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Medicine Science

Facial Bones Grown From Fat-Derived Stem Cells 106

Posted by kdawson
from the best-face-forward dept.
TheClockworkSoul sends in an article up at Scientific American, from which we quote: "Stem cells so far have been used to mend tissues ranging from damaged hearts to collapsed tracheas. Now the multifaceted cells have proved successful at regrowing bone in humans. In the first procedure of its kind, doctors at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center replaced a 14-year-old boy's missing cheekbones — in part by repurposing stem cells from his own body. To create the new bones, which have become part of the patient's own skull structure and have remained securely in place for four and a half months, the medical team used a combination of fat-derived stem cells, donated bone scaffolds, growth factors, and bone-coating tissue. The technique, should it be approved for widespread use, could benefit some seven million people in the US who need more bone — everyone from cancer patients to injured war veterans."
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Facial Bones Grown From Fat-Derived Stem Cells

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  • Re:Cool (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RichardJenkins (1362463) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @10:03PM (#29781633)
    They already can and do - all the time!
  • Re:Cool (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @10:03PM (#29781635) Journal

    And imagine those brains that become "inelastic" and slower to learn. Imagine having a body that is immortal, but a brain that is slowly losing function.

  • Re:Is there? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @10:19PM (#29781699)

    is there really any reason to be against embryonic stem cells now that they can be harvested without embryo destruction, or are made from sources that would be completely discarded anyway? Really, if we could move some of the less informed political activists for less wharrgarbl we could do a lot more with both types of stem cells.

  • by Jarik C-Bol (894741) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @11:17PM (#29781903)
    "a whole lot" the idea of programing cells to multiply and construct a particular organ/bone/body part, is FAR beyond what they have done here. for one thing, you have to be able to program cells that don't exist yet, to recognize when they are the the last ones in the part, and not to multiply again. in addition, some parts of the body part are not exactly the same as others. say you are growing a heart. the cells in the heart walls, are not going to be exactly like the cells in the heart valves. programing a few cells to start multiplying, and create these different subsets of cells, and not simply have a runaway replication issue where the cells divide and divide and make 6 heart like blobs stuck to each-other are far beyond anything we have accomplished so far. Yes, its a nice fantasy, but for now, we are stuck with creating scaffolding to guide the process, and in its present situation, its more like building a mold, and having the cells fill it.
  • Re:Cool (Score:3, Insightful)

    by khallow (566160) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @11:22PM (#29781917)

    And imagine those brains that become "inelastic" and slower to learn. Imagine having a body that is immortal, but a brain that is slowly losing function.

    If we can fix the body so that it no longer ages, then we can fix the brain so that it no longer ages.

  • by khallow (566160) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @11:26PM (#29781929)
    At the least, we need to know if we can replicate fully the features and functions of embryonic stem cells. We'll need embryonic stem cells for that purpose alone. If adult stem cells don't work completely like embryonic stem cells, that means that we may need a supply of embryonic stem cells indefinitely as well.
  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @12:44AM (#29782133)

    Tell me again why we need embryonic stem cells.

    Tell me again why you're asking on slashdot instead of reading a scientific paper on the benefits of ESC research? Tell me you don't rely on /. comments for ALL your information on important subjects of the day.

  • Re:Too bad... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by maxwell demon (590494) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @06:54AM (#29783315) Journal

    What? Having the medical market effectively subsidized by government will not reduce the money to be made in the market, it will increase it. If there's anyone to profit from the reform, it's the medical industry. You'll pay more for it in the end, but that very fact means that the medical industry will make more money from it, and therefore will have more incentive to develop it.

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