Certified nursing assistants are relied upon by doctors, nurses and patients to be every bit as well-informed and trained as their counterparts higher up the medical hierarchy. This is why the Allen School Blog frequently offers “news shorts” such as this one, to highlight a particularly important breakthrough or happening in the field of medicine. So today’s news short for CNAs is about the recent breakthrough in stem cell research. As you may know, there has been controversy about stem cell research as the stem cells used to produce some truly miraculous recoveries are harvested from embryonic tissue (from fetuses). The whole abortion debate in the US has made it difficult for researchers to get access to fetal tissue and as a result, this promising technology has been hamstrung in the US. Today we learn that researchers from Japan have found a way to “reprogram” non-fetal cells to exhibit the same properties as stem cells harvested from fetal tissue, thereby sidestepping any thorny ethical issues. Still in the earlier stages of testing and development, the reprogramming process is scheduled for many more months of rigorous examination. However, if it is clinically validated, this new way of “manufacturing” stem cells will surely be a boon to the entire field of stem cell research which holds the promise of curing currently incurable afflictions such as paralysis, blindness, organ failure and more. Click here to read an article about the breakthrough.