News Reporters Without Borders today appealed for clemency on humanitarian grounds for dissident He Depu, tried yesterday by a Beijing court which now has 40 days to announce its verdict and pass sentence. The circumstances of the trial, which lasted only two hours and denied the most basic rights of defence, suggest that the sentence could heavy. He appeared to be in very poor health in court.”He Depu is seriously ill and has been the victim of ill-treatment while in prison,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said. “Keeping him in detention could prove fatal.” He is accused of collaborating with the banned China Democracy Party and of using the Internet to distribute messages “inciting subversion.”He’s wife, Jia Jianying, the only person aside from his lawyer allowed to attend the trial, told Reporters Without Borders that He was constantly interrupted when he tried to talk during the hearing, especially about the ill-treatment he has undergone in prison. Except at night-time, He was forced to stand upright for 85 days. He has lost a lot of weight and his health has deteriorated seriously. His wife said he has a liver ailment and his condition is very worrying.Jia received no news of He from the moment of his arrest on 4 November 2002 until his trial. When arresting him, police told her they were just taking him for “a walk.”He was born on 28 October 1956. He took part in the democracy wall movement in 1979 and founded the magazine Beijing Youth, which was subsequently banned. He helped found the China Democracy Party, also outlawed, and was detained several times for his political activities. He lost his job with the Social Sciences Academy after standing as a candidate in local elections in 1990. RSF_en March 12, 2021 Find out more News Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison Follow the news on China ChinaAsia – Pacific October 15, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Call for clemency for dissident He Depu June 2, 2021 Find out more News News Receive email alerts ChinaAsia – Pacific to go further Help by sharing this information Organisation China’s Cyber Censorship Figures April 27, 2021 Find out more
ATHENS – Two University of Georgia animal scienceresearchers introduced to the world 13 pigs that may holdthe key to new therapies to treat human diseases, includingdiabetes. Announced this week, the discovery marks thefirst time pluripotent stem cells, or cells that can turn intoany type of cell in the body, have been created from adultlivestock.“We now for the first time have a method to make pigs thatcan be a source of cells and organs for regenerative medicinein a meaningful way” said Steven L. Stice, a Georgia ResearchAlliance eminent scholar in the UGA College of Agriculturaland Environmental Sciences. He also directs UGA’sRegenerative Bioscience Center. The technique called inducedpluripotent stem cells had only previously been shown tomake live offspring in mice.“These first-in-the-world, pig-induced pluripotent cells-generated animals can eventually be used to provide andsearch for better therapies and cures for human disease anddegenerative conditions,” Stice said. The discovery is a newtool for researchers who need to determine which sourcesof cells, adult or earlier stages such as embryonic or inducedpluripotent stem cells, will work best for each disease.Better source of cells, organsThe induced pluripotent stem cells piglets were born in September 2009 at Wisconsin-based company Minitube of America, Inc., according to project collaborator John R. Dobrinsky. Minitube is a biotechnology company specializing in artificial reproduction biotechnologies and cell biology. The process used avoids the more problematic and controversial cloning process while making it easier to make the genetic changes necessary to develop pigs as a better source of cells and organs for transplantation. “Although induced pluripotent stem cell technology was first successful in mice, the mouse isn’t always a good model to study human disease and they are not a good source of tissue and organs for therapy,” Stice said. “Pigs are often the best way to go.” Pigs are biologically and physiologically very similar to humans and are prone to develop many of the same health problems as humans, Dobrinsky said. Stice credits Franklin West, an assistant research scientist, with perfecting the method. “I’ve worked on this for about 20 years,” Stice said. “Franklin found the way to make it work.” The pluripotent stem cells incorporated naturally into the developing fetuses and contributed to the development of many cell types of the body, such as lungs, kidney, heart, skin or muscle, producing healthy piglets, West said. And 80 percent of the animals produced using this new method are a product of these stem cells, a very high percentage. This cellular experiment demonstrates proof of concept by injecting pig-induced pluripotent cells into early pig embryos, Dobrinsky said. Type I diabetes treatmentThe new process will be valuable for a research projectunderway in partnership with Emory University to find bettertherapies for diabetes.“Islets that produce insulin and other hormones relatedto regulating blood sugar are found in the pancreas,” Sticeexplained. “It is well known that porcine islet cells could bea major break through in the treatment of Type I (juvenile)diabetes if they were not rejected by the human immunesystem. This new method will allow researchers to make thenecessary genetic changes to dampen or potentially eliminatethe rejection of the new stem cells and then we can makeanimals from these stem cells.”Economic, environmental impactsAnother goal, Stice said, is for the study results to lead theway to healthier, more environmentally friendly and disease-resistant livestock, and ones that could help reduce poverty orstarvation in developing countries.Once the new pigs reach sexual maturity and Stice and Westdetermine if the pigs produce viable sperm and egg cells, theycan begin naturally mating. The offspring of the current pigswill produce the cells needed to move into the therapy stageand clinical trials.Details of the discovery will be published in the journal StemCells and Development next month.