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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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  • 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 cbart387 (1192883) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @10:51AM (#22282014)
    Don't click link. Page has nasty javascript and is not related to the article one bit!
  • by BrentH (1154987) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @11:18AM (#22282158)
    This is just a scientific trial, and they have social healthcare in Finland, so it didnt cost him a penny.
  • 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 Rankiri (1002633) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @03:25PM (#22284010)
    Just to make you feel more comfortable, it's called embryonic, not fetal cell stem research. They call them embryos on the earliest stages of growth, generally from the moment of fertilization until the end of the 8th week of gestational age. They call them fetuses thereafter. The embryos used for harvesting human embryonic stem cells are typically four or five days old. They look like a hollow microscopic ball of cells and called the blastocyst.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 03, 2008 @06:16PM (#22285352)

    [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 talking about Mesenchymal stem cells --- adult stem cells, which are not controversial. In fact, religious groups and Bush and others vigorously support adult stem cell research. Bush in 2001 stated the following:

    URL: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/08/print/20010811-1.html [whitehouse.gov]
    Date: August 11, 2001

    I also believe that great scientific progress can be made through aggressive federal funding of research on umbilical cord, placenta, adult and animal stem cells, which do not involve the same moral dilemma. This year the government will spend $250 million on this important research.

    Here are some examples of confusing headlines that the media have deliberately chosen:

    "Bush vetoes stem-cell funds bill" (from the BBC at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6224134.stm [bbc.co.uk])

    "President Bush's cynical stem-cell policy." (an editorial from Slate at http://www.slate.com/id/2090244/ [slate.com] )

    "Bush to stem cell community: drop dead" (an editorial from MSNBC at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13935219/ [msn.com]).

    All of these headlines are addressing the vetoing of bills to fund embryonic stem cell research, but the headlines misleadingly make it seem like ALL stem cell research is under attack.

    In addition, it should be noted that Bush et al were restricting United States government funding of embryonic stem cell research. Unrestricted private funding (not provided by the federal US government)of embryonic stem cell research has always been allowed in the United States, such as that provided through the (private) Howard Hughes Medical Institute http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/03/040304074237.htm [sciencedaily.com] , and now state governments such as California and New Jersey. (That's the same Howard Hughes that Leonardio DiCaprio portrayed in the movie "The Aviator" directed by Martin Scorsese.)

    Are the ethics of embryonic stem cell research to be taken lightly? Dr. James Thomson was one of the first two laboratories to successfully extract them from embryos:

    Publisher: New York Times
    Article: Man Who Helped Start Stem Cell War May End It
    Author: Gina Kolata
    Date: November 22, 2007
    URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/22/science/22stem.html?em&ex=1195966800&en=3d24427925954325&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]

    Dr. Thomsons laboratory at the University of Wisconsin was one of two that in 1998 plucked stem cells from human embryos for the first time, destroying the embryos in the process and touching off a divisive national debate.

    And on Tuesday, his laboratory was one of two that reported a new way to turn ordinary human skin cells into what appear to be embryonic stem cells without ever using a human embryo.

    The fact is, Dr. Thomson said in an interview, he had ethical concerns about embryonic research from the outset, even though he knew that such research offered insights into human development and the potential for powerful new treatments

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