nobel prize for medicine has been awarded to two scientists who have brought very real hope to people suffering with horrific conditions, such as Alzheimer's, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson's disease, and other debilitating conditions.
They have done so by using adult stem cells, not embryonic stems cells.
Scientists John Gurdon from the United Kingdom and Shinya Yamanaka from Japan discovered it's possible to take a cell out of an adult patient, strip-down the cell to what it was like when it was a brand new, healthy cell, then put that healthy cell into the patient in the part of the body that's sick: such as the brain, the spine, or heart.
The healthy cell then regenerates and takes over the sick area, making the patient well again.
The technique has proved successful with heart patients in a study at the University of Louisville.
Dr. Roberto Bolli, chief of cardiology at the University of Louisville, took cells from a healthy part of the patient and infused them into the patient's heart, causing the regeneration of previously dead heart tissue.
The development has given fresh hope for people with heart failure.
"It's not hype, it is really hope. I think that stem cells will likely become a routine part of the treatment of cardiovascular disease in the next few years," Dr. Bolli said.
The discovery is good news for those who believe in the sanctity of life. Until now, much of the scientific community believed this type of cell regeneration needs to start with living, human embyos, a process that destroys the embryo.