CHENNAI: Work is progressing on animal cloning in the State with researchers in Madhavaram's Central Embryo Biotechnology Laboratory of Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) studying embryo coculture, according to TANUVAS vicechancellor Dr P Thangaraju.
Speaking to reporters after the inaugural session of the twoday international seminar on 'Frontiers of Stem Cell and Biotechnology in Human and Veterinary Medicine', he said, "Currently, the researchers are studying the coculture of oocytes or ovum. It is an indigenous research where scientists collect the ovaries from slaughterhouse, culture it and study it."
However, he did not give any timeframe on when the research will be completed. "We are standardising the technology in rabbits and currently research is on adult animals," he added.
On stem cell research, Thangaraju said clinical trials are going on in hospitals in tendon and joint injury replacement. "The research will be a boon for race horses who are shot in many countries following tendon rupture," he added.
Citing an example of how a sixmonthold paralysed dog was cured through regenerative medicine, he said stem cells once proved will be a revolutionary treatment.
Earlier, acting US consul Bryan W Dalton, in his inaugural address, said stem cells research has generated hope and fear among the people. "Scientists working on this field should also be aware of ethical and political debates," he added.
"The US guidelines on stem cell research has elicited thousands of comments across the United States. It is an exciting field and significant for lifeforms of the planet," Dalton said.
Thangaraju, in his presidential address, said that regenerative medicine is an infant field which incorporates all the branches of science, including space research, which aims at the treatment of degenerative diseases and injuries.
He said regenerative medicine is going to rule the world in the field of healthcare for the next 50 years. "In veterinary practice, protocols for spinal cord, tendon, ligament and cornea are under clinical trials. Regenerative therapy for diabetes mellitus, renal failure and myocardial ischemia are in progress in human medicine," he added.
Thangaraju also said research work is in progress to devise an implantable miniature bioartificial kidney using nano technology which will perform the functions of kidney and the device can be implanted in the body and the patients can live with it.
The dean of Madras Veterinary College, R Prabakaran, vicechairman of Tamil Nadu Science City P Iyamperumal, director of NichiIn Centre for Regenerative Medicine Samuel J K Abraham, assistant professor for center for molecular medicine and infectious disease polytechnic institute and State University, the US, and S Prathaban, director of clinics, TANUVAS, spoke.