Human Exceptionalism

It’s Raining Stem Cells

Every time you turn around, scientists discover new and ethical sources of stem cells–now from fallopian tubes removed during hysterectomies.  From the story:

Discarded fallopian tubes from hysterectomies could be a good source of donor stem cells, say researchers. Work shows they are an abundant source of the immature cells that have the potential to become a variety of the body’s tissues, like muscle and bone. The discovery offers another “ethical” route to creating stem cell treatments for diseases like arthritis without using embryos.The findings are published in The Journal of Translational Medicine…

Once harvested, the scientists were able to multiply and then coax the mesenchymal stem cells to turn into apparently healthy muscle, fat, cartilage and bone cell lines in the lab. Given that these adult stem cells are capable of replacing damaged cells in the fallopian tube, the researchers envisage the cells could be useful for understanding and treating fertility problems as well as providing a source of stem cells for regenerative medicine.

Here are some good morals to this story: First, ethical science is good science. Second, never underestimate the capability and creativity of scientists.  There’s more work to be done, but the good news keeps on coming.

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