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In ALL ARTICLES on September 15, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Uterine stem cells used to treat diabetes

Kenneth Smith’s comment: 
“The word “uterine” may trip this process up,
but it is fascinating nonetheless.”

My response: 

I guess it is possible that some people will equate stem cells from the uterus with those derived from embryos.  But there are only one type of embryonic stem cells and those are literally derived from the embryo.  These uterine cells are ADULT stem cells: “The endometrium or uterine lining, is a source of adult stem cells”  Truly a case of apples and oranges comparison.

In the unlikely event whereby some few people start viewing uterine stem cells as philosophically equal to those derived from the embryo (they are NOT scientifically equal), the stem cell debate will have to expand to include not only the uterus but also stem cells from EVERY PART of the reproductive system.  I find this highly unlikely.

Because the uterine lining sheds (ie. menstruation) and that is and can be used in regenerative therapies, the debate would also have to include all of the reproductive system by-products, like menstruation, sperm, mother’s milk, etc.  It’s a slippery slope and taken to the extreme, eventually you could argue that every cell of the human body is connected and therefor, involved in the creation of new life.  This is over the top and I don’t think any judge, court or member of the religious right would embrace this philosophy. So, I don’t see a problem here.

The good news is, adult stem cells derived from reproductive organs are very VERY powerful for regenerative therapies! Stem cells from menstruation, umbilical cord, milk teeth, amniotic fluid, mother’s milk, placenta, the list goes on and on.  I’m sure as time goes on, stem cells from mucus plugs and virtually every other “seldom talked about in polite conversation” by product of the body will provide other amazing regenerative rich cells.

…And now, we can embrace and applaud the use of uterine stem cells for recovery from diabetes!



Uterine Stem Cells Used to Treat Diabetes

ScienceDaily (Sep. 14, 2011) — Controlling diabetes may someday involve mining stem cells from the lining of the uterus, Yale School of Medicine researchers report in a new study published in the journal Molecular Therapy. The team treated diabetes in mice by converting cells from the uterine lining into insulin-producing cells.

The endometrium or uterine lining, is a source of adult stem cells. These cells generate uterine tissue each month as part of the menstrual cycle. Like other stem cells, however, they can divide to form other kinds of cells.

The Yale team’s findings suggest that endometrial stem cells could be used to develop insulin-producing islet cells, which are found in the pancreas. These islet cells could then be used to advance the study of islet cell transplantation to treat people with diabetes…

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This is a slide of insulin-producing cells.

(Credit: Hugh Taylor, Yale University)


In ALL ARTICLES on September 15, 2011 at 8:58 am
Tail Spin
Posted Sep 9,2010


The regeneration process went slightly awry for this day gecko, which lost its tail—and grew back two. Photo: Joel Sartore

To escape a predator, it doesn’t cost some lizards an arm and a leg—just a tail. The wiggling appendage is left behind as a distraction as the lizard gets away. Special cells at the fracture site then trigger growth of a new tail. Several amphibians and reptiles possess an ability to regrow portions of a lost tail or limb. Now some of the cells that make this happen are getting attention from researchers. A 2010 Harvard review of amphibian regeneration-cell research included how findings could relate to human stem cells, which can also produce new tissue. “The promise will be to figure out what’s the same and what’s different about regeneration mechanisms,” says Cliff Tabin, a geneticist who worked on the review. He hopes scientists will learn how animals that regenerate “get limbs and muscle, then hook that up with the bone, and have nerves seamlessly connect to the rest of the nervous system.” Even if animal and human cells aren’t found to regenerate in similar ways, the comparison “can give us a direct model to be applied to clinical studies,” says Tabin. “It’s a creative way to improve human health.” —Dana Cetrone

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