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    Tuesday, March 14, 2006

    Will Bleed For Textbooks

    Wow:

    Japanese researchers have harvested stem cells from human menstrual blood. These stem cells could potentially be a source of specialized heart cells, which might be used to treat failing or damaged hearts.

    Stem cells are young, undifferentiated cells that have the ability to become various specialized cells that make up the different tissues of the body.

    At the meeting of the American College of Cardiology here, Dr. Shunichiro Miyoshi reported that he and his colleagues at Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, collected menstrual blood from six women and harvested stem cells that originated in the lining of the uterus, the endometrium.

    They were able to obtain about thirty times more stem cells from menstrual blood than from bone marrow, Miyoshi told Reuters Health.

    When the stem cells were cultured in a way to induce them to become heart cells, after five days about half of the cells contracted "spontaneously, rhythmical and synchronously, suggesting the presence of electrical communication" between the cells, Miyoshi announced. That is to say, they behaved like heart cells.

    The researcher explained that already stem cells derived from bone marrow have been shown to improve the function of the heart -- mainly by producing new blood vessels rather than new heart-muscle tissue. He emphasized that it is important that these cells be obtained from younger patients, because they would have a longer lifespan than cells harvested from older donors.


    That is really amazing. And, yes, I hope somehow I can make money here. :)

    The only problem is that, with that much blood around, we probably won't need all those fetuses!

    Via Brutal Women.

    3 Comments:

    Blogger Dark Daughta said...

    Okay, should I be walking around clutching at my crotch, hoping they don't realize I'm bleeding and cart me off to a secret menstru-harvesting farm underground somewhere? :)

    8:12 PM  
    Blogger EL said...

    Eeek, seriously scary thought.

    2:24 PM  
    Blogger Dark Daughta said...

    I don't put anything past our scientists, still busily pulling the wings off flies like curious unethical little boys.

    1:52 PM  

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