Human Exceptionalism

Fat Cells Can Turn into Muscle, Other Tissues

I am not a scientist, but I believe I am a good analyzer of information. I keep reading that ESCR is necessary because of the need for stem cells used in medical treatments to be pluripotent, that is, capable of becoming any body tissue. This never made sense to me, since apparently adult stem cells exist in many different parts of the body that are multipotent, meaning they can become some, but not all, types of tissues–perhaps to the point that sufficient types of adult cells/umbilical cord blood stem cells will be identified to cover the gamut. I don’t know if this will prove to be true, but it makes logical sense to me. (Yes, I know some adult cells may be pluripotent, but I don’t think that has yet been sufficiently established.)

Now, a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences seems to demonstrate that fat cells can be morphed into smooth muscle and organ tissues. “Fat tissue may prove a reliable source of smooth muscle cells that we can use to regenerate and repair damaged organs,” Dr Larissa Rodriguez, an assistant professor in the Department of Urology at the University of California Los Angeles medical school, told Reuters.

Yes, I know, I know: ESCR offers the “best hope” for new treatments. “The scientists” keep saying it again, and again. The only trouble is, the actual science reported to date seems to tell a different story.

The Latest