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Medicine Science

Finnish Patient Gets New Jaw from His Own Stem Cells 141

Posted by Soulskill
from the close-the-organ-banks dept.
An anonymous reader writes with news out of Finland, where a patient's upper jaw was replaced with bone cultivated from stem cells and grown inside the patient himself. We discussed other advances in stem cell research a few months ago. Quoting: "In this case they identified and pulled out cells called mesenchymal stem cells -- immature cells than can give rise to bone, muscle or blood vessels. When they had enough cells to work with, they attached them to a scaffold made out of a calcium phosphate biomaterial and then put it inside the patient's abdomen to grow for nine months. The cells turned into a variety of tissues and even produced blood vessels, the researchers said."
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Finnish Patient Gets New Jaw from His Own Stem Cells

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    A jaw growing in his abdomen? I've seen that film before...
  • Bill Gates v2.0 (Score:4, Informative)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @10:32AM (#22281920) Homepage Journal
    I have no doubt that Bill Gates has had himself cloned, or at least all his organs and tissues, for when his own parts wear out. Stashed around the world, as insurance against laws banning cloning.

    And if it's not viable yet, they'll just keep cloning him until they get it right.

    I know that if I had $100B, that's how I'd spend it.
  • by hiruhl (1171697)
    Does this mean I can have a second wee-wee?
    • by eitreach (1211194)
      Just a second? You aren't thinking big enough. Four. Or six, that's the way.
      • by hiruhl (1171697)

        Just a second? You aren't thinking big enough. Four. Or six, that's the way.
        Hellz yeah, you're right! If I had one on each hip and the small of my back, I could have hula sex with four chicks! One over my nose and one behind my head, and I could redefine "chicken head".

        Do you pedal-pumping type action with my feet would be overdoing it?
        • by ehrichweiss (706417) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @11:44AM (#22282322)
          This reminds me of an animation I saw on a "movie" called "Too Outrageous Animation" where a guy kept praying to Saint Martin to grant 4 wishes and his nagging wife said she wanted his body covered with cocks(fingers, tongue, elbows, etc.). St. Martin granted the wish and the husband was so enraged that he said he wanted his wife covered in vaginas. That wish was granted and then they both saw they could never go out in public and so they wanted none, the wish was granted. Then they realized they had zero sexual organs and wanted their old ones back; the wish was granted. The moral of the story was: Instead of asking for cocks and cunts, ask for brains instead.
          • by TheLink (130905)
            "The moral of the story was: Instead of asking for cocks and cunts, ask for brains instead"

            So the sequel was a zombie movie?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Aardpig (622459)
      Surely you could just reposition the large dick growing from your forehead?
    • It ain't heavy, it's my brother.
  • by dada21 (163177) <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Sunday February 03, 2008 @11:25AM (#22282194) Homepage Journal
    I have a mandibular excess and a maxillary deficiency (meaning my jawbone is too big and my upper face area is too small), which leads me to grind my teeth, get some major TMJ pain, and end up with ruined and crooked teeth. I've looked at all the surgeries (major, like taking your jaw OUT of your mouth entirely), and they didn't seem worth the risk. The long term problem is I'll lose all my teeth. I was the freak with the toothbrush in school, who flossed and brushed and rinsed 3 times a day. Today I'm the root canal and filling king, because of the jaw issue.

    When stem cells are available to regrow teeth, it will take off. The problem is that I expect the ADA (that's the lobbying group to keep dentists expensive and rare, like the AMA is a lobbying group to reduce the supply of doctors and rape the patients' wallets) will fight it tooth and nail. They'll do it under a mask of "religion" by a group controlled by them, but it will happen.

    Here, again, we see a market phenomenon that will either be over-regulated by the government so that it takes too long and is too expensive to bring to market, or we'll see a complete destruction of a huge opportunity to fix problems. I am willing to take a risk to deal with the teeth issue today, and I'm probably going to have to do it in India or China because I know that we won't get any favor here if it competes with the strong lobbying cartels, like the crooked dentists (or the doctors, or the CPAs, or any number of groups who have "associations" to harm consumers with bad legislation).
    • by Watson Ladd (955755) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @11:27AM (#22282206)
      Do you really think the ADA will be against a procedure that requires much oral surgery, and associated fees? They don't make money off people without teeth, so it is their best interest to encourage you to keep them.
      • by Danimoth (852665)
        There is a huge market for artificial teeth. Two of the people I work with have lost teeth recently and have gone in for artificials, its a 6 month long process that costs around 10 grand. Its in a dentists interest to keep the patient with poor teeth.
        • by KDR_11k (778916)
          And? Instead of artificials you're selling them real teeth, where's the big difference?
    • ...I expect the ADA ...will fight it tooth and nail.

      No pun intended, I'm sure. :)
    • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @12:30PM (#22282646)
      Well, as an American citizen who is watching his country's slow fall from being the leader in technology and scientific research to a relative backwater, I'd say it's a good thing that other nations are investing more and more in science, so that when the time comes I'll be able to fly somewhere to get state-of-the-art treatment if I should ever need it.
    • I hate it when religion is used as a front for political/financial agenda...
  • by teethdood (867281) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @12:03PM (#22282438)
    IAADWDI - I Am a Dentist Who Does Implants

    There is no such thing as an "upper jaw." We have various bones forming the base of the skull and associated teeth structures (aka maxilla) and a lower jaw (aka mandible).

    Dentists have been using stem cells for years. In certain situations when there are not enough bone to place dental implants, dentists would place bonegrafts mixed in with blood drawn from the hip marrow. You get around 5-10 stem cells for every million blood cells but that's all it takes to convert the bonegraft into the patient's own bone (the stem cells become osteoblasts). The only difference in this study versus what we have been doing is that they place the bonegraft with stem cells into the stomach for osteoconduction versus us placing the material into place right off the bat. Typical wait times for us is only 6 months before the bone is deemed solid enough for implant placement.

  • by loafula (1080631) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @12:14PM (#22282510)
    The pope just shit a brick
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The pope just shit a brick



      Why? Didn't you know that the pope endorses stem cell research? [catholicnews.com]

      "How can I not feel compelled to praise those who dedicate themselves to this research and those who support it and its costs," the pope said Sept. 16
      • by focoma (865351)
        I can't say I'm surprised that you got modded down. This news has nothing to do with the kind of research the pope opposes, and in fact is exactly what he is trying to endorse, yet some people just enjoy mocking him for his "anti-Science" position against creating human beings just to kill them for their cells. Too bad I don't have mod-points.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by AndGodSed (968378)
      No he didn't, that would be shattering HIS dignity... he quietly passed wind, in anger...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      [loafula wrote] The pope just shit a brick

      The fact that you wrote a joke like this (and that it was given a moderation score of 3 by other readers) indicates confusion amongst the Slashdot populace.

      The media have tossed about the word "stem cells" very irresponsibly, making it seem like the religious institutions and others (US President Bush) oppose "stem cell research". What the churches and Bush oppose is embyronic stem cell research, which requires the destruction of the embryo.

      This article is talkin

  • Bad tag (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dirtside (91468) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @12:23PM (#22282598) Journal
    What bonehead tagged this "whatcouldpossiblygowrong"? That tag is for describing situations where some kind of decision could easily have unforeseen consequences affecting numerous people. What could possibly go wrong here is that this guy could, at worst, die. This one guy.

    Stop overusing that tag! </rant>
    • by Faylone (880739)
      Perhaps they're worried the jaw will grow out of control and start feeding on children?
    • by Dorceon (928997)
      Maybe the jaw is played by Yul Brenner.
    • this guy could, at worst, die. This one guy.
      That's where you're wrong [thethunderchild.com].
    • by bky1701 (979071)
      Everyone knows there is at least a 1% chance (per hour) that this guy may go crazy and go on a killing binge, become a terrorist or worst of all, pirate music! All because of his new jaw! Maybe you need to rethink what could possibly go wrong!!
    • It has to be the same idiot doing all of them. The other day the entire front page had that tag, no matter the topic.
  • Daddy's little girl can then go into the doctor's office and say: "I want to look like Britney Spears/Paris Hilton/whatever the slutty starlet flavor of the month is!" A vault of casts from different star's bodies is opened, and they stuff the parts into our victi.. err patient's already over sized abdomen. Then they tear off her body parts one by one and replace them with the "improved" versions. Everyone will end up looking like Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Wait, is that why... oh crap! Ridiculously impos
    • How long till this, in some form, is used to increase breast size? It seems growing a jaw would be more difficult than growing new/more breast tissue, and they would be "real". Just inject some "breast stem cells" directly into the breast and watch em grow :). I for one welcome our new larger breast female overlords.
      • How long till this, in some form, is used to increase breast size? It seems growing a jaw would be more difficult than growing new/more breast tissue, and they would be "real".

        Women with real breasts larger than a D-cup frequently seek breast reduction surgery, natural breast tissue isn't strong enough to support that much weight in an aesthetically appealing way. When science comes up with a way to make a 40 year old's natural breasts perky again, then plastic surgeons will have to rethink their business
        • by ultranova (717540)

          When science comes up with a way to make a 40 year old's natural breasts perky again, then plastic surgeons will have to rethink their business model.

          Simply implant an elastic support mesh anchored to the ribs or breastbone - a kind of an internal bra. You could make it from a net of tendons if you want the "natural" aspect.

          "Purpose of grant: to keep large breasts from sagging and remove the need for a bra." I guess that's one way to get funding for stem cell research ;)...

        • by Brad1138 (590148)
          Women with real breasts larger than a D-cup frequently seek breast reduction surgery

          Thats fine, I didn't say E to GG, I meant instead of implants.
  • any pics? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by WormholeFiend (674934) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @01:05PM (#22282892)
    Of the proto-jaw as it's taken out of the abdomen?
  • Is that a jawbone in your abdomen, or are you just happy to see me?
  • by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Sunday February 03, 2008 @02:34PM (#22283546) Journal
    A woman gets badly burned, and they graft skin from her husband's ass to rebuild her face. After the series of operations, she looks great.
    She says, "Honey, how can I ever repay you?"
    He says, "I get paid back every time I see your mother kiss you on the cheek."
  • from the shouldnt-they-have-tried-it-on-andrew-morton-first department
  • He works together with some ostheopath.. eh.. ist, well, a bone surgeon anyway, who makes these 'scaffolds' out of (dead) coral, cause it has a structure that's perfect for the injection of cells. He lives on Aruba, you see. So that's why. Don't know any more about it though - *mumble*.
  • I think "nomnomnom" is my favorite tag on /. so far.
  • Uhh (Score:1, Interesting)

    by icsx (1107185)
    "The cells turned into a variety of tissues and even produced blood vessels, the researchers said." It's called cancer. Who knows what will happen to this patient in the future. There just isn't enough research about this matter yet.

The bogosity meter just pegged.

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