In the previous post, the acceptance of stem cell research and treatment was illustrated with beloved pets becoming healthier and living better lives because of it. Veterinary medicine is just one example of the influences of stem cell research in modern society. In today’s post, we will take a look at the other current breakthroughs affecting other aspects of life.
One very important piece of news centers around a new stem cell found in the brain. Swedish researchers recently discovered a new stem cell in the adult brain which can multiply to form other kinds of cells, including brain cells!
What these newly-discovered stem cells can do is help heal certain brain diseases and injuries when properly developed in stem cell labs. As Patrik Brundin, M.D., Ph.D., Jay Van Andel Endowed Chair in Parkinson’s Research at Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), Head of the Neuronal Survival Unit at Lund University and senior author of the study, tells it:
“A similar cell type has been identified in several other organs where it can promote regeneration of muscle, bone, cartilage and adipose tissue.”
Another exciting possibility presents itself with the discovery of some scientists at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) in Singapore. They found out that neural stem cells can actually target tumour cells outside the central nervous system.
What does this mean for cancer patients? Plenty.
IBN Group Leader, Dr. Shu Wang describes the potential effects of these neural stem cells after several lab experiments thusly:
“We have demonstrated that tumour-targeting neural stem cells may be derived from human iPS cells, and that these cells may be used in combination with a therapeutic gene to cripple tumour growth. This is a significant finding for stem cell-based cancer therapy, and we will continue to improve and optimize our neural stem cell system by preventing any unwanted activation of the therapeutic gene in non-tumour regions and minimizing possible side effects.”
In a nutshell, stem cell research has yielded many exciting health possibilities in recent times, and should only be encouraged in order to give hope for a healthier, more fruitful life for everyone.