What is Australian govt doing to boost stem cell research?

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What is Australian govt doing to boost stem cell research?

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 What is Australian govt doing to boost stem cell research?
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Highlights

  • Stem cells are special kind of cells that possess a unique ability to regenerate
  • Regenerative medicine can treat complicated medical conditions that are otherwise impossible by conventional methods
  • The Australian government has provided grants of AU$25 million for enhancing stem cell research

There are different types of cells designed for a specific job in the human body. To cite a few, white blood cells help in defence, while red blood cells carry oxygen. Stem cells are exceptional cells that possess unique regeneration abilities. They can also create more specialised kinds of cells that can replace the cells lost by the human body either through an injury or in the daily wear and tear process.

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In a broader category, there are generally two types of stem cells

Application of stem cells in medicine

Advances in stem cell research have laid a strong foundation for regenerative medicine. Stem cells have become a frontier of regenerative medicine due to their unlimited self-renewal and differentiation potential.

Regenerative medicine is a division of medicine that works on rebuilding tissues or organs to resume their functions in human beings affected by several injuries or chronic diseases. It has the capability to treat complicated medical conditions that are otherwise impossible by conventional methods.

Stem cell research in laboratory

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Stem cell therapy has proven its potential in treating blood disorders including leukaemia, Hodgkin’s disease, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Stem cells also hold the possibility to cure many other types of complicated medical conditions, boosting hopes for the treatment of incurable diseases.

Also read: Precision medicine: All you need to know

Stem cell research in Australia

Australian scientists have made a considerable contribution to the knowledge about stem cells found in human beings and their potential, particularly in adult stem cells.

Both private and government institutions/firms are involved in stem cell research in the nation. These efforts got a further boost when the National Stem Cell Centre was established in 2002.

Govt pours AU$25 million into stem cell research

According to a report by the Australian Department of Health, the Australian government has provided grants worth AU$25 million for enhancing Australia-led stem cell research. Starting from 2021-22, the fund will be available for over five years through two funding streams.

Stream 1 – up to AU$15 million: for developing treatments based on novel stem-cell by large scale multidisciplinary teams.

Stream 2 – up to AU$10 million: for large scale multidisciplinary teams. This will be directed towards examination and pre-clinical assessment of novel treatments that deploy human tissues made from stem cells.

Stem Cell Therapies Mission

The Australian government has established the Stem Cell Therapies Mission intending to develop innovative, safe, and efficient treatments to enhance the health conditions of people. It has teamed up with patients and carers and is investing an amount of AU$150 million for the mission.

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