Have you heard about stem cell research lately? I first heard about it when President Bush was thinking about supporting it. Now Researchers have shown that they can reverse the age in adult stem cells. They can now maybe help people with tissue damage because of age. The modern day stem cell hypothesis of aging suggests that you are as old as the tissues specific or adult stem cell.
Adult stem cell are import because the find and replace old or damage cells. But just like other cells adult stem cells get old and damaged too. When that happens the body can’t replace cells as well. But if scientists can find a way to keep adult stem cells from aging. They can do all types of things like treating blindness.
Until now patients with age-relates macular degeneration had little hope for treatment. It happens by thinning the layer of cells at the back of the eye eventually leading to blindness. Embryonic stem cells may help to stop the progress of the disease. Researchers used stem cells to create new retinal pigment cells. Then they inject them under the retinas of mice. This method with be tested in the spring.
Scientist now have taken varities of different tissue types from the brain, stomach, and liver. Then they turned the ipS cells into skin, gut, cartilage, and muscle. But there are two big safety risks. One is that the transcription factor c-myc happens to be a powerful cancer gene. The other reason is that the vector used to deliver the stem cells to the target cells is dangerous.
Stem cells can help us many ways in the future. Just like keeping adult stems cells from aging, there’s also help with age-related macular degeneration. Then the last things is to make new skin, gut, cartilage, and muscle. That is how stem cells can help us turn back the clock.
What are other ways that stem cells can help us?
What are ipS cells?
How are vector cells dangerous?