Monday, March 02, 2009

Canadian stem-cell breakthrough meets The River

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In a news story that sounds like it should have been included in a chapter of my thriller The River, it appears that a huge breakthrough in stem-cell research has been made between Dr. Andras Nagy of Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital and Keisuke Kaji of the Medical Research Council Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, and their teams.

Anne McIlroy from the Globe and Mail reports, "Canadian researchers have discovered a new way to turn skin cells into stem cells with fewer potential risks to patients...Dr. Nagy and his colleagues are the first to reprogram human skin cells to an embryonic state without using a virus..."

So does this mean that scientists are well on their way to finding something to slow the process of aging? I mean, if they can revert a cell to an embryonic state, what does that mean for those who are obsessed with staying young?

For now, they're looking at ways to use this technology to eliminate diseases like diabetes or Parkinson's. One day, this research might be responsible for curing cancer. Or this technology may end up repairing damaged hearts, kidneys, livers or even growing new organs. The possibilities are endless. That is exciting!

How interesting that something I wrote about is actually more of a possibility. Fiction becomes fact. Let's hope that the horrible atrocities that occur in The River as a result of such technology doesn't happen in real life.

You can read the Globe and Mail story HERE.

MSNBC also carries a story on this breakthrough. Read it HERE.

Want more info on my thriller The River? Here's a brief description:

Stem cell research, cloning, and world domination--with a twist...

The South Nahanni River has a history of mysterious deaths, disappearances and headless corpses, but it may also hold the key to humanity’s survival--or its destruction.

Seven years ago, Del Hawthorne’s father and three of his friends disappeared near the Nahanni River and were presumed dead. When one of the missing men stumbles onto the University grounds, alive but barely recognizable and aging before her eyes, Del is shocked. Especially when the man tells her something inconceivable. Her father is still alive!

Gathering a group of volunteers, Del travels to the Nahanni River to rescue her father. There, she finds a secret river that plunges her into a technologically advanced world of nanobots and painful serums. Del uncovers a conspiracy of unimaginable horror, a plot that threatens to destroy us all. Will humanity be sacrificed for the taste of eternal life?

You can buy The River online at Amazon or Chapters, or ask your bookstore to order it for you.

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